What to Know About Liquid Facelifts

Medically Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on February 29, 2024
3 min read

A liquid facelift is a nonsurgical facelift, where the surgeon injects dermal fillers into your skin to reduce wrinkles and sagging. Liquid facelifts are best for those with fewer wrinkles and mild sagging.

But, if you have a lot of sagging skin, your doctor may recommend a surgical facelift.

A liquid facelift can 

  • Minimize scars
  • Tighten wrinkles and sagging around eyes, lips, and forehead
  • Plump up your cheeks
  • Add volume to your brow

In liquid facelifts, the injected dermal fillers give your skin a smoother, plumper appearance. Once being injected into your skin, a dermal filler plays the role of collagen and elastin and supports your skin. As you age and use your facial muscles more, your skin’s collagen framework weakens. This causes your skin to lose its moisture and flexibility — leading to the development of wrinkles.

You can choose a variety of dermal fillers for your liquid facelift, including:

Hyaluronic acid. This is a natural substance produced by your body, and it is the most popular type of dermal filler. It can fill the space between elastin and collagen fibers to plumpen and moisturize your skin

Polymethylmethacrylate beads. These cannot be absorbed by your body and are usually used around the mouth. They are smooth plastic particles that will prompt your body to make more collagen.

Calcium hydroxylapatite. This mineral is found in human bones and can last up to 18 months. Doctors often use it to volumize acne scars.

Poly-L-lactic acid. This is made of the same material as dissolvable stitches and can last up to two years.

Liquid facelifts are less costly than surgical facelifts. Things that will help determine how much your liquid facelift will cost include:

  • How many injections you plan to have
  • Which dermatologist and plastic surgeon you plan to hire
  • Your choice of dermal injection

Talk to a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or ophthalmologist to find how much a liquid facelift would cost for you. Schedule a consultation with them and check out their facility to make sure it is what you’re looking for. 

Make sure to also ask the following questions before you decide to go ahead with the procedure:

  • Can you tell me more about your experience with facial fillers?
  • What are the potential side effects of using these fillers — given my particular medical history?
  • Are you qualified to take care of any issues that may arise?
  • Can you show me some before-and-after photos?

After you choose and consult with a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or ophthalmologist to do your liquid facelift, the procedure itself is simple:

  1. An anesthetic is applied to the area where you want the dermal fillers to be injected
  2. Dermal fillers are then put into this area using several injections

The injection process may cause a slight stinging sensation. Each injection is a few minutes long.

You can expect the entire process to last between 20 to 35 minutes.

While you should be able to return to work the next day, you should go easy on yourself for the first 24 hours after your procedure. You should:

  • Ease stress.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Stay out of the sun.

Liquid facelifts are generally safe, provided you find a board-licensed professional to administer them. But, some common risks come with getting a liquid facelift.

Bruises form in the injection areas, particularly if you get injections near your eyes. These bruises can be quite severe if you take blood-thinning medications. Be sure to tell your doctor about all of the supplements and medications you take before you have the procedure.

Common side effects include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Minor pain, particularly when smiling or laughing.

More rare side effects include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Cysts or abscesses
  • Necrosis of the skin
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV)
  • Bacterial infections including strep or staph infections

If you think you might be having an allergic reaction, or flu-like symptoms after you have a liquid facelift, call your doctor right away.