I am 28 years old with developing nasolabial folds. Is a facial lift too extreme or a smart move? (photos)

I am 28 with fair sensitive Irish skin and I am beginning to develop, what I believe to be, nasolabial folds. I would like to do AS MUCH AS I CAN to treat the damage and prevent it from worsening. What would be my best option(s)? I have read that fillers are the best option but I am discouraged because they are so temporary and will add up in cost as time goes on. Is a facial lift too extreme or could it be the best move? I would like to attack this as aggressively as I can. Thank you so much!

Doctor Answers 36

I am developing nasolabial folds at age 28. Is a facial lift too extreme? Yes it is! #NLF #facelift #nasolabialfolds

Nasolabial folds (aka: "smile lines" that run from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth bilateral) are a normal physical finding that is sometimes even present in babies and children

As we age, the nasolabial fold become more prominent starting in the 20s. Young patients in their 20s and 30s don't need a facelift to improve the nasolabial folds. Nasolabial folds very often could be improved /correected with non-surgical plastic surgery like facial fillers. Soft tissue fillers based in hyaluronic acid like Juvederm or own fat ( fat transfer) could be used to fill the nasolabial folds, this correcting them and giving a youthful appearance to the face. Soft tissue fillers usually last for 1 year, and can be in the office setting in a walking basis. Fat transfer to the nasolabial folds lasts several years but requires a small minimally invasive surgical procedure.

Patients interested in a nasolabial fold treatment should make a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon specialized in cosmetic plastic surgery of the face


John Mesa MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
New York City (#NYC) & New Jersey (#NJ)




New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

At 28, you most likely do not have the amount of skin sagging that would necessitate a full surgical facelift.

While age should not be the primary consideration when thinking about a facelift, skin quality is. At 28, you most likely do not have the amount of skin sagging that would necessitate a full surgical facelift procedure. While I understand wanting a longer lasting procedure than fillers can provide, it would most likely not benefit you in the long run to have a facelift now. There are fillers available today that can last for up to a year or even two. I recommend visiting a board-certified facial plastic surgeon for an in-person consultation to come up with the best treatment plan for your individual case.

No Facelift; Consider Using Your Own Fat as a Filler

A facelift will not directly improve your areas of concern. The main goals of a facelift are to improve the jowls, neck, and mid-face volume. Improvement of the nasolabial folds and marionette lines are usually secondary. The best way to improve those areas is with fillers. Volume can be added to the mid-face, as well, and this will improve the folds. The best way to add volume to these areas is with your own fat. It will provide you with the best volume enhancement and the most longevity. Thanks for your question, and best wishes for your procedure.

A facelift is not particularly good for dealing with the nasolabial fold.

At your age you certainly do not need a facelift. The nasolabial fold is generated by facial expression. Even though it can be directly addressed at the time of a thorough facelift it will reemerge because of facial expression. Fillers do a nice job of camouflaging this facial feature.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Fillers for young patients

A facelift is overkill.  Fillers will give you nice results and the procedure is easily done in the office.

I am 28 years old with developing nasolabial folds. Is a facial lift too extreme or a smart move?

Hello Jesse28,

For the nasolabial/melolabial folds, a facelift does not address that area well.  Although they are temporary and do add up in cost, fillers are the best option for that area at your age.  

I'd recommend you consult with a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon in your area to go over your options.

I hope this helps and good luck.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Nasolabial fold treatments

You are far too young for a facelift at this stage.  Your best option would be dermal fillers if the nasolabial lines bother you.  I would also advise you on maintaining your skin tone with suitable cosmeceutical skin care products which should be used on a daily basis long term.

Nasolabial folds

Thank you for the question. Although a properly performed facelift can soften the nasolabial folds (and in particular, a midface lift can address the upper portion of a deep nasolabial fold), there are nonsurgical options available as well. Soft tissue fillers (particularly the hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Restylane Lyft) are excellent options to soften the transition between cheek and upper lip, or the nasolabial fold. To address the fine etched lines that are closer to the skin’s surface and sometimes associated with the nasolabial fold, Belotero or Restylane Silk are great options. Prior to any intervention, however, a proper physical exam is necessary. I hope this information helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Corey S. Maas, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Too aggressive

A little filler in the nasolabial fold is all you need to improve this.  A facelift would be too aggressive at this stage. 

Should I use fillers or a facelift?

A facelift does not reliably correct nasolabial folds, especially mild ones. The recommendation of choice is usually fillers. You may be a candidate for fat grafting for a more permanent result but fillers are almost uniformly the first step to determine if you like the type of result. I would suggest a formal consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon so your specific concerns can be gone over in detail, a physical exam be performed, and individualized recommendations be made. Good luck!

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.