16 December 2008

As the job market shrinks during the economic downturn, some job seekers are making changes to their appearance in the hopes of standing out and getting hired.

Housewife Kara Regal has spent the past decade raising her daughters, but is now searching for work. And before she heads out on the job hunt, she has decided to undergo a few non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

"I look in the mirror and see somebody who looks so much older than I used to," she told ABC News.

Regal is one of many patients that dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons have reported seeing who are regaining their confidence through cosmetic surgery before searching for employment.

Dermatologist Dr. Dale Isaacson said he's seen an influx of patients who have recently been laid off.

"We've have several who have been laid off, who are coming in to look more refreshed and youthful in job interviews," he said.

Regal said she's excited about returning to work, and that she credits her recent cosmetic procedures like Botox wrinkle-relaxers and dermal fillers with boosting her self confidence.

"I feel good about being back out there," she said.

Isaacson and other doctors said that tight finances haven't stopped many of their patients from having work done, though they note that clients are choosing less expensive and less invasive procedures, like skin peels and laser treatments.

"It would seem that [their appearance] is a priority for many patients," said Isaacson. "It's as important as getting hair cut, nails done."

Recent news in the cosmetic surgery industry has found that the market for non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedures is becoming increasingly popular as consumers seek cheaper aesthetic options.