Facelift Vs Dermal Fillers: What’s The Difference?

It gets to a point where anti-aging creams and serums are no longer enough to stop the physical signs of aging. Fine lines turn into deeper wrinkles and the skin begins to sag especially around the eyes, jaws and neck.

You have to consider more advanced anti-aging techniques. There are two popular ones that can make a huge difference literally overnight: facelifts and dermal fillers.

They are quite different in how they are done and their results. A facelift is a mini-surgery while dermal fillers involve injecting a synthetic or natural material under the skin.

The best one for you will depend on a number of factors including your health, your age, the results you want to achieve and your budget.

Let’s look at each type of cosmetic procedure.

1. Facelift

A facelift is a surgical procedure that involves tightening the skin and sometimes also the tissue underneath to reduce wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging.

This is a cosmetic surgery that should be carried out by an experienced and qualified surgeon.

There are different kinds of facelifts; some are performed using a general anaesthetic while others only need a local one.

The most common kind involves lifting the upper part of the face. The surgeon will make incisions at the temple above the hairline and extend them down to your ears. They will then tighten the skin and sometimes the tissue underneath as well to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and droopy skin. Any surplus skin is removed.

You can also have a jawline lift where the surgeon makes incisions under the skin. If you are getting a neck lift, the surgeon will make an incision under your chin.

You are going to have an extensive consultation with the doctor beforehand. Based on your health, age and the results you want they will decide the most effective and safest form of facelift.


A facelift is expensive. It ranges between a few thousand pounds for a mini-lift on one part of the face to £10,000 or more for a full face and neck lift. You can try some of the popular face lift machines for home use if your budget is tight.


  • Drastic change of appearance – ideal for older persons with deep wrinkles and sagging.
  • Results can last up to 10 years or more.
  • Generally safe as long as it’s done by a qualified professional in a clinic.

Risks and Side Effects

A facelift is much riskier than a dermal filler. That’s why the doctor has to do a deep consultation beforehand to learn about your medical history and current health. Some possible complications include bleeding, infection, tissue death, scarring and nerve damage.

But these are rare.

However, there are some side effects you can expect no matter who does the procedure. There will be some bruising because of the incisions. You may also swell a bit and feel some pain.

Recovery takes 2-4 weeks and follow-up care is required.

2. Dermal Filler

A dermal filler or injectable is a material injected under the skin to smooth out wrinkles and creases. A dermal filter is best for younger (ideally under 50) persons with mild to moderate wrinkles and drooping.

There are several types of dermal fillers. The most popular are natural ones consisting of pig or cow collagen. But this last only a few months so you need repeated treatments. But they have a smaller risk of causing an allergic reaction.

Longer lasting dermal fillers are made from non-absorbable synthetic material. They can last from 5-10 years.

As with a facelift you’ll need an extensive consultation with your doctor to understand your needs, examine your health and recommend the best and safest type of injectable.


A dermal filler is cheaper than a facelift. Costs range between £150-£300 per session. Again, a cheaper version of dermal fillers are various derma rollers for face used together with a serum.


  • Not as invasive as a facelift. That means fewer side effects and no recovery period needed.
  • Instant results.
  • Generally safe as long as it’s done by a qualified and experienced medical professional.
  • Cheaper than a facelift.

Risks and Side Effects

Some of the risks associated with dermal fillers include infection, migration of filler material, lumps on the skin and blocking of a blood vessel which can lead to death.

But these are very rare. What you are most likely to experience is mild swelling and bruising that lasts around 24 hours.

When to get a Facelift:

If you are older, meaning you have deeper wrinkles and more noticeable drooping, a facelift is best. It is also the best option if you want drastic and long-lasting results.

When to get a Dermal Filler:

If you just need to smooth out smaller wrinkles and drooping a dermal filler is ideal. It’s also great for filling out your lips and cheeks.

Note however that you may eventually have to get a facelift as you get older.

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