Looking for a tighter, firmer, younger-looking face but not keen to go under the knife? Our Collagen Stimulating Facelift utilises filler to give results similar to a facelift, minus the surgery! In this rejuvenating technique, semi-permanent liquid filler is injected all over the face, deep into the tissues, where it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, thereby building volume, sculpting, tightening and lifting. The added bonus? This product will also improve skin texture and elasticity – something a surgical facelift will not do.

These fillers are different to gel-based fillers in that they stimulate the body’s cells to make more collagen, rather than act as a gel implant that attracts water to create the volume.

What does the Collagen Stimulating Facelift involve?

The group of fillers used in the Collagen Stimulating Facelift are derived from fruit acid (the same material in dissolvable sutures). The filler comes in powder form and is reconstituted with water and lidocaine at least 48 hours prior to treatment to make sure the product is completely dissolved and allows for ease of injection. The added lidocaine significantly reduces the pain associated with the treatment, and topical anaesthetic cream is also applied prior to injection to ensure comfort.

This group of fillers builds the collagen slowly over a period of up to 6 months, and 3-4 treatments will be required every 4-6 weeks during this time. The results of the first treatment may be noticeable after the first month but patience is a virtue. It is a much slower build than with gel-based fillers (used in the Liquid Facelift); however, when the results kick in they can be quite amazing and long lasting!

Treatment areas for the Collagen Stimulating Facelift include:

  • Cheeks
  • Temples
  • Jawline
  • Chin
  • Buccal hollowing

Treatment areas that cannot be injected:

  • Lips
  • Lip lines
  • Tear troughs
  • Superficial lines and wrinkles

How many vials are required?

2 vials per treatment are required for the Collagen Stimulating Facelift. 1 vial would only be enough to address 1 or 2 areas of concern, depending on the individual anatomy. It is recommended to treat the whole face because, as the treatment kicks in, the skin in that area improves. If only certain areas are injected, the difference in skin quality may be more noticeable.

The general rule of thumb is, whatever decade the person is in, that is how many vials will be required. So, for someone in their 50s 5 vials in total may be required over a period of 3-4 months. For a younger patient, only 2 vials may be required – it just depends on how much volume loss there is and what areas require building up. If a patient with no cheekbones wants the razor-sharp supermodel cheekbone, then more vials will obviously be required.

Benefits of this treatment over gel-based fillers

  • Lasts longer. Up to 3 years
  • May have a more natural look; does not give a puffy look that some other gel fillers can give
  • Can tighten the tissue
  • More suitable for patients with a high metabolism that churn through other fillers more quickly
  • Builds over a period of 6 months which may be better for clients who are not wanting anyone to know they have had treatment
  • May be more suitable for older patients that require more tightening and lifting
  • Will improve the skin texture and elasticity

Downside to treatment

  • Not suitable for clients wanting a more instant result
  • Requires 3-4 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart
  • Not suitable for clients with auto-immune disease
  • Needs to be injected correctly or nodules can develop
  • Cannot be injected into lips, tear troughs and must be used with caution around the mouth area
  • Cannot be dissolved if the patient does not like it or any complication arises

What are the side effects or risks?

The immediate side effects of the treatment include redness, swelling and potential bruising. These are temporary and will resolve within 72 hours. Bruising may take up to 1 week or more to resolve, depending on the patient’s clotting profile and genetics.

When injected correctly into the right tissue plane, these treatments are very safe. Many years ago, there was a high risk of nodules; however, due to changes in how we reconstitute the product (it’s now mixed with more fluid and less concentrated), this risk is almost negligible. It is, however, important to go to an experienced injector as these fillers are not able to be dissolved.

Risks are nodules, infection, delayed skin reactions, granuloma, scarring, necrosis and – in extremely rare cases – blindness. The treatment is contra-indicated in patients with auto-immune disease because of the increased risk of delayed onset reactions and granulomas. In these patients, the immune system may see the filler as a foreign body and cause an acute inflammatory response. The same risks can be experienced with other gel-based fillers. However, as these liquid fillers cannot be dissolved, the overall risk is probably slightly higher than with the gel-based fillers.

What is the cost?

The cost of the Collagen Stimulating Facelift at Privée Clinic is $880 per vial, or $1,500 for 2 vials. Overall the treatment is a long-term solution to improve the skin quality, tightness and volume. Because the whole face is addressed and the fillers used are long-lasting, this treatment is quite cost effective. If you were to inject all these areas with other gel-based fillers the cost would be significantly more, and the results would not last as long.