A facelift is a surgery that reverses the signs of ageing, which typically starts appearing when we enter our 40s. Also known as rhytidectomy, a facelift is a cosmetic surgery that removes skin laxity, raises the skin, and tightens the structures of the face.
However, we all age at different rates in unique ways. Facelift surgeons treat patients of a wide range of ages, using the most appropriate type of facelift to resolve their specific ageing concerns. In this article, we’ll discuss the ageing process in more detail so that you determine if a facelift is a suitable treatment for you.
Am I Too Old For a Facelift?
A facelift is an established procedure that has undergone significant advancements over the years in terms of safety and results. As such, there is no specific upper age-limit restriction for a facelift, with many patients undergoing the procedure even in their 80s with satisfactory results.
However, 40-60 is considered to be the ideal age range for achieving the best result, as patients still have sufficient skin elasticity to make the effects of the facelift appear natural. However, some people have better skin quality than others and thus develop signs of ageing at a later age. A facelift would be just as effective on such patients as on younger patients with more advanced signs of ageing.
Am I Too Young For a Facelift?
The youngest age at which patients seek a facelift is usually 35, although the procedure is safe for adults below this age. Typically, a mini facelift is sufficient for resolving the concerns of patients in their 30s or younger. A mini facelift procedure resolves mild to moderate skin laxity in the mid to lower face through a small incision in front of the ear.
Furthermore, everyone ages differently due to genetics and lifestyle factors. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for patients in their 20s and 30s to develop signs of ageing such as skin laxity, wrinkles, and jowls. Depending on your cosmetic concerns, your surgeon will recommend the most appropriate type of facelift or a less-invasive treatment to restore a youthful look to your face.
Top Reasons to Get a Facelift
Listed below are the most common reasons for patients choosing facelift surgery. If you have one of the age-related cosmetic concerns mentioned below, you may be a good candidate for the procedure.
Jowls and Sagging Skin
As we age, the production of elastin and collagen that keeps the skin firm diminishes with age. As a result, we develop sagging skin in our face and body, including jowls which refers to the excess skin and fat between the chin and jawline. By removing excess skin and lifting the remaining skin, a facelift and neck lift can eliminate jowls. In addition to a facelift, there are a range of minimally-invasive cosmetic treatments for sagging jowls.
Wrinkles are the creases and folds that develop in your skin as you age due to your skin becoming drier, thinner, and less elastic, thus less resistant to damage.
There are different types of wrinkles, such as forehead lines, nasolabial folds, and marionette lines. A facelift significantly improves the appearance of all wrinkles as it lifts and stretches the skin to make it appear smoother. However, some facelifts are more effective at treating specific types of wrinkles than others. For example, the extensive vertical lift produced by a deep plane facelift successfully addresses nasolabial folds.
Fine lines are one of the first signs of ageing that develop due to the repeated contraction of our muscles. Like wrinkles, they appear along our expression lines such as the forehead, the outer corners of the mouth and eyes (laugh lines), and between the mouth and chin (marionette lines).
The difference between fine lines and wrinkles is in their depth. Fine lines are shallower but can eventually deepen into wrinkles. However, as fine lines are more superficial than wrinkles, less invasive methods such as CO2 laser treatment can improve its appearance.
As the facial skin sags and the muscles weaken with age, many people develop a chronically tired look. In particular, sagging around the eyebrows and eyelids enhances the appearance of fatigue, along with the volume loss that causes certain areas of the face, such as the cheeks, to appear hollow.
A facelift provides a more rested look by eliminating sagging skin. Facelift surgeons sometimes combine a facelift with a brow lift and fat transfer surgery (also known as an extended facelift), which is sometimes combined with eyelid surgery to treat all indications contributing to a tired look.
Types of Facelifts
Depending on the specific age indications and areas of your face that you wish to improve, your surgeon will vary the facelift procedure to produce your desired results. Listed below are the different regions of the face that a facelift can treat. In addition, surgeons employ an array of techniques and technologies to tailor the procedure for each patient’s requirements.
A traditional facelift, also known as a full-facelift, resolves skin laxity in the entire face from the temples to the jawline. Many patients combine the procedure with a neck lift for a seamless result. The incision for a full-facelift runs from the temple, along the hairline, and ends behind the ear. As a result, the surgeon can hide the scars from the incision behind the curvatures of the face.
A mini facelift resolves skin laxity in the mid to lower region of the face, from below the lower eyelids to the jawline. It requires a small incision in front of the ear, which enables the surgeon to treat jowls, nasolabial folds, among a range of other indications in the area. As with a traditional facelift, the surgeon employs different techniques to manipulate the skin and the underlying muscle layer in the mid to low face.
An upper facelift, also known as a brow lift, is a surgery that removes excess skin and raises the skin around the forehead and eyes. The combination of a brow lift with a full facelift is known as an extended facelift. Many patients with skin laxity from their forehead to their jawline and neck undergo this comprehensive treatment to ensure that the skin’s texture is even across the face for a natural result.
A mid facelift, also known as a cheek lift, is a type of facelift that addresses skin laxity between the eye area and the upper mouth. It is an ideal procedure for patients who wish to lift their cheeks and contour their cheekbones. To perform a mid-facelift, the surgeon makes two small incisions along the hairline to tighten the muscles, remove excess skin, and reposition the fat pads beneath the skin.
Should I Get a Facelift?
Getting a facelift is a personal decision that you should carefully consider. Discussing your cosmetic concerns with your plastic surgeons is the most definitive way to determine whether a facelift is suitable for you. With that said, it is a popular surgery that many patients consider worthwhile as it makes them appear significantly younger.
A facelift can help any adult, whatever their age, regain their confidence by rejuvenating their facial features. Furthermore, when performed correctly, it delivers natural-looking results that can last for decades, as your surgeon can customise the procedure to address your unique signs of ageing and facial structure.
If you would like to further discuss your suitability for a facelift, book a consultation with one of our recommended facial plastic surgeons.