Reading through the cosmetic magazines I am dismayed to find the promises being made to unsuspecting patients of the benefits of a ‘liquid facelift’. It is difficult to comment about this new fad without sounding like I am protecting my own territory, however, I also feel it is important for patients to understand exactly what they are getting themselves into and what are their alternatives.

At CAPS we inject three different types of anti-wrinkle products. All of these products are well researched and supported by their suppliers. Used in moderation they are very effective products to reduce wrinkles and enhance the contours of the face – they are however, not an alternative to surgical rejuvenation. If a patient’s issue is skin laxity then a facelift is the only real method to address this, seven syringes of anti-wrinkle injections are not the answer.

What concerns me the most is not just the amount of product being used but also the age of the patients this marketing is targeting. Young girls in their 20s may think they want this, but in my opinion they definitely do not need it. It worries me this industry is turning toward quick fixes for easy money, rather than responsible medical advice.

In the best case scenario, of, say, a flat facial skeleton, large amounts of fillers may produce an improvement which is expensive and temporary. The only real way to address this problem is skeletal augmentation by orthognatic surgery or cheek and chin implants. In other cases perfectly normal young women are being transformed into surreal and plastic looking beings.

The restoration to a younger appearance is about the repositioning of facial structures to combat the ravages of time. It shouldn’t be about the creation of a new race of humanoids, held up with threads and pumped up with filler, whose facial movement has no correlation with their expression.

Dr Alastair Taylor
MBBS | FRACS