Facelift vs BOTOX®: Comparing Surgical and Nonsurgical Facial Rejuvenation

Facial rejuvenation refers to treatments and procedures intended to reduce signs of aging. This may involve tightening loose skin, smoothing out wrinkles, improving tone and texture, enhancing overall facial symmetry, and more. A vast number of cosmetic options are available for achieving a patient’s desired results, with advanced technologies continually being introduced. Despite the steady advances, however, a facelift is still considered one of the most effective ways to address age-altered facial contours. Injectable neuromodulators like BOTOX®, on the other hand, are options for relaxing fine lines and wrinkles. Whether a patient is seeking a nonsurgical temporary solution or longer-lasting traditional facelift surgery, San Francisco’s Dr. Stanley Jacobs explains that the right procedure for each person depends on his or her individual goals, age, and the types of imperfections to be addressed.

Both facelifts and BOTOX® can help to create an enviable “Instagram filter” look, but they serve different purposes. It is important to note that one is not a substitute for the other. Anyone unsure about which procedure would be most appropriate is advised to consult a qualified, board-certified cosmetic surgeon. In the meantime, here are some basics about the two popular options:


As a result of the aging process, gravity, sun damage, and other destructive external factors, it’s common later in life for skin and fat to “slip” from their elevated youthful positions. These tissues begin to migrate downward and settle in areas that create jowls, hollows, and other cosmetic problems. In addition to the shift, the skin loses fat, moisture, and elasticity.

Facelifts are a tried-and-tested favorite procedure for transforming the appearance of the face. The procedure lifts the skin on the cheeks, while at the same time reduces creases and restores a look of volume to the cheek areas.

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, which means patients can return home on the same day as their surgery. The procedure is often used to create a taut jawline by reducing the appearance of jowls. It may also include reduction of a double chin.

There are several different types of facelifts, such as the mini facelift, which is a less dramatic option that features less scarring and reduced recovery time. Contrary to critics of the surgery, facelifts don’t have to result in an “unnatural” or “done” look. The skill and knowledge of the plastic surgeon goes a long way toward determining how natural-looking the long-term results will appear. Dr. Jacobs emphasizes the importance of visualizing the face—and the results of the facelift—in three dimensions from the start.


As opposed to whole facelift or mini facelift surgery, which focus on contours on the lower two-thirds of the face, BOTOX® is applied to the forehead and around the eye areas. The injectable is derived from a neurotoxin known as botulinum toxin, which temporarily inhibits muscle movement in isolated areas when injected into the face. This is a less dramatic form of facial rejuvenation for anyone looking for more subtle results.

BOTOX® can smooth over the appearance of crow’s feet, elevens, and horizontal forehead wrinkles. It is designed to correct dynamic wrinkles (lines caused by repeated facial expressions when aging skin does not bounce back to its original position), but does not fix moderate to severe skin and muscle laxity. If sagging is of primary concern, a facelift may be the better choice.

Both options can be complemented by a chemical peel, which exfoliates the epidermis to address fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and other cosmetic problems common to the outermost layer of skin.

Triple board-certified Dr. Stanley Jacobs at The Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery performs facelift surgery on patients from the San Francisco Bay Area and all over the country. He also offers BOTOX® injections. To find out more about either option, call 415-433-0303 (San Francisco) or 707-473-0220 (Healdsburg), or request an appointment online.

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Categories: Beauty Lifestyle