As an industry, aesthetic medicine is continuing to move away from ‘chasing the wrinkle’ and more towards treatments and techniques that incorporate a whole-face approach, with increasing prominence given to flexible and well-considered strategies.

Facial volume loss contributes significantly to facial ageing and over the past five years these techniques primarily treated the mid-face, both supporting the peri-orbital region and lifting the peri-oral region, to treat the changes in the facial fat compartments. In doing so, there have been many techniques whereby large boluses of products have been placed in the anterior malar and zygomatic areas. This can create inappropriate projection and volume, resulting in an unnatural-looking result, both in repose and animation, when patients speak and smile.

For some time, many practitioners have been considering and utilising techniques in which they can use a minimal amount of product – with specific placements in certain areas – in order to achieve the maximum amount of lift for the patient with a more natural outcome. This has now been stratified into eight points: the key lifting areas of the face.

The 8-Point Lift was originally devised by Dr Mauricio De Maio, a plastic surgeon from Brazil. Small adjustments are made in eight areas of the face to achieve an overall lifting effect, with the ethos being to treat minimally and precisely, looking beyond individual zones of concern to the definitive causes of the signs of ageing, which is often fat and bone resorption in predictable parts of the face.

The aim of the 8-Point Lift is to support the infra-orbital areas, lift the mid-face, nasolabial fold, oral commissure and help to improve the jawline. It also helps to give more contour and appropriate fullness through the malar, parotid and buccal areas.

In terms of patient selection, it has a lot of versatility. It is a technique appropriate for the young patient who might do a lot of physical training, or who has had large weight fluctuations due to dieting and has experienced significant fat-loss shifts to their superficial fat compartments. Other indications may be post-pregnancy facial changes or illness.

It also addresses the variations that can give the face a tired appearance, despite a relatively young age of patient. It is appropriate also for patients 10 to 20 years older with further signs of facial ageing and descent within the face, accompanied by a development of the pre-jowl sulcus and an early loss of the mandibular line. It can be used successfully to treat patients in their 70’s and 80’s, who have advanced volumetric changes and descent, with excellent results showing a pleasing lift.

This approach is effective for both male and female patients. Needless to say, the proportions of a male face are very different from the proportions of a female face. As long as that is respected, then the 8-Point Lift is absolutely appropriate for both genders.