An Overview of Face Lifts + Alternatives

With all the television and magazine coverage of celebrities getting work done, plastic surgery is more popular than ever. However, it’s hard to know the differences between procedures and how they are done. Even “face lift” is a blanket term that encompasses a range of different techniques designed to meet individual needs.

Whether you are considering having a procedure or simply curious about the process, this will provide an overview of the face lift and some of its variations. Since surgery carries risks, is very expensive, and may not produce natural-looking results, Dr. Perricone strongly recommends you try a nonsurgical method of correcting skin issues before committing to any procedures.

This article will discuss:

Surgical procedure

A basic outline of what the surgeon does during a face lift:

  1. An incision is made above the hair line that runs in front of and behind the ear. Another, smaller incision is made under the chin. The main incision is placed behind the hairline so that the incision line and any scarring that occurs will be hidden by the hair as much as possible. Surgeons often choose incision sites where there are natural folds in the skin so that the scar is less visible after the site heals.
  2. The skin is separated from the tissue that lies below it.
  3. Fat is removed, either by liposuction or trimming.
  4. Tissue and muscle are repositioned to improve facial contours with the goal of making the face appear younger. The surgeon folds a tissue called the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system) over itself, which is what makes the cheeks, jawline, and neck appear firmer and tighter.
  5. The skin is pulled upward.
  6. Excess skin is trimmed.
  7. The incision is closed with stitches, staples, or surgical glue.

Types of face lifts

There are several different techniques that a surgeon can employ when performing a face lift. The best option depends on the patient’s skin type, specific concern, and goals for the surgery. Here are a few of these techniques:

Standard face lift: The procedure outlined above was a standard lift.

Lower or mid face lift: A small incision is made above the ear behind the hairline and another one is made inside the mouth. The surgeon pulls the fat pads of the cheeks up above the cheekbones, which creates a tightening effect on sagging cheekbones. The surgeon uses an endoscope, a small camera inserted into the incision, to view the surgery.

Mini-lift, aka the “weekend” face lift: This procedure is less invasive because the incision is smaller; this reduces recovery time, which is why it’s nicknamed the “weekend” face lift. The procedure can be done on a Friday and the patient can return to work on Monday. However, the drawback is that the results are less drastic than a traditional face lift. This type of face lift is appropriate for someone who wants to reduce the appearance of jowls and tighten the skin on the neck.

Instead of a large incision like with the standard face lift, the surgeon makes an S-shaped cut around the sideburn area and the front of the ear, ending right in front of the hair line. Then the connective tissue beneath the skin is tightened, excess skin is cut off, and the wound is closed.

Thread facelift: This is even less invasive than the other procedures and is best for patients who only have minor sagging. The surgeon inserts thin threads into small incisions in the targeted area of the skin. The threads are pulled upward and can be adjusted according the the patient’s desires since he or she can be fully awake for the procedure. The skin stays in place when the surgeon knots the threads.

Eye and brow lifts: These target just those areas specifically. The eye lift removes fat around the eye to tighten the eyelids, while the brow lift raises eyebrows and reduces wrinkles on the forehead.

Dr. Perricone’s suggestion

Before taking on the risk and expense of surgery, consider trying a nonsurgical route like Dr. Perricone’s skin care line, made even less expensive with use of Perricone discount. Dr. Perricone is confident you can drastically improve the appearance and health of your skin without undergoing a costly and painful procedure. His research has shown that a targeted combination of his cosmeceuticals, along with lifestyle changes like eating more antioxidant-rich foods and always wearing sunscreen can produce significant improvements in:

  • Elasticity
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Skin firmness
  • Radiance

Through their effective ingredients, like DMAE, High Potency Amine Complex Face Lift and High Potency Eye Lift are designed to produce the kind of dramatic and lasting results that may be enough make you reconsider getting a face lift.

Dr. Perricone shares his views on plastic surgery in this video:

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24 Comments • Please comment below


  1. I use a product called nectifirm from

  2. I use nectifirme which requires a prescription. carries nectifirme in their offices.

  3. I’m not yet considering a face lift, but I will someday.

  4. [...] But surgery and peels are unnecessarily drastic measures to smooth out neck wrinkles, consider alternatives to face lifts. [...]

  5. I would love to try Dr. Perricone’s products. I am 48 and believe in good food and good health. I am totally anti botox and anything being injected into my body for cosmetic purposes. I live a healthy lifestyle with much exercise. Any product that will assist in my health and beauty quest I am interested in.

  6. I would love to be a tester, and try and find something to fill in my nose to mouth lines, is there any product to help with this issue apart from fillers, injections, botox, please help.. also a sagging jaw line is starting to show ( I am 58years old)


  7. Finding products that really work would be wonderful! I hope I get a chance to try this facial lift.

  8. It seems to me you can always tell when someone has had a face lift or other surgical procedure. Cosmoceuticals seem to have a more gradual effect without the side effects or risks associated with surgery. Perhaps I’m just tired of being inundated with information about Botox, Restylene and lifts/tucks. Am I the only one out there looking for a topical and healthful approach to aging gracefully?

  9. At almost 45 years old, I have tried Botox and liked the results but would prefer a more “natural”, non-invasive method. I’ve tried Dr. Perricone’s dietary changes and received more compliments on my skin when changing my diet than I ever did with Botox. I would love to try Dr. Perricone’s products to add to his dietary suggestions.

  10. I just finished reading “The Wrinkle Cure” This was very informative and encouraging for those of us that are starting to loss firmness in the jaw and neck area. I only wish I had been taught about the importance of diet for the cells of the body years ago. It makes so much sense! I have already started the diet from the book and look forward to trying the products!! Thanks for the opportunity to turn the clock back a little!

  11. I recently began using several Perricone products. I am very satisfied with the results I have obtained in this short period of time. Having used products from other lines over the past few years, I expected to have to wait months before I noticed a differance in my skin. Not only did I see quicker results, several friends did as well. You have my thanks and appreciation.

  12. i’m interested in Dr. Perricone’s products because i can neither afford a facelift, nor do i want any surgical procedure or Botox. i am anxious to try any of Dr. Perricone’s products to improve my skin tone, tighten pores, and reduce lines around my eyes. help me!!

  13. I think Dr. Perricone’s approach is the best,feed your face…. Beauty Food, and use vitamins and minerals topically as well. I was raised with the Maxim “You Are What You Eat”, and my Mother is Icelandic. Her food as a child growing up had a lot of things in Dr. Perricone ‘s Face Lift Diet , like Cod Liver Oil, Salmon , and Fish, Skyrr (A Kind of Yoghurt) Daily, In Her 80′s she is still beautiful. I would like to mention that I have heard that in the end Botox causes more sagging due to Muscles that have been paralysed atrophying.When I witness the Eagerness of some of my friends for Botox, I am trully frightened.i Think I will try eating like My Mother and using the best supplements and topicals, I think Dr. Perricone is brilliant.

  14. This product was recommended to me not only for firming but also for roseacea. Would love to try it since I do not want Botox and fillers – only glowing radiant skin!!

  15. Well just about to start the whole Perricone diet on September 1 – thought I should look into the other skin products – though I do not know if available in Australia. I want to try and look good without surgery – a fit 50 need skin to match! Hope this is the answer

  16. I have an aesthetician friend who has tried different firming treatments on my face without any great results. I would love to find a product that works, as I am only 45 and too young for surgical procedures, yet feel plagued with a lack of firmness. Help!

  17. I am at the age of considering Botox or some touch ups. It would be much easier with a product that does what it says it will do and not promise something it won’t. I would love to test this product and give feedback on my experience with it.

  18. Interesting article and definately not for me! I get asked all the time what I am using on my face. I am 45 so I believe that is a good sign that the Perricone products work for me!!

  19. Not into surgery. Products yes!

  20. Interesting–I have always wondered how a face lift is done. Sounds a lot easier just to try some anti-aging facial products like these.

  21. Mnay of my friends have done the botox injections and I would love to try something instaed of doing the surgery thing or injections.They have paid up to 500.00 per injection and to me that is too expensive

  22. I’d like to try these. I love the lifted look I get in my brows when using Botox (love the botox all around) but any product that I can use to replicate that look without the extremely hefty price of injectables is worth a shot!

  23. I wish I would have found out about this deal of the day webpage much sooner, so I could try more of the products.

  24. I love finding the best products and telling friends about them, so that they can try. I work in retail and I really care about my skin and the way my face looks and would love to try this product that I have heard so much good stuff about.