Top 15 Surgical & Non-Surgical Facial Contouring Options

Top 15 Surgical & Non-Surgical Facial Contouring Options

by Aesthetic Doctor, Marisa Heyns

In today’s fast-paced world, people seek instant and gratifying results, driving trends in facial aesthetics. The desire for a natural, youthful look has thankfully shifted the industry away from overfilled or overly tight appearances. Both surgical and non-surgical facial contouring options cater to these evolving preferences. Surgical treatments offer immediate, long-lasting results by removing or repositioning soft tissue, though they come with higher costs, scars, and downtime. Non-surgical methods are less invasive and more affordable, they achieve subtle enhancements but require ongoing maintenance. Combining both approaches often yields the best outcomes.

This article provides a detailed comparison of these options, emphasizing personalized consultations to determine the most suitable method based on individual features and goals.

Table of contents

  1. What is facial contouring?
  2. Non-surgical Facial Contouring Skin Treatments
  3. Non-surgical Facial Contouring Aesthetic Treatments
  4. Surgical Facial Contouring Procedures
  5. Final thoughts on facial contouring options

What is Facial Contouring (Surgical & Non-surgical)? 

Facial contouring includes surgical and non-surgical procedures that enhance facial structure by reshaping or defining features for aesthetic balance and symmetry. These treatments target bone contours, soft tissue volume, and skin firmness to harmonize proportions and improve skin appearance, promising natural results and a radiant glow.

What is Surgical Facial Contouring?

Surgical facial contouring involves invasive techniques like facelifts, rhinoplasties, and sometimes even the use of permanent implants to permanently enhance facial structures. These procedures aim to improve facial proportions, correct congenital or injury-related imperfections, and provide a more youthful, balanced appearance. Though effective, they are irreversible and best suited for addressing significant aging signs or structural deformities.

What is Non-Surgical Facial Contouring?

Non-surgical facial contouring includes treatments such as dermal fillers, botulinum toxin injections, thread lifts, and the exciting addition of skin biostimulators offering temporary to semi-permanent enhancements. These methods are popular for their minimal downtime, lower risk, and adjustable results. They achieve subtle aesthetic improvements and are ideal for managing signs of aging with flexibility and minimal invasiveness.

Non-surgical Facial Contouring Skin Treatments

In this section, we will explore various non-surgical facial contouring treatments targeting the skin, from signature procedures to popular injectables. Dr. Nerina Wilkinson and associates believe in a comprehensive approach, combining multiple treatments to target different skin layers, firming, tightening, and plumping for optimal results and overall skin nourishment.

TriDerma Bespoke™

The signature TriDerma Bespoke™ offers a tailored, effective solution for firmer, tighter, radiant-looking skin. This advanced anti-aging signature treatment is designed to target all three layers of the skin in one comprehensive session. By combining cutting-edge technologies such as MORPHEUS8, ClearLift, and FORMA™ Lift with medical skin needling,  Botulinum Toxin and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)  to stimulate collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin production as well as providing a smoother, plumper and glowing skin.

This strategic treatment approach is tailored to meet individual skin needs, effectively tightening and firming the skin for a more defined and youthful facial profile.

The process begins with the application of MORPHEUS8, ClearLift, or FORMA™ Lift, selected based on the skin’s unique requirements. This is followed by medical skin needling combined with diluted Botulinum Toxin and platelet-rich plasma to promote skin regeneration and a smoother complexion. The treatment concludes with a Crystal Fibre Sheet Mask, providing optimal hydration and nourishment to maximize skin rejuvenation.

FORMA™ Skin Tightening

The FORMA™ Lift is a non-surgical skincare treatment using radio frequency (RF) energy to target the deep skin layers to firm and tighten the skin. Our signature treatment FORMA™ HydraLyft, adds a further skin boost by adding a chemical peel and mesotherapy to provide added hydration and skin brightening. Both treatments offer facial contouring benefits, with FORMA™ Lift enhancing firmness and tone in deep skin layers, while the FORMA™ HydraLyft improves surface texture and hydration, providing a comprehensive approach to skin rejuvenation and contouring.

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound – HIFU

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-invasive, innovative technology that uses ultrasound energy to target deep skin layers, stimulating collagen production for firmer, tighter skin. HIFU’s precision allows for targeted treatment of areas like the jawline, neck, and brow, enhancing lift and reducing wrinkles without downtime. This treatment offers long-term benefits by immediately improving skin texture and tone while progressively enhancing the skin’s structural integrity for a more youthful and sculpted appearance. HIFU is effective for facial contouring, providing a safe and efficient method for rejuvenating and tightening the skin.

Non-surgical Facial Contouring Aesthetic Treatments

Now that we’ve covered facial contouring skincare treatments, let’s move to our top medical aesthetic procedures aimed at firming, tightening, and plumping for optimal results and overall skin nourishment.

Dermal Fillers

When it comes to injectable contouring treatment options, Dermal Fillers are by far the most versatile, non-surgical option for combating signs of aging due to volume loss and skin sagging whilst offering an immediate aesthetic enhancement with minimal to no downtime. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) based fillers are particularly favoured for their natural compatibility with the body.

HA not only adds volume but also hydrates the skin by retaining moisture, promoting a plumper, more youthful complexion. Whereas Calcium hydroxyapatite-based fillers focus more on long-term collagen stimulation and production to enhance facial contours. Hybrid Injectable Fillers seem to offer the best of both worlds by combining HA and CaHA in one syringe to provide an immediate volumized effect, plus the added collagen stimulation that happens over time.

N-LIFT® Facial Sculpting

The signature N-LIFT® (also known as the Natural-Lift) is a holistic facial rejuvenation approach that employs advanced injectable techniques to micro-sculpt the face. It treats the face as a cohesive unit, avoiding exaggerated or unnatural features. The process uses Hyaluronic Acid (HA) fillers, strategically placed in small volumes across the face to build deep structural support.

The N-LIFT® refines the facial profile and restores a youthful look by supporting the skin’s structural foundation. Furthermore, by supporting the facial muscles that lift the face and similarly depress muscles that promote negative expression one can create a naturally contoured and well-rested appearance.


LIPStrobing (another procedure signature to the Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates practice) represents a cutting-edge approach to lip enhancement, by considering overall facial harmony instead of just the lip itself. It’s a holistic approach, recognizing that lips are integral to facial aesthetics and should be treated in conjunction with surrounding structures to ensure a balanced look and a natural smile when in motion. Through precise filler placement in the lip as well as the surrounding structures such as the cheek and chin that affect lip movement, and by appreciating light reflection principles, LIPStrobing creates fuller, beautifully defined lips that complement the face.

Thread Lift

Thread lifting offers a minimally invasive solution to traditional facelifts, utilizing temporary sutures to sculpt facial features. These sutures provide a noticeable yet subtle lift without surgery, offering immediate results that may last 12 to 18 months. Additionally, thread lifts stimulate collagen production along the sutures, improving skin texture and firmness over time. This dual benefit ensures not only instant lifting but also long-term rejuvenation. By adjusting and shifting the soft tissue structures under the skin, thread lifts can effectively redefine key areas like cheeks, jawline, brow, and even the nose,  contributing to facial contouring and a more youthful appearance.

The procedure can provide significant aesthetic improvements with minimal downtime. Whether it’s enhancing contours or promoting collagen synthesis, thread lifting offers a versatile solution for those seeking subtle and natural-looking results and who may not be ready or willing to commit to surgery.

Bio Skin Remodelling

Bio Skin Remodelling is an advanced injectable treatment that combats aging by enhancing skin hydration and firmness with the use of stabilized hyaluronic acid. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, lifts the skin, and improves overall skin quality. By boosting the skin’s structural integrity, it aids facial contouring for a more youthful, defined yet natural appearance. This treatment enhances skin elasticity and firmness, making it a key part of a comprehensive facial rejuvenation strategy, addressing multiple signs of aging for holistic results.


Biostimulator procedures harness biologically active substances like calcium hydroxyapatite (CaHA) and Poly-L-Lactic acid (PLLA), injected beneath the skin to kickstart collagen production. This stimulation gradually enhances skin function and quality over time. Results typically manifest within 6 to 12 weeks as collagen formation progresses, yielding visible improvements in skin firmness and texture, with ongoing benefits.

Biostimulators play a crucial role in facial contouring, particularly in the lower face, neck, and hands, where they tighten skin and improve structure. This leads to a more defined jawline and overall rejuvenated appearance, enhancing facial harmony without directly altering mid-face features like the lips or eyes. By naturally enhancing collagen production, biostimulation treatments offer long-lasting rejuvenation for a refreshed and youthful look.

Botulinum Toxin Injections

Botulinum Toxin treatments stand out as an effective remedy for dynamic muscle relaxation, which plays a key role in facial wrinkle formation. By targeting these muscles, Botulinum Toxin injections offer a revitalized and more youthful appearance. Notably, they also provide preventive benefits, especially favored among younger adults, by temporarily halting muscle contractions, thus delaying premature fine lines and wrinkles formation.

Moreover, Botulinum Toxin treatments can also contribute to facial contouring when targeting certain muscles around the jawline, chin and neck. By selectively relaxing specific facial muscles, they diminish the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines, resulting in a smoother, more refined facial profile. This dual action of wrinkle reduction and facial sculpting makes Botulinum Toxin treatments a popular choice for individuals seeking both rejuvenation and preventive care, ensuring a refreshed and harmonious aesthetic outcome.

Morpheus Enhance (Featuring Morpheus8™)

Morpheus Enhance is our signature treatment based on the innovative MORPHEUS8™ technology which combines radiofrequency energy with micro-needling to improve skin firmness and quality and to subtly refine facial contours.  This signature treatment’s enhanced approach provides superior results due to the addition of PRP (platelet-rich plasma) to the powers of the MOPORHEUS8 action. Together, these elements allow for faster healing times, better tissue hydration, and improved collagen production, leading to profound skin rejuvenation.

Notably, its unique capability to sculpt subdermal fat layers improves the skin’s structural integrity, resulting in a naturally defined facial appearance. With Morpheus Enhance, individuals can achieve a youthful and sculpted look, addressing multiple aspects of facial ageing for radiant and lasting results.

Surgical Facial Contouring Procedures

Surgical facial contouring generally involves a host of invasive surgical techniques to improve moderate to severe features of ageing. These procedures provide a long-term improvement in areas where excess skin and loss of volume compounded by loss of bone structure, negatively affect the appearance of the midface, the eye area,  the jawline and the neck. Choosing to opt for a surgical approach will result in more effective and longer-lasting aesthetic results, boosting both appearance and confidence.

Stem Cell Facelifts

Stem Cell facelifts represent a groundbreaking approach to cosmetic enhancement, utilizing a patient’s own stem cells combined with advanced fat grafting techniques. This procedure involves injecting fat cells enriched with stem cells into facial areas, naturally improving skin texture and reducing fine lines through volumization and regeneration. Stem Cell Facelifts go beyond mere skin smoothing; they also enhance facial contouring by strategically placing stem cell-enriched fat to sculpt and define facial features, creating a more youthful and structured look.

Dr. Nerina Wilkinson’s signature StemCell4DLift™ is an advanced technique incorporating liposuction, lipofilling, laser resurfacing, and muscle-relaxing injections, all customized to individual needs. By layering fat and stem cells at different levels and employing laser resurfacing, this method stimulates collagen production and improves fat injection survival, resulting in tighter, rejuvenated skin. The StemCell4DLift™ offers a comprehensive facial rejuvenation solution, harnessing the body’s natural regenerative abilities without incisions or scars.


The BELLA Lift is a specialized surgical procedure designed to combat facial aging by addressing sagging jowls and deep creases between the nose and mouth. It achieves this by tightening the underlying muscles and re-draping the skin. This versatile procedure can be performed alone or combined with other aesthetic treatments such as eyelid surgery, facial fat grafting, or laser resurfacing for a comprehensive facial rejuvenation. The BELLA Lift significantly enhances facial contouring by tightening loose skin and redefining the jawline and mid-face, resulting in a more youthful and uplifted appearance.

Typically lasting a few hours, the procedure involves carefully planned incisions above the hairline, extending naturally in front of the ear and behind the earlobe. Surgeons like Dr. Wilkinson tighten the underlying muscles, remove excess skin, and may inject fat for additional support. Post-procedure, bandages reduce bruising and swelling, with removal the next day, delivering visible and long-lasting rejuvenation results.

Facelift Surgery (Rhytidectomy)

Facelift Surgery, or Rhytidectomy, is a comprehensive surgical procedure aimed at reversing the signs of aging by removing excess skin, tightening underlying muscles, and re-draping the skin for enhanced facial aesthetics. Modern techniques integrate volume replacement strategies like autologous fat grafting, ensuring natural-looking results without the “windswept” appearance. Combining facelifts with adjunctive procedures such as eyelid correction and neck sculpting further enhances facial harmony, accentuating cheekbones, redefining jawlines, and maintaining a youthful appearance long-term.

Through carefully planned incisions, the surgeon lifts and repositions facial tissues, addressing sagging skin and deep wrinkles. These surgeries excel at restoring youthful contours, offering significant improvement in jowls, folds, and neck laxity. By customizing approaches and incorporating advanced techniques like fat grafting, facelift surgeries deliver transformative yet natural-looking results tailored to individual needs and aesthetic goals, empowering individuals to age with confidence and elegant grace.

Facial Fat Grafting (Lipofilling)

Facial Fat Grafting, or Lipofilling, harnesses the patient’s own body fat to restore lost facial volume, rejuvenating features like cheeks, lips, and smoothing wrinkles. This natural and effective procedure addresses a spectrum of concerns, from deep nasolabial folds to sunken areas around the eyes, even extending to non-facial regions like hands and earlobes. By extracting fat from donor sites such as the abdomen or thighs through minimally invasive liposuction, the purified fat is strategically injected into specific facial regions, sculpting and restoring volume for a refreshed appearance. Ideal for individuals with volume loss or hollowed cheeks, facial fat grafting offers a long-lasting solution compared to temporary fillers.

Embrace your body’s natural rejuvenating power and discover a revitalized, naturally enhanced face with facial fat grafting, where your body’s fat becomes the superhero in your facial contouring and rejuvenation journey.

Final thoughts on facial contouring options

When considering facial contouring, consulting experienced professionals is crucial for safety and achieving desired goals. Options range from non-invasive fillers to surgical facelifts, each tailored to individual needs. Staying informed about advancements ensures informed decisions. Visit our blog for more insights and personalized treatment options.

Should you be ready to make a change, email us at to start your journey to renewed confidence today.

Written by Aesthetic Doctor, Marisa Heyns