Surgical Face Lift Vs. Liquid Facelift: Explore Your Options

Deciding between a surgical face lift and a liquid facelift can feel like standing at a crossroads of aesthetics: one path leads to the traditional, time-tested methods of cosmetic surgery, while the other ventures into the rapidly evolving world of non-surgical, minimally invasive rejuvenation techniques. At Thaxton Plastic Surgery, we provide both options, so let’s dive in and see what might be the best fit for your needs.

The Surgical Face Lift

Surgical facelifts tend to be the best way to address issues such as substantial skin sagging, deep wrinkles and jowls and a considerable loss of skin elasticity. Additionally, a surgical face lift produces must longer lasting results, generally for several years after the surgery.

We also can address issues in multiple areas with one procedure. For instance, we can fix sagging cheeks, deep skin folds and neck laxity in a single procedure. This produces a more comprehensive and dramatic rejuvenation effect than non-invasive procedures can achieve. We also can add on surgical procedures such as eyelid surgery and brow lifts.

Still, a face lift or a neck lift is a major surgery and there is a significant period of downtime associated with this surgery, and you will be placed under general anesthesia. Surgery poses certain risks for anyone, even healthy adults, so this is something that must be considered.

Recovery time varies, but swelling, bruising and soreness can last for several weeks. Patients will need to take time off from work as well as exercise for a while after this procedure and there is pain and discomfort associated with recovery. Every person’s pain threshold is unique, but you should expect some pain for as much as a week after surgery and some level of swelling for several weeks.

Additionally, surgery is not a good option for some people, especially those with immune system disorders as well as clotting disorders. Smokers also typically should not undergo cosmetic surgical procedures, because smoking inhibits the body’s natural ability to heal. It is imperative that you tell your plastic surgeon about all of your health conditions as well as all medications and supplements (and recreational substances) that you take.

Facelift surgery also tends to be more expensive than many non-invasive options, but, again, the results are meant to last for many years. To prolong the effects of a surgical face lift (or any cosmetic procedure), we recommend moisturizing the skin daily and using products with SPF protection. Wearing a hat and avoiding peak sunlight areas also can be beneficial.

We also recommend staying hydrated and avoiding or reducing your use of alcohol. Quitting smoking also can have a positive impact on your skin, and help it maintain a more youthful appearance. Eating a healthy, varied diet and getting a good night’s sleep also can help you maintain better skin elasticity as can using products that are designed to improve the skin’s ability to maintain moisture and elasticity.

The Liquid Facelift

These days, we have many non-surgical cosmetic procedures that can provide you with a more youthful look and these can be excellent options for people who might not want a surgical procedure or for those who are not good candidates for surgery. This often is known as a liquid facelift or perhaps a non-surgical facelift.

For this, we typically use injectable fillers, such as Juvéderm, along with injections such as Botox as well as options such as Morpheus8. For instance, if you have a loss of volume in certain areas, we can use Juvéderm Voluma as a jawline filler or Juvéderm Volux to add volume and smooth the cheeks and chin areas. SkinVive, also by Juvederm, is another option, and this is a procedure that boosts moisture and plumpness in the skin using hyaluronic acid.

From there, we can utilize Morpheus 8 to tighten and smooth the skin. Morpheus8 is known as collagen induction therapy, and it’s one of several procedures that help stimulate collagen production. Other options we can use include SkinPen microneedling, fractional laser (Fraxel), Ellacor, or perhaps an IPL photofacial. Then, we can add a touch of Botox here and there as a finishing touch to ensure the smoothest skin possible.

These non-surgical options can be less expensive than a surgical face lift and require significantly less downtime, although the results don’t last as long as with surgery. It also can take time for these treatments to yield results, particularly with collagen induction. However, this approach can be an excellent option for those with fine lines and wrinkles, but not sagging skin. With sagging skin and deep wrinkles, surgical options are the most effective.


As a side note, Thaxton Plastic Surgery is a Top 10 provider of Botox and Juvederm. We also proudly participate in the Alle rewards program. With this program, you earn points for just about every procedure we provide and these points can be used for discounts on skincare as well as future procedures. It’s free to join, and we highly recommend that all of our patients take advantage of this program.

Still Undecided? Book A Consultation

The best first step is to book a consultation with an experienced Charleston plastic surgeon. Not only is Dr. Thaxton a board-certified plastic surgeon, but he also is an elected member of the exclusive American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, one of only two in West Virginia. His goal with all procedures is to create a more youthful look while maintaining naturalness. As he states, “Creating a more youthful yet natural appearance is an art and a science and a skill.”

In some cases, traditional facelift surgery is the best way to attain this goal, and, in other cases, non-invasive techniques are the best option. Booking a consultation, and discussing your goals and your current state of health helps us find the best possible options for your needs. Whether you want a surgical face lift or a liquid facelift, we can help you find procedures that allow you to look and feel amazing!