Feeling tired? Looking old? Those are common complaints driving patients to their plastic surgeons, but many aren’t opting for surgery. The new choice in a facial pick-me-up is the “liquid face lift”, which isn’t a face lift at all. Dr. Christine Hamori, who practices in Boston, Massachusetts, discusses the combination of non-invasive techniques, who is the best candidate for the procedures, what to expect and why making small changes early on is the best way to maintain a youthful and natural appearance.
“The Liquid Face-Lift” – What is it?
There is no cutting or pulling involved in this kind of face-lift. In fact, it is not a face-lift at all. The liquid face-lift is a combination of non-invasive techniques to make the face more rejuvenated. Doctors use injectable wrinkle-reducers and line-erasers to take away years from the face. Unlike a surgical face-lift, the liquid lift is performed in office. The liquid face-lift allows a patient to recover quickly without a lot of down time.
“It is basically using fillers or Botox to reshape the face and soften lines. We try to put the eye brows in a little more pleasing position by using the fillers and the toxins,” says Dr. Hamori. “We won’t be using surgery and a lot of patients seem very receptive to that idea.”
Who is the Best Candidate?
The best candidate for the liquid face-lift procedure will be under 50 years old. Dr. Hamori says at that time, women especially start to lose some of the volume in their face. “They have a little more laxity in their face, but they don’t yet need a face-lift. They have some sagging around the jaw line and a little bit of brow ptosis“. Dr. Hamori says women need to look at their face like a pillow that is losing some filling and the liquid face-lift will plump it up.
“Just putting a little volume into the face, the temple and cheeks can re-inflate the face and make them look younger,” says Dr. Hamori. She adds that a consultation before the procedure is always helpful because expectations can vary. She has a patient look in the mirror and point out problem areas. Often what the patient sees is different from what the doctor sees. Hamori says the best relationship and results happen when the patient trusts the doctor and both agree on the treatment plan and why it is necessary. “The most difficult patients have read everything on the internet and have friends who have had everything done, then I usually have to take baby steps and win them over so they feel confident with the procedure.”
The One-Two Punch
Botox, Xeomin and Dysport are popular choices when it comes to non-invasive procedures to smooth out lines on the face, without going under the knife. It is important for a patient to understand why doctors use these techniques to help smooth out fine lines and conceal the aging process. “As we get older, the collagen gets damaged by sun and just general pulling so fine lines form. It is like a folded piece of paper, so we need to stop that trauma,” says Dr. Hamori. “Toxins, like Botox allow the muscle to temporarily relax. The skin quality can then improve.”
It is really important for women especially to understand the anatomy of how wrinkles work because then doctors can battle the aging process with the best tools. Sometimes it is recommended to use both fillers and toxins to get the best results. Dr. Hamori says for those patients with very expressive or animated faces, using a combination of procedures may work best to battle fine lines. “I treat with the toxin and then I have them come back in two weeks when I spackle the lines with a filler.” Hamori says some thicker substances can be diluted down to fill the affected areas and that helps the Botox last longer.
Many times, Dr. Hamori says a patient will zone in on one problem wrinkle or line instead of looking at the overall picture of beauty. She says using volume through fillers and toxins to plump up features that may be deflated with age and sun can make a huge difference in confidence and appearance. “You want to make it a combination of a softer look, to please them by getting rid of the problem with the overall appearance. That is natural.”