When you look in the mirror, are you happy with the face staring back at you? Or do you scrutinize every fine line, wrinkle, and fold? If the aging process is taking a toll on your self-esteem, it may be time to consider getting a facelift. Your options are varied, from full facelifts that turn back the clock by a decade to a nonsurgical option using BOTOX® and dermal fillers.
What are the pros and cons of a nonsurgical “liquid” facelift versus a surgical facelift? How long does each option last? Let’s walk through which facelift procedure—or combination of treatments—is right for you.
What Is a Surgical vs. Nonsurgical Facelift?
Back in the day, a traditional facelift involved pulling and stretching the skin tight, leaving many patients looking “windblown.” Today, reputable plastic surgeons use innovative tools and products to help you achieve natural-looking results. And we can offer more than one facelift solution tailored to your unique needs.
Ideal facelift candidates show advanced signs of aging and can allow ample downtime for their recovery. Using incisions (and artistry!), I aim to take 10 to 15 years off your appearance with this transformative procedure. A facelift targets the lower two-thirds of the face, including the cheeks, jowls, and neck, to address wrinkling and sagging. I make incisions by the ears and along the hairline to surgically remove excess skin, tighten underlying tissues, and smooth out folds.
Pros and cons of a surgical facelift:
- Is performed under light sleep anesthesia
- Has more dramatic results
- Requires a longer recovery (full recovery takes 3 to 6 months)
You can see how effectively a surgical facelift refreshes and rejuvenates the face in my patients’ facelift before and after photos.
Maybe your skin doesn’t yet show advanced signs of aging, but you still want to rejuvenate your appearance. A nonsurgical “liquid facelift” uses injections instead of incisions for a less invasive treatment approach.
I administer dermal fillers to plump and fill out sunken areas such as cheeks, nasolabial folds, and temples. Injectable neuromodulators like BOTOX and DAXXIFY® also help smooth the skin around the eyes and ease wrinkles and fine lines throughout the face and neck. Nonsurgical facelifts deliver subtle yet natural and noticeable results.
Pros and cons of a liquid facelift:
- Adds volume and addresses wrinkles but not sagging
- Does not require an anesthetic
- Has an easier recovery with little to no downtime
How Long Does a Facelift Last?
A surgical facelift offers long-term results, lasting about 8 to 15 years. Because the surgical approach addresses the deeper tissues of the face and neck, its effects are much longer lasting than nonsurgical methods. Even though you will continue to age after your surgery, you will continue to look younger than if you had not had the procedure.
How Long Does a Nonsurgical Facelift Last?
A nonsurgical facelift is less permanent than its surgical option; results typically last 12 to 18 months. Since liquid facelift results have a shorter lifespan than those achieved with a surgical facelift, I highly recommend that you schedule regular maintenance treatments.
The longevity of your liquid facelift depends on the product itself, where it’s injected, and your body’s metabolism.
- Fillers can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (a few estimates are in the section below)
- BOTOX generally lasts 3 to 4 months
- DAXXIFY lasts about 6 to 9 months
Your injector can guide you on when to schedule your touch-up treatments, but you can usually expect 1 to 3 visits a year.
Maximizing Your Results
In my eyes, every patient is unique—so a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t deliver your desired results. That’s why I often recommend combining treatments. For example, we may pair your surgical facelift with add-ons like BOTOX Cosmetic, filler injections, or fat grafting. Keep in mind that a facelift alone cannot entirely eliminate all facial lines or replace fullness the way that neuromodulators, fat injections, and dermal fillers can. Plus, these injections can help prolong your facelift results.
Here are some of the popular, effective dermal filler “powerhouses” we use to enhance a surgical facelift or provide nonsurgical rejuvenation:
Restylane®: Softens lines and contours the face. Restylane Silk targets fine lines around the mouth and lips, lasting about 6 months. Restylane Lyft adds cheek volume for up to a year and addresses deeper wrinkles and nasolabial folds for up to 6 months.
JUVÉDERM®: Seamlessly restores facial volume utilizing naturally occurring hyaluronic acid. JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® XC treats volume loss in the mid-face area and can last up to 2 years. JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA® XC immediately plumps lips and fine lines around the mouth, lasting up to 1 year.
RHA Collection: I am proud to be the only plastic surgeon in Lafayette currently offering RHA 2, RHA 3, and RHA 4 to treat hollows and lines around the mid-face. You can enjoy RHA filler results for up to 15 months.
In some cases, I recommend bundling your surgical facelift with complementary treatments that help us achieve truly customized and highly aesthetic results. These procedures may include:
Eyelid surgery: Tightens sagging upper eyelid skin and smooths bags under the eyes
Brow lift: Raises the brow and forehead while rejuvenating the eyes
Fat transfer: Repurposes your body’s excess fat by utilizing it as a natural facial filler
Which Facelift Treatment Should I Choose?
As a fellowship-trained San Francisco Bay-area plastic surgeon, I am passionate about offering you many options to transform your appearance and boost your self-esteem. During your consultation, we’ll evaluate your skin’s condition and discuss your needs to help determine whether a surgical or nonsurgical facelift procedure is the best choice for you. No matter which path we take, I’m confident you will ultimately look and feel like your best self!