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The needle or the knife?

If you’ve considered cosmetic treatment for your face, you’ve likely come across two popular solutions: fillers and facelifts. These two options are not exactly the same, and each has its own pros and cons. It is best to consult with a specialist about what procedure may be right for you, but you should familiarize yourself on some of the key differences.


What it’s used for

Fillers do as their name implies – fill in. They target areas of the skin that have depressed lines, and work by adding volume and filling in these areas. They are used most often for plumping lips and the area around them, wrinkles on cheeks, and hallow areas and wrinkles under eyes.

Who it’s right for

Fillers are recommended for people under 50, who have wrinkles and depressions in their skin, but no noticeable sagging or severe skin elasticity. They can also be used as a way to delay the need for facelift surgery.


Most fillers are injected via needle into the target area, a procedure that takes no more than an hour, on average. This procedure is quick and non-invasive, which is why many people prefer it. There is little to no recovery time associated with filler treatment.


While fillers tend to cost much less than a facelift surgery, the amount of maintenance involved must also be factored into the price of fillers. After a number of touch-ups over time, fillers usually end up costing about the same as a facelift surgery.


Fillers tend to last for about six months to two years, or, in the case of some synthetic fillers, up to five years. Overall, this means much more maintenance than a surgical facelift.

Facelift surgery

What it’s used for

A facelift lifts the skin of the neck and face and tightens it. Unlike fillers, it corrects sagging and other signs of aging, not just wrinkles.

Who it’s right for

Facelifts are ideal for people who have some skin sagging, skin elasticity, and drooping jowls. While fillers can fill in wrinkles, they can do nothing for excess skin that droops on the face and neck.


Facelifts are a surgery, which require some form of anesthesia, two to four hours of procedure, and some recovery time. Afterwards, most patients feel minimal pain, but the doctor will likely prescribe something to take. There will be some swelling for the first few days. In some cases, a surgeon may bandage the area to minimize swelling.


Facelift surgery requires much less maintenance than fillers. Typically, the only maintenance you may need is a filler later on, as skin continues to sag and wrinkle with age.

Despite these differences, both procedures can help fight signs of aging. Fillers can be a great way to delay facelift surgery or touch up in the years following it, and facelift surgery can help correct more severe sagging and wrinkling. If you want to turn back the clock and get the skin you had years ago, speak to a surgeon to determine what method best fits your goals and lifestyle.

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