Cutaneous Facelift

Evidence Basedcheckmark

The cutaneous facelift is a traditional technique used when the patient only needs removal of excess skin from the face. A long incision is placed along the hairline and the surgeon will excise loose skin to tighten and smooth facial skin. The technique does not disturb the underlying muscles in the face.

Cutaneous Facelift Overview - 962

The Skinny

Average Recovery

12 days




Surgical Procedure




$6000 - $11780

The Specifics

What is a cutaneous facelift?

A cutaneous facelift is a plastic surgery procedure specifically targeted to skin laxity. Unlike in other traditional facelift techniques where excess skin, excess fat, and underlying muscle is altered, in a cutaneous facelift only excess skin and loose skin are addressed.

The results of this surgical technique will not be as long lasting or dramatic as traditional facelift surgeries that alter underlying muscle, however, there is less associated invasiveness and recovery time. A cutaneous facelift creates tighter, more toned skin for a more youthful appearance.

What cosmetic concerns does a cutaneous facelift procedure treat?

  1. Facial Skin Laxity: A cutaneous facelift is the only facelift surgery specific to excess skin and loose skin concerns exclusively. There are no alterations to excess fat or underlying muscle in this surgical technique.

Who is the ideal candidate for a cutaneous facelift procedure?

The ideal candidate for a cutaneous facelift is a younger individual only seeking corrections to facial excess skin and loose skin. A cutaneous facelift is not recommended for those with advanced signs of aging, or facial muscle laxity who would be better suited for a more invasive facelift surgery cosmetic procedure.

What is the average recovery associated with a cutaneous facelift procedure?

Of the surgical facelifts, the recovery time associated with a cutaneous facelift is typically the least involved. Swelling, bruising, and pain resolve within a week or two. The sutures, dressings, and drain are removed after one week. Most candidates return to work after two weeks, and resume strenuous physical activity after six weeks.

To better understand the healing and downtime associated with the procedure, check out our complete guide to facelift recovery.

What are the potential side effects of a cutaneous facelift procedure?

Possible side effects following a cutaneous facelift include site infection, facial nerve damage, facial asymmetry, bruising, bleeding, numbness, tightness, and prolonged edema.

What can someone expect from the results of a cutaneous facelift procedure?

The results of a cutaneous facelift are visible directly following the facelift surgery and can last for up to five years. The enhancements to the facial aesthetic will naturally evolve with aging, use, gravity, and sun exposure.

What is the average cost of a cutaneous facelift procedure?

A cutaneous facelift procedure can cost anywhere from $7,700 to $20,000. The actual cost of a cutaneous facelift is dependent upon location, board certified facial plastic surgeon, and length and involvement of the plastic surgery. Learn more in our complete guide to the cost of a facelift.


  • Faster Recovery


  • Can Cause A Windswept Look
  • Temporary
  • Does Not Address Facial Muscles

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

A cutaneous facelift only removes excess skin from the face and does not address muscle laxity. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a cutaneous facelift.

The Takeaway

A cutaneous facelift is a plastic surgery procedure with less recovery time than a traditional facelift, in which deeper tissues and underlying muscles are altered. This facelift surgery is used to specifically address excess skin and loose skin concerns of the midface and lower face. Alterations to superficial facial tissues can create long term, natural looking results, restore youthful contours, and refresh a tired appearance.

Is this article helpful?

To learn more about our content creation practices, visit our Editorial Process page.

Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Park, S The Mini Zygoma Reduction Surgery: a Simple and Reliable Approach for Mid Face Narrowing; 2016-07-27
  2. Samad Rezaee Khiabanlo Innovative techniques for thread lifting of face and neck; 2019-12-02


‘Try on’ aesthetic procedures and instantly visualize possible results with AEDIT and our patented 3D aesthetic simulator.

App QR Code