As you age, you increasingly become conscious of the vivid signs of aging your skin is experiencing, such as wrinkles that seem to be increasing day after day, frown lines, sagging skin, loss of volume from the lips and cheeks, and many others.
The fact that we are all the time bombarded by “flawless” images of celebrities and friends (many of them sharing our age bracket or even older) on social media makes things worse. Much to the common belief, the covid-lockdown has made matters worse. All the zoom meetings and video calls have made us far more aware of the toll our skin has taken over the years.
While good makeup products can hide our skin’s imperfections, they can’t get rid of them. For that, we need to explore cosmetic procedures available today that can help turn back the clock. But then comes the fear of undergoing surgery or trying out a procedure that ends up looking unnatural or just weird.
Fortunately, the world of cosmetic surgery now offers a range of non-surgical options that are even referred to as ‘tweakments’ that can help you achieve a fresher and more youthful complexion.
Let’s learn what exactly a nonsurgical facelift means, the options available, and their advantages and limitations.
What is a Nonsurgical facelift?
As we age, our skin starts losing its elasticity and becomes loose. This happens because the elasticity of our facial muscles starts reducing. Age makes our skin cells less active, which eventually breaks down the natural collagen and elastin present in them. Result? The muscles start to elongate by dragging the skin downward.
In traditional facelift surgery, sagging skin is pulled back via small incisions made throughout the hairline, behind the ears, chin, and mouth. But in nonsurgical facelift procedures, you don’t have to undergo any surgery. A nonsurgical facelift makes you look younger by eliminating skin pouches near the edge of your face. There are many options available in this category, such as injectable fillers, radio-frequency, and laser therapy.
Also Read – Does Stem Cell Facelift Actually Work?
Pros and Cons of Non-Surgical Facelift
The idea of having a surgical facelift always leads to the fear of hospitalization, general anesthesia, and side effects. Nonsurgical facelift options involve none of these. (1)
- Nonsurgical procedures are much cheaper compared to surgical procedures.
- As nonsurgical facelift procedures don’t require any surgery, they take very little time to complete.
- The increasing popularity of non-surgical procedures can be linked to their quick recovery period. You can be back to normal in less than a day.
- These have little discomfort that can be managed with medicines and come with fewer overall risks.
However, non-surgical facelift options have their share of limitations:
- Nonsurgical options offer moderate and less dramatic results. Because of this, they might not work on people with severe sagging skin.
- The results are temporary and may require repetition of the procedure for the results to last longer.
Now, let us proceed to the most famous and widely-practiced non-surgical procedures available nowadays.
1. Microcurrent Toning
This is one of the most popular non-surgical facelift procedures available. It instantly plumps out deep lines and wrinkles. In addition, this pain-free option heals the skin by promoting the production of collagen and elastin.
How It Works:
As the name suggests, it uses ‘microcurrent’ (a very low-intensity electric current) to retrain facial muscles so that they can maintain a new contour through lifting, smoothening, tightening, and toning. Around 32 different facial muscles are manipulated (shortened and lengthened) in a series and then physically moved into the desired position. In addition, microcurrent triggers chemical reactions in the cells, thereby boosting natural collagen and elastin production.
It includes a series of 4-15 sittings (depending on your age and extent of sagging) spanning over a few weeks. In the end, your skin starts feeling tight and toned. Afterward, you will need one maintenance sitting every 4-8 weeks. Repeating treatment and maintenance sessions every few years will help you enjoy good results for 3-4 years.
Smooth, firm and rehydrated skin, improved blood circulation, enhanced muscle tone and elasticity, increased collagen and elastin production. All in all, reduced signs of aging.
A single sitting costs a few hundred dollars.
If it’s the wrinkles on the forehead or fine lines you’re worried about, dermal fillers or injections can help plump up the skin and give you a youthful look. Injections of botulinum toxin or Botox can take care of those lines and wrinkles quickly with little pain. (2)
The only downside is that this option is not long-lasting, and the skin needs to be topped up with more injections regularly.
How It Works:
In this procedure, botulinum toxin injections (Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin) or (Jeuveau) are injected into the facial skin to minimize or erase fine lines, fill out droopiness, and enhance the facial contour.
A mixture of liquid injectables, working as muscle immobilizers, is injected into the skin. It may include Botox to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, hyaluronic acid to rejuvenate the skin, and Juvederm, which is used as a filler. If done correctly, a liquid facelift can help tighten up the skin. However, this is a temporary option and needs injections every 3-6 months.
Fixes issues such as minor jowls, crow’s feet, volume loss, lines along the side of the nose and chin, and vertical lip lines.
The cost of one injection ranges from $600 to $2000.
3. Radio Frequency Micro-Needling Treatment
This treatment uses radiofrequency energy to tighten the skin below the surface. In this mild facelifting treatment, small needles are used to release radio-frequency energy into the skin, which stimulates collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid production. This automatically fills up your skin and makes it look plumper. It is a painless method with no downtime and has a soothing effect.
How It Works:
A small radiofrequency (RF) device is used on the skin to stimulate the production of new collagen. A single session of this procedure lasts about 30 minutes.
The RF energy heats the lower layers of the skin (without affecting the surface layer) very gently, thereby making the collagen tighter and boosting the growth of new collagen. It smoothens out wrinkles and fine lines and lifts the skin in just a couple of sessions (4-6 weeks apart).
Better skin quality, increased firmness, more youthful look, and decreased signs of aging.
It costs anywhere between $600 to $2000 to get the treatment done.
4. Skin Resurfacing
This includes three procedures – chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser facelift – that smoothens the skin and improves its texture.
A. Chemical Peels
Chemicals peels work well against pigmentation and fading imperfections. This procedure involves applying a solution or peel on the face and neck that helps in the removal of dead cells from the skin’s outer surface and reveals smoother skin. (3)
Chemical peels help in reducing age spots, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles. However, you must consult a dermatologist for this as they can only advise whether you need mild or deep peels.
It may cause a few side effects such as redness, dryness, mild swelling, and stinging that usually go away on their own in a few days. Chemical peel costs about $600 to $700 for a single session.
Microdermabrasion works in the same way as chemical peels – exfoliating the outer layer of the skin and revealing a new one from underneath. However, a special applicator or a machine is used in this procedure that has an abrasive surface and helps in gently exfoliating the thick outer layer of the skin. The result is rejuvenated, tighter skin.
Microdermabrasion usually works well for most people and shows good results against wrinkles, acne marks, age spots, and uneven skin. (4) However, this is a long process. You may have to take as many as 10 sessions of microdermabrasion before you can see any good results. Every session usually costs about $140.
C. Laser Facelift
Laser facelift is a minimally invasive facial rejuvenation that lifts the skin on the lower face, wards off wrinkles, and replenishes the skin with little or no downtime. In short, it is a perfect non-surgical procedure for retaining a youthful look.
Laser Facelift uses advanced laser technology to stimulate tissue coagulation and promote collagen production, thereby tightening the skin and lifting it. This method uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) that targets skin imperfections like sun damage, acne scars, and age spots. It also helps the skin produce more collagen, thereby smoothening out wrinkles. It takes about a week after the procedure to see the results. During this time, your skin may turn pink due to the production of new skin cells.
Laser facelift tightens the skin and minimizes the signs of aging by taking care of superficial or medium-depth wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes and mouth. It costs anywhere between $250 and $500 for one session, and you would need 4-6 sessions, depending on your age. It may take several sessions to see any good results, but they usually last for a long time.
Do you wish there was an easier way to get rid of wrinkles, sagging skin, and fine lines rather than undergoing surgery? There are a lot of nonsurgical facelift options available these days that can help you achieve a fresher and more youthful complexion. Microcurrent toning instantly plumps out deep lines and wrinkles and heals the skin by promoting the production of collagen. Dermal fillers can get rid of wrinkles instantly whereas a laser facelift can lift the skin on the lower face giving you a rejuvenated look.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to choose the best treatment?
It depends on what you are looking for, such as fewer wrinkles, tighter skin, or just a fresher look. Your dermatologist is the best person to decide on the type of nonsurgical procedure you need.
Are these procedures safe?
Although most of these procedures are safe for most people in good health, you should still get clearance from an experienced dermatologist. In addition, pregnant women should avoid these.
Can nonsurgical facelift procedures also get rid of acne and brown patches?
These procedures only work on scars and marks. They can’t alter the quality of your skin. For any underlying problems, you need to speak to your dermatologist about treatment options.
- “What are the benefits of nonsurgical cosmetic treatments?” – healthline.com
- “No-Knife Cosmetic Fixes: Before and After Pictures” – webmd.com
- “How do chemical peels work?” – medicalnewstoday.com
- “What Is Microdermabrasion?” – healthline.com