While millions of Americans scale back on cosmetic procedures during the turbulent economic times, some countries are sidestepping the pricing pinch by picking up freebies from their local esthetic center.
The Brazilian Society of Esthetic Medicine is once again running its annual "free Botox" program, and extending other anti aging treatments at no cost for low-income residents of Brazil. Trainees at the center are allowed to perform Botox and other anti-aging procedures on patients under the supervision of an instructor.
The program is a 10-year old initiative that has helped many people get their Botox fix without worrying about the cost of treatments. The Society extends these treatments as part of its student training program, making it easier for those on an extremely tight budget to get a set of otherwise pricey procedures. Spokeswoman Isabel Alvarez explains that "the program lets student doctors get experience and gives the poor a chance for luxury treatments they couldn’t normally afford. "
In addition to free Botox jabs, the Brazilian Society of Esthetic Medicine reportedly offers free laser hair removal, chemical peels and varicose vein treatments.
Candidates for the treatments must show proof that their income is less than $250 per month, and once deemed eligible, can sign up for a consultation to cover several procedures they might need.
The average price of plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures in Brazil is about 60-75% of the price in the United States, which means most residents pay approximately $100 per injection. This is still a significant luxury purchase for most, especially for those whose monthly income is less than the cost of three treatments. The Brazilian Society of Esthetic Medicine reports ongoing success with their program, and will continue to offer it free of charge for those who simply cannot afford some of today's popular anti aging procedures.