Millions of men and women have chosen to get a facelift in order to achieve a more youthful, refreshed look. It’s said that a facelift can take 10 years off your face. While actual results vary by patient, this can certainly be true. There are many reasons you may want to have a facelift.
You have loose skin or excess skin on your face
You have sagging cheeks
You have the appearance of “jowls” around your jaw
You have deepening creases between your lower eyelids and around your lower lip and chin
You have lost definition of your jawline and cheekbones
A facelift can lend a more refined, angular appearance to the face by removing excess tissue that can obscure your jawline and cheekbones. It is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures to help combat some of the most common signs of aging.
If you’re thinking about getting a facelift, there are a lot of things you need to know before you jump in. Let this be your guide to getting beautiful, natural-looking facelift results—and keeping them looking great for years to come.
A facelift can smooth out sagging skin and restore more youthful angles to the face.
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1. Choose the Right Cosmetic Surgeon
One of the biggest factors in getting gorgeous facelift results is choosing the right cosmetic surgeon. There are many to choose from, so take the time to carefully decide who you’ll trust to do your facelift.
- Board certification: Insist on having your facelift done by a cosmetic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Board certified cosmetic surgeons commit themselves to more years of education and to stricter standards of safety and quality of care. A board certified plastic surgeon has a more in-depth knowledge of both anatomy and aesthetics.
- Experience: Experience is important, especially when you’re looking for someone to do your facelift. Choose a cosmetic surgeon who has been doing facelifts for a considerable amount of time. Also, make sure you go with a cosmetic surgeon who does facial plastic surgery on a regular basis.
- Rapport: The relationship between you and your cosmetic surgeon is an incredibly important one. You should be able to speak freely with this person, and you need to feel comfortable working with them. If you feel as if your concerns aren’t addressed seriously or you aren’t confident in a cosmetic surgeon’s abilities, find someone else.
Don’t settle for a cosmetic surgeon you’re not totally comfortable working with.
2. Don’t Rush Your Decision about Getting a Facelift
One way to end up with less than stellar results in many areas of life is to do something hastily. First off, make sure you’re certain that getting a facelift is what you want to do. Having any kind of cosmetic surgery is a major commitment, and the decision to go forward with it shouldn’t be made without careful consideration. Ask yourself if you will be able to take enough time off to recuperate after having a facelift. Take an honest look at your reasons for wanting a facelift, too. As long as they are healthy ones, like those listed in the first part of this guide, you’re probably a good candidate.
Be careful about wanting cosmetic surgery for other reasons. If you get a facelift to please someone else or to fix some underlying issue, you’ll likely be unhappy with even the most excellent results. Once you’ve taken some time to be confident in your decision to go forward with a facelift, you’ve got some homework to do.
3. Do Lots of Research
You would probably do a fair amount of research if you were shopping for a car or even a new vacuum. You should certainly give at least as much time and effort toward learning about facelifts before having one. This includes really looking into cosmetic surgeons to find out which one is the best fit for you.
The internet can (obviously) be a valuable resource as you look for cosmetic surgeons and educate yourself about all things facelift. You can use sites like RealSelf.com to look up ratings and testimonials as you narrow down your cosmetic surgeon search. Be wary as you research, though, and make sure you’re getting information from credible resources such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery website.
4. Keep Your Expectations in Check
Having realistic expectations is part of what makes you a good candidate for a facelift. You should understand what kind of things can be achieved by having a facelift, such as looking younger or feeling better about your facial appearance.
If you are unrealistic about what is possible to achieve, you may not be a good candidate for plastic surgery. For instance, it’s critical that you know plastic surgery cannot fix a genuine self-esteem problem or improve a bad relationship. If you go in with healthy expectations, you’re far more likely to love recognize and appreciate great results.
Our Before & Afters
The gallery contains before and after pictures of actual patients. View all cases for a complete listing of all of our before and after photos of the patients treated.
5. Ace Your Recovery
A smooth recovery is necessary if you want to enjoy beautiful results. Your cosmetic surgeon will give you paperwork explaining things like activity restrictions and your recovery timeline. To say that following these post-operative instructions is important would be an understatement.
- Take your medications on time and in the proper doses. If you need to, recruit someone to help you manage your meds.
- Stock up on medical supplies, healthy snacks and whatever else you’ll need ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it while you’re trying to recuperate.
- Rest, relax and don’t do more than you’re supposed to. If you ignore the instructions regarding activities you should stay away from, you’re risking your recovery. You could end up with a longer recuperation period, potentially injure yourself and negatively affect your results.
It’s tough to be patient as you wait to recuperate from facelift surgery, but the results will be worth the wait.
6. Wear Sunscreen
The sun is not doing you any favors, especially if you’re trying to look younger. UV damage causes collagen and elastin in your skin to break down, leading to lines and wrinkles that make you look older. Wear sunscreen any time you go outside, even if the weather is cloudy. If you’ve been less than disciplined about sunscreen use in the past, it’s never too late to start practicing good sun protection habits. Not only does sun damage cause premature aging, it can also cause major health problems.
7. Maintain a Steady Weight
You might not think your weight has much to do with how your face looks, but it really does. When you gain or lose weight, your face will show it. Losing weight after a facelift can alter the results and leave you with newly sagging skin. That’s why you should be at a healthy weight you feel comfortable maintaining before setting your date for facelift surgery.
8. Eat a Healthy Diet
Your skin will look better, you’ll feel better and you’ll be helping to avoid weight gain that can affect your facelift results. Eating a healthy diet before your facelift can make you a better surgical candidate and can also aid in your recovery. Plus, sticking to good dietary choices after your facelift will only help you to maintain your results. Eat foods that will nourish and beautify your skin.
Of course, healthy eating has plenty of benefits that go beyond your great-looking facelift results. Aim for a diet that is low in sodium, sugar and artificial ingredients. Eat things that are high in nutrients, and watch out for empty calories.
9. Exercise Regularly
You might not think exercise is a factor in getting beautiful facelift results, but it’s actually a big part of maintaining them. You’ll be healthier and look better in general if you make exercising a habit. Physical activity not only helps you to keep off excess weight, it’s important for cardiovascular health even your mental well-being.
10. Nix Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices
To prepare your body for a facelift, you should take good care of yourself and refrain from unhealthy activities. It’s also important to keep making smart choices for your health in order to maintain your results over the long-term. Ditch the things that deplete your body and age you faster. Get plenty of sleep every night and stay well-hydrated. Quit or cut down on alcohol consumption, too, and you’ll enjoy plenty of beauty and health benefits.
11. Adopt a Serious Skincare Regimen
Having a healthy skincare regimen is important at any age, but never more so than when we get older. Taking proper daily care of your skin can help slow down the effects of aging. Here are the steps that should be included in your regular facial skincare routine.
- Cleanse: There’s an old adage aboutwashing off your makeup at night to keep your skin looking beautiful. This is actually sage advice. You should make time to wash your face each night before bed. Remove any makeup and get rid of dirt, grime and environmental pollutants that could be clogging your pores and making your skin look unhealthy. Remember to use a gentle cleanser that won’t dry out or irritate your skin.
- Exfoliate: Regularexfoliation will help you to slough off the top layer of dead skin cells that can sit on the surface of your face, making your skin look rough or dull. Remember not to overdo it, though. Exfoliating too vigorously or too often can actually exacerbate existing issues.
- Moisturize:Using a goodmoisturizer should always be a part of your skin care routine. Weather and other environmental factors — and even the hot water from your morning shower – can leave your skin looking and feeling dried out. Keep your skin softer and smoother by using a daily moisturizer that is made for your particular skin type.
Taking good care of your skin after your facelift will help you maintain a refreshed, youthful look for longer.
12. Only Use High Quality Skincare Products
What you put on your face matters. Use professional-grade products that are formulated with the highest quality ingredients. Many of the skincare products on the market have very convincing commercials and attractive packaging. Of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about whether he or she recommends certain brands or products.
High-end brands such as Obagi® or SkinCeuticals® might cost a bit more than their drug store counterparts, but for good reason. This is certainly a case of getting what you pay for. Using inferior products is often a waste of money, and some ingredients can even make your skin issues worse. A professional skincare practitioner can help you determine which products will give you the best results.
Choose high quality skincare products that are formulated specifically for your skin type.
13. Enhance Your Results with Med Spa Treatments
A facelift can go a long way toward giving you a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing facial appearance. However, getting a facelift won’t change the texture of your skin or fill in lines and wrinkles. A lot of people find that facial rejuvenation treatments help.
BOTOX® can be a great way to compliment your facelift results by eliminating or minimizing the appearance of lines, such as the “11” lines between the eyes, that can really make us look older.
Laser Skin Resurfacing:
Laser skin resurfacing can improve the texture and tone of your skin, minimize acne scars and give you a youthful glow.
Another way to dramatically improve your skin’s texture is to have regular chemical peels. Professional chemical peels are precisely formulated with specific ingredients to address your unique issues and concerns.
If you have a scar that makes you feel self-conscious or that seems to be more noticeable as you age, you may want to consider having it treated along with your facelift. While lasers and chemical peels can help with minor scarring, only scar revision surgery can improve certain types of scars. In general, there are 3 types of scars that can be treated with scar revision surgery.
- Hypertrophic Scars: This type of scar forms a thick cluster of tissue at the site where a wound was. They are sometimes raised and discolored, and may become wider over time.
- Keloid: Keloids are larger scars that extend beyond the edges of the original wound. While they can occur anywhere, keloid scars are more common on areas of the body with less fatty tissue.
- Contracture: A contracture scar is one where the skin and tissue have pulled together during healing, creating a restriction of regular movement. This most commonly occurs with injuries where a large amount of skin or other tissue is lost. Severe burns and wounds that occur across a joint are more likely to develop a contracture scar than other types of wounds.
Another way to enhance the rejuvenating effects of your facelift is to get injectable fillers.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers:
Using HA fillers like Restylane® and JUVÉDERM® is a popular way to treat fine lines and wrinkles on different areas of the face. The hyaluronic acid in these fillers can smooth out lines and even plump your lips.
Nearly as popular as hyaluronic acid fillers, collagen fillers are used to treat similar issues.
RADIESSE® is a calcium hydroxylapatite filler that is also used to treat lines, wrinkles and other signs of facial aging. RADIESSE® doesn’t just act as a temporary filler. It stimulates the body’s own natural collagen production process, enhancing and prolonging the results.
Sculptra® is a synthetic filler made with poly-L-lactic acid. Like RADIESSE®, Sculptra® prompts the body to create its own collagen. This is in addition to the filling and plumping it provides for immediate anti-aging effects.
14. Consider Complementary Surgeries
Many people find their best results by combining a facelift with other complementary surgical procedures. Since skin typically does not sag in only one place on your face, you may find that it will take more than one procedure to produce the look you want. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about your concerns and whether a facelift alone is enough to address them. If not, you can discuss which additional procedures can be done to help you achieve your goals.
Your cosmetic surgeon can help you decide which procedures are most likely to help you achieve the look you want.
- Neck Lift: If you have sagging skin around your jawline, you may also have it around your neck area. This is why a neck lift often makes perfect sense in combination with a facelift.
- Brow Lift: Another tell-tale sign of aging is a drooping brow. This can make us look tired and even angry. A brow lift can open up and smooth out the brow and forehead area to complete the youthful look created by a facelift. There are different techniques for doing brow lifts.
- Endoscopic Brow Lift: During an endoscopic brow lift, a small surgical camera is inserted into small incisions made along the hairline. A tiny surgical instrument is then used to separate the brow from the underlying bone. After the tissue is trimmed and repositioned, the incisions are closed using sutures or clamps.
- Mid Forehead Lift: For this type of brow lift, the incisions are placed within existing forehead wrinkles. Your cosmetic surgeon will remove a small area of excess skin, and carefully re-align the remaining skin. This method is often recommended for people with a long brow line.
- Pretrichial Brow Lift: For this type of lift, the brow and forehead are lifted via an incision placed just inside the hairline. The brow is suspended using internal sutures and any excess skin is removed before the incision is closed.
- Eyelid Surgery: Another major complaint many people have as they age is droopy eyelids. Even if you have excellent skin, this can make you appear years older and even make you look stern or harsh. During eyelid surgery, your cosmetic surgeon can remove excess tissue that may be causing your eyes to look puffy or droopy. The incisions are placed carefully within the natural folds of your eyelid.
- Otoplasty: Otoplasty is sometimes called “ear pinning.” If you have large or asymmetrical ears that bother you, you may want to talk to your cosmetic surgeon about combining otoplasty with your facelift. It’s a fairly simple procedure that can make a significant difference in the aesthetics of your face.
- Rhinoplasty: As we age, the fat distribution on our face changes. The loss of facial fat can make a large nose seem more disproportionate to the rest of the face than it did earlier in life. If you’re unhappy with the way your nose looks, a cosmetic surgeon can advise you about your options regarding rhinoplasty.
- Fat Transfer: Fat transfer is a two-stage procedure. In the first, fat is harvested from your body using liposuction. After being processed and purified, the fat is injected at a variety of depths in different areas of the face. Exactly where the fat is placed and how much is used depends on the person having the injections. This can be a highly effective way to further reduce the signs of aging and to replace lost facial volume.
15. Treat Your Facelift Like an Investment
Cosmetic surgery is an investment in yourself. You’re choosing to spend money, effort and time to improve yourself. Take ownership of your decision, and work to protect your investment. If you had spent money on a new electronic device or even an expensive outfit, you’d take care to keep it in good shape. Consider the investment you’ve made in yourself and make choices that support the long-term maintenance of your results. When you think of it this way, it may be much easier to justify having regular facial treatments and using high-end skin products.