Many women (and men) discover the allure of Botox in their 30s and 40s. Some even start in their 20s to stave off even the earliest frown and worry lines. And with good reason. Botox is great to erase fine lines and wrinkles from your face, and can even “train” your muscles to frown less. You can also replace lost volume with fillers such as Juvederm, or improve your skin tone and texture with laser treatments. But none of these non-invasive facial rejuvenation treatments can combat gravity, the ultimate culprit of the aging process. When your skin and muscles have started to seriously droop, it may be time for a facelift.
When is that time? The answer is that it depends. Beyond simple genetics, the rate at which your face ages varies with your skin quality, the extent of loss of volume in your face, and the effects of gravity particularly on your jowls and neck.
Diminished Skin Quality
Unfortunately, the skin is one of the first places your body shows the signs of aging. This can be accelerated by such lifestyle choices as diet, sun exposure, and smoking. If you’ve been “good” in all those areas, your skin may have aged at a slower clip than most people, but even the best skincare can’t prevent the quality of our skin to diminish over time. By surgically tightening your skin, a facelift will give it a younger appearance. Even if your skin quality is still good, it may be time for a facelift because of other factors.
Loss of Volume
Again, different people experience a loss of volume in their face at different rates. If you have a rounder and plumper face, this may actually help you look younger than your age. A tell-tale sign that it is time for a facelift is that sunken look above your cheekbones, and it is less visible for people with more fat in their face. If you undergo extreme weight loss, it can actually make you look older faster, even though your body will be in better shape. A facelift by itself cannot replace all lost volume, but with increased age neither can fillers alone. A combination of both is ideal.
Sagging Jowls and Neck
Some call it turkey neck, others just complain about their hanging jowls. When the skin of your lower face and neck begins to sag and show folds, it is the most tell-tale sign of aging. Different patients experience it at a different rate. When you look into the mirror and realize it bothers you, it may be your time for a facelift.
Given these different rates of aging, our facelift patients range in age from their 40s to 70s, with the largest group somewhere in their early to mid 50s. You may want to graduate from non-surgical procedures to a facelift when your skin quality is still good, when your jowls begin to sag, and when fillers and injectables alone no longer seem to work on their own.
What does a Facelift do?
When we refer to a standard or classic facelift, we are talking about the tightening of the skin in your lower face and neck. It is also sometimes referred to as a lower facelift or mini facelift. By eliminating sagging skin and folds in these areas, a facelift gives you a younger appearance. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to undergo the most invasive form of surgery. In this age, a plastic surgeon has many tools at his disposal to rejuvenate the face, including non-invasive techniques like laser and RF energy. The best facelift outcomes can be achieved with a combination of surgical and non-surgical methods.
Other Facial Procedures
You may want to rejuvenate other areas than just your neck and lower face. The area around your eyes is also vulnerable to the signs of aging, and eyelid surgery or a brow lift can do wonders to take years off your appearance. Any of these procedures can easily be combined with a facelift into a single procedure, so that you do not have to deal with separate appointments and recovery periods.
Whether or not you are ready for a facelift, the best way to find out how you can achieve a younger looking face that will last into old age is to make an appointment with your plastic surgeon so that he or she can help you decide on a customized treatment plan. Please contact us to schedule an appointment, or learn more by visiting our Facelift FAQ page.