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Perhaps you didn’t think that age and gravity could change your appearance, so much, so soon.
In today’s world, our appearance gives our first impression to the world, and age-related changes can have a negative impact on our professional and personal lives when we’re perceived as tired or angry.
If you have ever wanted to look younger or less tired, facial cosmetic surgery may be worth considering.
Whether you want to brighten tired eyes or lift sagging jowls, choosing the best treatments for facial rejuvenation can be downright intimidating with so many options available.
The multitude of options for looking younger may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, we’ve created a guide to help you discover the most appropriate facial rejuvenation treatments for your needs.
Facial Rejuvenation Surgery: What Are Your Options?
Facial rejuvenation treatments can be divided into 4 categories, called “The Four R’s of Facial Rejuvenation:”
- Redrape & Lift (via surgery)
- Refill (via fillers and fat)
- Relax (via Botox and surgery)
- Repair (via advanced skin care products, laser & IPL, chemical peels, microneedling, and other resurfacing techniques)
If a treatment claims to be “anti-aging” but doesn’t do one of the four things above, chances are, it won’t work. With that in mind, let's explore the most common reasons people seek out facial rejuvenation, and what issues the most common procedures address.
The Eyes and Forehead
The eyes and forehead are the two facial features most likely to make you appear older than you feel. At one time or another, you’ve probably looked into the mirror to see tired eyes or a wrinkled forehead looking back at you.
- Tired or droopy eyes
- Sagging upper eyelids
- Puffiness or bags under the eyes
- Low eyebrows and heavy/crowded upper eyes
- Elevated hairline
- Forehead wrinkles
- Frown lines between the brows (also known as the elevens)
- A perpetually tired, worried, or angry look in the forehead
Upper eyelid surgery - this surgery helps remove excess skin to restore a naturally refreshed appearance to the eyes.
Lower eyelid surgery - this eyelid surgery is the best treatment to correct lower eyelid bags and hollowing.
Brow lift surgery - a brow lift helps eliminate deep frown lines between the brows.
- Endoscopic brow lift - less invasive than the traditional brow lift, this procedure employs a series of small incisions and a tiny camera.
- Temporal or Limited Incision Brow Lift - this surgery is similar to the endoscopic brow lift and is often performed with upper eyelid surgery.
- Browpexy - another less invasive procedure to improve the appearance of the forehead. In contrast to other techniques, outcomes are more subtle and limited.
- Direct Brow Lift - popular in Asia, this procedure involves the removal of excess forehead skin.
- Classic, Open, or Coronal Brow Lift - this procedure used to be the standard procedure in reducing sagging forehead skin but has dwindled in popularity due to its invasiveness. It involves one long incision running from ear to ear behind the hairline or just in front of the hairline.
Learn more about eyelid and eyebrow surgery.
Silhouette Instalift - Instantly lifts and volumizes with no long recovery and NO SURGERY!
Botox - this injectable relaxes the forehead muscles and eliminates the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
Ultherapy - this noninvasive treatment employs ultrasound energy to tone forehead skin and to subtly lift the eyebrows.
Laser Resurfacing - this treatment helps repair sun-damaged skin around the eyes. Laser resurfacing may be performed in conjunction with, or after, eyelid surgery or a brow lift.
Read more about eye and brow rejuvenation procedures.
Nose surgery, also known as rhinoplasty, is all about accomplishing balance and proportion with the rest of the face. Functional rhinoplasty is performed to help improve breathing.
This type of surgery is often combined with chin enhancement, facelift, or eyelid surgery to further improve facial harmony and proportion.
- Droopy/long nose
- Large nose
- Prominent bump on the bridge
- Bulbous nasal tip
- Nose that is too wide for the face
- Nose that is too small for the face
- Asymmetrical nose following injury
- Breathing difficulties
Open Rhinoplasty - a tiny incision is made beneath the tip (just between the nostrils) to bridge the right and left nostril incisions. This approach is ideal if you have complex nose reshaping needs.
Closed Rhinoplasty - surgical incisions are created inside the nostrils. This approach is ideal if you have minor nose reshaping needs.
Revision Rhinoplasty - the goal of this surgery is to revise or enhance the outcomes of your primary nose surgery.
Functional Rhinoplasty - this surgery is done for medical reasons (improve breathing) but it can potentially improve the overall appearance of your nose.
Chin Surgery - to achieve desired facial proportion in rhinoplasty, chin surgery may be performed.
Fillers - in some cases, the nose can be reshaped without surgery using dermal fillers. These improvements usually last up to a year. Due to the temporary results, fillers are a good way to “test drive” a rhinoplasty, allowing you to see how your nose might look after surgery through the use of injections.
You can learn more about your nose reshaping surgery options here.
The Face, Cheeks, and Jowls
Aging, gravity, and genetics can cause facial skin to sag and lose volume over time. Prolonged sunlight exposure increases the likelihood you will experience issues with skin tone and texture.
- Hollowed cheeks
- Wrinkles and folds around the nose and mouth
- Prominent jowls
- Sagging jawline
- Blotchy pigmentation (ranging from red to dark spots)
Facelift - a facelift is ideal if you have concerns affecting your mid-to-lower face regions. Its goal is to reduce facial muscle laxity and trim loose, saggy facial skin.
Mini Facelift - a mini facelift has the same goal as a facelift but is a less invasive alternative, as smaller incisions are used.
For further information on the differences in a facelift and a mini facelift read:: Mini Facelift vs. Full Facelift: Which is Best?
Muscle relaxing injectables - Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin injections temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles through Botulinum type A, a protein that relaxes the facial muscles that cause wrinkles.
Facial fillers - Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Belotero, and Sculptra are temporary volume enhancers, they restore lost volume, smooth out wrinkles, and enhance facial shape.
Chemical Peels - improve skin tone and texture by gently removing the damaged, outer layers. While most patients opt for facial peels, this procedure can also be performed on the hands and neck. Chemical peels are great for acne scars, sun-damaged skin, and a dull skin texture.
Ultherapy - a non-surgical alternative to contouring, this is the first and only FDA-approved procedure that can firm up skin in your eyebrow, neck, under-chin, and décolletage area.
Kybella - this non-surgical alternative is the first and only FDA-approved injectable treatment to reduce the appearance of excess fat under the chin.
Like facial aging, the combined effects of gravity, age, and prolonged sun exposure can significantly impact the appearance of your neck. The effects can be the appearance of a wobbly “turkey neck,” vertical brands, and creases.
- Loose, sagging neck skin, also known as turkey neck
- Appearance of fullness due to excess fat, also known as double chin
- Appearance of vertical bands and creases
Neck Lift - this alternative removes excess neck fat and skin. It also tightens the loose muscles of the neck.
Neck Liposuction - this procedure can help accomplish a well-defined, more graceful neckline by removing excess neck fat permanently.
CoolSculpting Cool Mini - designed to specifically remove unwanted fat in the chin region through controlled freezing.
Kybella - this non-surgical alternative is first and only FDA-approved injectable treatment to reduce the appearance of excess fat under the chin.
Ultherapy - this non-invasive treatment works by delivering focused ultrasound energy to the skin, stimulating collagen production for firmer skin in the chin and neck areas.
Neck contouring options are discussed in detail here.
Your Next Step to a Younger, Fresher Look
When considering any kind of facial rejuvenation procedure, it is important to understand that one size does not fit all. A thorough consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is necessary to craft a personalized plan to achieve your desired results.
Dr. Fan is a Harvard-trained plastic surgeon based in San Francisco. He has extensive experience performing a wide range of facial rejuvenation treatments, both surgical and non-invasive. With the help of his warm, caring staff, he will work with you to understand your needs and determine which treatment is the best fit for you.
If you're still on the fence about the right plastic surgeon for your facial rejuvenation goal, this handy guide in evaluating plastic surgeons is an excellent starting point.