Facelift without Surgery
A facelift is a serious surgical procedure and you may not be sure if you are ready for it. However, there are several different non-surgical methods to consider that can help make your sun and/or age spots go away, smooth fine wrinkles, tighten up your skin, and make you look younger. But be aware that facelift without surgery will not be permanent and will not offer you the same dramatic results as a facelift.
Please take a moment to review these options without surgery. There are pros and cons for each when compared to a surgical facelift. These non-surgical alternatives often have a lower cost but may require several sessions to achieve noticeable results. In comparison, surgical facelift requires only one surgery in the vast majority of cases to enjoy the desired results for up to 10 years or more.
One of the most popular methods of non-surgical facelift is laser treatment. Laser facelift procedures are a common non-surgical facelift alternative that utilizes laser technology to remove the top layer of your skin, thereby tightening the surrounding area and enhancing the appearance of your face. The procedure can be performed on certain areas of the face like the forehead, under the eyes and around the mouth.
Patients with healthy, fair, non-oily and light pigmented skin are the ideal candidates for a laser facelift. On the other hand, those with sensitive, dark pigmented skin or those prone to acne and infection may not be good candidates for a laser facelift. Laser procedures can be done right in the doctor's clinic. A powerful beam of light is directed at the skin using the laser to cause the superficial layer of tissue to burn. When the dead cells in the surface layer are removed, the skin will become smoother and tighter. Skin resurfacing treatments, such as the laser lift, are effective in addressing fine wrinkles, pigmentation irregularities, skin texture and acne scars. Many doctors prefer lasers over chemical peels because they have more control over the depth and position of the laser.
There are several other notable benefits associated with laser lift procedures. They work to firm the collagen matrix below the skin surface in order to provide a much better aesthetic enhancement. There is no need to make incisions and in the vast majority of cases, there is no scarring or blood loss. Laser facelift patients are also able to undergo the procedure in little time and without a lengthy recovery period.
Although a laser facelift is not a surgical procedure, anesthesia is normally required because it can be quite painful. Some patients may opt for local anesthesia, but most prefer general anesthesia. There is no guarantee that wrinkles and lines will not return after a laser facelift, and patients may require multiple treatments. During the first week or so after the procedure, your skin may become discolored and sensitive. You may also experience minor discomfort but this usually resolves in a week or two.
Cost: The cost of skin resurfacing can be astronomical. Non-ablative laser lifts (preferred today) range from $400 to $600 per treatment and you may need three to five sessions. Ablative laser lifts range from $3,000 to $6,000 per treatment and carry a greater risk of skin damage. The bottom end of laser lift cost can be very reasonable but the top end is perhaps not in the cards of most people.
One of the latest options for a facelift without surgery is the ultrasound facelift, also known as the Ulthera facelift or Ultherapy. This breakthrough technique uses tiny pockets of sound wave energy to heat the tissue under the skin. The heat then stimulates the body’s healing response and the skin to produce more collagen. More collagen means firmer, tighter, younger-looking skin.
The best candidates for an ultrasound facelift are patients between 35 and 55, old enough to have problems with sagging skin, but young enough for the body’s healing power to create noticeable changes. Many patients prefer this type of facelift because no painful laser and no incisions are required. There is also no swelling or bruising involved.
Ultrasound facelift can be performed in the doctor’s clinic in about one hour, without anesthesia, and there is no downtime. However, you must be prepared to wait for about three months to see the results. But once the results become evident, the difference can be very dramatic. A small percentage of patients fail to see results without a second treatment. Some doctors will retreat disappointed patients free of charge, so be sure to ask about your doctor’s policies.
Cost: Ultrasound facelifts costs about $1,000 to $1,500 for each third of the face, so expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,500 for the full face treatment. Obviously, it isn’t cheap but a lot of patients are enticed by the lack of a scalpel or laser, and the fact that the technique takes advantage of the body’s innate healing power to effect change.
The microcurrent facelift utilizes breakthrough technology to encourage the skin’s natural revitalization processes at the cellular level. The overall appearance of the skin is enhanced using this non-invasive technique that exfoliates the skin, increases blood-flow to the dermis, and reduces the appearance of wrinkles as well as sun spots.
A microcurrent facelift is performed using a specialized tool that delivers electrical impulses to muscle and skin tissue in the face and neck. The tool has two electrical prongs that are covered with cotton to make the procedure comfortable and even enjoyable for patients. Patients do not have to receive sedation or anesthesia and there is no recovery required after this procedure. One treatment takes only about an hour but patients should expect to do at least 12 treatments in order to reap the full benefits of the procedure. Maintenance treatments may be required in order to keep the skin on the face looking and feeling its best.
Overall, microcurrent facelift delivers satisfactory results with less risk of complications and side effects as compared to a traditional facelift. This technique is proven safe and effective, offering excellent results at a fraction of the cost of traditional techniques.
Cost: The cost of each microcurrent treatment averages about $100.
Thermage is best known as the only non-surgical facelift alternative that helps tighten and contour facial skin in a single session. The doctor sends pulses of radiofrequency energy through a vibrating tip to heat the tissues below your skin. This heat stimulates your body’s production of natural collagen which creates a younger, healthier and natural-looking skin.
Thermage can be safely used to soften forehead lines, wrinkles around the eyes, crow’s feet, tighten the jaw line, and improve jowling. It can also help reduce acne scars and works on parts of the body other than the face. The procedure takes about an hour or two and there is little or no downtime. However, the results are not permanent and you can expect them to last from 18 months to 5 years, depending on your individual aging process.
Cost: The cost for facial Thermage typically ranges between $2,000 and $5,000 for full-face treatment and $1,000 to $3,000 for partial-face treatment.
There are two types of products in this “instant facelift” category - facelift tape and facelift serums. The former is applied to the skin to lift and stretch it, giving the appearance of tighter and firmer skin. It can be uncomfortable to the ear and you must have the right hairstyle to be able to conceal the tape. On the other hand, facelift serums are applied topically to the skin and instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The facelift tape must be used continuously because the effects will stop as soon as you stop using it. As for the facelift serum, you may be able to maintain some effects for several hours up to a month or two, depending on the product. When using these non-surgical alternatives, you must keep in mind your expectations. The results you get with an instant facelift won’t be anything like what can be accomplished with surgical procedures or some of the other non-surgical techniques described above.
Costs: Most instant facelift serums on the market range in price from $50 to $200.
Other non-surgical options
Other options include chemical peels, wherein a chemical acid solution is applied to the face and peels away layers of skin. Light and medium peels can help with sun spots and other skin imperfections. Deep peels, as the name suggests, remove deeper layers of skin but must be carefully administered by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to avoid scarring and pigmentation problems. Chemical peels are less expensive than facelifts but the results are not always long-lasting. Light peels range from $50 to $200 per treatment, medium peels from $150 to $900 per treatment, and deep peels from $2,500 to $6,000 for full face treatment.
Liquid facelifts provide another option. These are performed with dermal fillers and Botox® and range in price from $250 to $3,000 per treatment.