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Should I Get A Liquid Facelift?

As we age, various changes to our facial structures lead to the undesirable old appearance we don’t like. Our facial fat atrophies, skin elasticity worsens, and things start to descend or droop. Furthermore, our bony skeleton starts to resorb and change. Since we are working and living longer, the desire to maintain our youthful appearance propped up a billion dollar cosmetic industry.

An Alternative To Surgical Facelift

In past, surgery was the only real effective option to rejuvenate the face. But now with Botox and fillers, nonsurgical treatments have become super popular in the entire world. Most people are apprehensive about surgery and prefer less invasive options that carry less risk and downtime. Hence, the explosive rise in injectables and energy based devices. Fillers offer a way to refill lost volume in the aged face. A liquid facelift came to describe using fillers to rejuvenate the entire face. But simply injecting more and more fillers won’t necessarily achieve an attractive result. If one simple injects a lot of volume to replace lost volume, you can get an over filled, unnatural look. I would argue that is not desirable.

What To Look For In A Good Liquid Facelift

By far, the most popular fillers in the world are hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. The two most popular brands are Juvederm (from Allergan) and Restylane (from Galderma). HA fillers are popular because they can be dissolved. Their results last a reasonable time. In the beginning, injectors thought that more volume loss required more fillers to “replace.” But this can create an unnatural overfilled look. As companies designed different HA fillers with different characteristics, more advanced techniques and philosophies were developed to achieve better results. Now the emphasis on using fillers for liquid facelift is more in line with its description—that is to LIFT the face rather than replace lost volume. There are HA fillers that have higher G prime and cohesivity properties that can be taken advantage to lift the face. To do this, a good injector must modify his/her injection technique. A good liquid facelift requires using multiple different fillers (each with different characteristics). In addition, the injector must know which filler is best suited for which areas of the face and what effect is desired. Higher G prime fillers (like Juvederm Voluma) should be injected deep to the bone. Advanced injection skills are required to inject the right volume and pattern to lift sagging tissues. Softer fillers can be used in specific areas to further lift as well as some volume replacement. For example, I like using Vollure for the mid cheek, as well as the brow areas. Another advanced technique is using small aliquots of fillers to increase skin surface tension.

What To Expect From A Liquid Facelift

Newer HA fillers and advances in injection techniques provide injectors tools to achieve very nice results. But you have to be aware that every case is unique. Early aging can be improved with focused injections with maybe one syringe. As you get older and have more sagging tissues, more fillers are required. And this can increase the cost. Again, the goal is not to simply over fill the lost volume. But with more sagging, you do need more fillers to get that lifting effect.

Finally, you should remember that there is only so much fillers can lift. I wish fillers can lift every degree of sagging tissue. But as the degree of sagging increases, there comes a point when fillers just can’t lift enough to get a good result. These are situations when the only effective option is a surgical facelift. While you may be disappointed to hear this, you should also realize that a facelift will last 8 to 10 years. Not requiring annual fillers will likely save you more money in the long run.

How To Make Your Decision

The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for a liquid facelift is to see a board certified doctor with experience doing advanced injection techniques. Ideally, you should see a surgeon who does both facelifts and fillers to get an unbiased opinion.

For more information about a non-surgical “liquid” facelift, contact Dr. Kenneth Yu, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, and his qualified team of experts serving the San Antonio, Texas area. To schedule a consultation, please contact our Concierge Patient Coordinator at 210-876-6868.