Thorough explanation of the effects, downtime, number of threads, and disadvantages of shopping lift (threads)

Shopping Lift Eye Catch

I'm concerned about sagging under the eyes and cheeks, as well as the lines."
I want my skin to be firm and elastic."
I want a lift that doesn't require an incision."

Do you have any of these problems?

Hello. I am a doctor at Smart Skin Clinic, a cosmetic dermatology clinic.

Shopping Lift (Shopping Threads)" is a treatment in which threads are inserted to provide a natural lifting effect. For those who are concerned about sagging but do not want to use a scalpel, we will thoroughly explain the effects of the Shopping Lift, downtime period and symptoms, advantages and disadvantages, the number of threads required, and maintenance frequency from the perspective of a cosmetic dermatologist.

*If you want to know the rates immediately, you can jump to the table of contents below.


What is a shopping lift (threading)?

Shopping lift is one of the skin texture improvement and sagging treatments using threads (threads).

As the name "shopping" implies, it is meant to be easy enough to go shopping.

An ultrafine needle with a thread attached is inserted into the "dermis layer" deep within the skin, and the needle is withdrawn, leaving only the thread. When the inserted thread stimulates the fibroblasts in the dermis layer, the fibroblasts produce collagen and elastin, which make the skin firm and elastic, due to the human body's natural "wound-healing" mechanism.

It features a natural finish with a tightening effect.

Expected Effects and Duration

The expected benefits of a shopping lift areNatural lifting, skin elasticity and luster improvement, skin tone improvement, and pore tighteningIt is the improvement of skin texture such as

Although effective for sagging, sagging is not only caused by reduced skin elasticity. It is not suitable for sagging caused by muscles or bones, severe sagging, or when dramatic changes are desired.

Effects by treatment area

With the Shopping Lift, not only can the entire face be treated, but also parts of the face can be treated according to your concerns by changing the number, depth, and angle of the inserted threads.

For example, the following effects can be expected in different parts of the body

  • Forehead: brings firmness to the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles
  • Around the eyes: reduce the appearance of wrinkles at the corners of the eyes, bring firmness to the hollows under the eyes and temples.
  • Cheeks: Bringing firmness to the face line
  • Lines: Make lines less noticeable.
  • Neck: brings firmness to the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles on the neck

See also the following articles for more information on the effects on lines.

Number of threads required, by problem

Some of you may be wondering about the shopping lift, "I don't know how many I need," or "Isn't that more than other thread lifts?" Some of you may be wondering, "I don't know how many I need," or "Isn't it more than other thread lifts?

The extent of the shopping lift procedure and the number of needles required will vary depending on the area of concern and skin condition.

Basically, needles are inserted in units of several dozen into the area where sagging is to be lifted. The number of needles is as follows. For details, please confirm with the doctor during a free consultation.

  • Whole face: 100 pcs.
  • Forehead: 30 to 50
  • Between the eyebrows: 20
  • Around the eyes: 20 pcs.
  • Cheek: 50
  • 40 mouthfuls
  • Lines: 20 lines
  • Marionette lines: 20
  • Jaw: 30-50
Approximate number of shopping lift units per site

If you are wondering, "Wouldn't 20 bottles be effective...?" please also see the following article.

Effective even once! When to feel the effects

Shopping lifts have both short-term and medium- to long-term effects.

[Short-term effects
Although the effects of the Shopping Lift procedure vary from person to person, some patients may notice an improvement in sagging immediately after the procedure.

Mainly, the effect is likely to be felt from about one week after the surgery.

The insertion of the thread stimulates fibroblasts to produce collagen and elastin, and the thread begins to be absorbed about one week after the surgery.

[Medium- to long-term effects
In addition to the stimulation at the time of insertion, collagen is produced around the threads as the human body recognizes the threads remaining under the skin as a foreign body. Thereafter, it will be easy to feel the volume increasing and tightening effects over the next 1-3 months.

Collagen production continues while the threads gradually dissolve and disappear over approximately 8 months, with the peak effect occurring 3-4 months after surgery. This treatment is expected to promote the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid over the long term.

This treatment is recommended for both "those who want to use it as maintenance" and "those who want to experience the benefits according to their schedule.

If you feel that shopping lifts are "ineffective," please also see the following articles.

Duration of effect is not permanent.

The effects of a shopping lift can be felt even after one session, but they are not permanent.

After the threads are absorbed, collagen and elastin in the treated area continue to increase, and the effect lasts for about 1 to 1.5 years. However, if nothing is done, age-related degeneration of collagen and elastin is inevitable to some extent.

Considering the changes that occur with aging, repeated maintenance several times a year will make it easier to maintain good condition.

Shopping Lift is recommended for these people

Some of you who have read this far may be unsure whether your symptoms are really good enough for a shopping lift.

Shopping Lift is recommended for people who

  • People who want to improve sagging naturally
  • People who want to improve their smile lines
  • People who want to improve skin elasticity and luster
  • People who want to improve wrinkles around the forehead and eyes.
  • People who want to have beautiful skin
  • People who want to have a small face
  • People who don't want to use a scalpel.
  • People who want to undergo a procedure with less pain and downtime.

People who cannot undergo a shopping lift

As a general rule, if there is no serious illness or inflammation of the area to be treated, the procedure can basically be performed. The following information is for your reference only, as we are obliged to make it known to you.

  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • People with skin diseases
  • People with skin infections
  • People with keloid constitution

Persons with other diseases or internal medications should consult their physician in advance.

Advantages and disadvantages of shopping lifts

Shopping lifts have the following advantages and disadvantages


  • Scars are inconspicuous.
  • Natural finish.
  • Little or no downtime


  • Pain and discomfort immediately after the procedure.
  • May not be effective for strong sagging
  • No other cosmetic treatment can be performed for a certain period of time after the surgery.

To learn more, please also see the following articles

The Shopping Lift is a treatment that utilizes the natural functions of the human body. Therefore, it brings firmness and elasticity, and a natural lifting effect can be expected. On the other hand, it is not indicated for severe sagging, as dramatic changes cannot be expected.

To avoid the possibility of not being able to feel the effects of the treatment after undergoing it, confirm in advance whether or not the treatment is applicable at the counseling session, and accept the treatment only after you are satisfied with the final image.

Threads used in shopping lifts

Shopping Lift is one of the "thread lift" treatments, in which threads are inserted under the skin, but some may feel uncomfortable about inserting a foreign object into the skin. Some may feel uncomfortable about inserting a foreign body into the skin. The following is an explanation of the material, shape, and safety of the threads.

The thread material is PDS (polydioxanone) used in surgery

The threads used in the shopping lift are made of a medical material called polydioxanone (PDS), a material that has been used for many years in other surgeries. They vary in thickness and length, but are thinner than hair and about 30-40 mm in length.

The threads used in thread lifts are made from a variety of materials. Absorption and durability vary depending on the material.

Typical materials and properties used in thread lifts are as follows

Yarn MaterialfeatureabsorbencyDurability of effects
PDS (polydioxanone)It is also used for surgical sutures.absorptionApprox. 1 to 1.5 years
PCL (Polycaprolactone)Flexibility.absorptionApprox. 2 to 3 years
PLA/PLLA (polylactic acid)Plant-derived ・HardnessabsorptionApprox. 2 years
PP (Polypropylene)・Used in surgical sutures ・Non-stretchablenon-absorbingApprox. 3 years

Although this may seem a little difficult, I would like to emphasize the safety of the absorbable threads used in the shopping lift.

  • Absorbable threads: do not remain in the body, making them less effective than absorbable threads, but they are safer.
  • Non-absorbable threads: Remain in the body unabsorbed, making it easier to maintain the lifting effect, but increasing the risk of infection.

Threads used for shopping lift are short threads without cogs

The threads used in the shopping lift are "short threads without cogs (spines). Cogless threads are used to improve skin texture by stimulating cell regeneration with the threads.

Other thread lifts also use "long threads with cogs". Cogged threads are used in treatments where a mold or spine-like object attached around the thread is hooked under the skin and physically pulled up.

In addition, there is a study on thread lift made of polydioxanone material that examined how the threads change in the body. It was confirmed that "collagen increased during the first 12 weeks and was absorbed and degraded by the body in about 24 weeks, and the larger the area of contact with tissue, the more cells that regenerate skin, such as fibroblasts, increased.

How polydioxanone (PDO) and polycaprolactone (PCL) change in the body and by what mechanism they act were investigated every two weeks through experiments with rats. (omitted) Increased collagen production was observed during the first 12 weeks, but then decreased. In particular, the decrease in collagen was slower in the group using PCL yarns than in the group using PDO yarns; PCL yarns remained in the body longer than PDO yarns, with PCL being absorbed and degraded from the body in over a year and PDO in about 24 weeks.

Young In Ha, Jun Hyun Kim, Eun Soo Park. Histological and molecular biological analysis on the reaction of absorbable thread; Polydioxanone and Journal of cosmetic dermatology. 2022 Jul;21(7);2774-2782. doi:10.1111/jocd.14587.

The following article also provides a detailed explanation of the difference between a shopping lift and a thread lift.

Smart Skin Clinic Shopping Lift Features

Design" according to your wishes and concerns

"Careful treatment of each individual piece with our particular skills.

Flow of treatment

The following is a description of the shopping lift treatment process.

Counseling: Decide the position and number of insertions based on your concerns and condition.
Cleansing and washing face: Remove makeup and excess sebum to cleanse the face.
Marking: Mark the insertion site according to your concerns
Surface anesthesia: 15-30 minutes after anesthesia application, skin sensation is dulled.
Insertion of thread: Insert needle and leave thread under the skin
Aftercare: disinfection, removing markings

The treatment takes about 30 minutes for the procedure alone and about 60 minutes for the entire procedure. Insertion time depends on the number of threads.

The pain of the treatment is mild

The pain during the shopping lift procedure is not so severe because of the use of an ultrafine needle. It is about the size of a fingernail being picked at the fingertip. The threads do not have spines (cogs), so there is almost no resistance to the skin. However, the pain may vary from person to person.

Pain is reduced by applying a surface anesthetic in advance, but you may feel some discomfort when it is inserted. Please be assured that we will talk to you as needed during the procedure.

Those who are prone to a strong fear or anxiety about pain may use an inhaled laughing anesthesia. Only during inhalation, it brings a fluffy sensation as if you were intoxicated by alcohol. (*Smart Skin Clinic does not provide laughing anesthesia.)

Downtime period and symptoms

Downtime for a shopping lift may include swelling, pain, redness, burning, scarring, and internal bleeding. Symptoms are mild and subside within a few days, with little impact on work or daily activities.

As the name "shopping lift" implies, it is safe to assume that the downtime symptoms are mild enough to allow the patient to go shopping directly after the procedure.

The main downtime symptoms of a shopping lift are as follows

Redness/warmtha few hours
Swelling and painseveral day period
Internal bleeding (spotting may occur)Gradual fading over 1-2 weeks; can be covered with makeup
Thrushiness and discomfort around the mouth and jawseveral day period
cicatrixAlmost unrecognizable

The needles and threads used in a shopping lift are extremely fine, and although internal bleeding does not occur in all individuals, it is possible for the needle to strike a blood vessel.

If you experience any allergic symptoms, including increased swelling or pain, please consult the clinic immediately. In case of infection, medical attention is required.

What should I not do after the treatment? Effects on daily life

To maximize the effects of a shopping lift, the following postoperative lifestyle precautions should be followed.

MakePossible from the next day; possible on the same day except for the area to be treated
Face wash ShowerAllowable on the same day. Do not rub the affected area hard.
take a bathAllowable if swelling has gone down; avoid for long periods of time
Sauna, excessive alcohol consumption, and other activities that promote blood circulationAvoid for about 1 week
Strenuous exercise and facial massageAvoid for about 1 month until the threads are fixed.

The following is an explanation of why the above precautions need to be followed.

Makeup] The affected area is in a delicate state after surgery. Although not visible to the eye, a small scar is formed due to the needle insertion. In order to promote recovery and avoid infection, avoid making up or irritating the affected area on the day of surgery.

[Sauna, excessive drinking, etc.] Even if the surface wound is closed, it takes time for the wound inside the skin to heal. In general, wounds can become sore, swell, and leave scars when heated, so it is recommended to avoid saunas, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged bathing for about a week.

Strenuous exercise and facial massage: It takes time for collagen and elastin to form in the skin and for the threads to settle. Although there is no problem with moving the face within the scope of daily activities or opening the mouth for dental work, vigorous exercise and massage of the face should be avoided until the threads have settled.

Postoperative skin tends to dry out easily, and dryness can cause all kinds of skin problems. UV rays are also said to be 80% of the cause of aging. In order to maintain beautiful skin after the downtime, it is advisable to continue daily skincare such as moisturizing and UV protection.

Please confirm any other concerns you may have at the free consultation.

How to choose a clinic to avoid failures in shopping lift

There are three things you can do to avoid failure with a shopping lift: choose a clinic and doctor with good technique, consult with them until you are satisfied with the consultation, and confirm the fee structure and total amount.

Select a clinic and doctor with technical skills.

The shopping lift can address problems in various areas depending on the number, depth, and angle of the inserted threads. The doctor's experience and skill are also important to obtain ideal results. Check case results and reviews in advance to select a clinic and doctor you can trust.

Counseling until you are satisfied with the results.

The appearance of the effect of the Shopping Lift varies from person to person. Please consult with us at the consultation to find out if your condition is suitable for a shopping lift and to what extent you can expect results before proceeding with the treatment.

Check fee structure and total amount

Because cosmetic medicine is free medical treatment, the fee structure differs from clinic to clinic. Prices for a shopping lift also vary from clinic to clinic.

It is a good idea to confirm in advance the cost of counseling, needles and anesthesia, the number of needles required, additional fees, and the total amount required for treatment. Avoid clinics that are too cheap or too expensive, or clinics that offer substantial discounts only for the first time, and choose clinics with reasonable prices that are easy to continue, taking maintenance into consideration.

Recommended number of treatments/frequency of treatments

The effects of a shopping lift last for one to one and a half years after a single treatment of several dozen units. After that, maintenance is recommended several times a year.


20 bottles44,800 yen
40 bottles69,800 yen
60 pcs.94,800 yen
80 pcs.119,200 yen
100 bottles148,000 yen

Frequently asked questions about shopping lifts

Will I feel pain when washing my face during the downtime of the Shopping Lift?

Although it varies from person to person, even when pain is felt, it is not unbearable and subsides in a few days.

Will I have bumps after the shopping lift?

Short threads without ultrafine cogs (spines) are used, so there are no bumps.

When can I start drinking alcohol after the Shopping Lift procedure?

It is possible to start the day after the procedure, but swelling and internal bleeding may linger. Refrain from doing so until the internal bleeding has disappeared.

When are the effects of the Shopping Lift at their peak?

The effect peaks about 3-4 months after the procedure and lasts about 1-1/2 years. While the threads are being absorbed, they stimulate collagen production.

Are there several different types of shopping lift threads? If so, how do they differ?

The threads used in the shopping lift are all made of polydioxanone (PDS), a short thread with no spines attached that is absorbed by the body.

How long is the pure treatment time other than counseling?

The procedure time required for a shopping lift is about 30 minutes, excluding counseling. The time may vary depending on the number of threads.

How painful is a shopping lift? Can I just use an anesthetic that I apply? Should I have laughing anesthesia?

The pain during the procedure is about the size of a pinch on the tip of a toe. The application of surface anesthesia is sufficient to alleviate the pain. Laughing anesthesia can also be used to alleviate anxiety. (*We do not have laughter anesthesia available.)

How much downtime will a shopping lift interfere with my daily routine? What symptoms will occur and what is the course of the procedure?

There is very little downtime, but it varies from person to person. A typical desk job should not interfere with the treatment. Please allow enough time in your schedule for swelling and pain to appear. Internal bleeding can be covered with makeup.

Please contact Smart Skin Clinic for a shopping lift.

Have your concerns and questions about shopping lifts been answered?

At Smart Skin Clinic, our doctors are in charge of the entire process from counseling to treatment. We have a large number of case histories. We do not charge excessive advertising and interior design costs, and we do not force you to choose additional options.

If you have any questions about treatment details, downtime, or other issues, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.


Young In Ha, Jun Hyun Kim, Eun Soo Park. Histological and molecular biological analysis on the reaction of absorbable thread; Polydioxanone and Journal of cosmetic dermatology. 2022 Jul;21(7);2774-2782. doi:10.1111/jocd.14587.