A liquid face lift is a cosmetic procedure that claims to smooth and restore contour to the face without surgery or incisions. Although it is called a face "lift," the procedure does not involve actually moving skin or muscles as in a traditional face lift. Instead, a liquid face lift involves injecting dermal fillers and Botox® into the face to create the illusion that the face has been lifted.
Wrinkles and folds in the face are usually caused by the loss of collagen and elastin, which are proteins in connective tissue, as a person ages. Ideally, the injections involved in a liquid face lift will fill in and plump up the areas that are missing these proteins, thereby resulting in a rounder, more natural face. These fillers can be used on the entire face or targeted toward specific areas, such as the jowls or the eyes, and are typically injected immediately below the dermis of the skin. By filling in creases and hollows on the face, the liquid face lift often stretches the skin over the newly plump area, which may result in the appearance that parts of the face have been lifted.
There are a variety of fillers that can be used in a liquid face lift and a cosmetic doctor typically will determine which one to used based on each individual patient's facial features, skin type, and differing needs. Fillers such as Restylane® and Juvederm® are made of synthetic hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that occurs naturally in the tissue of all mammals. Sculptra®, another filler, is a synthetic poly-L-lactic acid that has been used in disposable stitches and various body implants. Use of these fillers may help the body to begin to regenerate collagen and their longevity is thought to be extended by injecting Botox® as part of the face lift.
Botox® is a drug made from the botulinum toxin A, which paralyzes the muscles in the body by blocking the signals from the brain that tell the muscles to contract. In the face, there are levator muscles that pull the face up and depressor muscles that pull the face down. Botox® can assist in the face lift by freezing the depressor muscles, which allows levator muscles to lift without any downward pull and adds to the appearance that the face has been lifted.
Typically, a liquid face lift can be completed within 30 minutes to one hour and, due to the fact that there is usually only minor swelling and bruising, recovery can be much quicker than that of a surgical face lift. Depending on how many injections are needed, a liquid face lift can cost anywhere from $200 to $6,000 US Dollars (USD). The results of a liquid face lift can last from two to 12 months before a follow up visit for additional injections will be necessary to maintain the effects of the procedure.