Facelift without surgery: 7 methods recommended by Dr. Anthony Youn

Medical interventions that delay a facelift do exist. The most famous holistic beauty doc in the USA, Dr. Anthony Youn, presented them.
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In modern beauty medicine, some methods have proven themselves in recent years that can postpone a surgical facelift or replace it with regular use and skincare. The so-called "minimally invasive treatments" are the ones that stimulate the skin to renew itself from the inside. Almost all treatments rely on "mini-injuries" to the skin or underlying tissue to stimulate firming and renewal. 

Dr. Anthony Youn has established himself in the U.S. as a holistic cosmetic surgeon who sometimes comments on beauty myths on his TikTok channel (4.5 million followers) and even maintains a "blacklist" of treatments and surgical techniques on his website. For him, the long-term successes of his patients are important. 

1. Retinol Moisturizer

Dr. Youn recommends a retinol moisturizer as effective anti-aging skincare. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative. This should be used already in the early 30s or at the latest when one notices that the skin is losing tone. Even if redness appears at the beginning, one should continue to use it until the skin gets used to it, according to the doctor's advice. By the way, retinol is used at night. During the day, use sunscreen with a high SPF, as retinol makes the skin more sensitive to light.

In recent years, another alternative has become established: Bakuchiol. Although there is no structural similarity to retinol, bakuchiol, which is derived from the plant Psoralea corylifolia, is hailed as the "next retinol." Especially for sensitive skin that cannot tolerate retinol, serums with bakuchiol are offered. 

2. Radiofrequenz

From Refirm to Pelleve, there are different devices that produce one and the same result: They heat deeper layers of the skin, stimulating collagen formation - so-called neocollagenesis. This naturally revitalizes the skin and "pumps" it up from the inside. Radiofrequency is for "people who are in their 30s and 40s" and are looking for mild firming, says Dr. Youn

3. Fractional Laser

Fractual laser (Fraxel laser) targets the deeper layer of skin. "It's a little more aggressive than radiofrequency therapy, but it's more firming," Dr. Youn said. Unlike in the past, where layers of skin are removed, today's treatments use so-called "fractional" lasers (e.g., Dual Fraxel Laser), which virtually eliminate downtime. Since the skin is particularly sensitive to light after the treatment, it should be performed in the cooler season. 

By the way, CO2 Fraxel laser treatments are often offered as well. What is the difference between CO2 Fraxel lasers and Dual Fraxel lasers? Dr. Stephan Günther, a cosmetic surgeon in Düsseldorf, explains: "The CO2 Fraxel laser can treat deeper skin damage. However, you also have a longer downtime for this, as the skin weeps and can bleed. Furthermore, short anesthesia is necessary. 

4. Chin lift with Botox (platysma strands on the neck).

With age, sagging cheeks (called "jawls" in English) make the chin line more diffuse. However, it is possible to preserve them with Botox. Especially if you start early. The platysma strands on the neck become more prominent with age. If you start treatment with the muscle relaxant at the age of 30, you can keep the "turkey neck" off your neck, so to speak, until old age.

5. Radiofrequenz mit Microneedling 

Loss of volume of the skin makes the pores visually larger. In the so-called Porexie therapy, it is possible to combine radiofrequency therapy with micro needling and tighten the skin at the same time. Fractora and Vivace are two brands that work in this area, for example.

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6. Ultherapy

Ultherapy works with ultrasound to re-stimulate collagen production (via fibroblast stimulation) deep within the skin. Ultherapy is also currently known as the most effective non-invasive method that can provide face, neck, and décolleté lifting. What's more, it can also be used preventively, before visible skin aging occurs. Depending on how damaged the skin already is, at least one treatment per year is recommended.

Dr. Youn notes, however: It doesn't work for everyone and anyone. And the effect also takes three to six months to appear, although many patients notice a "plumping up" of the skin after just one treatment. Especially if they still have a good collagen cushion. Different areas can be treated. From the eye area to sagging cheeks, everything is possible. 

Because it can be painful for some people, it is also done under sedation in some cases, Dr. Youn notes. Your own physician can best advise on this. 

7. FaceTite

FaceTite is considered surgery with small incisions through which radiofrequency is introduced directly into the tissue (i.e. subcutaneously). However, it is much less invasive than the usual facelift and is considered a minimally invasive treatment. Downtime is also much less - unlike a facelift - and is reported to be 3 to 5 days on average. Patients in their late 30s to early 50s are best suited for this method. Results develop more slowly for this and take 9 months to fully develop.

A facelift, by the way, may be the only remaining option when "there is so much skin and sagging tissue that other treatment cannot reverse or improve it." 

Dr. Youn, by the way, is not a fan of PDO lifting, also called thread lifting, because it only works for a short time (about a year), must be repeated afterward, and does not build up the skin from within. 

7 methods for a facelift without surgery



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