Do you feel young and vibrant on the inside but appear tired, dull, or sagging on the outside? Perhaps you, like many others, want to slow aging but don’t want to undergo surgery, and its inherent risks, to rejuvenate your face. Perhaps you believe facial fillers are not an option because that big-lipped, big-cheeked look isn’t what you are going for. There is good news, though, because fillers are more versatile and more accessible than you ever dreamed possible. In this ever-changing and advancing technological field, non-surgical facelift options are fast becoming the mainstay of cosmetic treatment.
Enter dermal filler technique called “Liquid Face Lift”.
Over the past decade, the latest technologies in facial fillers have completely transformed the anti-aging field. With just one to a few office visits and minimal risk, women and men can now virtually erase the effects of aging for a fraction of the cost of surgery. While facial fillers have been FDA approved (by and large) for only the smile lines around the nose and mouth, cosmetic injectors have been utilizing them for volume replacement in all areas of the face successfully.
The movement toward full-face volumization has gradually taken hold over the past decade or so. Researchers began looking at physiological process of aging, and exactly why and how the aging face differed from its younger counterpart. New information on the amount and distribution of loss of facial tissues emerged, and this has informed cosmetic practitioners as to why patients do not always look natural after treatment. Take the nasal-labial fold (the lines between your nose and your mouth). Historically, filler was placed directly in those folds to lessen them. The people with the beautifully filled nasal-labial folds returned for re-treatment, year after year, eradicating their folds, only to wind up looking flat as pancakes. The lower face appeared heavier and boxier, while the person continued to lose volume all around it. Injectors realized too much attention was being paid to one area of the face. Around this time, research was showing that humans continually lose both bone and tissue during the aging process, and that global loss is what is responsible for the sunken, folded, drooping appearance of the aging face. This was a truly epic realization. The loss of elasticity of the skin was not the primary cause of our wrinkles! It turns out, tissue loss does not occur solely within the nasal-labial folds themselves, but in the cheeks above them. Since then, the focus of the cosmetic industry has completely changed.
Odds are if you are over 40 you have stared in the mirror and pulled your face up and back with your fingers. It is no surprise, then, that facial plastic surgery historically focused on stretching the face tighter and tacking it up higher.
In the context of what we now know to be the true cause of wrinkles (volume loss), it is no wonder facelifts were notorious for giving people the “wind-tunnel” look. Good plastic surgeons will now offer volume replacement as part of the facelift procedure. Many people who have fair to moderate skin elasticity or better, however, will find that after volume replacement, there is no need for surgery at all.
What exactly is the liquid facelift? This procedure corrects bone and tissue loss by using compounds that fill in areas of depression, in order to achieve rejuvenation of the face. Commonly filled areas include forehead, temples, cheeks, tear-troughs ( the grooves or “bags” under the eyes), jawline and chin. When smaller amounts of filler are placed evenly throughout the face, the overall effect is one of a lifted, youthful, smoother contour. The lower facial folds and lines are greatly alleviated, and the flattened, sunken upper face is revived. The youthful, heart-shaped face is achieved, while the over inflated “filler face” is avoided. The liquid lift is truly the most corrective, most natural-appearing, anti-aging offering available.
The procedure itself is straightforward.
In our office, we ask everyone to arrive early for topical anesthesia to be applied. We also use ice prior to injections in sensitive areas for maximum comfort. For injections around the lips, a dental block is utilized once topically numbed.
Fillers are injected carefully, either deep to the bone where they will last longer, or superficially when needed, to correct the volume loss.
A blunt cannula is often used to avoid piercing blood vessels and traumatizing tissues. We offer hyaluronic-acid fillers, such as Radiesse, Juvederm®, Restylane®, and Belotero Balance®, depending on the area of the face injected and goal.
Many patients will be surprised to learn that these fillers can be “melted” away with an enzyme using a small Botox® syringe.
First-time clients may opt to only use hyaluronic-acid fillers for this reason, to be reassured that what is done is reversible should they be unhappy with the outcome. Typically, these fillers last anywhere from 6-18 months, with the upper face effects lasting longer.
Thought to be somewhat longer-acting, Radiesse®, a calcium hydroxyapatite filler, is a great option for those who are more comfortable with the procedure. Radiesse is normally priced slightly higher than hyaluronic-acid fillers because it has 50% more product in the syringe.
Sculptra®, a poly-L-lactic-acid- based liquid, can be used in conjunction with gel fillers to effectively volumize the “frame” of the face. It typically has a very natural effect, helps rejuvenate the skin, and normally lasts up to two years, but requires several visits.
Artefill®, a polymethyl-methacrylate filler, is another option for people who would like longer lasting results (often 2-5 years).
These latter three fillers all help to stimulate the body’s own collagen production, resulting in longer lasting effects. In general, prices vary and packages are offered for multiple syringes, with shorter-acting fillers costing less than longer-acting fillers.
Many individual characteristics can affect both the amount and longevity of fillers required. Those who are in need of hormone replacement are encouraged to learn about bio-identical hormones. Sun-damaged skin should be treated. Active people and athletes should be aware that their metabolism can increase the breakdown of fillers. Those with heavier faces will often require more filler to achieve a lift. Similarly, those who are very sunken or thin will require more filler all around. The fact that fillers are not permanent, however, is often given as one of its many upsides to many people’s minds.
There is no question facial fillers are here to stay for the foreseeable future. In the right hands of an experienced, artistic injector, the rejuvenation fillers offer is more effective, more beautiful, more natural-appearing, safer, and more accessible to ordinary people, than any comparable cosmetic treatment in history. From the small tweaks, to the full liquid facelift, there is a life- changing option out there for just about anyone who is looking for a change.
-Jessica Lioi, NP
Depression Facts, Symptoms and Help.