Getty Images


“Zoom Face” Is Real — Here’s How to Fight It

How staring at ourselves for a year on screens caused a long-term phenomenon.

It’s official: going out is back. After over a year of being cooped up inside, it’s time to (responsibly, of course) dust off your best party top, grab some chunky jewelry, and finally log off Zoom. But following months of nonstop seeing yourself from the perspective of the now ever-present video conferencing app, has it changed the way we see our own faces — and, in turn, our self-esteem?

"The Zoom effect is real,” says Amy Shecter, CEO of Ever/Body, a New York-based med spa specializing in cosmetic dermatology. “People are spending more time than ever staring at themselves online, and as a result, they are seeking high impact solutions to change the way they look and feel.” Meet Zoom Face — a collective hyper-awareness of our own faces, and the desire to fix even the most minor flaws. Luckily, a very 2021 issue comes with plenty of 2021 solutions, from ultra-hydrating facials to the more lasting effects of dermal fillers.

Here, Christina Nalbone, Ever/Body’s director of clinical education and operations, breaks down the new phenomenon — and what you can do to fight it.

What exactly is "Zoom Face?”

Zoom Face is the idea that we have become hyper aware of our appearance due to the increased time we're all spending on Zoom and video calls. Watching our faces express a full range of emotions can bring certain facial features to light which we weren't aware of before, causing us to see our reflection in a new way. This certainly wasn’t a topic of conversation in our offices until the pandemic.

When did people start complaining about Zoom Face?

As soon as we reopened. We always ask our patients what brought them to see us, and why now? We kept hearing the same thing: "I've been staring at myself on Zoom all day and I noticed..." I guess you can say their skin concerns were quite literally staring them in the face. People want to make changes toward looking good, but most importantly, feeling good and feeling confident.

What may be the long term effects?

We believe it's opening up more conversation and consideration around aesthetic treatments, especially given the focus on “Zoom Face” and increasing transparency from influencers and public figures about their favorite cosmetic treatments. Clients come to Ever/Body for natural-looking results — they don’t want to look overdone. This idea isn’t new though — looking natural and refreshed and feeling good were the same outcomes people were looking for pre-pandemic as well.

What treatments are best to combat Zoom Face?

It all starts with identifying what your goals are. For example, Wrinkle Relaxers (such as Botox and Xeomin) and dermal fillers may be the best treatments for someone who wants to soften wrinkles, add volume or build contour. Radiofrequency microneedling is a great treatment for someone who is looking to stimulate collagen, tighten skin, and remodel fat on the face or body. For a refreshed look with radiance and glow, HydraFacial and Clear + Brilliant is a popular combination. Everyone's goals are different and it's difficult for people to decide which treatment suits them best, this is why Ever/Body offers complimentary consultations where we can build a treatment plan together.

What precautions can people take before making any major decisions?

Before you jump into a cosmetic treatment because of what you see on Zoom (or anywhere else for that matter), make sure you find a provider who is well-trained and will partner with you to enhance your natural features and anatomy in the way you feel most comfortable.