What is a 'liquid' face lift? (photos)

I am considering a full face lift, have had a consultation and am worried that I may go too far, if I can correct my sagging neck (turkey) I would be ok leaving the rest to injections of fillers. Does this seem a reasonable alternative? I do understand that the former has a more lasting result but I am concerned about potential complications.

Doctor Answers 27

What is a 'liquid' face lift?

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Hi Wendy - thanks for your question!

The procedure commonly referred to as a 'Liquid Facelift' is a non-surgical rejuvenation of the entire face (and sometimes neck) through the use of dermal and subdermal fillers, muscle relaxants and (occasionally) fat-dissolving injections. When performed in a carefully selected patient, this combination of volume replacement, muscle relaxant and slight redistribution of skin tension can create significant and very pleasing results with no 'down-time'.

There are some significant limitations, however, to be informed of including:

  • Excess skin and tension within the deeper tissues is not addressed with this procedure. For this reason the results are not comparable to the results of facelift surgery.
  • The products used in such procedures are not permanent (in the majority of cases - there are a few exceptions) meaning that maintenance and re-treatment are required in the longer term.

When performed by an expert practitioner in carefully selected patients a liquid facelift can provide great results. I recommend consulting with a local, reputable aesthetic practitioner (plastic surgeon, aesthetic dermatologist or aesthetic physician) so that they can perform an examination, make a thorough assessment of your individual anatomy and provide further guidance (including discussion of realistic treatment outcomes) to help you make any treatment decisions.

Hope that helps!

Dr Scott.

Liquid FaceLift

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Thank you for your question. Liquid Facelift helps restore your face’s naturally young and healthy appearance. The treatment uses dermal fillers such as Restylane and Bellafill which help your wrinkles dissipate and any sunken areas of your face. For more information, please get a in person consultation from a board-certified dermatologist.

Bruce E. Katz, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Best option for aging face

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Thank you for your question! Each patient requires individual approach for rejuvenation based on age, desired outcome, cost, multiple other factors. A "liquid facelift" can certainly be helpful - though as you rightfully said, not as long lasting as surgery. Still there are tremendous rejuvenation benefits and can be done in a short time in the office setting. Doing a surgery is much more long lasting, but not everyone likes the idea of a surgery. Often, patients do a combination of lifting and filler. The best thing you can do is seek out a board certified facial plastic surgeon who has adept knowledge and experience in all levels of rejuvenation and discuss your desired outcome and hear the options. Best of luck! 

Lesley Rabach, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Liquid facelift?

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A liquid facelift is a non-surgical procedure which restores volume and reduces wrinkles in the aging face.  Wrinkle formation is one component of the aging face so neuromodulators are used to stop or relax muscles from contracting and as these muscles are the primary cause of wrinkling in the frown and forehead regions - this leads to a reduction in the aging appearance. Dysport and Botox are two popular neuromodulators and they require injection every 3 to 4 months to maintain the youthful appearance.

The second component has to do with volume loss. As we age, the bones and fatty volume of the face disappear and the facial skin begins to loosen and drop. Adding the volume back into the cheeks, jawline, and mid facial region seems to really help give a more youthful appearance. The effect is temporary and may last up to 2 years in some patients, but sometimes fillers are needed before 2 years. 

I hope this description helps.

Best wishes and good luck, Dr. ALDO :)

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon 

Top 100 Doctor for Realself 

Realself Core Physician

Aldo Guerra, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 214 reviews

What is a Liquid Facelift

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Thank you for your question.  A liquid facelift typically refers to the non-surgical rejuvenation as an alternative to a surgical facelift.  Our faces will 'deflate' with the aging process, i.e. we lose volume in our face.  In addition, we tend to lose support in our facial tissues in terms of loss of collagen, elastin and other support structures in our face.  The liquid facelift is most commonly a term that address the 'deflation' process by adding volume with dermal fillers.  Dermal fillers tend to have different longevity, but answering this question tends to be more nuanced.  Typically, people tend to see their results last anywhere from 6 months to a couples years depending on the product, how much was used and where it was placed I often tell patients that a more appropriate way to think about it is the analogy of a glass of water. If you come to visit and the glass is 1/4 full (or 3/4 empty), then we need 3/4 of water to fill it up.  In six months, you may notice the glass is 3/4 full (i.e. you lost 1/4 of the glass volume).  At 1 year, you may notice that the glass is 1/2 full.  At 18-24 months, you may notice that you are back to where you started. In addition, patients are losing more volume as they age so some patients may get the impression that if they only do one treatment to fill the glass, then after a couple years they may feel like the glass is even more empty than when they first started. Most of my patients will come every 3-4 months for their Botox / Dysport treatments and we reassess their facial concerns.  It is fairly common to address a portion of the volume loss as they come in.  For example, if we did a cheek treatment last time, then we might address tear troughs this time.  The next time, we might address the temples or forehead/brows with dermal fillers.  The following time, we might do the lips and nasolabial folds or define the jawline.  Very commonly, if we are following this plan, we also 'touch up' areas that are starting to show the 3/4 full appearance.  At times, we do it all at once and then maintain with 'touch-up' treatments using far less volume every 6-12 months rather than wait until the glass is 1/4 full again. I would recommend that you visit with an experience board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who can help develop an aesthetic care plan for you. 

Liquid Facelift

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In some cases with mild gravitational aging, replacing volume with fillers can achieve a very natural and rejuvenated result.  In your case I would suggest a lift and fill approach where a traditional facelift would be combined with volume replacement.  

John L. Burns Jr., MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

What is a liquid face lift?

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Thank you for your question and for sharing your photographs.  A liquid facelift is a popularized term for the combined use of fillers and botox to provide facial rejuvenation/enhancement.  I can understand your cause of concern for a major surgery such as a facelift, but I do think it is likely in your best interest for the best degree of improvement and longevity of results.  See an ASPS board certified plastic surgeon for consultation.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Liquid facelift

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A liquid facelift is the use of a variety of injectable products, including Botox® and dermal fillers, to treat the signs of aging and create the appearance of a "facelift" without the need for surgery. Different combinations of injections can be chosen depending on the desired result and the areas of concern. It is important to note though that injectables will not give you the same results as surgery, and they do not address loose, sagging skin that may be best removed with surgery.

Vito C. Quatela, MD
Rochester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Liquid Facelift

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A liquid facelift is a procedure whereby we add lost volume such as Juvederm or Restylane and use Botox as well to rejuvenate the face and correct facial aging.  It will not have an effect on loose sagging skin which is why I often combine the injections with Thermage to produce new collagen to the face and neck.  Best, Dr. Green

What is a 'liquid' face lift?

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Thank you for your question. To improve the lower face and neck takes a face lift for best results. Adding a fat transfer at the same time can add more volume to your results. Consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for a treatment plan that will give you the results you want to achieve.

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.