The Liquid Facelift: What You Need to Know

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Dermatologist Dr. Jo Herzog shares information about the liquid facelift and what you need to know if considering this for yourself.

Today’s post is chock full of helpful information for anyone considering a liquid facelift. Dr. Herzog addresses this topic in response to the following question submitted by a Family Savvy reader:

QUESTION: Dr. Jo, my spa is offering a “liquid facelift” special consisting of a vial of voluma for $800. Is this a good deal, and will one vial of voluma be enough to lift my almost 50-year-old face? Thanks so much! Love reading your posts! Curious in Tennessee

Dr. Jo Herzog

Dear Curious,

The first thing that I should do is explain what most people mean when they say a liquid faceliftthe liquid facelift: what you need to knowWhen this term is used, most dermatologists and plastic surgeons are referring to procedures that would FILL instead of PULL by nip and tuck.

The traditional facelift tightens the skin and gets rid of wrinkles by pulling the skin tighter on a frame that has shrunk with age (requiring removal of excess skin). This is a surgical procedure.

The liquid facelift fills back volume that has been lost by injecting multiple fillers that can be used to reverse the aged look. Fillers vary in thickness from that of water to that of toothpaste~ thus the term “liquid face lift.” This is a non-surgical procedure.

Why  is either facelift necessary? As we age, we lose volume in both bone and fat. With decreased volume, our faces look hollow and begin to hang, leading to several problems. There are hollows in the temple (causing the peanut head) and in the mid-cheek. Loss of mid facial volume causes deep “parentheses” and even contributes to hanging jowls. The ideal face that is heart shaped begins to look like an upside down heart. The mid-face/cheeks are no longer the widest part of the face.

Unless there is a large amount of wrinkling and redundant skin, the ideal way to restore the face to its younger shape and volume is the liquid face lift. But before signing up for the procedure, you should take time to educate yourself on the process.

The following considerations are very important for anyone contemplating a liquid facelift:

  • Choosing a filler. This is fairly easy if you are working with a doctor who has experience and what I call “a full tool box.” A doctor who has only one product will offer you only one option, so you want to look for a doctor who offers several fillers from which you can choose. Doctors who have the larger tool boxes tend to be the more experienced injectors. They are also more likely to be able to advise you as to why one filler would be better for you than the other. Fillers vary in their properties, and you want to take advantage of the qualities that will best suit your needs.
  • Determining how much filler you will need. This is the question that tells you whether a deal is a deal. In answer to your specific question~No, one syringe of voluma is NOT enough to give you a “liquid face lift.”  In the clinical trials for this product, the injecting physician was allowed to use up to 12cc (12x $800). You can get some nice volume in the cheeks with two syringes, but it will take more volume to do more.

Voluma is a nice soft filler with good lifting power. In the clinical trials, the company states that voluma can last up to two years.  One syringe of Voluma costs between $800 and $1,000 in the Birmingham area. This is for 1cc of filler (a teaspoon is almost 5cc).

If you are looking for lasting volume, other fillers, like Sculptra, can give you longer lasting volume with a smaller final price tag. The advertisement for the lift at $800 was advertising $800 a syringe, not an $800 price tag. You need to ask HOW MUCH WILL I NEED? This determines if the “deal” is really a deal for you.

For my patients, I often combine fillers to achieve what I consider to be an optimal outcome. I might use Sculptra for generalized volume and then use Voluma, Perlane or Radiesse for specific areas. These are the options that you want to talk about when you see your doctor. What do they recommend? How much will I need? What might it cost? How long should it last? Where will you put which filler?

Hope that answered your question. Before getting your liquid lift, ask questions.
Be well, and look as good as you feel.

Dr. Jo

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