Is There a Non Surgical Face Lift That Works?

in my early 50s with drooping facial features.  pray that someone tells me that a non surgery face lift is available -- alternative that doesnt require going through lots of recovering.  May be I can get away with treating using filling wiht things like resatylne?

Doctor Answers 77

Nonsurgical facelifts do not work the same way as facelift surgery

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"Non-surgical facelift" is a bad term--it should be called "Non-surgical facial rejuvenation." There are a number of different approaches:

1. Energy transfer. In this case, energy of some type (radiofrequency, infrared, etc) is used to 'heat' the deeper facial tissues and ostensibly cause tightening of the face. The first and most 'famous' was the Thermage system but several others exist. Most reputable studies have shown that these systems (at least in their initial incarnations--newer systems come out all the time) are mildly effective in about 30% of people. That means, minimal to no effect in about 2/3. It probably has it's place in some cases, but is not by any means a 'nonsurgical facelift'.

2. Volume replacement. In this case, fillers or fat are used to restore and reshape facial volume to give a more youthful look. This, too, is not a replacement for facelift, as it does not do the same things. However, as our knowledge of aging continues to evolve, we know that some volume replacement is a good thing.

3. Resurfacing procedures. These have been around for a while, and consist of the various types of 'peels'. With newer fractionated lasers and other technologies, downtime and side effects (bleaching, etc) are decreased. Again, though, this treats the face superficially and does not tighten deeper tissues that have 'sagged' nor does it restore volume.

These major categories of procedures can be used in combination to good effect in the right patient. The results are simply not the same, as they correct different issues. An experienced surgeon can help determine if any of these are right for you. Not everyone is ready or appropriate for a facelift, and the same goes for these.

I hope this helps.

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Non surgical Facelifts do not lift the face but Fillers and Fat can help

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Yes you can achieve very nice improvement of facial aging changes with fillers and fat and Botox or Dysport.

As we age the fat in our face atrophies or is lost. The effect on our face is similar to what happens when you let the air out of a baloon-the skin loosens and folds and lines or wrinkles appear.

For significant jowls and neck laxity a surgical Facelift and or Neck Lift is still required.

However Filler Injections like Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, Radiesse, and Sculptra can help restore facial volume and make a nice improvement especially in the mid face and cheek region.

Filers need to be repeated and more and more today we are using Fat for a longer lasting result.

Botox and Dysport can reduce frown lines, crow's feet, and the Marionette Lines below the mouth.

There are many great options for you

There are no miracle non-surgical procedures

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Everyone would like a miracle cure for aging and the result of a well performed natural appearing facelift without actually having a surgical procedure. There are no miracle non-surgical procedures or treatments, including fillers, acupuncture, muscle stimulation, lasers, or skin creams, that can produce the same results as a facelift.

The term “non-surgical facelift” is a marketing term that actually deceives the public and does not live up to what is promised. It is often offered by physicians who are not capable of performing a facelift, because they have minimal or no formal plastic surgery training. There are, however, a variety of treatments that can provide some rejuvenation: Dysport or Botox, fillers, peels, lasers, skin tightening techniques (temporary and extremely unreliable), fat injections, minimal lifts of localized areas, all of which still may require varying amounts of recovery time and are not without potential complications. They do not, however, produce results similar to a well performed natural appearing facelift, performed by a board certified plastic surgeon. None of these alone or in combinations are adequate if there is sagging facial tissue and excess skin, which would require a facelift to correct it.

You have only one face, so don’t shop for bargains or magical procedures when it comes to facial surgery. If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is!

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

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The Holy Grail: Non-Surgical Facelifts

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You join a long line of people praying to the gods of beauty to bring some non-surgical answer to their prayers for facial rejuvenation. It is truly the Holy Grail of plastic surgery. Unfortunately, there is no non-surgical way to get the same results as a facelift. There are, however, a variety of treatments that can provide some rejuvenation and bridge the gap for those who just don't want to go under the knife. Anyone advertising a non-surgical facelift is performing some combination of the procedures described below.

To begin, everyone over the age of 35 should be using some kind of skin care. At a minimum, even at younger ages, everyone should be using sunblock. Beyond that there are a large number of skin care lines which can greatly reduce sun damage and aging of your facial skin. Good skin care can be prescribed by a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or even an experienced aesthetician. Its something you can do now without any real downside and a lot of potential benefit.

The next type of treatments include injectable products. The most popular option here is Botox/Dysport. These products are injected into muscles to relax them and stop the progression or the production of facial wrinkles. Its very safe, effective and affordable. You will need to have these treatments every 3-4 months to maintain the results since their effects are temporary, but they are VERY effective. Frown lines between your eyes and in your forehead as well as crows feet can be treated very well with Botox or Dysport (same basic stuff, different companies).

For the deeper lines like the ones from the corner of your nose to the corners of your mouth (nasolabial folds) you might consider filler injections. There are many products available with the most popular ones being made of hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, Hydrelle and Prevelle). These can be injected to soften (but completely alleviate) deeper lines and folds in your face. The results can last from 2 months up to a year depending upon the product used and the location of the injection. There are other products that can be injected to add volume depending upon your needs. In fact, one of the best options is taking fat from other areas of your body and injecting it into your face to add volume. You can discuss all of your options with your surgeon.

The last group of options are for tightening and/or resurfacing of the skin. This is usually done with lasers though there are other types of machines that can be used as well as chemical peels that can be very effective. The best options currently (in my opinion) is fractional CO2 laser treatments. With that treatment (the one I use is called the Matrix by Sandstone Technology) a resurfacing laser is used to treat your skin with little dots leaving spaces of normal skin in between. This allows your skin to heal very quickly (usually within one week) and still get a nice improvement. You can see some tightening of the skin with this and other treatments, but it will never equal the benefit of a facelift.

Always discuss your options with board certified plastic surgeons. You can choose the options that sound the best to you and make a plan together to achieve your goals. If you have excess hanging skin, you will probably need to have it removed which means surgery. In the end, if you need surgery for the best results, you will never match it with non-surgical options.

I hope this info helps!

Non-Surgical Face Lifts

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In today’s current technology, there is no such thing as a non-surgical face lift. There are promising new technologies out there, both with ultrasonic and radio frequency wave technology that may eventually tighten the skin in a very methodical orderly fashion. These are promising, but they are truly just to tighten minimally loose skin only and also potentially for patients who have a minimal secondary neck deformity after a facelift. There is no true, real substitute at this time for a true surgical facelift in which correction of volume, filling, and lifting of the face can be done non-surgically. I would assume that in the next decade this certainly will be possible. In the meantime, it remains a marketing hype with little to no science.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Liquid Facelift is not the same as a facelift

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A facelift is still the best way to tighten jowls and skin laxity in the face
It depends on the deformity the patient has…The aging process is composed of not only skin relaxation but also displacement of the underlying tissues like muscle and fat as well as bony reabsorption.

If the patient has minimal lines around the eyes or forehead one may use Botox or other fillers. Deflation of the cheek area and jaw line may also be addressed with fillers. It all depends on the patient’s state in the aging process and their expectations post treatment.

There is NO SUCH THING as a "Non-Surgical" or "Liquid" Facelift

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There really is NO non-surgical Facelift but there are a lot of Pretend-Face lifts are there. Just as every problem has its OWN particular solution and not all keys will open all locks, NOT all face skin tightening procedures are equally effective. Far from it.

Skin shrinking (with chemical peeling, Profractional, SkinTyte, Fraxel) and wrinkle smoothing with fillers (Restylane,Juvederm or Botox) is NEVER to the extent afforded and made possible by a REAL (non brand xxx-lift ) Facelift.

"if you want MINI-results, have a MINI-procedure"

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Non Surgical Face Lift Options

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There are things you can do such as fillers and Botox that are considered non surgical face lift options.  Botox can help with "crows feet" and lines between and on your forehead.  Fillers such as Radiesse and Juvederm can help with lines around your mouth, under your eyes, and even fill in the lips. You can also do microdermabrasion and chemical peels to help with fine lines, acne and hyper pigmentation.  These are all things that will all help give you a more youthful appearance but are non-surgical and have minimal down time. “Dr. D”

Nonsurgical facial rejuvenation is possible

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While it is not possible to truly "lift" a face non surgically, rebalancing facial volumes with injectiable fillers can create a dramatically rejuvenated appearance. In combination with Botox for muscle tone rebalancing and skin care or peels for brown spots and fine wrinkles, nonsurgical rejuvenation of the face can make amazing changes.


Nonsurgical rejuvenation falls short, however, in treating actual looseness of the jawline and neck. For those areas, the most effective option remains surgical lifiitng.

Is there a non-surgical facelift that works?

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Yes, up to a point. Of course it isn't a true facelift, but that is just semantics. Faces look old for several reasons: skin deterioration, loss of volume, and loss of elasticity are the main ones. These all contribute to sagging and various shadows and hollows that make a face look old. Good skin care followed by an injectable product to replace lost volume can sometimes make an amazing difference. Then add a procedure like a Fraxel laser to tighten and resurface the skin, and you can have a very effective "non-surgical facelift." These are minimally invasive procedures, but there is still some recovery required, especially with the Fraxel C02 laser. 

However, at an age when a patient has jowls and loose skin in their neck, a facelift is the best option. And, the benefits from a facelift can last for decades. 

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.