How to Get a Facelift Without Surgery

March 28, 2016 5:35 pm 160 Comments

When it comes to cosmetic procedures, there’s none more famous than the facelift.

The facelift procedure has existed for over 100 years, and its name has even become a part of our daily vocabulary, meaning to give a more attractive appearance.

Perhaps because of its fame, the facelift is one of the first treatments that many patients research and consider when they want to rejuvenate their look, even when a traditional facelift may not be the right procedure for them. These patients are often unaware that non-surgical treatment options can give them the youthful appearance they’re after, or that these non-surgical treatments may achieve a more natural-looking attractive look for them.

In this article, we’ll explain what exactly a facelift is, and how patients can get a “facelift” without surgery. We’ll also explain how non-surgical facelifts work, and how we perform them at our practice.

What is a facelift?

Traditionally, a facelift is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and tightens facial tissues. In doing so, it reduces or eliminates wrinkles and sagging skin, both of which contribute to an aged appearance. A facelift procedure can address these signs of aging in a range of problem areas, from the forehead to the cheeks to the neck.

According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, patients typically return to normal daily activities about two weeks after a standard facelift. Results typically last 7-10 years, and Realself.com lists the average price of the procedure at $11,975.

But, what about facelifts without surgery?

At our office, we only perform non-surgical facelifts. In these procedures, which we prefer to call facial rejuvenation treatments, we use dermal fillers and muscle relaxers (like Botox) to lift and rejuvenate the appearance of the cheeks, jowls, brows, eyes, and/or other areas. The treatments involve no cutting or stitches.

Non-surgical facelift before and after photo

In this non-surgical facelift, Dysport (a muscle relaxer) and dermal fillers smoothed away wrinkles and lifted the cheeks.

Dermal fillers and muscle relaxers are quick, easy “lunchtime treatments” that usually have little to no downtime. This means that patients can return to normal daily activities the same day as their procedure. The length of time that the results last depends on the specific treatments used, with most muscle relaxers lasting 3-6 months, and dermal fillers lasting anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Non-surgical facelifts are highly customized procedures, but many patients achieve natural-looking results that they love for between $700 and $2,000.

How non-surgical facelifts work

To understand how non-surgical facelifts work, it’s important to know what causes an aged appearance. For many years, people believed that aging was caused exclusively by downward sagging. However, we now know that sagging skin is mostly a product of the “deflation” of fatty tissue under the skin. This deflation, or loss of fatty tissue, is a natural process that occurs as we age. Just as a balloon becomes droopy and wrinkly when it is deflated, so too does our skin as our smooth facial contours lose the volume of fatty tissue behind them.

Luckily for us, dermal fillers like Juvederm, Voluma, and Restylane can restore lost volume to the face, smoothing wrinkles and restoring youthful, attractive facial contours– exactly the results that many patients imagine achieving with a surgical facelift. Muscle relaxers like Botox also help us treat wrinkles, and often provide even better results when combined with dermal fillers.

How exactly do these treatments work? The specific areas that we inject and products that we use depend on your unique facial anatomy. However, to give an example, consider the cheeks– a common problem area.

As we lose fatty tissue in the cheeks, they and our jowls both begin to sag. As a result of this deflation and sagging, our faces may look more square than they used to, and we may develop wrinkles between the nose and chin, such as laugh lines. All of these changes contribute to an older appearance. To undo the effect of the changes, we typically administer the dermal filler Voluma to the cheeks to achieve a “cheek lift.” This treatment restores the cheeks’ natural, youthful fullness, tightening the overlying skin from cheek to jowl that has begun to droop. This restores the youthful contours and shape of the face, and helps smooth wrinkles.

Voluma cheek lift before and after photo

This patient’s Voluma treatment lifted her cheeks and also reduced the appearance of eye bags.

Non-surgical facelifts with Drs. Cohen and Swartz

At our offices, we hold a consultation with every new patient before beginning treatment. During this consultation, we listen to what you’d like to accomplish, examine your facial anatomy, and suggest a course of treatment. If you’re interested in accomplishing a facelift without surgery (or if you’re unsure what you’d like to accomplish), we’ll explain what treatment or treatments (e.g. Juvederm, Botox, etc.) would work best for you, and where those treatments would be administered. We’ll also explain all fees up front so that there are no surprises.

In our approach to non-surgical facelifts (and all other treatments), we always strive for natural-looking results. We combine art and science to pinpoint the facial areas requiring treatment, and we only do what’s necessary to achieve the desired results.

If you are considering a facelift with or without surgery, we hope that our article has helped you decide which treatment could be right for you. We wish you the best of luck on your journey!

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