The Rise Of The NSF (Non-Surgical Facelift)

By Charlie Colville

1 year ago

Are non-invasive procedures the way forward?

The NSF, or non-surgical facelift, is becoming one of the biggest buzzwords in the cosmetic landscape. With more of us opting out of invasive surgical procedures, we sat down with some professionals in the industry to find out just what the hype is about.

The Rise Of The NSF (Non-Surgical Facelift)

What Is A Non-Surgical Facelift?

A non-surgical facelift is a combination of minimally invasive procedures such as dermal fillers, Botox injections and energy-based treatments to help rejuvenate the skin around the face and neck. Unlike surgical facelifts that require ‘going under the knife’, an NSF is not a procedure that requires overnight hospitalisation, making large incisions or using general anaesthesia, but instead aims to get patients in and out with their desired results quickly and with little disruption to their daily life.

The NSF has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world over the last decade, says Dr. Omar Tillo, Plastic Surgeon and Senior Medical Director at CREO. ‘There has been a great surge in demand for minimally invasive procedures, alongside surgical treatments – especially after Covid. Since 2010, the cosmetic surgery industry has grown from £2.3bn to £3.6bn, of which non-surgical treatments make up nine out of 10 procedures – illustrating just how popular non-surgical options are becoming. A key example is Morpheus8, a transformative treatment that works by combining micro-needling and radio-frequency thermal technology.’

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Non-Surgical vs Surgical Facelifts

The biggest appeal with a non-surgical facelift is the recovery time and cost. ‘There has been a sharp rise in demand for non-surgical, energy-based treatments like EndoLift, Sofwave and Morpheus8,’ says Dr. Dev Patel, Aesthetic Doctor and founder of Cellderma. ‘Advances in technology have allowed us to deliver phenomenal results in skin rejuvenation and even improvements at a deeper level, in a safer way and often with negligible downtime.’

While an NSF won’t give you the same dramatic results as a surgical facelift, it does indeed work. The procedure is designed to help reduce the signs of aging by lifting the face and reducing facial lines, dark circles, hollow cheeks and the appearance of jowls. ‘Non-surgical procedures are quick and simple to perform, they can minimise the signs of ageing in many ways – including skin resurfacing, smoothing wrinkles and fine lines, and augmenting facial features,’ says Dr. Tillo.

But if we want more noticeable results, why not opt for a surgical procedure? As Dr. Patel explains, ‘Some patients will benefit from cosmetic surgery either due to their expectations or because of the clinical presentation. Surgery does not, however, improve the health and quality of the remaining skin and underlying tissues of your face and neck.’ While offering permanent results, a surgical facelift is an invasive procedure that can have some pretty nasty side effects if they go wrong too, such as facial paralysis and infection. It also takes around six months for your face to heal, meaning you won’t be able show off your new face for quite a while.

In comparison, an NSF has a recovery time of just a few days and has much fewer risks attached to it (just make sure you have reliable doctor performing your procedures). The only downside is that results only last from anywhere between six months and two years, so you’ll need regular top-ups if you want to keep the look.


Keen to try an NSF? Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best places in London for Botox treatments, as well as the best aesthetic doctors you can visit and surgical alternatives you can try now.

Featured image: Joeyy Lee, Unsplash