With an array of non-surgical options available today to firm and tighten saggy facial skin, it is little surprise traditional facelifts are going out of fashion.
“I’m putting off going under the knife for a facelift as it is not only more painful and expensive but has a healing time of at least two to three weeks,” said Suzanne*, a 42-year-old Sales Manager who has been having Ulthera and filler treatments for the past 6 years.
According to Dr Kenneth Lee, Founder of SW1 Clinic, one of the largest aesthetic clinics in Singapore, this sentiment is not uncommon. “The lifting effect provided by a surgical facelift may be longer lasting but it is also not permanent and because of this fact and a restrictive downtime plus the risk of looking ‘done’, many would rather not go through with it,” he added. Conversely, the popularity for non-surgical facelifts have surged. Here, RSB rounds up 5 superb alternatives to a surgical facelift to restore a youthful visage.
If you’re a believer of ‘no pain, no gain’, you will love the potential of injections. In less than 15 minutes and for the “pain” similar to ant-bites, cheeks can be lifted, under eye hollows filled and even lips plumped. Fillers such as Botox, Restylane and Juvederm which contain hyaluronic acid (the wonderous substance that retains moisture) can be injected to replenish our own stores which deplete with age, thus giving renewed vitality to skin by restoring lost volume and erasing lines and wrinkles. Injections of 100% bio-absorbable threads, on the other hand, can achieve a more dramatic lift to yield a V-shaped appearance while spurring collagen growth to anchor skin for a good year or two.
Needle phobes! Ultherapy might just be the solution for you if you are considering firming and tightening skin for a more defined jawline. This FDA-approved, non-invasive procedure uses ultrasound technology to effectively deliver energy to the targeted treatment areas, jump-starting collagen production. This translates to an improvement in skin texture and colour (less dull complexion) on top of toning skin. While the lift can be immediate, 4 to 6 sessions are often recommended for best results.
Thermage has long been the gold standard long-term solution for lifting skin using monopolar radiofrequency, ideal for lifting lax skin in younger patients. These radiofrequency waves cause deep volumetric heating of the dermis and subcutaneous tissues painlessly to stimulate collagen production. The results? Find skin that is taut and smooth with renewed facial contours that improves for up to six months. As it can be used on the neck, like Ultherapy, the rejuvenation completes a more refreshed and youthful look.
Popular light energy treatments like LED Red is raved for its ability to promote skin renewal, skin healing and pore reduction. It is non-thermal in nature and activates new collagen formation for overall improvement in complexion and skin laxity.
NeoGen PSR is a new contender as it uses unique plasma energy to deliver intense heat to specific areas to stimulate collagen reformation. The result? Wrinkles, pigmentation and skin dullness make a quick exit. Skin is lifted with time and a revitalised complexion is uncovered. “It is also superior as it does not vapourise or char the skin,” explained Dr Lee. Who’s isn’t loving this?
Sometimes two is better than one in creating your desired effect of a facelift. Needles aside, a treatment like Exilis Lift, which combines the powers of ultrasound and radiofrequency, promotes collagen remodelling and regeneration. With time, skin becomes firmer and more radiant. When exposed to Exilis, even a double chin and turkey neck is no match.
“A lunchtime procedure like Sygma Lift can also aid in anti-aging efforts,” said Dr Lee. It is the first machine in the market that uses fractionated HIFU technology coupled with low level cold laser in a process known as Photobiostimulation to combat saggy skin minus the pain.
“By increasing the rate of collagen synthesis, stimulating circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage, Sgyma Lift improves skin tone and enhances skin glow,” explained Dr Lee.
When asked on which alternative is the best, Dr Lee emphasised the synergy of treatments for the best outcome. For patients with severe facial aging, he would recommend a combination therapy like the Trinity Facelift Program which incorporates 4 incredible technologies for the ultimate lift or V-sculpt Facial Program which employs Botox, Ulthera and 24K Uplift facial for a defined jawline.
Dr Lee recommends getting a consultation with a skin doctor first and foremost to work out the best solution and expectations managed to deliver an overall satisfying facelift experience.