What are the pros and cons of a liquid facelift?

Doctor Answers 10



“LIQUID FACELIFT” is a misnomer.  A facelift is a surgical procedure or procedures
to correct sagging, redundant facial tissue such as jowls,  hanging necks,  brow 
ptosis, etc.  Attempts to correct these deformities  with fillers, or neurotoxins, or 
noninvasive “tissue tightening ” technologies are usually disappointing.

"LIQUID TUNE-UP" would be a more appropriate term for the use of fillers in 
patients that are not ready for surgical facelift. Some practitioners without
surgical expertise are pushing expensive non-surgical options in patients that
really need surgery to get a respectable result.  !f you are seeking fillers, it would be prudent to see a surgical specialist with expertise in all options, that can give you an honest evaluation.   Wasting thousands on fillers when you need surgery, or having surgery before you need it, can be very disappointing.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Pros and Cons


-Restores facial volume lost from fat atrophy and bony atrophy with little downtime          

- Does not involve a surgical incision or scar          

- Easily completed in an office under topical/local anesthesia


-Temporary result, regardless of filler material or fat transfer           

-Doesn't truly lift the underlying structures of the face           

-Doesn't address poor jawline and neck contours

Injectables - Technique and Technician Matter Most

The face ages in three ways: Sags and bags, Lines and Hollows, Tone and Texture. When we are young our face is like an inverted triangle, with the fullest part being from the forehead to the bottom of the nose. As we age, the triangle flips upside down with our upper face being the most narrow. A "liquid facelift" is achieved with injectables like Voluma, Radiesse, and Juvederm plus Botox for smoothing lines in the forehead, around the eyes, lip and chin areas.  The first step to determine if a liquid facelift is right for you is evaluating your face to determine where your facial aging in occurring. Often times patient complain of nasal labia folds (the lines that form from the nose to the mouth area), fallen or sunken cheeks, hollowed under eyes and temples, thin lips and weakened jawlines. The key to a liquid facelift is keeping it natural looking and not getting overfilled, therefore technique and the skills of the injector make a significant difference. We use mostly micro-cannulas for our injections, which minimize bruising and allow for smooth contouring of the face. There is an Abraham Maslow saying, "If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail." In this case it applies to choosing a plastic surgeon to access your facial aging process and determine a course of action. Often times, a patient is not a good candidate for a liquid facelift and needs to consider an alternative procedure such as a non-incisional Radio Frequency facelift or a traditional facelift. While fillers can be a fantastic solution for staving off the aging process, eventually, you will want to know your options for continuing to look natural as well as youthful. 

Mark Anton, MD, FACS
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Liquid Facelift

A liquid facelift uses dermal fillers to add volume and smooth the skin. Fillers have varying lifespans. For example, Juvederm and Restylane both are hyaluronic acid fillers and generally last no more than a year. Radiesse, a calcium hydroxylapatite filler, can last a year or more. To maintain the volume these fillers add, patients need to go in for touch ups at least once every 12 months, if not sooner, which can be costly. A pro is that it allows you some of the results with no downtime or cutting. 

Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Liquid Facelift depends upon your face

The "Liquid Facelift", is a grouping of injectable products that lift, sculpt, smooth and contour the face. Those individuals who have lost facial volume, consisting of fat, muscle and bone mass in the mid-face have remarkable and natural looking refreshed appearances after the "Liquid Facelift". The final results are dependent upon the products used and the artistry of the injector. Those individuals who have a lax neck and jaw tissues will benefit minimally from facial fillers. They will require a facelift to lift, smooth and tighten the hanging skin and muscle and often will eventually require additional volume replacement with fillers.

When fillers such as Radiesse, Voluma & Juvederm are combined with Botox, for the upper face, the results are even more dramatic. Once again, Botox should be placed in such a manner as to relax the overly active forehead muscles to yield a natural appearance. Botox will produce a smoother upper face; however, leaving animation and some motion to the forehead muscles is optimal.

There are very few complications or cons when Radiesse, Juvederm, Voluma and Botox are used with an artistic hand and plastic surgeon's eye.

Pros and Cons of a liquid facelift.

The advantages of a liquid facelift is that is it quick, relatively painless, performed awake, recovery only a few days, and low complication risks. However, the disadvantages are that the results are temporary (lasts 12-18 months), will require more injections as the filler fades over time, and over the long term will actually be more expensive than the surgical procedure.

Hope this information helps, best of luck!

- Dr. Roger Tsai

Roger Tsai, MD
Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Liquid Facelift

Less downtime with minimal recovery 
no anesthesia
more subtle results which many patients prefer

less effective at reversing gravitational aging of the face
does not last as long

John Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Pros and Cons of a "Liquid Facelift"

Thank you for your question.  A "liquid facelift" is a term used to describe the use of injectables such as Botox and fillers to address the science of facial aging and thereby create a more youthful appearance.  The advantages of a liquid facelift include no downtime, immediate results and decreased upfront cost relative to a traditional surgical facelift.  The primary disadvantage of a liquid facelift is that the results are not permanent.  Please be sure to see an experienced plastic surgeon for an in-person consultation to fully discuss your goals and expectations in order to determine the best course of action.  Best wishes!

Liquid Facelift pros and cons

Hi BeachieBeauty - the pros are that the results are instant, there is little downtime, less risk than surgery. Most of the reasons why people are getting a facelift are to combat the signs of aging. One of the main signs of aging is volume loss. Volume loss is correctable with a liquid facelift, probably even more so than with a traditional facelift. The cons of getting liquid facelift are that it's hard to achieve true skin tightening without surgery, and a liquid facelift can get pretty expensive. We charge $799 a syringe of Voluma and $699 for Sculptra. The problem with a traditional facelift is that you pull the skin up without addressing the volume loss, which results in a less natural appearance.

Justin Harper, MD
Columbus Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Recommend consultation

This answer to this question really is individualized from person to to person depending on the physical appearance and personal goals/desires.  I highly recommend you set up a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon to review both non-surgical and surgical methods of facial rejuvenation.  But in short:

Minimal downtime, might be few days of bruising/swelling
Filler can be dissolved if an HA was used
Its temporary.  So if you don't like it, it will eventually go way on its own or can be dissolved

Its temporary, so will need more injections down the road.  This can be more expensive than surgery.
In most cases, surgical result is superior in appearance.  For instance filler cannot camouflage redundant skin/fat in the neck 

Wish you the best!  

Babar Sultan, MD
Towson Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 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.