6 Alternatives to a Facelift

Looking for a way to rejuvenate your face, but can't make the commitment to invasive surgery? Talk to your doctor about these alternatives that can bring back your youth and confidence.

Tumescent Liposuction or Neck Rejuvenation

A less invasive surgical alternative to a traditional facelift, this procedure removes excess fat in the jowls and chin area through a small incision underneath the chin and occasionally, behind the ears. By improving the shape of the face, it can make you look years younger. And this procedure can be administered in a doctor's office under local anesthetic.

Laser & Light Resurfacing

While resurfacing techniques are often used to even out discoloration or remove scarring, they can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles and tighten sagging skin. While laser therapy won't have the same effect as a facelift, it can give you a more youthful appearance. Repeat visits are usually required to see substantial results. Types of lasers include:

  • Ablative lasers, which remove tiny pieces of skin, improving skin tightness, texture, and tone
  • Non-Ablative lasers, which work beneath the skin to stimulate collagen growth
  • Fractional rejuvenation, which targets small skin areas without harming healthy skin
  • IPL (intense pulsed light), which can improve skin texture and shrink pores
  • LED (light-emitting devices), which even skin tone and minimize fine wrinkling


A comparatively inexpensive procedure with nearly immediate results, microdermabrasion is conducted by a doctor or technician "polishing" your skin with blasts of fine crystals. These crystals buff away your skins outermost layer, revealing fresher, more youthful skin underneath. This technique usually requires a series of treatments.

Chemical Peels

Your doctor or technician applies a chemical solution to your face to peel off damaged skin and smooth its texture. There are several kinds of peels and chemicals in use, so it's important to discuss the specific treatment with your doctor so you can balance your expectations for your results and recovery time.


Using radiofrequency technology, Thermage heats the deeper layers of your skin to stimulate collagen growth and repair. Unlike some other therapies, it keeps your skin's outermost layer intact so there is virtually no recovery time. You may only need a single treatment, but the results take a bit longer to surface.


Fillers work by "plumping" up sagging skin by injecting a substance like collagen or even fat from another party of your body into a depressed area. Dozens of different fillers like Restylane and Perlayne are available. They're better suited to different situations; your doctor can tell you the best choice for you.




American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/cosmetic_facial.html

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery http://www.surgery.org/

American Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Media/Press_Releases/Facelift_Alternatives_Rid_Patients_of_Neck_Wattle_Without_the_Downtime_of_Surgery.html

Thermage Official Web site http://www.thermage.com/HowItWorks.cfm