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 (12)

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.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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 38 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. 

Kevin L. Smith, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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Facelift alternative

Nothing can really lift the face other than a facelift.  Fillers or fat grafting can camouflage sagging of the face, but the effect is limited.  I would discuss your options with a board certified plastic surgeon.  I agree that a minilift might be a good option in your case.

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
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Non Surgical Face Rejuvenation

Non surgical options include RF (ThermiRF seems better than Thermage), Ultrasound (Ultherapy) or Laser. I prefer the Sciton Laser Skintyte and/or Forever Young settings for this purpose. See the below link for more details.

For best results however a mini lower facelift would be best and can be done with minimal scars compared with older more traditional approaches. See details for example about the LiteLift or MACS procedure.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Non surgical facial rejuvenation in younger patients

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

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Options for you

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 33 reviews

Ultherapy Plus Voluma

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 31 reviews

Voluma to volumize the cheek area

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?

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 36 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.