Brow Lift or BOTOX? Understanding Your Options for Rejuvenating the Upper Face

smiling brunette with rejuvenated eyebrows after botox

No matter how much joie de vivre you possess, a furrowed brow and drooping eyelids can make you appear tired, unhappy, angry, or simply give you a worn-out look. Since the eyelids and brow are closely related, both areas are often simultaneously affected as skin laxity sets in and tissues in the upper face begin to droop downward.

Fortunately, both surgical and non-surgical techniques can be used to help turn back the clock, restoring a more open, youthful, rested look! Today, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about brow and eyelid rejuvenation.

Can I lift my brow without surgery?

While you can’t substantially lift your brow or eyebrows without brow lift surgery, there are several non-surgical options for reducing forehead wrinkles: fillers and BOTOX® are especially useful. Keep in mind that, while they are effective, they require repeat visits to maintain results and can’t offer the substantial lifting and reshaping that is possible with a surgical brow lift.

Can dermal fillers improve brow and eyelid wrinkles?

Fillers like Juvéderm® and Restylane® can help correct fine lines and wrinkles in the eye and brow area, giving the face a younger, rejuvenated look. Dermal fillers are an excellent way to smooth crow’s feet, fill in sunken areas around the eyes, and help reduce visible sagging by plumping surrounding areas. Dermal fillers can also be used to help treat the horizontal wrinkles that form across the forehead and between the eyebrows (often called the “11’s”). Note that while fillers are an excellent way to fill certain static wrinkles (those that are visible while your face is at rest), it is a good idea to also treat dynamic wrinkles (which appear when you make facial expressions) with BOTOX® or Dysport® injections.

Can lasers or peels help lift brows and eyelids?

Laser skin resurfacing and chemical peel procedures are not designed for substantially lifting tissues, but they are an excellent option for treating surface wrinkles, reducing age spots, and stimulating collagen production. A correctly chosen and administered treatment will activate your skin’s healing processes and provide a smoother, more even appearance in the treated areas. For these reasons, a chemical peel or laser treatment is often combined with the lifting power of a surgical procedure like a brow lift or eyelid lift to provide more complete and natural-looking results.

Can Botox lift brows and eyes?

Yes, while injectable neurotoxins such as BOTOX® and Dysport® are best known for relaxing muscles, they can also help give a subtly lifted look to the brow and eyes. This is possible using injections to relax specific brow muscles that can make the brows appear heavy and pulled down; reducing the action of these muscles will support untreated muscles that pull the arch of the eyebrow up, giving a lifted look. However, these neurotoxins only offer a temporary fix—effects usually wear off after about 4 months—and patients who have notable brow or eyelid sagging are likely to need surgical excision of skin to achieve satisfactory results.

Will a non-surgical treatment save me money?

In the short term, non-surgical treatments are less expensive and offer more immediate results, however, it is important to think about the cost of temporary treatments versus more permanent surgical solutions across multiple years. Brow or eyelid lift surgery can seem expensive, but non-surgical procedures for the upper face are also costly—and because the benefits of all non-surgical procedures wear off and have to be repeated, they may not offer as much value over time as a proven surgical procedure(s).

Brow and eyelid rejuvenation with surgical options offers more complete results

While all of the non-surgical treatments mentioned above have notable benefits, surgical brow and eye procedures provide more transformative results.

What can a surgical eyelid lift provide versus injections?

A surgical eyelid lift can provide fairly complete reshaping of the upper and lower eyelids, or both. With upper eyelid surgery, your plastic surgeon can remove skin that is sagging over the upper/outer eyes, or even correct hooded eyelids in younger patients. An eyelid lift can also treat bags under the eyes by removing fat and excess skin from the area. Excess skin, muscle, and fat are removed, and very fine sutures are placed in the natural folds of your eyelid. While surgery may sound like a dramatic solution, most patients are pleased to discover the procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and recovery only requires a few days of true downtime.

What can a surgical brow lift provide versus injections?

Unlike non-surgical options which subtly manipulate existing tissues, a surgical brow lift procedure will actually remove excess skin. The procedure also repositions the underlying brow muscles and tissues, restoring a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance. All of this is accomplished via an incision hidden in the hairline so patients needn’t be overly worried about scars. One significant benefit, especially compared to the injectable procedures mentioned here, is how long brow lift improvements last—when performed by an experienced, board certified cosmetic surgeon, patients have a fairly easy recovery and enjoy their results for up to a decade. Comparatively, Botox results typically last for 3 to 6 months at most and dermal fillers like Juvederm®, Voluma®, and Radiesse® last from 6 months to up to a year or two.

Looking for a plastic surgeon in Asheville?

Donald Conway, MD, has both the artistic talent and medical experience needed to provide natural-looking results, whether you are seeking quick injectable treatments or a long-lasting surgical solution. Before becoming a board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Conway was a medical illustrator—a profession that requires a thorough understanding of anatomy and a practiced eye. The combination of this innate aesthetic sensibility and decades of plastic surgery experience make Dr. Conway uniquely qualified to provide attractive results.

If you would like to learn more about any of the above procedures, we’re happy to set up a virtual or in-person consultation with Dr. Conway.

Call Dr. Conway today for your personal consultation 828.210.9333