Your Non-Surgical Guide to Facial Aging

Our skin starts showing its age as sun damage accumulates and collagen and elastin slows down. At the same time, we’re bombarded with messages that promise miraculous results when it comes to facial aging. It’s also confusing trying to decide what works and what doesn’t with so many products and procedures available.

We interviewed some of the top dermatologists, plastic surgeons and cosmetic specialists from across the US to discover which non-surgical procedures they recommend for your top facial aging concerns. And to help figure out what might be best for you, we’ve included treatment costs and the downtime involved for recovery. Cost and downtime are two essential factors for most people. We all want to look our best, but it needs to be balanced with our bank accounts and time off. These days, it seems we want it all no downtime, and real results.

Sorting Through the Hype and Marketing

As acceptance of cosmetic procedures increases, so has the demand for non-surgical options. The demand has led to a spike in new devices that can treat various aging issues without surgery. And with the increase in technology, there is more marketing of devices and procedures than ever before. We see ads on social media, TV commercials, magazines, and direct mail pieces, advertising everything from fat loss to skin tightening, skin lifting, and wrinkle removers. The use of Photoshop is also prevalent and adds to the hype and expectations for those looking into treatments.

The Right Tools for the Job

We all age differently and at our own pace and so it’s important to work with a board-certified physician who can help guide you. We talked to Lacy, a local television anchor in the Midwest who sees a dermatologist several times a year. She says her dermatologist has “all the latest tools.” She says she trusts her doctor will have the right device for her specific aging concerns.


Lacy adds, “My dermatologist uses several different treatments to keep me younger-looking, or at least, not aging too quickly! I’ve done fillers and Botox for wrinkles and volume loss, and I’ve used focused ultrasound to help with my wrinkles and jowls.”

But what really works, and how do you keep up with the technology and know which brand or treatment to choose? It can be challenging to make the right choice, and that’s why we enlisted some of the top board-certified physicians in the industry to help us sort through the confusion.

The top 5 facial aging concerns and the best treatment options:

1. Forehead Lines and Crow’s Feet

These are the horizontal lines we see etched on our foreheads and the “11’s” between our eyebrows. After a certain age, you will also develop what’s called “crow’s feet”, the crinkling lines at the outer corners of your eyes. 

Procedure- Neuromodulators such as (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau).

Downtime- No downtime, unless bruising occurs. It takes between 5-10 days to see the full results.

Cost- Anywhere from $12 – $15 per unit, or $300 – $700 depending on the region.

2. Droopy Brows

When the muscles and soft tissue in our foreheads begin to droop, it causes our brows to drop or lower. A droopy brow can cause us to look tired or angry.

Procedure- Neuromodulators and the latest, multiple beam ultrasound energy such as Sofwave™. Sofwave™ is the latest technology to revitalize your skin by stimulating collagen and addressing fine lines and wrinkles.

Downtime- None.

Cost- Neuromodulators (see above pricing). Sofwave™ will run about $1,000 – $1,500 for one treatment.

3. Slack Jawline

A slack jawline is an extra skin and tissue that begins to sag around the jawline and chin. It’s often called jowls, turkey neck, or a double chin.

Procedure- Sofwave™ uses high-intensity, multiple be ultrasound energy. Profound RF and THERMItight both use radio-frequency energy.

THERMItight and Profound are more invasive and require about one week for recovery.

Cost- Somewhere in the range of $2000 – $3000.

4. Droopy Eyelids / Hollow Under Eyes

The skin and tissue above your eyelids are thin and begin to weaken and sag as we age. In addition, you may have a “hollowed” look under your eyes and dark circles as your skin loses volume and elasticity.

Procedure- Radiofrequency (RF) skin tightening, such as Thermage for droopy eyelids. Dermal filler for volume loss in the undereye area.

Some popular dermal fillers include:

  • Juvaderm
  • Restylane
  • Radiesse
  • Sculptra


Downtime- No downtime for RF skin tightening, but treatments can be painful. The downtime for filler under the eyes is up to two weeks if you bruise.

Cost- $1,200 RF skin tightening (Thermage). $500 – $600 per syringe for filler under eyes.

5. Deep Lines Around the Mouth 

Sometimes referred to as “Smoker’s Lines”, these are the vertical lines that form around your lips as you age. They are notoriously hard to conceal but removing them can make you look a decade younger!

Procedure- The top two choices are laser resurfacing and dermal fillers.

Downtime- Fillers have minimal downtime unless bruising is present. Laser resurfacing has a downtime of 7 – 10 days.

Cost- $450 – $750 per syringe for filler, depending on which type of filler is used.


  • Gilly Munavalli, MD, MHS, FACMS Medical Director/Founder Charlotte, NC
  • Michael H. Gold, MD Medical Director - Gold Skin Care Center Nashville, TN
  • Jacob D. Steiger, MD Steiger Facial Plastic Surgery Boca Raton, FL
  • Mary Beth Mudd, MD The New You Center Columbus, OH

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