Non-Surgical Face Lifts

Non Surgical Face Lifts

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‘Non-surgical face lift’ is a term used to describe a face lift without surgery, or ‘going under the knife’. It has been described for a variety of treatments, including dermal fillers and/or a combination of botulinum toxin. Also certain devices that use radiofrequency (selective heat/thermal promote collagen synthesis) to tighten the skin use this term. Also with facial ‘threads lifts’ which are coated devices that have little spikes or anchor points on that are inserted into the soft tissues to elevate, and these dissolve over time.

I was trained in the ‘8 Point Face Lift’ technique many years ago, where specific areas on the face where injected with dermal filler to give an overall lifted ‘more youthful’ appearance to the face. It was marketed as such, but it does depend on each individuals existing facial structure, how much volume loss they have, and the laxity of the skin. Also, how many syringes of dermal filler required to achieve this, and this relies on the budget and cost to that patient and what they can afford. The expertise of the practitioner is vital, in assessing the face and knowing exactly where they will treat.

It has to be achievable, and a course of treatments may be required. However, the results although subtle and natural, can be very effective.  After all, patient satisfaction is key!

When I first started in aesthetic medicine many years ago, we were taught with dermal fillers to directly ‘fill in’ lines and wrinkles. With further scientific research of the facial structure, including the skull, deep and superficial fat compartments, ligaments, blood supply, muscles, SMAS layer, and the skin, more understanding and knowledge allowed us to look at other techniques. Dermal fillers have become more sophisticated, with different gel particle size and lifting capacity for different areas of the face, offering more options for treatment. Also aesthetic cannula’s were made available to enable less needle insertion points and for safer treatments.

We must look at the face as a whole, holistically – for example, the creation of a naso-labial line (the line or fold from our nostril down to our mouth corner) is often due to the facial fat compartments descending more centrally with gravity downwards. When young, we often have more of a ‘V’ shaped face, with full, high cheeks, and a tight jawline, with no wrinkles or lines. As we age, the ‘V’ unfortunately can turn upside down, with heaviness at the bottom of the face and flattened cheeks, causing naso-labial lines and marionette lines (the line from the mouth corner down to the side of the chin). We also see a loss of jawline and neck laxity.

With an experienced practitioner, they can assess your face shape and degree of volume loss and sag, to recommend what can be achieved. 

One of my favourite treatments is the ‘non-surgical face lift’ packages that I offer, as I love the artistic and technical aspect of subtly sculpting and lifting the face. First ‘port of call’ is often treating the outer cheeks with a cannula, I elevate the skin while I gently fan in threads of dermal filler. This technique often results in gently defined cheekbones and gently lifts all the areas below. If there is mid face volume loss/flattening, with a tired appearance from the ‘indents’ underneath the eyes, dermal filler can be placed in the deep fat pads here to add soft smoother cheeks. Some support to the naso-labial section may be next, then to the marionettes. Also to define the jawline or aid lift at the angle of the jaw.

There is so much that can be achieved without surgery nowadays, but it is absolutely not the same as a face-lift! A surgical face-lift will lift all the layers of the face, excess skin is removed and then stitched. However, even after a face-lift, dermal fillers are still used to add volume back. Some plastic surgeons offer fat transfer as well as the face-lift, to add the patients own fat from other body areas to their face for the added volume.

Many people do not want to go down the surgery route, with more downtime and cost, however it depends on the outcome that you desire. Face-lift surgical techniques are constantly evolving, some are under local anaesthesia with less recovery time than previously.

I am always happy at consultation to discuss in detail, what is right for each patient, and give them all their options. They need to be made aware of ongoing costs and further treatments. Also, I do recommend how to look after the health of your skin, as this is important throughout our lives. We have our advanced facials including micro-needling and the award winning Dermalux which always benefit.

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