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Making the decision to have facelift surgery is like buying a house or vehicle: It’s not something you want to rush into. Before you take the plunge, you need to be emotionally and financially ready. You should also make sure you’re in the right phase of your life; though facelift surgery works beautifully on patients with a substantial amount of loose skin, it’s not always the best choice for younger patients. That’s why Dr. Gilpin is also happy to perform what’s known as a “non-surgical facelift.” This innovative procedure uses injectable dermal fillers and laser skin resurfacing to produce noticeable results instantly, without the need for downtime. Here’s how it works:

Understanding the Causes of Facial Aging

The signs of facial aging—like wrinkles, jowls, and hollows around the eyes and cheeks—are caused by two things: Fat loss and collagen depletion. As people get older, the amount of fat on their faces gradually decreases, leaving pockets of loose skin. Remaining fat deposits sometimes clump together, too. This places a lot of stress on the skin, which is already weakened by collagen depletion. The skin therefore begins to stretch, while fat deposits travel downwards, worsening jowls and sometimes creating a double chin.

How a Non-surgical Facelift can Help

During a non-surgical (or “liquid”) facelift, dermal fillers are injected into areas that have been affected by fat loss and collagen depletion. Dermal fillers are safe, effective volume enhancers that contain hyaluronic acid (HA) gel. HA, which is naturally found in cartilage and other connective tissues, works to support and hydrate existing skin. It also increases collagen production; most patients will see gradual improvements in the firmness and smoothness of their skin for up to three months after having a non-surgical facelift.

By filling in hollows, dermal fillers recreate youthful facial proportions and occupy loose skin. This subtly lifts the patient’s features, minimizing the appearance of jowls and smoothing out wrinkles. Dermal fillers can also be injected directly into deep creases, like smile lines. (HA gel literally fills in pronounced wrinkles.) Finally, some patients elect to have fillers injected into their lips, nose, and chin to further define their facial features.

This process is painless (Dr. Gilpin will numb your skin before administering any injections), convenient, and requires no healing time. Patients who have a non-surgical facelift can return to work immediately afterwards.

At Gilpin Facial Plastics, we also incorporate laser skin resurfacing into all of our non-surgical facelifts. Laser skin resurfacing gently abrades away the top layer of the skin, removing fine lines and erasing the signs of photoaging. Laser skin resurfacing is used to treat sun spots, melasma, broken capillaries, and areas of rough or leathery skin. It’s also a great way to further boost collagen production: By increasing the rate of skin cell turnover, laser skin resurfacing prompts the production of new, healthy cells that contain a higher percentage of collagen.

What to Be Aware of With a Liquid Facelift

The only caveats to be aware of when pursuing a liquid facelift are its temporary nature and its inability to treat very advanced skin laxity. The results of a liquid facelift last, on average, for one to two years (as compared to ten years for surgical facelifts). Likewise, because no loose skin is actually removed during this procedure, patients over the age of 60 are usually advised to choose conventional facelift surgery instead. For everyone else, however, the non-surgical facelift provides a safe and simple alternative treatment option. To find out if this procedure is right for you, contact Dr. Gilpin to arrange a personal consultation.