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Dr Ivan Puah reveals why looksmaxxing is more than just a trend in men and its effect

May 6, 2021
February 27, 2024

Men do get it and they know the importance of looking good. However, some become too obsessive in that pursuit, which can lead to other issues.

Table of Contents


SINGAPORE, May 2021 — According to Dr Ivan Puah, an MOH-accredited liposuction doctor and Medical Director of Amaris B. Clinic, the ratio of female to male patients at his clinic has shifted from 70:30 to 45:55 since its inception. Over the years, as we evolve and progress, our understanding of things follows suit.

For example, the term “vanity” is no longer associated with just the female gender. More men are investing in their appearance because they understand the need to look good. An experienced doctor who has been helping patients attain their ideal appearance for the past two decades, he also added that in men, the term “beauty is not applicable as male vanity is about masculinity.

Dr Ivan Puah added that there are many reasons behind a man’s intention in seeking help and treatment. These range from self-esteem issues to the need of fitting into their corporate culture or even simply in wanting to look like how they feel. Interestingly, the most common reason of late is looksmaxxing.

Looksmaxxing, more than just a growing trend amongst men

Looksmaxxing is basically about improving the appearance, and for men, the preference leans to “tweaking” rather than “tucking”, as reported in a 2019 British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons study [1]. Meanwhile, in the US and since 2000, the use of fillers and neurotoxin injectables among men has risen by 101 percent and 381 percent according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. A study also reported that facial appearance was found to be of more importance than that of the physique in regards to physical attractiveness [2]. Facial attractiveness seems to indicate semen quality [3], which enhances a man’s appeal to the opposite gender.

Dr Ivan Puah still remembers the first time he heard the term “looksmaxxing” as uttered by a patient, and at that moment, he understood the reason behind the rise in the number of male patients at his clinic. Looksmaxxing is not an overnight process, it is a lifetime commitment. This includes investing in skincare products, healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Often it also involves aesthetics treatment to upkeep their skin tone and condition, surgical interventions and self-effort by the patient to upkeep their newfound appearance. Unfortunately, during this pursuit, some men develop “bigorexia,” a body dysmorphic disorder.

Bigorexia, a body dysmorphic disorder

Defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) as a body dysmorphic disorder, bigorexia triggers a sense of inadequacy where the patient feels that his body is too small or not muscular enough [4]. It is akin to being delusional, and men who suffer from it are fixated on the perception that they are insufficiently muscular or insufficiently lean. In most cases, however, this is contrary to their actual physical state.

Men who suffer from bigorexia will tend to become socially awkward, among other things, at times. They will also become obsessive with their appearance, spending hours on end at the gym and on products that would help them to attain their perception of a muscular, fit and perfect physique. This is not only detrimental to physical health but more critically, it can have an adverse affect on one’s mental wellbeing.

The negative influence of social media

Today, it has become evident that social media is a powerful tool. We form opinions, find solutions and inspirations and even reach conclusions from the various postings on them but there are downsides.

As Dr Puah stresses, “Social media can bring the best out of us. We share success stories in the hope of inspiring and sometimes as a tool to find encouragement. But it can also bring out the green-eyed monster in us, where that encouragement we initially sought becomes more of a validation to feed our narcissistic tendencies. To the extent that we go beyond what is advised (in terms of looking good) just to continuously receive validations and accolades.”

Falling into such traps is something that should be avoided and self-realisation is essential when it comes to understanding limits and what can be achieved when it comes to looking good.


About Amaris B. Clinic & Dr Ivan Puah

Established in 2004, Amaris B. Clinic is a medical aesthetics, sculpting and fitness clinic in Singapore.

Led by Dr Ivan Puah, who is the clinic's Medical Director and accredited by the Ministry of Health to perform liposuction, Amaris B.'s forte lies in body sculpting - surgically removing stubborn fat pockets to sculpt and shape different areas of the body through various services offered.

Chairman of the Lipo Peer Review Committee in Singapore, Dr Puah obtained his Vaser liposuction (fundamental and hi-definition) training in Colorado and Argentina. He has also received training in syringe liposculpture, fat grafting and thread lift by renowned French plastic surgeon, Dr Pierre Francois Fournier, and dedicated surgical training in gynecomastia surgery in San Francisco. Dr Puah holds a Graduate Diploma in Family Dermatology from NUS, a Graduate Diploma in Acupuncture from TCMB, and a Graduate Diploma in Sports Medicine from LKCMedicine, NTU. He is the appointed trainer by Allergan and Merz for fellow doctors on cosmetic injectables such as neurotoxins and dermal fillers, as well as the designated trainer for PDO thread lift and Picolaser from Venusys Medical in Singapore.

Amaris B. Clinic's signature treatments include:


Bianca Zen

Marketing Consultant

Amaris B. Clinic, www.amaris-b.com

140 Arab Street, Singapore 199827

+65 6536 4211 | marketing@amaris-b.com



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