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Facelift Alternatives & the Pros and Cons of Each

Back to all posts August 1, 2023

In the pursuit of youthful and rejuvenated appearances, facelift alternatives have gained significant popularity. While traditional facelift surgery remains a viable option for many, advancements in cosmetic procedures now offer non-surgical and minimally invasive alternatives that can address signs of aging with fewer risks and shorter recovery times.

In this article, we will delve into the world of facelift alternatives, exploring various options and their pros and cons. We will also highlight the expertise of Dr. Jacono, the premier facial plastic surgeon in New York City, who can provide valuable insights and recommendations for individuals seeking these alternatives.

Understanding Facelifts:

Before we explore the alternatives, it is essential to understand what a facelift entails and its intended purpose. A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that aims to reduce sagging skin, eliminate wrinkles, and restore a more youthful appearance to the face and neck.

While traditional facelifts can achieve remarkable results, they involve surgical incisions, longer recovery times, and potential risks associated with invasive procedures. This makes it crucial to consider alternative options that can deliver comparable outcomes without drawbacks.

Non-Surgical Facelift Alternatives:

Dermal Fillers:

One of the most popular non-surgical options for facial rejuvenation is the use of dermal fillers. These injectable treatments, often containing hyaluronic acid, help restore lost volume, diminish lines and wrinkles, and enhance facial contours. Dermal fillers offer minimal downtime, immediate results, and a relatively comfortable procedure. However, it’s important to note that their effects are temporary, requiring maintenance treatments for long-term benefits.

Pros of Dermal Fillers:

  • Restores lost volume
  • Reduces wrinkles and lines
  • Minimal downtime
  • Quick results
  • Customizable treatment
  • Long-lasting outcomes: Depending on the type of filler used, results can last from several months to over a year.
  • Natural-looking results

Cons of Dermal Fillers:

A woman getting botox injections
  • Temporary results: Dermal fillers are not permanent, and repeated treatments are necessary to maintain the desired outcome.
  • Maintenance treatments
  • Potential side effects such as redness, swelling, bruising, or allergic reactions.
  • Cost: Dermal fillers can be expensive, with maintenance treatments needed
  • Injection-related risks: As with any injection-based procedure, there is a small risk of infection, bleeding, or damage to surrounding structures.
  • Not suitable for everyone

Botox and Dysport:

Botox and Dysport injections are renowned for their ability to relax facial muscles, thereby reducing the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. These treatments are particularly effective for forehead lines, crow’s feet, and frown lines. Similar to dermal fillers, Botox and Dysport provide quick results and involve minimal recovery time. However, repeated treatments are necessary to maintain the effects, and the results are temporary.

Pros of Botox and Dysport:

  • Wrinkle reduction: Botox and Dysport injections effectively relax facial muscles, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and lines caused by repetitive facial movements.
  • Quick and convenient
  • Minimal downtime
  • Natural-looking results
  • Versatility: forehead lines, crow’s feet, and frown lines, making it a good alternative to a brow lift and skin tightening.
  • Long-lasting effects: While results vary, Botox and Dysport treatments can provide wrinkle reduction for several months, typically lasting three to four months.

Cons of Botox and Dysport:

  • Temporary results: The effects of Botox and Dysport injections are not permanent, and repeat treatments are necessary to maintain the desired outcome.
  • Maintenance treatments: To sustain the benefits, individuals will need to undergo subsequent injections as the effects wear off over time.
  • Potential side effects such as temporary redness, swelling, bruising, or headaches.
  • Injection-related risks: As with any injection-based procedure, there is a small risk of infection, bleeding, or bruising at the injection site.
  • Limited effectiveness on static wrinkles
  • Not suitable for everyone

Laser Skin Resurfacing:

Laser skin resurfacing employs advanced technology to improve skin texture, tone, and overall appearance. This procedure stimulates collagen production, resulting in smoother, more youthful-looking skin. Laser treatments can address a wide range of concerns, including wrinkles, scars, and uneven pigmentation. However, potential side effects and the need for multiple sessions should be considered when opting for laser skin resurfacing.

Pros of Laser Resurfacing:

  • Improved skin texture and tone: Laser resurfacing effectively targets and reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and uneven skin texture, resulting in smoother and more youthful-looking skin.
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Versatility: Laser resurfacing can be customized to address specific concerns, such as sun damage, age spots, acne scars, or uneven pigmentation.
  • Non-surgical
  • Minimally invasive
  • Long-lasting results

Cons of Laser Resurfacing:

  • Potential side effects such as redness, swelling, itching, or changes in skin pigmentation
  • Multiple sessions may be required
  • Downtime and recovery ranging from several days to a few weeks
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Not suitable for all skin types
  • Potential for rare complications such as infection or scarring
Woman getting laser therapy

Minimally Invasive Facelift Alternatives:

Thread Lifts:

Thread lifts offer a minimally invasive approach to lifting and tightening sagging skin. This procedure involves the insertion of dissolvable sutures, which are used to lift and reposition the skin. Thread lifts provide noticeable results, minimal scarring, and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional facelift surgery. However, it’s important to note that the effects of thread lifts are temporary, and maintenance may be required.

Pros of Thread Lifts:

  • Non-surgical face lift alternative
  • Lifts and tightens sagging skin
  • Minimal scarring
  • Shorter recovery time as an alternative to facelift surgery
  • Stimulates collagen production
  • Customizable treatment for specific areas
  • Gradual and natural-looking results

Cons of Thread Lifts:

  • Temporary results: The effects of thread lifts are not permanent, and the threads will eventually dissolve
  • Potential side effects such as bruising, swelling or discomfort
  • Thread migration or visibility: In some cases, the threads may migrate or become visible under the skin. An experienced practitioner can usually address this.
  • Need for thread maintenance
  • Not suitable for everyone


Using ultrasound technology, Ultherapy stimulates collagen production and tightens the skin without the need for surgery. This non-invasive treatment is particularly effective for lifting the eyebrows, jawline, and neck. Ultherapy offers long-lasting results and minimal downtime, but it may cause discomfort during the procedure, and multiple sessions may be necessary for optimal outcomes.

Pros of Ultherapy:

  • Non-invasive facelift alternative
  • Lifts and tightens sagging skin particularly in areas such as the eyebrows, jawline, and neck, making it a good alternative to a facelift for jowls
  • Long-lasting results
  • Minimal downtime
  • Gradual and natural-looking results
  • Customizable treatment targeting specific areas

Cons of Ultherapy:

  • Discomfort during the procedure for some people
  • Multiple sessions may be required
  • Potential temporary side effects like redness, swelling or bruising
  • Cost: Ultherapy can be a financial investment with multiple sessions needed
  • Not suitable for everyone

Combination Approaches for Alternatives to Facelifts:

In many cases, combining different non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures can yield enhanced results. By tailoring treatments to individual needs, a qualified facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Jacono can create a comprehensive plan that addresses multiple concerns. Whether it’s a combination of dermal fillers, Botox, laser skin resurfacing, or other modalities, personalized treatment plans can help individuals achieve their desired outcomes.


Exploring facelift alternatives allows individuals to consider various options that cater to their unique needs and preferences. While traditional facelift surgery remains a valid choice, non-surgical and minimally invasive alternatives offer compelling benefits such as minimal downtime, quick results, and fewer risks.

The best alternative to a facelift or facial plastic surgery is going to depend on the needs of the individual in consultation with their doctor.

By consulting with a qualified facial plastic surgeon like Dr. Jacono, individuals can receive expert guidance and recommendations based on their specific concerns. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each alternative and make an informed decision that aligns with personal goals. Embrace the opportunity to turn back the clock and rejuvenate your appearance with the array of facelift alternatives available today.

Dr. Andrew Jacono

Dr. Andrew Jacono, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Dual Board Certified, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with a thriving practice on Long Island’s Gold Coast and in Manhattan on Park Avenue.

Dr. Jacono specializes in reconstructive surgery, specifically facelifts, rhinoplasties and eyelid lifts with flawless, yet natural results. He’s internationally recognized for his innovative non-surgical and minimally invasive facial rejuvenation techniques. As Director of the New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery, Dr. Jacono's expertise attracts a wide range of clientele, from prominent celebrities to everyday individuals seeking various enhancements. He is also sought-after for his expert opinion as a lecturer and presenter. Dr. Jacono has presented his innovative techniques at leading universities in the US, and has conducted live surgery at over 100 global plastic surgery meetings and symposiums across multiple countries and organizations.

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