‘#FillerNation’ doctor exposes beauty trends: ‘This is using chemical warfare’

‘#FillerNation’ doctor exposes beauty trends: ‘This is using chemical warfare’

The new documentary “#FillerNation” covers the exploding trend of cosmetic beauty –and procedures including botox and fillers among people in their 20s.

Now streaming on Peacock, the doc — part of NBC News Stay Tuned and also on its YouTube page–features interviews with experts such as Manhattan-based dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman.

“I feel like my patients get younger as I get older,” Engelman, 46, told The Post. “There’s definitely been a de-stigmatization of getting cosmetic procedures, and a normalization that you see from [posts about it on] social media. Before, people wouldn’t even tell their sister they got botox. Now, people have my assistant video them while I have the needle in their face.” 

“#FillerNation” covers the ties between the cosmetic beauty industry and social media, as more and more influencers have been posting about their fillers or botox procedures. This trend has been on the rise in recent years, thanks in part to celebs such as the Kardashians making the practice popular. 

“I think it’s both good and concerning,” said Engleman, noting that the average age of her aesthetics patients is 29.

Dr. Dendy Engelman, right, with one of her 20something patients.Dr. Dendy Engelman, right, with one of her 20-something patients in “#FillerNation.” Courtesy of NBC NewsOne of the social media influencers of #FillerNation posting about her procedures.One of the social media influencers of #FillerNation posting about her procedures. Courtesy of NBC

“It’s nice that people feel comfortable being transparent about what they do to maintain a more youthful appearance. But, it’s a slippery slope if you’re comparing your worst selfie to an airbrushed highly augmented Kardashian picture,” she said. “That can induce a lot of incorrect self-reflection, where people are insecure about how they look, where, maybe before, they didn’t mind their nose and lips.”

Engelman, who’s had her Manhattan practice since 2009, said she’s noticed a shift in how the public talks about such procedures. 

“If they want to put that on their social media [when they’re in my office], that doesn’t bother me. It happens so often that it’s not strange,” she said. “I remember probably 10 years ago, a patient from Brazil talked about how they like to video their procedures and show their friends. I thought that was insane, because no one here at that point even admitted they had cosmetic procedures done. But now, that’s become the norm.” 

Dr. Dendy Engelman.Dr. Dendy Engelman stars in the new doc “#FillerNation.”Courtesy of NBC NewsA lip with a needle going into it.A young woman getting a lip filler. Courtesy of NBCOne of the influencers of #FillerNation recording a video to post.One of the influencers of #FillerNation recording a video to post. Courtesy of NBC

The documentary highlights the dangers when people don’t do proper research. Engleman said that being informed is key, and she sometimes says “no” to people who come to her seeking cosmetic procedures if she doesn’t feel that it’s appropriate for them. 

“I can’t believe that people don’t vet their injectors. These are neuro toxins that can cause real damage,” she said. “This is using chemical warfare. You want to make sure you know who is injecting you and what they’re injecting. It’s crazy how many people are like, ‘I don’t know, it was a syringe, it had pink packaging,’ and they don’t even know the name [of what they got]. You want to make sure you’re going to someone you know has been trained and who you trust. If you have too many artists on your face, you’ll end up looking like a Picasso.” 

“By and large, I’d say [influencers] have been good. They’ve raised awareness about procedures that are available,” she said. “I do tell my clients to take advice from influencers with a grain of salt. They’re not the holy grail of information. But when they do post their procedures on Instagram or TikTok, they help de-stigmatize cosmetic procedures and minimize fear that patients have.”