Virginia BotoxA “Liquid Facelift ” is a catchy phrase that tries to capture the essence of rejuvenating a face without surgery.

A liquid facelift involves one of three things in any combination: BOTOX® Cosmetic (the only liquid in the group), filler (we like JUVÉDERM® Injectable Gel), and skin resurfacing (we use the Fraxel laser or one of any number of peels).

BOTOX® paralyzes muscles and muscle contraction is what causes wrinkles. The thinking is that if you stop the muscles from moving, the wrinkles will go away. Basically, the thinking is right. After injecting BOTOX®, the muscles stop moving for a month or two. You then enter a “golden period,” where you’re able to move your face but don’t have wrinkles. This lasts for a few more months and works very well in the upper face.

JUVÉDERM® is basically skin without the collagen. It’s a jelly-like substance called hyaluronic acid and, as its name implies, fills in creases and valleys in the face. It works exceptionally well under the eyes to fill the hollows there and last seemingly for years. It lasts less long as you move down the face and closer to the surface of the skin (i.e. filling underneath wrinkles).

Skin resurfacing covers a pretty wide spectrum, but as part of a liquid face lift, we’re usually talking about only those peels which have little to no recovery. Lasers that are fractionated or split into tiny little mini-beams fall into this category, as do glycolic or salicylic acid peels.

If you’re not ready for facelift surgery for or don’t need the real thing, liquid facelifts can provide a nice brake to the aging process and help reverse some of its early signs.