As the years go by, we accumulate wonderful memories and rich life experiences. At the same time, though, our body ages, particularly the delicate skin on our faces. Like many people, you may wonder, “When did my eyebrows sag so much?” or “Are those actual wrinkles on my forehead?” In other words, there may come a time when you look into the mirror and see a haggard-looking face staring back at you. Similarly, genetics means that some of us are born with naturally thick and heavy-looking brows, which may result in a perpetually frowning face.
The good news is, we don’t have to resign ourselves to the eyebrows we don’t want. That’s why we’ve created this post to enlighten you on the (somewhat) miraculous cure that is the eyebrow lift. Read on to find out what it is and how it can resolve your brow woes.
What Is an Eyebrow Lift?
The eyebrow lift, otherwise called a brow lift or forehead lift, improves your brow position and forehead area to create a more refreshed and youthful appearance — at least in the upper third of your face.
The eyebrow lift is used to tackle:
- Low or sagging brows
- Unsymmetrical-looking brows
- Drooping upper eyelids
- Forehead creases and/or sagging
- Fine lines and deep furrows between the brows or near the top of the nose bridge
As the brow lift concentrates on revitalizing the eyebrow and forehead section, it’s usually performed with other cosmetic procedures for related facial concerns. For example, you may be recommended a blepharoplasty (also known as an eye lift) to correct pronounced under-eye bags and remove excess fat from the upper eyelids. Another popular option is the facelift which tightens sagging skin on the bottom two-thirds of the face and neck for a younger-looking complexion overall.
Do note that the eyebrow lift cosmetic procedure comes in two types:
- The invasive brow lift, also known as the surgical brow lift
- The non-invasive brow lift, otherwise called the chemical brow lift
Both forms of eyebrow lifts can produce the desired results of a more awakened appearance, albeit with differing endurance.
Invasive Eyebrow Lifts
The invasive eyebrow lift (or surgical brow lift) physically manipulates the skin, tissues, muscles, and fats in the affected area. This helps raise your brows and smooth out forehead wrinkles (if any) for a more youthful visage.
Surgical brow lifts are broadly categorized into three types:
- Endoscopic brow lift
- Temporal brow lift (or limited incision brow lift)
- Open brow lift (or coronal brow lift)
The type of surgical brow lift that’s best for you depends on your personal needs and preferences, as well as your unique facial anatomy for satisfactory yet natural-looking results. An in-depth consultation with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon can help advise you on which surgical procedure you should get.
Endoscopic Brow Lift
The endoscopic brow lift is the least invasive among the three types of surgical eyebrow lifts. For that reason alone, it’s the most popular among patients and plastic surgeons.
This eyebrow lift technique involves making short incisions within your hairline. An endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a camera attached at its end) and special instruments are inserted into the incisions to adjust the facial muscles and tissues, as well as remove excess fat if needed. This lifts your eyebrows and tightens your forehead sagging for a younger, more refreshed look.
Temporal Brow Lift (Or Limited Incision Technique)
The temporal brow lift is similar to the endoscopic technique in some ways. Longer incisions (roughly one inch) are made in the area slightly above each temple within the hairline. The limited incision technique doesn’t need an endoscope to create the surgical cuts, though.
This type of brow lift focuses on the outer part of the eyebrows, which is great for tackling fine wrinkles at the eye corners (translation: unwanted crow’s feet). Usually, temporal brow lifts are done in conjunction with blepharoplasty to smooth out the furrows between the eyebrows and lift the inner two-thirds of the eye area. This potent combination perks up your brows and opens up your eyes — talk about a doe-eyed expression.
Open Brow Lift (Or Coronal Brow Lift)
We’ve saved the most invasive eyebrow lift technique for the last: The open brow lift. Back in the days when other less invasive brow lifts weren’t conceived yet, the open brow lift used to be the go-to technique among plastic surgeons.
In an open brow lift, a single incision is made along your hairline from ear to ear. The surgeon will then lift the skin to reposition the underlying muscles and tissues and remove excess fat for a more youth-like contour.
Non-Surgical Eyebrow Lifts with Botox: The Milder Alternative
If you aren’t a fan of needles (or a permanent brow lift), look to non-invasive techniques instead. Non-surgical eyebrow lifts normally leverage the use of neurotoxins — popular candidates include Botox (botulinum toxin type A) and Dysport (abobotulinum toxin A) — to relax the facial muscles responsible for weighing the eyebrow muscles down. This temporarily raises the eyebrows to make you appear more approachable and alert.
More often than not, injectables are combined with other non-invasive treatments to supercharge the youth-like effects:
- Laser peels help tighten sagging skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles.
- Fillers are strategically placed under the eyebrows to plump up the area, creating an instant brow lift. They work best for people with deep-set, sunken eyes or experience a loss of subcutaneous fat under the brows.
Invasive vs. Non-Surgical Brow Lifts: Which Is Better for You?
With an array of brow lift techniques ranging from surgical to non-invasive, you may be overwhelmed with choices.
Before you make your choice, we’ve pitted the pros and cons of invasive brow lifts against the non-invasive ones to help guide your decision-making process.
How much does an eyebrow lift cost
On a per-session basis, non-invasive brow lifts tend to be less taxing on your wallet than surgical brow lifts. Of course, you may need to factor in the repeated sessions to maintain the results of a chemical brow lift. In other words, the eventual costs for each type may end up being roughly in the same ballpark.
Be aware that invasive eyebrow lifts require a much longer recovery time than non-invasive methods.
Surgical techniques require either general or local anesthesia, which may take some time to wear off after the procedure is completed. In addition, sutures, staples, skin adhesives, or special clips are used to stitch up the incision wounds. They can only be removed about a week after the surgery. You will need to take extra care when washing the affected area to avoid reopening the wounds. Usually, the surgeon may advise you to shower the affected area gently starting from the day after the procedure.
On top of that, scarring usually goes with the territory of surgical brow lifts. Little pain is felt during and after the procedure. That said, it’s quite common to feel tightness or numbness where the incisions are made. These sensations usually dissipate after a day or two. You should also expect swelling and bruising, which can last up to a fortnight. To reduce the swelling as much as possible, your cosmetic surgeon may suggest icing the area around the eyes with a cold pack wrapped in a dry towel for the first 2 days.
While you may need a few weeks to a month to return to your normal activities, chemical eyebrow lifts usually don’t require any downtime at all. In fact, you can schedule a Botox brow lift at lunch — which can take as short as 30 seconds — and pop back to your workplace without needing to take the rest of the day off. Also, advocates of non-invasive techniques love the lack of anesthesia and bruising. Still, you can expect redness or small bumps at the injection site, but they go away rather quickly.
So far, it seems like non-invasive brow lifts are winning the race with their relatively low costs and minimal recovery time. But there’s a tradeoff in terms of temporary effectiveness — chemical brow lifts only last between 3 and 6 months.
On the other hand, if you want long-term effectiveness, invasive eyebrow lifts are more up your alley since they can last for many years. Yes, aging may eventually cause some of the sagging and wrinkles to reappear, but they won’t be as bad as before the brow lift. Inevitable signs of aging can also be further mitigated with a healthy lifestyle and a proper skincare regimen — think consistent sun protection. Of course, you should be totally on board with how your brows will look after the surgery since invasive brow lifts are a permanent solution.
Achieve Your Best Brows With a Professional
Now that you understand what a brow lift is and how it can banish your cosmetic woes, it’s time to decide which type and technique best suit your needs and comfort level. If you need more information on the matter, seek professional help.
When considering an eyebrow lift, it’s always recommended to do your research and source for an expert cosmetic surgeon. Review their education level, training, certification, and actual experience with performing brow lifts. More importantly, your surgeon should be ready to address your questions, provide sound advice and recommendations, as well as work closely with you to achieve your desired looks.