A liquid facelift is a combination of injectables used to reduce signs of aging and create more youthful facial contours. In expert hands, a “liquid” facelift can have a similar effect to facelift surgery, but with little to no downtime.
In my practice, a liquid facelift typically combines neuromodulators (i.e. BOTOX®) and dermal fillers (i.e. Juvéderm®) to treat wrinkles in the face (and sometimes neck), replace lost volume, balance and enhance natural features, and restore a more youthful appearance. Here are some treatments I often include in this procedure:
- Soften upper-face wrinkles—crow’s feet, frown lines (11s), and forehead furrows—with a neuromodulator.
- Smooth nasolabial folds beside the nose and mouth.
- Reduce the appearance of marionette lines from the corners of the mouth to the chin.
- Smooth tear troughs below the eyes.
- Cheek filler to sculpt a youthful V-shaped face and replace lost volume.
- Chin filler to improve facial proportions and correct a weak chin.
- A “nonsurgical nose job” to smooth the appearance of the nose, improve symmetry, and/or subtly reshape the tip.
- Lip filler to enhance lip volume and shape.
We carry a range of dermal filler and neuromodulator formulas, since each area (and individual) requires customization. Fillers that may be used to perform your liquid facelift include Sculptra®, Restylane®, Restylane® Lyft, Juvéderm, Juvéderm Voluma™, or Juvéderm Vollure™. Neuromodulators include Botox, Dysport®, Xeomin®, or Jeuveau®.
While a liquid facelift can help you look more rested and energized, it is temporary and doesn’t address all of the same areas as a surgical facelift. In a consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of a liquid facelift:
Pros of the liquid facelift
- The liquid facelift is minimally invasive and non-surgical, and is comfortably performed in my office—no stitches, no scars, and no disruption to your routine.
- No downtime is required.
- The procedure addresses wrinkles throughout the face.
- Neuromodulators can be used to smooth vertical neck bands, as well.
- Dermal filler results are visible almost immediately, and it takes less than 2 weeks to see results from neuromodulators.
- Most dermal fillers promote natural collagen production, leading to more firm and youthful skin over time.
Cons of the liquid facelift
- Injectables offer only temporary results: 3-4 months for Botox, and about 1-2 years for filler. After that time, touch-ups will be necessary to maintain your results.
- The liquid facelift will have little direct effect on jowls, significantly sagging skin, or pigmentation-related skin aging.
- Other than minimizing vertical neck bands, the liquid facelift is limited in its ability to improve the appearance of the neck.
- Side effects of bruising and swelling at the injection site are common, so some patients want to avoid social activities right after treatment.
Liquid facelift vs. surgical facelift
Compared with a surgical facelift, a liquid facelift is a quick way to restore a youthful appearance, but it’s important to remember that injections can only add volume and relax wrinkle-causing muscles. A surgical facelift, on the other hand, involves surgically tightening underlying musculature and connective tissue, and re-draping skin. This improves the appearance of both jowls and the neck, and the results can last about 10 years—but with the trade-off of 2 weeks of surgical recovery and months of visible swelling.
How much does a liquid facelift cost?
A liquid facelift can vary widely in cost, from about $2,000 to $8,000. Some patients need only a little filler and neuromodulator, while others require a number of syringes of filler or many units of Botox to meet their goals. For reference, dermal fillers cost around $700 per syringe, and it takes about 1 syringe of filler for lip plumping. Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport cost around $15 per unit, and 20+ units are usually required to treat the frown lines between the eyebrows, for example.
Liquid facelift vs. surgical facelift cost
If you are wondering how the cost of a liquid facelift will compare with that of surgery, consider that comprehensive surgical rejuvenation of the face can easily cost upwards of $15,000, and results are generally thought to last around 10 years.
With a liquid facelift, initial costs are far less—and you won’t have the added expense of weeks of time off from work! Touch-ups are required at intervals, and will add up over time, but you get to choose when to have additional treatments and the costs will naturally be spread out.
Overall, the long-term cost of maintaining results with non-surgical treatments is usually comparable to that of surgery. I suggest patients decide not by cost, but instead choose the facial rejuvenation approach that will best fit their lifestyle while providing the results they desire.
Am I a good candidate for a liquid facelift?
If you are a good candidate for a liquid facelift, you may identify with the following:
- You are looking to treat early-stage wrinkles, and/or your skin has a sunken appearance from aging-related volume loss.
- You would like to avoid the downtime required after facelift surgery.
- You are not looking to treat very prominent jowls or crepe-like skin in the neck; a facelift or neck lift is typically required in these cases.
- You are not pregnant or breastfeeding. (For safety reasons, you should not receive injectables if so.)
- You are able to avoid blood thinners before and after treatment in order to minimize side effects in the injection area.
It’s important to have an honest conversation with a highly experienced injector about your goals. They can help you decide if a liquid facelift will achieve the results you want, or if a surgical procedure (or a different non-surgical procedure) will give you a result that is in line with your goals.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Larry Schlesinger
If you are in the Honolulu area and interested in learning more about injectables for facial rejuvenation, I am happy to discuss what a liquid facelift can do for you. I invite you to schedule a consultation with me by calling 808-597-8835 or contacting my practice online.