Non Surgical Cosmetic Treatments - What Works?

Doctor Answers 31

Non Surgical Facelift-Fillers and Botox or Dysport Most Effective

Thank you for your important question. The internet is filled with advertisements promising a Non Surgical Facelift but sadly most of them are marketing hype.

Non surgical skin tightening machines like Thermage, Titan, LuxIR Deep, Ulthera, Radiofrequency and many others achieve at best 20-25% skin tightening and only in younger healthy skin, not aged skin that really needs tightening.

Laser skin resurfacing can produce excellent wrinkle removal and remove sun damage, but cannot significantly lift the face without risk of scarring and loss of pigment.

The popular "Liquid Facelift" which utilizes fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, Perlane, Sculptra and others can restore the aging face nicely by adding volume to the aged face. Neurolytic agents like Botox and Dysport can reduce dynamic lines and elevate the brow and do make the face look younger.

Choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is experienced and who has a good reputation and consult them for your best options.


Nonsurgical Facelifts- What works

One of the most common requests for patients in the office is to seek improvement in facial and neck sagging without surgery.  So here are in my opinion the some of the better treatments that can actually deliver a result:

-"Under the Skin Radiofrequency"-  This is the hottest area of facial rejuvenation and an area that is expected to rapidly grow over the coming years.  There are several devices here including Facetite, ThermiRF and others who place a probe under the skin which causes contracture of the skin and tightening. This bottom up approach will often demonstrate visible tightening and contracture of the office and can take up to 6 months to see a final result.  I personally like the Facetite since it involves a contained thermal field rather than uncontrolled heat and in this regard think of it as safer and allows surgeons to heat with higher temperatures.  These procedures do involve some downtime and are done comfortably in the office.

-Filling out the Face-  Fillers around the face can add volume where volume has been lost.  There are a variety of facial fillers available including hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite, and poly-L-lactic acid which can be used to fill out cheeks, lips, temples, nasal labial folds and other areas of the face.

-Smoothing out the Skin-  Here a variety of techniques can be used including fractionated C02 resurfacing of the face, radiofrequency ablation of skin (a top down approach), erbium resurfacing, chemical peels and other treatments to treat fine lines and wrinkles.  

Options not mentioned as ideal include the following:

-Botox Neck Lift or Nefertiti Lift-  This involves placing a large amount of botulinum toxin in the neck to selectively tighten the neck muscles.  While patients may see some improvement, it needs to be repeated every 4 months and since it requires a large amount of Botox other treatments include the Bottom Up Radiofrequency techniques are probably more cost effective and offer more longevity to the result.

-Radiofrequency (Top Down) or Ultrasound treatments- Treatments such as Thermage, Ultherapy are probably better at maintaining facial contour than lifting face and necks.  Unfortunately, the pricing on these options makes many of these treatments not as ideal.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 166 reviews

Nonsurgical Cosmetic Treatment Options

Thank you for your question. It depends on what result you are going for. Here is a list of some nonsurgical procedures. Thermage skin tightening,Ulthereapy skin tightening, Dermal fillers, laser skin rejuvenation, and coolsculpting. Double board certified 
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates 

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Non surgical facelift options

Facelift helps improve fine lines and add volume to the face. Such as a Vampire Facelift blood is drawn, spun down in a centrifuge, the red blood cells are discarded, leaving behind platelet rich plasma (PRP) and growth factors, and this is injected into the face just beneath the skin to help stimulate new collagen and blood vessels. Improvement and results can take 4-8 weeks to develop. This procedure is usually performed with fillers as well to augment volume enhancement. 

Ava Shamban, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Non Surgical Cosmetic Treatments - What Works?

Most non-invasive procedures will improve the facial appearance but depending on the problems, surgery may be the final option. Certainly, Botox and fillers can result in excellent improvement if done on the right patient.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Non-surgical facelifts, the use of botox and facial fillers, rejuvenates sagging faces and takes years off of appearance,

Non-surgical facelifts, the use of botox and facial fillers, rejuvenates sagging faces and takes years off of appearance.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
2.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Non Surgical Facelift or Cosmetic Treatments that Work

One way to help you determine if a treatment works, is to check here on RealSelf to see what the "worth it" score is.  To do that just search for the treatment and add "worth it" in the search box.  Any procedure that has a "worth it" number over 90 is good and anything over 93 or 94 is even better.  

From a medical science perspective, non-surgical treatment that have been show to work and work well for cosmetic facial improvement with good longevity include:

·       Botox.  By relaxing or slowing down muscle activity around the eyes and in the brow and forehead, Botox is the “go to” product for wrinkles in these areas.

·       Fillers.  Fillers work well to replace the loss of volume that occurs as we age.  There are shorter term fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane and Radiesse as well as the long term or permanent filler, Bellafill.

·       Laser treatments.  There are a multitude of lasers that have been shown to tighten the skin and improve wrinkles but the aggressive lasers, while non-surgical do have similar down times and risks.

·       Chemical Peels.  Again, there are a multitude of chemical peels and while they work, they need to be aggressive enough to achieve any real results.  The aggressive peels, like a Croton Oil peel for instance, can have some phenomenal results but, like surgery, these chemical peels can have similar down times and risks.

There are other treatments that are touted as “working” but check their ratings and do your research before you take the plunge.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Non surgical cosmetic treatments for face & body have improved and technology continues to improve but never the same as surgery

At no time do I tell my patients in my NYC practice that a non invasive or even minimally invasive procedure can create the same tightening or lifting as a surgical procedure. Surgery is not for everyone. Some patients just don't want surgery, others are afraid of it, while some can not have it because of medical concerns while some patients can't afford the downtime or cost. 

Non invasive procedures or minimally invasive procedures are recommended only to those who are good candidates. When the skin is too far-gone from sun damage or aging / smoking, it may be best for those patients to save their money and apply that towards an eventual surgical procedure if they're inclined. Other patients can maintain their youthfulness or improve their slight sagging with Ultherapy, ThermiSmooth, Thermi250, Thermage, volumizers and fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, Voluma, Sculptra, Volbella, Belotero, Radiesse, Fat injections, ThermiTight, Fraxel Dual, Fraxel Restore and Fraxel Repair and other lasers including Ruby, Neodynium- Yag,Vbeam and PicoSure lasers. 

Botox can help soften lines of muscle movement and help lift some areas such as depressed eyebrows and corners of the mouth.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Non-Surgical Cosmetic Treatments That Work

There are many great non-surgical cosmetic treatment options from Botox to dermal fillers, chemical peels to laser resurfacing procedures that produce fantastic results in the hands of an expert injector or technician.  It is important to identify patient goals and have realistic expectations.  All the best.

Praven Chetty, MD
Kelowna Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Nonsurgical face Lift is different combinations of treatments in different people

For most it is a combination of:
(1)Fractional laser treatment for improving tone, texture and tightening of facial skin. Great for around the eyes and around the mouth.
(2)Botox to quiet overactive muscles in the upper face causing forehead creases, frown lines and crow's feet.
(3)Fillers to replenish volume and improve contours and deep folds and lines both in the upper  cheek  with Voluma when the "apples of your cheeks are falling" and in the lower face around the mouth region with Belotero Balance for the finest of lip lines and Juvederm XC for nasolabial folds "parentheses that have a place but not on your face" and lip augmentation and Radiesse for deeper nasolabial folds and hollowing of cheeks.

Ritu Malhotra, MD
Cleveland Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 10 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.