Image by Youssef Labib from Pixabay 

When it comes to cosmetic procedures, like facelifts or lip fillers, the choices can sometimes feel overwhelming. We’re going to look at the two most common kinds of procedures: facelift surgery and dermal fillers.

We’ll break down the key differences between them, and help you work out which option is right for you. There are a lot of different factors that go into deciding to get a cosmetic procedure, and it’s important to make sure you are well-informed. 

What You Are Looking For

The most important distinction between the two procedures comes down to what you are looking for. If you want to smooth out some wrinkles around your eyes or mouth or restore volume in your cheeks, dermal fillers are a great option.

One perfect example of this is lip fillers. These can restore volume and fullness to your lips, providing a more youthful look. A large part of what we consider aging to look like is simply a loss of volume in the face, and this is what fillers address.

While cosmetic procedures are often associated with women, more men are considering dermal fillers

But if you are having issues with sagging skin or prominent jowls, dermal fillers will not help. In this case, a facelift surgery (technically called a rhytidectomy) can pull back this excess skin and result in a smoother, younger-looking face. 

How Invasive The Procedure Is

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay 

When it comes to these two procedures, facelift surgery is far more invasive than dermal fillers. As the name suggests, it’s a surgical procedure, done under anesthetic. It can only be done by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

In this surgery, the excess skin is removed, and the surgeon will ensure that there is minimal scarring. Because scaring is always a concern with any surgery, more research is constantly being done on minimally invasive facelift techniques

When it comes to dermal fillers, they are just an injection that does not require an anesthetic. While they can be done without pain relief, a topical numbing cream or lidocaine injection is common. 

Dermal fillers can be administered by a dermatologist or a certified nurse injector. This less invasive procedure is great if you are scared of surgery or trying out cosmetic procedures for the first time. 

Recovery Time

Because of how invasive a facelift surgery is, there is a much longer recovery time. Most people recover in 4 – 6 weeks, but the full effects may not be visible for a few months.

On the other hand, most dermal fillers do not have a substantial recovery time and show more immediate results. There are generally things that you should not do for 24 hours afterward, like be in the sun or drink alcohol. 

But you are still able to go about your day-to-day life after dermal fillers. In fact, you could even go get lip fillers during your lunch break if you wanted to. 

How Long They Last

Another major consideration is how long these procedures last. Dermal fillers are temporary, whereas a facelift is permanent. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

If you are new to cosmetic procedures and uncertain about making a long-term commitment, then dermal fillers are a great choice. They generally last 12 – 18 months, although some people still see effects after 2 years.

This means that if you get fillers and then decide you don’t like how they look, you can simply wait for your body to absorb the filler. 

On the other hand, if you want a more permanent change, then a facelift is probably the right choice for you. It is non-reversible and will last for around 10 years. 


While both procedures require some degree of maintenance, dermal fillers require very frequent maintenance. Most people go back to get more fillers every 6 – 9 months as the effects fade.

For facelifts, maintenance is more related to lifestyle changes. In order to keep your facelift looking good, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. 

You also need to maintain a healthy weight, as excessive weight gain or loss can harm the skin’s elasticity and leave your facelift looking less than ideal. 

While there is often some fear about the safety of these cosmetic procedures, modern technology means that they are very safe and successful. 


Facelift surgery is much more expensive than a round of dermal fillers. A facelift can cost between $6,500 – $20,000. This range is because of the variety of options, from mini facelifts to deep-plane facelifts.  

Fillers range from $450 – $2,000 depending on what you are doing. Because of how many options there are, prices can also vary quite widely. 

However, because of the maintenance required, dermal fillers can end up being more expensive in the long run. This means that although a facelift surgery is a more expensive upfront cost, it might end up being cheaper over time.