Facelifts are known for their ability to make patients look refreshed, rejuvenated, and wrinkle-free. In fact, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average patient can look as much as 12 years younger after the procedure. However, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that every patient is different. And this means that the results of a facelift can vary from one individual to the next.
While most people share the desire to look as youthful as possible long after the procedure, it’s essential to keep in mind that there are many factors involved when it comes to how long the results will last. In most cases, the results will fade as the person ages, but genetics, the surgeon’s technique and level of skill, additional procedures, your lifestyle, and how you maintain your skin can have a huge impact.
Here are a few factors that you should consider when determining how long you should expect the results to last.
Genetics and the Condition of Your Skin
As earlier mentioned, the results of a facelift often fade as the patient ages. Though many factors can affect the rate at which we age, such as stress levels, diet, medication, exercise, and disease, the speed at which we age is ultimately attributed to genetics. Researchers have even identified a gene that is said to help you regulate the effects of things like sickness and stress. This makes it difficult to ignore heredity and DNA when considering the overall outcome of plastic surgery.
It’s also suggested that the more melanin the skin has, the longer the effects. And this is chiefly due to how easily the skin is damaged. Melanin can protect the skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, which helps it to retain its elasticity and reduces the chances of premature aging.
When considering how long your facelift will last, it’s essential to consider the technique that’s used. Some surgeons use methods that are more invasive than others. In most cases, the more invasive their technique, the longer you can expect the final results to stick around.
For example, a full facelift helps to remove excess skin, smooth out wrinkles and folds, and tighten facial tissue. Individuals who receive full facelifts often have dramatic results that can last well past the 12-year mark. Conversely, mini-facelifts are those that only aim to lift sagging skin and remove wrinkles. S-lifts only improve the sagging around the neck. The results don’t usually last as long for these procedures.
Another factor that can have a huge impact on how long your facelift will last is additional procedures. Not only does it matter how invasive your surgery is, but it also matters what other procedures are done besides the facelift. Things such as rhinoplasties, brow lifts, and eyelid surgery aren’t considered to be a part of the facelift. However, if they’re done alongside the procedure, it can result in a longer-lasting effect.
One of the most important factors in determining the longevity of your facelift is the experience and skill level of your surgeon. Those who specialize in this particular area know how to assess your specific needs. Specifically, they know which techniques can render the best results.
When choosing a surgeon, be on the lookout for someone who has a significant amount of experience with facelifts and make sure that they’re board-certified. Find out which techniques they rely on. And most importantly, take a look at their portfolio of before and after photos. Do they have follow-up photos that show how their work has held up throughout the years? Ideally, you should examine the photos of individuals who are in your age range.
The lifestyle of the patient can also affect how long the results last. The biggest factors include things such as their diet, how often they exercise, and their skincare routine. Here are a few factors that you should consider if you want to ensure that your facelift is worth the investment.
Sun Protection: As previously discussed, the sun can cause premature aging. The more melanin you have, the less damage the sun can do to your skin. However, there are ways that you can protect your skin against the sun regardless of how much melanin you have. One of the most effective ways is to always wear sunscreen when outdoors. Specifically, you should wear sunscreen that is high SPF broad-spectrum every day.
Remain Hydrated: One of the best ways to ensure that your skin maintains its elasticity is to keep it moisturized. And the best source of moisture is water. If you want your results to last long, you must stay hydrated and drink lots of water. It’s best to avoid alcohol as it tends to dehydrate you.
Quit Smoking: Cigarettes can alter your blood flow and accelerate the aging process. And this results in dull, wrinkled skin. If you want the best results, you should quit smoking.
Watch Your Weight: It’s always possible that significant weight gain or loss can alter the results of your procedure. So it’s best to maintain a healthy weight. And this can be done by getting exercise and eating a well-balanced diet.
Consider Follow-up Treatments: If you want the effects to last for a very long time, then you may want to get follow-up treatments. This includes non-surgical treatments such as fillers, chemical peels, and facials. This way, your skin is likely to remain vibrant.
Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions
Perhaps the most crucial part of making sure that your results last longer is to follow the instructions of your doctor. And most importantly, make sure that you show up for every follow-up appointment so that he or she can ensure that you’re on the right track.
Though the results of a facelift aren’t exactly permanent, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to make the effects last for as long as possible. While the results will naturally fade as you age, you can adopt healthy lifestyle choices to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your investment.