Non-Surgical Alternatives To Cosmetic Facelifts

By Ashley Henshaw. May 7th 2016

When most people think of a facelift, they think of an invasive surgical procedure which will leave scars and cause them to need quite a lot of downtime after the procedure is complete. Fortunately, there are other options for those who want to get their faces looking younger through firmer, tighter skin. These non-surgical options are much less invasive and can usually be completed quicker and with less pain. More importantly, they also minimize many of the risks that a patient would be subjected to if they opted for a surgical facelift procedure instead.

Below are some of the best, non-surgical, cosmetic facelift alternatives for those who are looking for a less invasive way of improving their appearance.

Injectable Fillers

Some of the most widely recognized facelift alternatives are injectable dermal fillers. There are numerous products which fall under this umbrella, but they involve the same basic process and results. With injectable filler, a needle is used to inject the product into certain areas of the face. The added volume below the skin can help to smooth out wrinkles or lines in unwanted place. In addition, some injectable dermal fillers can be used to enhance the volume of the lips. Some of the major products in this category include Juvederm, Restylane, Radiance and CosmoPlast.

This process is much less invasive than a surgical facelift. Because each of the injectable dermal filler products are slightly different, it’s important to talk to a doctor to make sure you are using the right one for the results you want to achieve.


Though also considered an injectable filler, this particular product works in a slightly different way than the products mentioned above. Rather than adding volume to smooth our wrinkles, Botox helps control the muscle movements in our face that cause wrinkles to form, such as smiling or frowning. Botox is usually injected into areas around the forehead and eyes to relax these facial muscles that form the wrinkles. Therefore, when the movements which normally cause wrinkles are made, the skin remains smooth and taut.

Requiring only injections, this process is much less invasive than a surgical facelift. However, many patients do need to keep returning for additional treatments every so often to keep achieving the results they want.


Thermage, which is actually sometimes known as “the non-surgical facelift,” is different from a traditional facelift and even from injectable fillers in that it is completely non-invasive. The process involves the use of capacitive radio frequency (CRF) technology which naturally draws collagen to the skin’s surface. This creates a tighter, firmer and smoother look to the face without having to make a single incision or use any injections.

The Thermage process is quick (it usually takes less than an hour) and involves very little pain and discomfort. The process continues to work long after the actual session since the CRF technology encourages the growth of new, healthy collagen strands. Therefore, this non-surgical facelift option requires fewer sessions than many other facelift alternatives.

IPL Photofacial

This treatment is similar to Thermage in that it is completely non-invasive. However, rather than CRF technology, this process uses an intense pulsed light to stimulate the growth of new collagen and connective tissues. The lasers are applied to the skin and are safe for use on the face. In addition to removing wrinkles, an IPL photofacial can also help skin with sun damage, large pores, age spots, facial veins or rosacea look smoother and younger.

The IPL photofacial procedure is usually completed in a serious of 5 to 8 treatments lasting about one half hour. There is very little pain and discomfort associated with this cosmetic facelift alternative.

Thread Lift

A thread lift involves the use of a very thin thread which is actually inserted into the face with a needle. Once the initial threading is completed, a doctor can then move the threads to stretch the face in strategic ways, giving facial skin a tighter, firmer appearance. Though the process itself might sound a little unusual, this can be a very quick and effective alternative to the traditional surgical facelift.

One of the benefits of a thread lift is the fact that patients can use a mirror during the actual procedure to ensure that they are getting the results they want. The process usually takes less than an hour and is minimally invasive compared to a surgical facelift.

Bottom Line

Keep in mind that the procedures listed here may not have quite the same results as a surgical facelift. However, they do minimize many of the risks that are often associated with more invasive cosmetic facelift procedures. If you are considering any type of cosmetic procedure, surgical or otherwise, talk to your doctor first about the potential risks and side effects before making a final decision.


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