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 (7)

Non surgical facial rejuvenation in younger patients

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Non surgical facial rejuvenation in younger patients
Volume sometimes helps.  Fat grafting may be a good option and can improve the quality of skin
Skin care, laser treatments are all helpful


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Options for you

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Hi.  It would be more helpful if you had posted a photo, but from the sounds of it, you might get some benefits by restoring volume to your face with some FDA-approved injectables.

You could try some Voluma for the cheek volume loss, some Belotero for the lower eyelid "tear trough", and so on.

You could do a little bit of neck tightening with either ThermiRF or Ulthera.

Best to see a good board-certified PS in your area to discuss the possibilities.

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Ultherapy Plus Voluma

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It sounds like you would be an excellent candidate for two non-surgical procedures: The first is Ultherapy to lift and tighten your skin from forehead to chin. The second is Voluma to add volume to your cheeks. The Ultherapy works gradually, and you’ll see an ongoing lifting of your sagging eyelids, cheeks and jaw line over a period of about three months. Meanwhile, the Voluma will complement and augment this lifting while restoring plumpness to your hollowing cheeks. Best of all, the Voluma injections will deliver an immediate improvement in your appearance.

Hal Michael Bass, MD
Pembroke Pines Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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Voluma to volumize the cheek area

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I recommend learning more about Voluma, this new facial filler will instantly volumize your mid-face. Voluma will give you a younger appearance and last up to two years. Consult with your doctor to decide which is best for you.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Non-Surgical Facelift?

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It would be nice if there was just one thing that could substitute a facelift, but this is not commonly the case. The aging changes one sees are multifactorial. There is typically a place for fillers to restore volume and support some of the overlying skin that sags, as well as a treatment call Ultherapy, which is FDA cleared for a nonsurgical browlift, neck lift and now chest wrinkles, and works by tightening both the superficial muscle that is pulled during a face and neck lift as well as the skin.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

The Nonsurgical 3D Vectoring Facelift Can Work Well For Addressing Minimal Or Early Sagging

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The Nonsurgical 3D Vectoring Facelift, first introduced in Europe, might just be the right approach for someone very young and very scared of a surgical facelift.

A vector describes a magnitude and direction of force. Aging skin is characterized by a negative downward and inward vector of sagging. To counter this, surgeons traditionally pulled skin upward and outward--i.e. using a positive vector. The key difference between the outcomes of traditional surgical correction and nonsurgical 3D vectoring, both of which lift upwards and outwards, is the Nonsurgical 3D Vectoring Lift's additional corrective dimension of ‘forward projection’. This 3D effect is the result of volumizing with the use of injectable agents designed for this purpose, such as Radiesse, Voluma, Restylane SQ, and Stylage XXL.

The Nonsurgical 3D Vectoring Lift is predicated upon the fact that the face and portions of the neck differ in their degree of mobility. The region directly in front and behind the ears is a fixed, denser, relatively immobile area, in contrast to the mid-cheek region (hence the greater tendency of this region to sag with the passage of time). These anatomical differences are exploited in the Nonsurgical 3D Vectoring Lift by making the fixed areas serve as anchoring points for the mobile tissues. In determining the positive vectors for the mid to lower face, the tissues that require lifting are identified by pulling the skin directly in front of the ears in a direction perpendicular to the area that requires correction. If the pulling results in lifting of the desired tissue, then the vector has been correctly identified and is then marked in accordance with 3D vectoring protocol.

Once the proper vectors are marked, the volumizing agents are injected in a series of radiating bands that serve as support struts to the skin and that impart the necessary 3D outward projection--the lift--that distinguishes and defines this nonsurgical approach. The high viscosity and elasticity of the volumizing fillers serves to hold and re-support the overlying tissue and restore more youthful contours.

Although volumizing fillers are reabsorbed over time, they do promote new, native collagen synthesis (neocollagenesis), which may continue to provide structure, firmness and improved skin quality while continuing to lift tissues. A typical Nonsurgical 3D Vectoring Lift of the face takes about fifteen minutes to perform. Bruising and swelling tend to be minimal, and most people can return to work or social activities immediately following treatment.

Naturally you should consult with a board certified aesthetic physician who is experienced with this technique.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Non-Surgical Facelifting

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There are no non-surgical methods of lifting the skin. The closest may be one of the string lift techniques. However, these do not last very long and cannot be compared to a surgical procedure. At your age (which, from your profile appears to be 17), surgery should not be an option. You should also not really have skin droop unless you have lost fat from your face. For this, there are some non-surgical alternatives You have not provided any pictures, so there is no way to understand what concerns you or suggest anything that may correct it. See a plastic surgeon experienced in facial rejuvenation. 

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

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.