What Is the Difference Between a Facelift and a Non Surgical Facelift?

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woman (model) smiling with hand under her chin in the kitchen

Deciding between a surgical or non-surgical facelift to improve signs of aging depends on your facial rejuvenation goals. Both surgical and non-surgical facelift options have their benefits and disadvantages. For example, a non-surgical facelift option using dermal fillers can quickly rejuvenate your face, but you will need touch-up sessions to maintain your results.

In contrast, a traditional facelift can be a more involved and complicated procedure, but you can enjoy long-lasting results. If you want to better understand the advantages of each option, read on!

What Is a Non Surgical Facelift?

A non surgical facelift includes several minimally invasive procedures that refresh and reset your face. Because the procedure uses only injectables, it’s often called a liquid facelift.

Dermal Fillers

Volume loss and facial lines are a frustrating combination that can make you look tired and anxious when you are not! The substances in dermal fillers create instant volume under the eyes, in the nasolabial folds, and in other areas that have become flat, creased, or hollow-looking with age. Dermal fillers also improve a variety of age-related skin concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles, thinning lips, sagging cheeks, and more.

Our med spa uses Restylane®, an FDA-approved filler that hydrates and restores a youthful-looking fullness to your face.


BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport® smooth and soften dynamic wrinkles that age your face. These neurotoxins temporarily halt the muscle contractions that lead to expression lines. Like dermal fillers, BOTOX and Dysport are minimally invasive treatments with no downtime needed.

What Is a Traditional Facelift?

A traditional or mini facelift lifts sagging skin and improves facial contours, turning back the clock by about 12 years. This procedure requires incisions, unlike dermal fillers or neurotoxins, but results generally last 10 years or more. A facelift is typically performed under local anesthesia and can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours. Your plastic surgeon can make the incisions behind the ears and into the hairline so the scar can be easily hidden.

Plan for around 2 weeks of recovery after your facelift. You can also pair dermal fillers or fat injections with your facelift to infuse your face with additional volume. This previous blog suggests more procedures that you can combine with a facelift.

Fat Injections

Loss of volume in the cheeks, under the eyes, or temples can make your face look drawn and aged. Fat injections use your surplus fat to fill in hollow areas for a more youthful profile. You can use fat injections to fill in facial lines, scars, and lip lines, and it’s often performed to enhance facelift results.

You will need a few weeks to recover after receiving fat injections. Most people only experience mild to moderate swelling and bruising.

Which Procedure Is Best for Me?

Some things to consider when choosing between a surgical and non surgical facelift are the quality and longevity of your results. A non surgical facelift can give you moderate results with minimal downtime. but you’ll need repeated touch-up sessions to preserve your results. A surgical facelift can give you dramatic results that are long-lasting but requires a recovery period.

Our team at McNemar Cosmetic Surgery + Med Spa can help you determine the right facelift procedure for you based on your goals and budget. Please request a consultation or call us at (209) 834-0626 to schedule an appointment.


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