Serum vs. Facelift: Which is more effective?

Serum vs. Facelift: Which is more effective?
If reducing the signs of aging is a priority, tightening serums and facial exercises could be enticing, low-cost options.

If reducing the signs of aging is a priority, tightening serums and facial exercises could be enticing, low-cost options. However, don't expect these alternative methods to produce the same benefits as a surgical procedure. Here's important information to keep in mind when contemplating the best way to eliminate wrinkles and reveal smoother, younger-looking skin.

Temporary improvements
Many products on the market can successfully tighten skin and make the face appear brighter and younger. They usually contain ingredients like caffeine, glycolic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts, according to a recent article in Forbes. These substances work by removing dead skin cells, revealing brighter skin, hydrating the epidermis to make it feel healthier and tightening it to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. While effective in accomplishing these objectives, the results are fleeting. Additionally, the ingredients could cause irritation or other adverse reactions that could cause more harm than good to a person's sensitive skin.

In addition to lotions and serums, facial exercises were once considered another way to tighten skin and reduce the appearance of aging. The practice involves flexing and relaxing certain muscles in the face to produce a firmer, tighter feel. However, according to a study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the effectiveness of these exercises could not be determined. While patients reported positive results, the research didn't include a control group, which made it difficult to compare conclusions. Additionally, repeated facial expressions, whether for exercise or not, is a major contributor of wrinkles, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Face the facts
Despite their effectiveness, no product or exercise can give the same lasting effect of a facelift. The procedure produces results that can't be duplicated with serums and lotions, and also provides the longest-lasting effects. Unlike a topical treatment, the results of this surgery can't be washed or rubbed off. ASAPS noted that, depending on the facelift technique, results can last as long as 10 years. Genes, skin quality and maintenance routines impact its longevity.

Last year alone, an estimated 130,000 facelifts were performed on men and women. While there are always risks associated with any type of surgery, ASAPS explained that severe complications from this type of procedure are uncommon, and that it continues to remain the optimal facial rejuvenation method. 

When seeking surgery to reduce the signs of facial aging, seek out an assessment with a board-certified plastic surgeon. He or she will be able to best determine a technique that will produce ideal results with regard to each patient's health and medical history.