Many patients may be surprised to hear that the best age for a facelift isn’t really a number at all! Everyone ages at different rates, and how time and gravity take their toll will vary between individuals.
In this blog post, I will explain what factors to consider before undergoing facelift surgery, how long you can expect your results to last, and what other facial rejuvenation options are available if surgery isn’t the right fit.
What Can a Facelift Do?
A facelift revitalizes the lower two-thirds of the face (cheeks, jawline, and chin) as well as the neck. During the procedure, your board-certified plastic surgeon will reposition the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS), a tissue layer connecting the facial muscles, to restore structural integrity to a sagging face.
Excess skin and fat are removed, and the remaining skin is tightened, creating more youthful and well-defined contours. A facelift can comprehensively address several cosmetic concerns, including:
- A double chin (submental fat)
- Jowling caused by a loss of muscle tone and loose, sagging skin
- Platysmal banding (vertical neck lines)
- Lost volume in the face as fat migrates to the chin and jawline
- Nasolabial folds (also called smile lines, laugh lines, or parentheses lines)
A facelift does not address the eye area or forehead; however, it can be combined with eyelid surgery and/or a brow lift for full facial rejuvenation. Patients mainly concerned with skin laxity around their chin and jawline may also be good candidates for a mini facelift, a shorter, less extensive version of the traditional facelift.
What Is the Average Age for a Facelift?
While there is no “right” age to get a facelift, most of our patients tend to be in their 40s to 70s. Some people with mild skin laxity are pursuing a mini facelift to delay the need for a more significant intervention. Others are refining a previous facelift procedure after 10 to 15 years, and still others are choosing to take the plunge and finally get the younger look they’ve been wanting!
Most of our patients will express a disconnect between the face they see in the mirror and their young, vibrant self-image. Facelift surgery—whether you are in your golden years or entering middle age—can restore that outward vitality.
Factors To Consider Before Undergoing Facelift Surgery
As with any surgical procedure, a facelift is a significant investment of time, energy, and money. In choosing to pursue cosmetic surgery, you will need to keep the following in mind:
Patients of any age need to be in good physical health and able to tolerate anesthesia safely. Furthermore, they must have the time and ability to commit to the recovery period, which typically requires 2 weeks of surgical downtime.
Please consult with your physician to confirm that you are healthy enough for surgery, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Emotional and Psychological Readiness
Mentally preparing yourself for your procedure and having realistic expectations about what outcomes can be achieved are just as important as a clean bill of health.
Understanding that your initial results (which will be affected by bruising, swelling, and sutures) will not reflect your final outcome can also help you avoid any worry or disappointment. The recovery process may also require you to lean on friends and family for help, so planning ahead can ensure you get the emotional and physical support you need.
In addition, it’s important to prepare yourself for social downtime—when you are feeling physically better but not yet ready to go out in public.
Some patients may experience anxiety about revealing their newly refreshed appearance. However, many people won’t even realize that you’ve had any work done—but they will notice how great you look!
Other factors can also influence whether surgery is a good fit for you at this time. Some of these factors include:
- Your finances
- Your flexibility in taking time from work or school to recover
- Your ability to adhere to postoperative instructions
- How willing you are to make changes to maintain your results (such as diligent sun protection and not smoking)
How Long Do Facelift Results Last?
A facelift can take years off your appearance and last upward of a decade. Although it turns the clock back about 12 years, the aging process will continue as normal. You will likely re-develop visible signs of aging, but you will always look younger than if you had never had a facelift.
Patients can extend the life of their results by practicing good skincare habits, leading a healthy lifestyle, and getting nonsurgical touch-up treatments to enhance their rejuvenation.
You can see more of our patients results in our photo gallery.
Whether to boost your facelift results, delay the need for cosmetic surgery, or avoid going “under the knife” altogether, nonsurgical facial rejuvenation options offer versatile (though temporary) enhancements.
Using dermal fillers and BOTOX® Cosmetic can offer patients a “liquid facelift” that restores volume, fills in wrinkles, and eases expression lines for smoother, younger-looking skin. Fat injections can also augment sunken cheeks and temples as well as treat hollowing in the under-eye area.
Lastly, laser skin resurfacing can improve skin texture and quality by correcting discoloration, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and even firming and tightening the skin by promoting collagen production.
The best age for a facelift is when the way you look doesn’t reflect the age you feel. While it revitalizes the lower face and gives patients a significantly refreshed appearance, it may not be the best choice for everyone.
A more targeted procedure, such as a mini facelift or brow lift, or nonsurgical interventions may provide the facial enhancements that patients seek. Learn more about how a surgical facelift compares with nonsurgical options in our related blog post.