Gravity and the gradual weakening of supportive muscles in the face over time often results in drooping skin that can benefit from volumizing and lifting. Patients experiencing a loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles, and hollows typically have one of two choices in correcting them: a “liquid” facelift, or a standard surgical facelift.
Because either of these procedures is tailored to each patient’s very unique needs, both terms are widely encompassing, however, they each respectively describe facial rejuvenation that is done with dermal fillers alone (liquid facelift), or with surgical incisions and the removal of unwanted lax skin (surgical facelift).
What is a Liquid Facelift?
A liquid facelift is a non-surgical procedure that uses carefully placed injections of dermal fillers in order to produce more youthful-looking skin with more healthy volume, fewer wrinkles, and a long-lasting but ultimately impermanent lifted look. In a liquid facelift, dermal fillers are injected into areas where the skin has lost elasticity, which results in diminished volume and sagging. The injections are typically given around the mouth, cheeks, eyes, and jawline.
Differences between a liquid facelift and a surgical facelift
- Liquid facelifts require injections only and no incisions.
- Liquid facelifts are less expensive than surgical facelifts.
- Liquid facelifts have a much shorter recovery period. Patients can return to their social and professional activities the day of the day after the procedure since it involves no incisions.
- While liquid facelifts provide a definitively noticeable and long-lasting improvement that can postpone the need for surgical intervention, surgical facelifts yet remain the gold standard in facial rejuvenation.
Facelifts are typically reserved for patients in their mid to late 50s who have accumulated decades of age-related facial volume loss, and whose facial skin has noticeable wrinkles, folds, and laxity to the point of causing jowls.
These patients often choose to have RF energy-based facial treatments, and a combination of neuromodulators such as Botox, and dermal fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm, from their mid-20s to their mid-50s. These nonsurgical treatments done when needed over time will significantly help to prolong the look and feel of natural youth and postpone the need for surgical intervention.
Liquid facelift candidacy
Patients opting for a liquid facelift typically do so well before their mid-50s when they begin to notice wrinkles, fine lines, mild skin laxity, and hollow or gaunt areas throughout their face. Since these and other conditions are caused by a loss of the skin’s natural elasticity and plumpness, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers go a long way toward restoring that lost volume, and plumping and raising up the facial skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of youthful skin, but our body’s reserves of it and its ability to produce more of it gradually taper off over time. A liquid facelift restores some of that lost volume and initiates the process of rebuilding healthy, voluminous skin.
Liquid or Surgical: Which is better?
Both procedures have their proven place in youthful facial rejuvenation. We typically recommend a liquid facelift for patients experiencing the earlier stages of aging and the effects that it causes: wrinkles, mild skin laxity, and mild to moderate facial volume loss. A liquid facelift will help to postpone the need for surgical intervention while giving the patient about a year’s worth of vastly improved and more youthful-looking facial features. If and when a liquid facelift becomes insufficient to deal with the age-related changes, a facelift may be a patient’s best option.
Liquid facelift limitations
Despite the definite improvements that are possible with a liquid facelift, surgical facelifts remain the gold standard in youthful restoration, since they involve the physical removal of years’ or decades’ worth of excess skin, while lifting and tightening the muscle and connective tissue that lies beneath the skin.
All factors considered, liquid facelifts are usually an excellent choice for patients who want to minimize the visible signs of facial aging and restore natural, healthy contours. For more information on liquid facelifts or to schedule a personal consultation, please contact our office.