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Non-surgical Facelifts

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A non-surgical facelift may also be referred to as a non-invasive facelift.  It’s a cosmetic procedure carried out on the face to create a smoother tighter appearance.

Often this is achieved by injections or treatments which do not require hospitalisation or large incisions. Recovery time for these procedures is significantly less than those more invasive.

Non-invasive facelifts include treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, and various skin rejuvenation procedures. These procedures are often temporary, perhaps lasting 6-12 months and in some cases, such as dermal fillers, can be reversed.

Many people opt for these treatments as they often involve fewer complications and scarring, in addition to benefitting from reduced recovery times and costs.

What are the most common types of non-surgical facelifts?

It is reported that there is a huge growth in people undergoing non-invasive facelifts, compared to those which are more invasive.  Below are some of the most common types of each and what they are:-

Botulin injection – Cosmetically it is used to remove wrinkles by temporarily paralysing the facial muscles.

Dermal fillers – Small injections of a gel, usually made up of hyaluronic acid.  They are injected into areas to fill in wrinkles and create the appearance of smoother skin. Dermal fillers can be used in many areas of the body that fill in wrinkles and add volume to soft tissue. You can have dermal fillers in different parts of your face: around the eye, cheeks, mouth and jawline, as well as lip fillers administered directly into the lip tissue.

Microneedling / DermaRoller – Microneedling is often carried out with a DermalRoller.  With regards to being used in a non-invasive facelift, it is often used to reduce the appearance of scars and encourage collagen production.  This process is so-called because it’s the procedure of inserting very fine needles into the skin.  These needles only insert into the surface layer of the skin.

Skin peels – There are many types of skin peels/chemical peels offered by clinics that promise rejuvenation of the facial skin. Most often they are achieved by stripping away the top layer of the skin to encourage regrow of new skin cells.

HydraFacial – This is a procedure lasting around 30 minutes.  It is carried out in several steps.  Firstly by exfoliating the skin and removing dead skin cells, following this the skin in hydrated, finally LED light is used to reduce redness.

Thread lifts – This is a procedure in which temporary sutures are used to pull/lift the skin into the desired position creating the desired look.  Rather than removing unwanted or sagging skin, the skin is pulled and/or lifted to create the desired appearance, without the need to go under the scalpel.

IPL/Photorejuvenation – Intense Pulse Light Therapy (IPL) has some similarity to laser treatments in that they both use light and heat to achieve the desired results.  The light is delivered with a high powered, computer-controlled, flashgun which delivers pulses of light which specifically target the skin cells.

Mesotherapy – This procedure uses vitamins, enzymes or plant extracts.  These are injected into the skin to rejuvenate and tighten the skin.

Microdermabrasion – This procedure uses a fine spray of sodium bicarbonate or aluminium oxide to exfoliate the skin.  It’s used alongside a vacuum to remove the particles and exfoliated skin cells.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP therapy) – this procedure involves blood being taken from the patient and being placed into a centrifuge or any device which spins at high speed. This separates the platelets from other blood components. The concentrated platelets are then injected back into the patients in the desired area.  It is reported that this rejuvenates the skin.

Teeth whitening – Not strictly considered a cosmetic procedure and should be carried out by a registered Dental Practitioner. There are various ways to achieve whiter teeth, and these procedures often involve the use of bleaching agents which can cause harm or injury if not used correctly. There is a rise in unregistered persons carrying out these procedures which is not only dangerous but unlawful.

What injuries can result from a non-surgical facelift?

There is a wide range of injuries and adverse reactions that may result from non-surgical facelifts. Each of the procedures mentioned above come with their own risks and side effects.  Some of the most common injuries associated with the non-surgical facelifts range from allergic reactions, paralysis, extensive bruising and/or swelling, loss or reduced sight as well as psychological impacts.

Some of the procedures, specifically those which involve exfoliating the skin, can cause pigmentation of the skin.  Some of the procedures are not suitable for darker skin tones for this very reason.  Often these procedures are carried out by a registered Doctor or nurse, however, as there is little regulation in this area and those carrying out these procedures can have limited or no medical or specialist training.

Those associated with more invasive procedures can be life-threatening. It may be the surgery has been carried out incorrectly and negligently or the product used in good faith is found to be dangerous.  Often these findings can come too late for many who have already undergone the procedure.

It is important to know who is going to be carrying out the procedure, what training they have undertaken and whether they are insured to carry out the procedure.

Who does it affect?

The adverse effects of non-invasive facelifts can affect anyone. When undergoing these procedures, the practitioner should always explain the risks involved and ensure full informed consent is obtained from you before any procedure is undertaken.

This may be that the outcome may be not as expected or information about risks associated with the product or procedure.  In more invasive procedures this information should be obtained through consultation and, should, be explained in depth before any further steps are taken.

Those who are found to be more at risk than others should have this explained fully to them and in some cases, the practitioner may refuse to carry out the procedure if the risk is considered dangerous.

The practitioner should always explain fully and administer the product with care and skill.


There is little in the way of reliable statistics that can show the number of people undertaking non-invasive facelifts.  It is possible this is because the industry is unregulated.  Many of the procedures listed above are not regulated and can be carried out by anyone, regardless of training.  Whilst there is a cry for tighter regulation.  Until such time many procedures go unchecked and unlicensed.

What is a non-surgical facelift used for?

Each of the individual procedures mentioned above have their own benefits and uses.  However, generally they are used for the following:

  • Remove fine lines and wrinkles
  • Treat sunspots
  • Reduce scarring
  • Tighten skin
  • Remove dead skin cells
  • Encourage collagen and new skin production
  • Heal issue (PRP therapy)

Who should carry out non-surgical facelifts?

Many of the procedures mentioned above are unregulated.  That is to say that anyone can self-proclaim themselves as able to carry out the procedures without any checks of training being carried out.

However, Botox does require a practitioner licensed to prescribe Botox to prescribe this to you.  This should be a doctor, nurse, dentist or prescribing pharmacist.  A face to face consultation should take place with the prescriber of the Botox and this should be administered by a medical practitioner.

If someone does not have the correct training it can lead to muscle dropping, frozen expressions and asymmetrical results.

Are there any side effects?

There are some side effects to the above mentioned procures:

  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Double vision
  • Tiredness
  • Pain, bruising and redness of the injected site
  • Numbness
  • Nausea
  • Paralysis of the local area
  • Neck weakness
  • Upper lid or brow drooping
  • Neck weakness
  • Brachial plexopathy
  • Gallbladder dysfunction
  • Bleeding
  • Double vision
  • Rashes
  • Swelling

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

What are the symptoms?

As listed above there are a variety of symptoms that can manifest from undergoing a non-surgical facelift.  If these symptoms persist it is advised that they are reported to the practitioner who carried out the procedure and your GP.

What treatments can be offered for side-effects?

There are treatments available to some of the side effects associated with the procedures.  Such as anti-inflammatories.  However, some procedures, such as Botox, patients may have to wait until its effects wear off.  For those long-lasting injuries, it may be that surgical cosmetic procedure may be required to correct any negligence.

What is the long term complications prognosis?

Often, the side-effects of botulinum toxin procedures are temporary. However, even the temporary side-effects explained by practitioners can last 6-12 months following the procedure, and in some cases can be permanent. Other procedures may result in scarring or long-lasting swelling.

It is reported that cases of repeated Botox injections over a 12 year period have found the following complications:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Neck weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • General or marked weakness
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Hoarseness
  • Edema
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Heart palpitations

More research is needed to understand the potential long-term effects.

How do I make a claim?

If you have experienced any of the symptoms, we have listed you should first seek medical advice.  If you wish to pursue a claim, we will require details, where possible, of the practitioner or company who carried out the procedure, details of the dates this was undertaken and details of what symptoms you are experiencing.

We would also advise that you report the side effects to the practitioner or company who carried out the procedure. We can then assess the prospects of your claim and look to obtain compensation for the injury.

How long will my case take to run?

Given the complexities involved in pursuing Cosmetic claims, they can often take 18-24 months to conclude and longer if Court proceedings have to be issued. Our investigations start by obtaining all relevant records and protocols before approaching independent medical experts for their opinion. We will provide you with regular update on the progress of your case to ensure that you are kept up to speed.

How much is my claim worth?

It is often difficult to value cosmetic claims at their outset given the complexities involved however we will pursue two forms of compensation for you:

  • General damages – An award of money for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of your injuries.
  • Special damages – An award of money for all of your out of pocket expenses such as travel, medication costs, loss of earnings, treatment costs both past and future.   This list is not exhaustive and is very case-specific.

Why use Oakwood Solicitors to make your Cosmetic case?

We have a dedicated team of solicitors and paralegals who have many years’ experience between them in running cases of this nature. They are highly trained to deal with all aspects of cosmetic negligence.

We want to ensure at Oakwood Solicitors that clients are not overwhelmed by legal jargon, medical terms that they don’t understand and to allow the claims procedure to be as transparent as possible.

How is my case funded?

The majority of Cosmetic cases are funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement, more commonly known as a “no win no fee” agreement. This means that there will be nothing to pay upfront and nothing to pay if the claim has been lost. If you are successful in your claim a deduction of 25% of damages will be taken to cover the success fee and the shortfall in legal fees.

It may also be the case that an After The Event (ATE) insurance policy will be obtained to cover the costs of expensive medical reports and investigations. If an ATE insurance policy has to be obtained the cost of the same will be discussed with you at the appropriate point. The cost of the ATE insurance policy is again taken from your damages and only payable if you are successful with your claim.

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