Some of us in our 50s are in the workplace with people in their 20s and 30s, and we need to be competitive at a job interview.

The sagging economy has changed the customer landscape for aesthetic professionals. Fewer patients opt for pricey overhauls like facelifts and stuff, but there are more patients, who want temporary, less expensive spruce-ups. Both groups of patients increasingly view aesthetic procedures as a business move, rather than a fashionable frill.

A “refreshed” CEO has more chances of raising funds or getting a bail-out. A real estate agent knows that a younger, rejuvenated face will have more success selling homes. While in between jobs, people use the downtime and part of their savings to improve their look in hope to land a good position. Those in struggling businesses see cosmetic procedures as key to surviving layoffs.

People have to look younger and better for reasons related to their jobs and they are hunting for value.

National trade groups report a surge of plastic surgery over the past decade. Data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show nearly 12 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in 2007, a 7 percent increase from the year before. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says Americans spent $8.3 billion for surgical procedures and $4.7 billion for nonsurgical in 2007. Neither group has 2008 data yet. However, there is no doubt that big ticket face-lifts are down, injectables and laser rejuvenation treatments are up.

2009 is the year of laser rejuvenation treatments and injectables, which offer the best value.