There comes a time in most women’s (and many men’s) lives when we stare in the mirror, push up sagging faces and long to go back to a time when we had a firmer jawline, higher cheekbones, more rounded cheeks and less lines.
In the past the only option was a surgical facelift, but now exciting advances in non-surgical lifting and tightening techniques give you choices.
But with so many options available, what do you go for? Our guide to surgical and non-surgical facelifts should help you decide.
Exilis Elite Radiofrequency
Completely non-invasive and suitable for even the most squeamish, Exilis Elite radiofrequency is like having a gentle hot-stone massage. But while you lay back and enjoy the warming sensation as the doctor or therapist passes paddles across your face, magical things are happening. Using a combination of radiofrequency and ultrasound, the Elixis machine stimulates collagen and elastin and tightens the skin. The result – a firmer, lifted face. Exilis works extremely well on turkey necks and sagging chins, and can also lift eyes. Read more about the Exilis Elite…
Known as the ‘liquid facelift’ Sculptra also stimulates collagen production, with the effect of plumping skin. Sculptra is injected into the face by a doctor and its active ingredient – poly-L-lactic acid – gives collagen producing fibroblast cells a bit of a kick, getting them to pump out more collagen. This is great because as we age our fibroblast cells produce less collagen, resulting in loss of volume, lines and wrinkles. The Sculptra doesn’t remain in the face, so the anti-ageing, lifting effect is completely natural. Sculptra is perfect for plumping and lifting gaunt faces. Read more
Thread lifts do exactly what they say – threads are used to lift your face and /or neck. The doctor inserts the threads and then pulls them tight, with the result that your face is lifted. There are different types of thread lifts available. Some use non-dissolvable thread, others use dissolvable thread.
Non-dissolvable threads are usually barbed, so when the doctor inserts them under the skin and pulls, they gather and lift skin tissue, before being fixed in place.
The dissolvable thread technique is similar to Sculptra in that the thread is made from poly-L-lactic acid, which stimulates fibroblast cells to create collagen. The idea is that you get a temporary lift from the thread itself, but as it dissolves collagen is created where the thread was placed and this takes over, maintaining the lift after the thread has gone.
Thread lifts may use two or three long threads (more common for non-dissolvable threads), or lots of shorter threads (more common for dissolvable threads).
Another type of ‘liquid facelift’, the 8-point-facelift uses dermal fillers to fill, shape and contour the face. As the name suggests, it involves placing fillers at different points around the face for the best effect. In the hands of a skilled aesthetic doctor, this technique is fantastic for addressing individual patient’s needs. The doctor will carefully assess the face and work out exactly where fillers are required to give the face a plumper, lifted and better contoured look.
For the most dramatic results, particularly in an older-looking face, surgery may be best. Again, there are choices
Mini facelift (S-lift)
The mini facelift is the least invasive, with shorter downtime. The surgeon makes an incision from the hairline around the ear, in an S shape. Skin and soft tissue is then repositioned, often using an endoscope. Sutures hold the face in its new position. The mini face lift is best for younger patients, not yet ready for a full facelift.
As we age the soft tissue around our cheekbones starts to sag, leaving cheeks looking flat and creating folds of skin from nose to mouth. A mid facelift reduces folds and rounds cheeks as fatty tissue is lifted and repositioned. Several small incisions may be made along the hairline and inside the mouth.
Full, deep plane facelift
The ultimate in facelifts, the deep plane facelift goes much deeper. As well as lifting the fatty layer it also lifts underlying tissue and muscles. This type of facelift gives the most dramatic results and can last for 10 to 15 years. The correction is actually permanent but your face will of course continue to age and sag again over time. The deep plane facelift is the most common facelift and improves the whole face. It will minimise nose to mouth lines, create a more defined jaw and chin and give an overall lifted and younger look.