When You're Not Ready For a Facelift


Minimally-invasive cosmetic enhancements like BOTOX Cosmetic and Restylane have seen a sharp rise in popularity over the last few years, and lately the wider range of faster, smaller-scale procedure options is prompting a boost in the number of younger patients seeking noninvasive treatments at cosmetic surgery centers. Sometimes these  these less extensive options can be more appropriate than surgery.

We have been seeing a high number of patients in their 30s and 40s who do not feel ready for cosmetic surgery, but still want to do something about their premature signs of aging.  Injectable options are often a top choice in these cases, where smoking, sun damage or other factors may have depleted some of the collagen that normally supports their skin from underneath, leaving loose skin that can sag and wrinkle, making the person look aged and tired.

A traditional face lift involves larger-scale cosmetic surgery to adjust the shape and position of facial muscles and tighten sagging tissues. For more extensive wrinkling and droopiness, the surgical approach is more effective, but  many younger patients don't require this kind of intensive procedure.

By and large most 30- and 40-year-olds are experiencing only surface-level changes to their facial tissue. The muscles and skin chemistry have only started to change, but at this point the most noticeable differences are at the skin level and directly underneath. Even small tissue depletions under the eyes and around the mouth can make a person feel older and more worn-out, but at this stage injectables will generally correct these problems very effectively without the time commitment of a face lift.

Injectable treatments generally take around 30 minutes to perform, and can be effective for semi-permanent or long-lasting treatment. Hyaluronic-acid fillers like Restylane and Perlane may last between six months and a year, though the duration of the treatment will depend on individual factors like the quality of the patient's skin. Permanent fillers like ArteSense, a smooth gel of plastic microspheres, offer permanent results, while intermediate fillers like Radiesse and Sculptra have results that may last up to 2 years.

Time doesn't stand still, so patients who choose to undergo an injectable face lift now,  may require cosmetic surgery at a later date. However, in the short term, the faster and more cost-effective option may actually be a wiser choice.

Article by
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon