What is the most effective nonsurgical alternative to a facelift?

My upper cheeks have sagged, as well as my lower cheeks. The lower part of my face has a bit of fat past the jawline. I don't have a lot of facial fat, which is why my lower eyelids are now hollow. What is the most effective way to lift the sagging skin, without having a facelift? I'm young, and I've been told it wasn't a good idea to get a facelift at my age, plus I'm too scared. This was caused by a year of insomnia. Thank you very much.

Doctor Answers 19

Non-invasive facelifting.

It is now more and more common for patients to request a completely non-surgical facelift or non-surgical necklift. Unfortunately, options are not "great" and I am rarely ever very satisfied with results, although, patients are and that is what is most important.

Ultherapy is the gold standard of non-invasive treatment for the neck and face. Period. Why? It is precise (no guesswork as you have an image of exactly what you are treating) and it can go deeper than radiofrequency or lasers presently. In addition, only one treatment is needed in comparison to radiofrequency which requires multiple. It is uncomfortable, it sure is and I recommend getting medicated to reduce the discomfort. Results last 18-24 months for most.

Kybella in a new product that was FDA approved in 2015 that melts away fat under the chin. This can be used in addition to other treatments or by itself.

As far as minimally invasive techniques, the Silhouette Lift is available and produces significant results, although small incision is needed, thus it is not completely non-invasive. Sometime in the summer of 2015, the Silhouette soft, or Instalift, will be available that requires no stitches. Results are not nearly as pronounced as the Silhouette lift, although the less invasiveness may be attractive to many.


Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

We now have great options for volume loss in the cheeks

Thanks for your question. You need to have a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to learn all of your treatment options. We now have great options for volume loss in the cheeks, especially with fillers. Voluma is FDA cleared right now for this; Perlane is awaiting FDA clearance for this at this time; and Radiesse Plus (with Lidocaine) received FDA clearance this week. A skilled injector can use these products to make very natural improvements – sometimes this is known as a liquid facelift.

In addition, one can have Ulthera performed on the face and neck, if needed. This is fractionated ultrasound and has shown some very impressive results when used by skilled providers. And skin care is very important here – and should be used with any of the procedures to maintain and enhance what is being done in the office setting.

Find the right doctor, and this should not be a problem to correct in this day and age.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Nonsurgical Alternatives To A Facelift

 There are really no true nonsurgical alternatives to a facelift that will work. There are many techniques and technologies that are being discussed and are being used both experimentally and clinically, but none have the effect of a “True Facelift”. This really requires a surgical rejuvenation with central facial fat compartment “Filling” and “Lifting” laterally with a SMAS type of facelift. This should be done in the hands of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with understanding and expertise in the science of facial aging.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Non Surgical Face Lift

Thank you for your question about non surgical face lift.

A liquid facelift might be helpful, including the use of Voluma for your cheeks.

To be sure, see two or more licensed and board-certified providers in your area for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have these treatments.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Nonsurgical alternatives to a facelift

Thankfully you are now living in a time where nonsurgical options for rejuvenating the face are safe, effective, and reducing or delaying the need for surgical interventions. Best to speak with your dermatologist about neurotoxins such as Botox for dynamic wrinkles (forehead, frown lines, Crow's feet) and fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane for laugh/nasolabial lines, sad lines / Marionette lines, plumping up lips or cheek bones, or defining the jawline. Laser ablative resurfacing and deep chemical peels can also be quite beneficial. Microneedling/dermaroller is another safe treatment to consider to stimulate your own collagen.

Benjamin Barankin, MD
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Face Lift Alternatives

Thank you for your question. Facial fractional CO2 laser and fillers and Neurotoxins are a good alternative, and can deliver very satisfying results in the right hands. See a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and a Board Certified Dermatologist for a consultation on these options.I hope this helps!

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Sagging facial skin

Thank you for your question about a non-surgical face lift.

Without an examination, no one can tell you what might help.
But if you are young, treatments can include Botox, fillers, skin care, peels and lasers. 
if you are under 35 it is almost definitely too early for a face lift .
If the changes you are seeing were caused by insomnia, they are probably reversible -
A good diet, exercise and happiness can work wonders as well -
Look after yourself and enjoy the results of the treatments you choose.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Personalized consultation

The good news is that there are now multiple non-surgical options.  You will need to get an in-person consultation to determine what options are best.

Fillers, botox, lasers, and ultherapy are among the many non-surgical options that I use on my patients.

In addition, good skin care, and topical creams can also help you look better.

Get a consultation with a qualified Facial Plastic Surgeon to find out what your options are.

James Chan, MD
Portland Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

What is the most effective nonsurgical alternative to a facelift?

Thanks for your question. Without photos or a face-to-face consultation, I can only answer in generalities. Our faces age three ways; skin quality, facial volume and skin laxity. The only robust treatment for skin laxity is surgery but there are non-surgical treatments that can rejuvenate. A good skin care program is a must. I recommend (and use) skin care products from SkinMedica. There are also various devices that can improve the skin quality and obtain some skin tightening such as laser, light-based therapies, radio-frequency devices, etc that may be helpful.
Lastly, volume restoration may yield the most dramatic results in your situation. The most sculptural filler, Juvederm Voluma, can achieve a remarkable amount of fill AND lift if properly placed by  an experienced board certified plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist (or a certified injector under their DIRECT supervision). There are many other fillers available as well that are safe and effective. Also, your own fat can be used to volumize and re-shape your face for a more youthful look. I recommend that patients start with the hyaluronic acid fillers. These filler can be reversed with the injection of an enzyme if, for any reason, you don't like the result. Then, once you are happy with the outcome, longer lasting solutions like fat can be utilized. 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.