Facelift vs. Non Surgical Facelift (Liquid Facelift)

Woman with scalpel and syringe (model) with text that reads 'Scalpel or syringe: which is best for you?"

Facelift surgery (rhytidectomy) has traditionally been the go-to procedure to address aging in the lower part of the face. But today, alternatives like our Non Surgical Facelift (liquid facelift) can rejuvenate areas that traditional facelift surgery cannot, without incisions, general anesthesia, or downtime.

At Mabrie Facial Institute, we have embraced injectables as our preferred means of facial rejuvenation due to their safety, versatility, and the amazing, full-face results we achieve with them. We do not offer facelift surgery at our San Francisco practice. We do offer the best non surgical or liquid facelift options in the Bay Area for jowls, under-eye bags, dark circles, nasolabial folds, and a receding chin.

Here we’ll examine the differences between a surgical facelift and facial rejuvenation with BOTOX® and dermal fillers to help you navigate treatment options and decide which may be right for you.

Yes, These Results Are Non Surgical!

Before & After contouring for example face shape
Before & After contouring for example face shape
Before & After contouring for example face shape
Before & After contouring for example face shape
Before & After contouring for example face shape

Surgery or Syringe?

What Is a Surgical Facelift?

Facelift or rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure, performed under general anesthesia to reduce sagging skin and wrinkles caused by aging or weight loss. Facelift surgery removes excess skin, tightens the underlying muscles, and re-drapes skin in a higher position primarily in the lower face (chin, jawline, and neck).  It does not address areas of the upper face (eyes, cheek volume, forehead, etc.).

Treatment Areas: Lower face (chin, jawline) and neck

Method: Surgery

Procedure Time: 4+ hours

Anesthesia: General

Recovery: 30 days

Scarring: Possible (around the ears or side of face)

Not Helpful for: Upper face (eyes, brows, cheeks, lips), volume loss

What Is a Non Surgical Facelift?

A liquid facelift or at MFI, the Non Surgical Facelift, uses dermal fillers and neurotoxins such as BOTOX to restore facial volume, reduce wrinkles, and enhance facial features to rejuvenate, shape, and sculpt the face. Our expert Injectors perform liquid facelifts in our office and the initial procedure takes approximately 60 minutes. Treatment is typically staged over 2 or more appointments for ideal results.

Treatment Areas: Full face (under eyes, cheeks, midface, chin, jawline)

Method: In-office procedure

Procedure Time: 60 minutes

Anesthesia: Local to numb the area

Recovery: Return to normal activity immediately. Swelling may take 2-4 weeks to completely resolve

Scarring: None

Not Helpful For: Neck; excessive sagging skin under the chin

How Can Non Surgical Facelift Improve the Face?

Contour the Jawline

Nonsurgical facelift before and after, case #735

This woman looks years younger after filler was used to add definition to her chin and jawline, and smooth jowls and marionette lines.

non surgical facelift in san francisco before and after, case #645

Adding definition to the chin and jawline creates a more masculine contour and a more youthful appearance for this man.

Improve Under Eye Bags

before and after non surgical facelift in san francisco, case #406

Adding support and structure in the midface creates the foundation for under eye filler to smooth this woman’s circles and bags, making her look rested and rejuvenated.

before and after non surgical facelift in san francisco, case #433

Non Surgical Facelift rejuvenated this gentleman’s under eyes and jowling around the mouth.

Add Other Areas for a Full Face Transformation

Nonsurgical facelift before and after, case #624

This woman added forehead BOTOX, lip filler, and non surgical rhinoplasty for a gorgeous full face makeover.

Nonsurgical facelift before and after, case #434

In addition to a Non Surgical Facelift, this young woman had masseter (facial slimming) and forehead BOTOX, lip filler, and a non surgical nose job to take her from pretty to stunning.

Filler Can Complement a Facelift

Choosing the right procedure does not necessarily mean ruling out another procedure. In fact, patients planning facelift surgery or previous facelift patients can benefit from volume replacement, contouring/definition, and enhancement. Fillers can “complete” the results and address the shortcomings of a surgical facelift.

“Anyone who would benefit from surgical facelift could also benefit from a Non Surgical Facelift.  The procedures are complementary where each has unique benefits to rejuvenate the aging face.”

Dr. David Mabrie

Non Surgical Facelift FAQs

Why does Mabrie Facial Institute prefer the Non Surgical Facelift?

Years ago, Dr. Mabrie decided to specialize in non surgical facial rejuvenation because he believes that a less invasive approach and more manageable cost means he and his team can help more people look like the best versions of themselves. Our Injectors also prefer interacting with patients during the procedure and maintaining an ongoing patient relationship. They can create a more tailored result with injectables, and there are fewer safety risks involved.

See our liquid facelift before and after photos.

Who is a good candidate for a liquid facelift?

A patient with skin that retains most of its elasticity, but who is concerned about lost volume in the upper and lower areas of the face, can get exciting results from a liquid facelift. Our expert Injectors can restore youthful contours and minimize shadows and wrinkles to create a refreshed, healthier, more luminous appearance.

Age: How old should I be to consider a liquid facelift?

Women and men are usually in their mid-30s or older when they begin noticing volume loss and other early signs of aging. Using fillers and neurotoxins to create youthful contours helps patients maintain a refreshed appearance.

How much does a facelift cost? How much does a liquid facelift cost?

The cost of plastic surgery and non surgical aesthetic treatments vary depending on the geographic area of the practice and the experience and training of the provider. Here in the Bay Area, a surgical facelift performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon ranges from $20,000 to $50,000 and up. The cost of a Non Surgical Facelift at MFI in San Francisco is about $7,900 – $10,000. To keep your glow going, yearly maintenance is typically $1,200 – $2,500.

What is facelift recovery like? Comparatively, what is liquid facelift recovery like?

A surgical facelift is performed using a general anesthetic and the recovery can take up to 30 days. Most patients take about 10 to 14 days off from work after the surgery. If you’re planning to attend a significant social event, such as a wedding, you should plan the surgery for at least 6 months prior to the event to ensure you’re completely healed.

A Non Surgical Facelift is performed in-office using using local anesthetic. Recovery is about 2 to 4 days. Some patients choose to recover over a weekend. If you’re planning to attend a social event, you should give yourself about 2-4 weeks for all swelling to subside. If you are the Bride or Groom, we recommend giving yourself the full 4 weeks for recovery.

How do I get started?

The specialists at Mabrie Facial Institute work with men and women from throughout the Bay Area including San Francisco, Oakland, and Walnut Creek. Request a consultation online or call us at  (415) 445-9513 to schedule an appointment.


Dr. David Mabrie

Dr. David Mabrie

Facial Plastic Surgeon & Founder of Mabrie Facial Institute Dr. David Mabrie is a recognized leader, innovator, and educator in the use of dermal fillers for facial sculpting and has dedicated his practice entirely to facial rejuvenation with injectables. Years of experience led Dr. Mabrie to pioneer the Illumination 360° approach, just one of the ways Dr. Mabrie brings life to his practice’s mantra: “your face, perfected.”

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