Does PRP with microneedling really work like a facelift?

is it true that it has a filler effect and that it improves skin quality and sagging? i am considering doing it, but i do not want to waste cash on snake oil...

Doctor Answers 6

Non-surgical procedures like PRP and microneedling won't replace a surgical facelift, but they can improve skin quality

Thank you for your question. You are considering undergoing micro-needling with platelet-rich plasma, however you would like to know if it truly improves skin quality and tightening of skin similar to a facelift, as you do not want to waste your resources on a procedure that doesn’t work.

I can certainly give you my perspective on this issue. To first give you a little information about myself — I’m a Board-certified cosmetic surgeon and a Fellowship-trained oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, practicing in Manhattan and Long Island for over 20 years. Throughout all my years of practicing, many of the core procedures I do include facelifts, eyelid rejuvenation, full-body cosmetic surgery, injectables, lasers, and other non-surgical options such as platelet-rich plasma. Platelet-rich plasma is currently a very big part of my practice and we have even developed a treatment that combines it with Acellular matrix, in order to help men and women with pattern hair loss.

To get straight to the answer, micro-needling and PRP will not, in any way, replace the effect of a facelift. A facelift cannot be replaced by a non-surgical procedure. This kind of thinking is a result of medical treatments being marketed to people who are averse to having surgery as solutions that will allow them to get a surgical result without surgery. Differentiating between skin quality and skin quantity is important, and I would say again that you cannot replace treatments that you can do for your skin with facelifts, and vice versa.

During the mid-90s, when the original CO2 lasers were introduced, it was a common notion that tightening the skin well enough meant that you wouldn’t need to have facelifts. This, of course, did not work out because you can only tighten the skin so much through thermal energy before damaging it.

As a surgeon who performs a lot of facelifting surgery, the reason why I have so many modalities in my practice is because I also incorporate a plan for skin rejuvenation in my treatments, which include platelet-rich plasma and lasers. Essentially, every patient is approached differently in terms of skin rejuvenation — it is a process that is customized for the individual, combining the right modalities to get the best result.

Many people spend a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources trying to avoid a surgical procedure, when in fact, the best thing for them is to just get the actual procedure. For example, for many people come to me with under eye bag concerns, it is the same exact story where they opt for non-surgical options like fillers, but eventually have them removed, and then have the definitive surgical procedure.

It’s wonderful you’re asking this question; it is important to create a dialogue with experts in order to help you better understand these things. I think it would be good for you to approach a specialist - someone who offers all if not most surgical and non-surgical modalities, and is not limited by training or resources.

In my practice, patients don’t just come to me just for procedures, but also for guidance on how to maximize their results. During consultations, I always ask what their priorities are, what is important to them, and what is the dominant feature that catches their eye when they look in the mirror.

In your case, even though you didn’t submit a photo, I suspect your attention is pulled by sagging skin and jowls, where the right procedure for you may be some type of facelifting procedure. In our practice, we perform this procedure under local anesthesia and LITE™ sedation. We use platelet-rich plasma and Acellular matrix to optimize wound healing, and we don’t use drains. It is still surgery, but we do a lot of things to try to make it as close to a non-surgical procedure as possible.

I suggest you meet with qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeons and learn about all your options, that way you can make a better informed decision.

I hope that was helpful and I wish you the best of luck!

New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Does Mictoneedling with PRP work like a facelift?

Thank you for asking the good question. PRP with Microneedling is great for firming the skin and improving skin texture. It does not act as a surgical facelift. The face will look rejuvenated, but sagging tissue will still be sagging. See an experienced board-certified oculofacial surgeon for comprehensive evaluation and discussion of treatment options.
Good luck,

James R. Gordon, MD, FACS, FAAO
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Benefits of PRP with microneedling

PRP with microneedling definitely helps to firm and tone skin and improve skin texture and laxity.  However, any treatment that is non-surgical cannot be compared to a face lift. Also PRP treatments may require multiple treatments for best modality. To consider PRP you should consult with an experienced doctor to see if the price and therapy is within your means.

David P. Melamed, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Microneedling - does PRP with microneedling work like a face lift

Thank you for asking about your microneedling 'face lift.'

  • Microneedling will improve the quality of the skin and thicken it.
  • Skin thickens more with the addition of Vitamin C, tretinoin and various growth factors.
  • Adding PRP is the latest - I have not seen research showing it is effective. It may be.
  • The effects of microneedling are real and people see and like the results most of the time.
  • However it cannot give the effect of a face lift.
  • A face lift tightens deep tissues.
  • Microneedling improves the skin.
  • If you were told that microneedling + PRP = face's snake oil.
  • Keep your cash and get an opinion from a plastic surgeon.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Microneedling with PRP to improve skin texture, tone and reducing laxity

Microneedling with PRP is excellent in improving skin texture, tone, reducing laxity and reducing pore size. A formal consultation is important.

Dr Karamanoukian
#RealSelf100 Member

Hratch Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews


Don't ever think of MN as a substitute for a facelift.  We perform a lot of microneedling in the office with PRP and growth factor serums and over time and with multiple treatments do see improvement of fine lines, scars,and skin texture.  We never position it for improvement of  moderate or severe skin laxity or in lieu of a face lift.

Steven Swengel, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.