Are non-surgical facelifts a scam?

I've been researching facelifts quite a bit lately and am confident getting one would be worth the money, even if they do tend to be a little pricier than I can comfortably afford. But if any of these non-surgical facelifts I keep hearing about were for real, even if the results were only half as good as a proper, surgical lift, I would go out and get one in a heartbeat. How confident should I be about the efficacy of these things? I'm referring to facelift tape, liquid facelifts. some of the specialized creams, any and all of these treatments. Truth is, they all sound like total rip-offs designed to help the gullible part with their money to me, but technology moves so fast these days that things which might have seemed impossible only ten years ago are facts of life now. So could there really be something to the claims they make for these products? Are you aware of any positive - or negative - experiences people have had with any of these non-surgical facelift treatments I'm referring to?


F, 50, Virginia

Thank you for sharing your question.  Do not waste your money on facelift tape, as it will not do much.  A "Liquid Facelift", depending on where you are treated, could give you great results.  Please know that this will in no way replace a true Facelift.  If you have excess hanging skin on the lower part of your face and your neck, then a true Facelift would give you the best result.  A Liquid Facelift is achieved with temporary face Fillers such as Restylane LYFT, and Voluma, and can be a combination of these and other fillers.  Many of my patients are content with the Face Fillers and do not wish to have surgery.  It depends on your needs and your aesthetic desires.  Some of my patients who have had a Facelift with me still have areas filled on the face such as lips, around the mouth, and nasolabial folds.  If you are considering either, please see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in your area to discuss your options.  

Best Wishes, -Dr. B.

Facelift tape, liquid facelifts and specialized creams do not replace facelift surgery. Creams can only improve the quality of the skin and in some cases lessen fine adynamic skin wrinkles. Liquid facelifts refer to the injection of fillers which while the replace shrunken facial fat due to aging do little to lift the sagging soft tissues or remove excess skin. Radiofrequency treatments like Thermi and Fractora can shrink skin and lift deeper soft tissues but the degree of excess skin they can successfully shrink is limited. They work well in less severe cases but only yield 30 to 50% of a surgical facelift.

Aaron Stone has 3 Facelift before & afters:

Facelift before image performed by Dr. Aaron StoneFacelift after image performed by Dr. Aaron StoneFacelift before image performed by Dr. Aaron StoneFacelift after image performed by Dr. Aaron StoneFacelift before image performed by Dr. Aaron StoneFacelift after image performed by Dr. Aaron Stone

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Hi J plasma Renuvion is an excellent and exciting newer technology for skin tightening.  

Renuvion is a technology tool that combines two energy-based technologies to tighten skin, coagulate (shrink) fatty tissue beneath the skin, and induce tissue contraction. The first technology is radiofrequency (RF) energy. RF is excellent for heating tissues deep beneath the skin’s surface and triggering collagen production to help skin become thicker, firmer and smoother over time.

The second technology is cold helium plasma, which is basically helium gas that has been electrically charged to convert to plasma (a form of matter beyond gas). Helium plasma is very temperature-stable, and its primary role is to rapidly cool treated tissues and keep surrounding tissues cool. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is the central reason why Renuvion works so effectively, even for larger areas of loose skin.

This superior, lightening-fast cooling mechanism allows us to heat tissues to a much higher temperature compared to older RF devices, which means we can safely treat more significant skin sagging in a single treatment while keeping post-procedure recovery to a minimum. 

However on the face with age related changes including volume loss and loss of structural fat. I would recommend you be assessed to make sure you are a good candidate. I would not advise as it is too thin of skin or deflated skin as you may look skeletalized and are in areas with more superficial nerves and blood supply vs the body. But if you have extra fat in Joel’s and neck area really a great procedure  

Karen Soika MD 

Cosmetic Surgeon Greenwich CT

Hi Carlasdreams,

A non-surgical facelift can be a great way to rejuvenate your face but it is in no way a replacement for a traditional facelift.  

One of the main advantages of non-surgical skin tightening procedures is they are fast to perform and have very little downtime. However, the results are temporary so the cost may end up being higher than a facelift in the long run.

Check out this article on our blog to learn more about non-surgical facelift treatments.



Of course. We see many patients that are very unhappy with the non-invasive treatments and feel they were over promised on the result. A facelift is an excellent operation and delivers a result that is far above and beyond any non-invasive option. I tell patients all the time that if there was a comparable non-invasive rejuvenation procedure to a face and neck lift than no one would be offering them anymore. Good Luck!

Some fillers can regain the lost contours of the face that made you look younger but the fillers have to be done over and over as they dissolve. Otherwise, the companies are just using the term facelift as a marketing scheme and you should not expect much of a change if any.