We don’t know if it’s the countless hours spent staring at our faces on Zoom these days or the cumulative stress of being a human over the last two years, but it seems like we’ve aged a decade overnight. And yeah, we’d be lying if we said that it didn’t faze us at all. Because here’s the thing: It’s not that we mind getting older, we just want to look a little less tired in the process.
Enter the “liquid facelift,” a non-surgical procedure—with some fairly convincing before and after photos—that we’ve been seeing on Instagram lately. Our curiosity piqued, we asked Gabby Garritano, founder & CEO of JECT, a New York based beauty bar that focuses on cosmetic injectables, for the lowdown.
First, what is a liquid facelift?
“A ‘liquid facelift’ is a technique that combines the use of dermal fillers and neurotoxins (i.e., Botox injections) to soften, lift and contour the face,” explains Garritano. “As we mature, our faces lose volume from fat pad depletion, we lose definition from bone loss and lines deepen from the muscle ligaments weakening,” she adds.
A liquid facelift takes all these factors into consideration and treats them accordingly. “We treat overactive muscles with neuromodulators (like Botox) and soft tissue deficiencies with fillers. Areas that are commonly injected with Botox include the upper face, between the brows, crow’s feet, smile lines, lines around the lips, dimpling in the chin and in the neck muscles,” says Garritano. “Areas where dermal fillers are most often injected include the temples (where there is hollowing), the cheek bones, jawline and around the mouth and lips.”
Who is a good candidate for a liquid facelift?
Everyone ages, but there are several factors that influence how fast and how much someone shows signs of aging, including genetics, weight fluctuations and external factors such as sun exposure. That said, there is no specific age group or ideal candidate for a liquid facelift.
“At a typical day at JECT, our patients may vary between their 30s to their 60s,” shares Garritano. “All of them come in with different expectations in mind. For some patients, their goals may entail lifting and contouring areas of the face, while other patients are hoping to restore volume loss,” she adds.
Thankfully for anyone who is interested in injectables, fillers have changed dramatically over the years. For starters, they’re made with a “safe, degradable hyaluronic acid that’s derived from polysaccharide sugars,” explains Garritano. “And we now have fillers for different areas of the face. For the cheeks, we would use a product that’s thicker and has more of a lifting effect, whereas for the lips, we would use something that is thinner and thus, more natural looking.”
Who are liquid facelifts not good for?
According to Garritano, the procedure isn’t ideal for people who have unrealistic expectations about the results. “While fillers are helpful at reducing early or less severe signs of aging, patients who have severe skin laxity [which happens as your skin loses its elasticity with age] may want to consider a surgical consultation,” she explains.
What can I expect at my appointment? And how should I prepare for it?
Typically you’ll start with a consultation, where the upper, mid and lower face are accessed, and you’ll be given recommendations tailored to your concerns. There is no one size fits all approach—nor should there be considering everyone’s facial features are different.
As for prepping for the procedure itself, Garritano recommends avoiding blood thinning products, arnica gel and alcohol a week to two weeks before any injections and icing any areas of discomfort or mild swelling as needed afterwards.
How long do results last?
“Results can last for up to two years,” says Garritano. “At JECT, we typically advise patients to return for a follow-up after two weeks, and then quarterly to assess if any maintenance is needed. At the end of the day, small tweaks over the course of a year result in much more natural results,” she adds.
Generally, how much does a liquid facelift cost?
This varies depending on where you live, who is administering the injections and how many areas of the face are being treated. That said, “A liquid facelift typically ranges anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000,” shares Garritano, “which is why some patients may want to divide their injections into smaller sessions over the course of several weeks to months.”