Liquid facelift uses injectables – dermal fillers along with neuromodulators – to erase, relax and fill facial wrinkles and creases. It can also restore the youthful volume of the face, reduce skin laxity by providing an internal support structure and reconstitute faulty facial features. It is one of the latest anti-age tendencies in cosmetic medicine and is presented as a less costly and less risky alternative to a surgical facial lift.
What makes us age?
What do you think is the worst? Lines and wrinkles? Discoloration? Lax skin? In fact, the combination of all these factors leads to signs of aging, but there is only one major cause – the loss of volume.
The cruel irony is that with passing years we accumulate fat on the trunk, buttocks, thighs or abdomen at the same time as we lose it from the face. When we think of a young face, we imagine full, round cheeks. This is due to the fact that fat plays an important role in the structure of the skin and keeps it smooth and supple.
Of course, fat loss is not the only factor in the equation. We also lose collagen, which our body stops producing – or, in the best of cases, synthesizes it in very small amounts – around the age of 25. To a lesser extent, our facial appearance is also affected by the muscular hypotrophy that accompanies the aging process. All this leads to a marked decrease in volume and obvious changes in the facial contour.
So if the loss of youthful “oval” face is mostly responsible for aging, then why do we call for a facial lifting in an attempt to regain it? The truth is that for many patients it does not seem to be the solution. More and more doctors and patients are trying to alleviate the signs of aging not by stretching the skin with the scalpel, but by adding volume below it. We live in the age of injectable lifting.
What is a Liquid Facelift?
An injectable lifting involves lifting, augmenting, filling, smoothing and / or reconstituting the face by using temporary, semi-permanent or permanent dermal fillers. These substances are produced in different ways using different materials, and their specific applications differ somewhat. As part of the general procedure, these compounds are often used in combinations and together with neuromodulators.
The use of neuromodulators – the various forms of botulinum toxin, respectively – in addition to fillers can lead to better and more sustainable results. Botox blocks the nerve impulses that trigger muscle contraction. When injected into specific areas, it relaxes the muscles responsible for certain facial expressions; these repeated facial expressions contribute to the destruction of collagen in certain areas, leading to deep grooves and dynamic wrinkles.
Botox can be especially useful when fillers have already been used to treat expression wrinkles, such as lines that appear when we smile, because over-use of surrounding muscles will cause the substance to decompose faster, shortening the time between injections. Botulinum toxin prolongs the effect of the filler and increases the duration of the results.
Patient safety in aesthetic medicine
Do not agree to be injected with a new, semi-unknown product or with something purchased from the internet. Many patients have experienced side effects or sometimes irreparable complications after they have made this mistake. Specifically, you should know that liquid silicone or gel is not authorized for injection on the face or body and its use in this type of procedures has led to with many bad, disfiguring and even fatal complications. Also, permanent injectables may lead to severe body rejection reactions, so we advise you to avoid them if possible.
Get all your injections done by an authorized physician, preferably a plastic surgeon – or a dermatologist – trained and experienced. Unfortunately, all over the world, and Romania is no exception, there are a number of people, many of them not even doctors, who practice these injections. Aesthetic medicine procedures should be taken as seriously as surgery because the risk of side effects and complications increases significantly in the hands of untrained persons.
Refrain from any treatment if you have any active skin disease, herpes, acne, rashes, cysts or infections near the area to be injected. Postpone any such planned procedures until the situation is fully resolved. Also note that laser or radiofrequency treatments, microdermabrasion, chemical peelings, microneedling or similar treatments are not recommended at the same time as the filling procedure. Be sure to tell your doctor about any pre-existing medical conditions, as well as any medications you take, even “natural” dietary supplements.
How to avoid the feared “waxy” appearance
We all know it. We saw it in some VIPs, on the street, on acquaintances, neighbors, maybe even close friends who looked as if their faces could melt in a few minutes in the summer sun. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to avoid this type of result. Finding a qualified physician and using only high-quality certified products (that is, without liquid or silicone gel) is a start. However, you can do more:
• Choose a “temporary” filler, so, if you don’t like the result, you only have to wait for it to resorb, generally for 6-12 months. Once you’ve decided that you like the effect, you can come back and ask for a more durable filler.
• Ask your doctor to be conservative. Do not try to wipe 20 years in a single session.
• Don’t combine too many procedures in the same time. The more aggressive treatments you undergo, the higher the risk of erasing facial expression too, not just wrinkles.
Unfortunately, there are too many variables to give a fair estimate of the cost of a liquid facelift, namely: where and in which areas the fillers are injected, what kind of substances are used and in what amount, the severity of the problem to be treated, the doctor’s experience, the geographical area, and so on. Prices may range from several hundred to several thousand euros.
Things to keep in mind when thinking about the cost:
• Many doctors will offer a discount for routine touch-up treatments, as patient satisfaction may depend on such a procedure. Talk to your doctor about these issues in your first consultation.
• With this type of procedure, price differences from one physician to another may be misleading. A physician who uses advanced injection techniques and places correctly a suitable combination of products may initially set a higher price, but the number of retouches and the amount of substance needed to maintain the results can be significantly lower. In other words, not always a small price also guarantees the success of the procedure.
Different types of fillers
Because there are so many different products currently used as dermal fillers, it does not hurt to do research. Some resist longer, some are more suitable for different areas of the face and some are newer and therefore less “tested”. Some may seem uncomfortable to the patients. For example, some patients may feel uncomfortable about the idea of having fat that was harvested from the buttocks injected later on the face. Ask your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of each compound. The best doctors will offer more than one option that can be used to meet the needs of a patient. Also, check your doctor’s credentials before submitting to any procedure. Start with professional organizations and certification bodies. If your doctor is not on a list of authorized doctors, act with caution, maybe look somewhere else.
Is injectable lift the facelift of the future?
Liquid facelift seems to be a good option to blur the signs of aging without a scalpel. In many ways, the risks seem lower than those of surgical methods, and the results can be aesthetically impressive. However, the patient (of course, we are talking about informed patients with realistic expectations) is usually left to decide which procedure suits them best.