The Perfect Age for Getting a Face Lift | How to get the best surgical result

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How to know when you might get a better result from a Facelift?

There is, in fact, no ‘perfect’ age to get a facelift – the reason being that every patient ages difference. What you might  think is the best age or time to opt for facial surgery, could be the complete opposite for someone else. It’s all about what suits your lifestyle, preferences and timing.

Making decisions about facial surgery relates not only to how you’re ageing, but when you feel comfortable to take surgical steps to enhance or rejuvenate your appearance.

Although there is no ‘one-age-fits-all’ or blanket answer to questions regarding the best age for a facelift, this blog will take a closer look at the potential benefits of this procedure at different stages of life.

Firstly, what can a facelift achieve?

A facelift may correct some of your facial concerns related to facial ageing or sun damage, such as skin collagen loss and facial bone atrophy. The procedure can also help reduce some wrinkles or lines on the lower face as ‘lax’ or loose skin is reduced;  however, a facelift is not a facial wrinkle treatment.

Face Lift Surgery by an experienced Surgeon can give an appearance improvement equivalent to a change of approximately -7.2 years according to Face Lift surgery research findings.

  • A lower facelift can reduce the appearance of sagging jowls or a droopy looking lower face.
  • A mid-facelift can help restore more volume along with the cheekbones if it includes cheek fat pad elevation.
  • Upper face surgery, such as an eyelid lift, brow lift or cosmetic injections around the eye are can help restore a more youthful appearance to an ageing face.

Planning for a facelift

Preparing or planning for plastic surgery at any age requires thoughtfulness, research and understanding around recovery and healing time. If you’re considering a facelift, you’ll need to carefully consider the planning process, anaesthetic and surgery risks, healing and recovery processes including scar visibility, and facelift costs.

With any type of facial surgery, you’ll definitely want to aim for the best possible long-term results. To us, that means choosing the right surgeon for your procedure(s). Because a Facelift is a significant, complex procedure, it’s recommended you choose a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with extensive experience in facial surgery and scar management.

Be sure you know the differences between a so-called “Cosmetic Surgeon” versus an AHPRA recognised Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

Why does the ‘best age’ for having a facelift vary?

What facelift timing suits one person may not suit another, for a host of different reasons.

  • It’s not just about how you’re ageing in the face.
  • It’s also about how your lifestyle will accommodate you taking time to have plastic surgery.
  • There are also surgery costs and scars to consider (winter can be a great time to have a facelift, though, as its easier to stay inside and avoid the sun on your incision lines/scars).

Being healthy is important in helping to reduce your Facelift surgery risks. So if you are considering surgery for facial rejuvenation, be sure you:

  • Follow a nutritious eating plan.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Avoid sun damage/unprotected sun exposure.
  • Limit stress or learn how to cope with stress in a positive manner.
  • Look after your skin with the right cleansing and moisturising regime.
  • Let your Surgeon know of any existing medical conditions, substance use behaviours and medications.

Anatomy and your personal genetics can be more relevant than your actual age when it comes to when it’s best to undertake facial rejuvenation procedures. Yet timing can make a difference in your surgery outcomes, as well as your overall satisfaction levels with your facelift results, particularly over longer terms of time.

So, how do you know which specific age range might be best for you?

Whether a relatively low downtime procedure, such as an upper Eyelid Lift/Blepharoplasty, or facial surgery with a slightly longer recovery time, such as a full facelift or nose reshaping surgery – there are numerous considerations to be taken into account.

In addition to factors unique to you, including your genetic heritage, lifestyle habits, cumulative sun exposure (and whether you’ve had any prior facial procedures such as injectables), there are other key factors that can help you decide when it’s best to proceed with your facelift.

Things to consider before having a facelift include:

  • Preparation of your skin and body for optimal healing.
  • Improving your health for optimal recovery processes.
  • Discussing any chronic conditions or medications with your Surgeon.
  • Recovery time – ensuring the 7 C’s of Optimal Post-Op Care.
  • Scheduling time out from your daily activities.
  • Discussions with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon about your facial surgery options.
  • Getting emotionally ready for the typical ups & downs of the post-surgery recovery period.
  • Payment methods considerations.
  • Follow up consultations (requiring time and potential travel if you live remotely).
  • Maintenance requirements to ensure long-lasting satisfaction with your facelift results.
  • Potential combinations of surgical and non-surgical procedures to get wow results (that won’t look overdone).

With the signs of ageing starting early for some of us who’ve spent a lot of time in the Australia sun, it can be challenging to know when it’s best to start combating the most visible signs of ageing.

Depending on your lifestyle and genetics, the eyes and brow might be the first part of your face to reveal sun damage and other signs of ageing (such as crow’s feet) – with the lip area, lower face and jowls not far behind.

So which is best for facial surgery – early maintenance or later correction?

There are essentially two main schools of thought on when it’s best to opt for a Face Lift procedure – Earlier versus later.

Some Surgeons and Patients find that:

  • Early maintenance from a younger age can help produce better facial rejuvenation results

Other Surgeons and patients feel adamant that:

  • Having surgery later – and opting for a more dramatic rollback of the years – is the best way to rejuvenate the face for long term results.

The ‘Early Years’ Facelift – Before the age of 50

  • If you have a facelift when you’re skin is still quite strong and healthy, such as might be the scenario in your thirties and forties, you may end up with better results as you might heal faster or have less scarring.
  • You might also require a less invasive facelift procedure because your ageing processes won’t be as advanced as they are in your late 50s or 60s and 70s.
  • But there’s no guarantee nor facelift age recommendation to suit every patient.

Even healthy people in their 70s and 80s have had successful facelift surgery.

Want to know the main reason some people have facelift surgery earlier in life, however, at younger ages such as under 50?

  • The timing might suit them – e.g., it might be a post-divorce makeover choice or to compete better in a competitive job market where appearances count (and studies show this could be the case in the majority of professions given our youth-focused job culture).
  • People who seek early facelift surgery or eyelid lifts might be able to get by with a less significant facelift procedure at an earlier or younger age.

If a patient waits until the face is very aged, that means the facelift or necklift surgery is typically going be a lot more substantial, complex or more invasive – and that it may be more difficult to get a good result.

 

Face lift surgery - thread lift vs smac

Key benefits of getting a facelift earlier (at the age of 50 versus the age60)

Ageing is an ongoing, progressively noticeable process. It could be thought of as being a cumulative process; with the first signs usually appearing by the late thirties or early forties.

In relation to face surgery:

Your skin is more elastic in your 50s than in your 60s – which can help with healing and recovery

  • A study published in the journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, showed that long-term effects of a facelift were more noticeable in those in their 50s.
  • Many factors may play into you getting a potentially better result at age 50, including:
    • your skin tends to have better elasticity at 50 years of age than it will at 60 years of age (if in doubt, just look at photos over the past decade to see how much your skin has changed with age)
    • you may have a greater capacity for rapid healing at a younger age than when you’re older

So opting for Face Lift Surgery in your 50s MAY help you get slightly better (and longer-term) results – as well as heal a bit better.

Hence, may have more VALUE as you can stay looking younger for slightly longer (you’d be investing in your surgery earlier rather than later but may get a better long term appearance pay-off).

Catching premature aging helps to hold back the hands of time

Have you noticed premature aging?

This includes deep marionette lines (from your mouth to your lower jaw), sagging jowls, crows’ feet, drooping puffy eyelids and other tell-tale signs of time passing, creeping in and becoming increasingly visible on your face and in photos.

That’s because we lose collagen and facial volume from our 30s and 40s onwards.  Even our bones atrophy, which can leave our features looking less distinguished. With ageing, our entire face or facial skin can end up looking dull, sunken or saggy and crepe-like – as well as sun-worn.

If we invest in a facelift before more advanced signs of aging appear, we are helping to enhance the effectiveness of the surgery and freeze the aging clock.

  • We are generally HEALTHIER in our 50s or younger

In general, we tend to be in better overall health in our 50s (or younger) than when we approach our 60s, 70s or older, when chronic conditions or new conditions become far more common.

  • Being 50 tends to make us better surgical candidates, overall (but this can vary between patients)
  • This can help us heal better or faster – and likely with less risk of complications during the facelift itself
  • We live a more robust life in our 50s than in our 60s – meaning we’ll have more opportunities, and longer, to enjoy looking great

We are at the peak of our lives in our 40s and 50s. We tend to have busier social calendars, ongoing work commitments, and more time for our hobbies or a later-in-life career change.

Whereas for some of us, aged 60 or older, we are starting to consider retirement. We may be slowing down a bit and feel less compelled to stay as busy, or as socially active, as we were in our 50s.

Opting for a facelift in our 50s means we get to show off the results and enjoy them while we remain young, fit, healthy and having fun!

  • We can have less work done and achieve a better effect

So when we opt for facial rejuvenation aged 50, rather than 60, we can have a procedure that makes a BIG difference down the line. It can help speed up healing times and may prevent the need for more extensive Facelift surgery down the line, although there is some maintenance required – and many patients really enjoy a combined approach to better looking SKIN, over the entire face (such as via lasers or light therapy or peels) as well as improved lower face features by reducing sagging jowl skin and tightening loose facial skin.

Key benefits of getting a facelift at the age of 60 versus earlier

The average age of most facelift patients has, in the past, tended to fall in the mid-to-late 50s.  That noted, more people are opting for earlier facial surgeries given the potential benefits, such as listed above.

So if you’re 60 or above, living a vibrant lifestyle, wanting to change careers – or working closely with others who are a lot younger than you are – so long as you are a suitable candidate for Facial Rejuvenation surgery, there’s still quite a lot that a Face Lift procedure can offer you in terms of appearance enhancements.

  • A face lift can help reduce the age of your face by approximately 7.2 years according to research (but this can vary significantly from person to person)
  • You may heal a bit more slowly (but this will depend on your genetics, lifestyle and overall health as well as your ability to follow our Rapid Recovery protocols, which can help your recovery a lot)
  • You may have less hair which tends to cover the behind-the-ear scars
  • You may find your results will last slightly LESS long than if you’d had surgery a bit earlier
  • Combined treatments, such as deep chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing or anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers may be required to get a significantly younger looking facial appearance (that’s why our top Surgeons work closely with our Coco Ruby Skin & Anti Ageing Team for full-face and eyelid rejuvenation)
  • You may want to correct other facial ageing concerns such as getting Eyelid Rejuvenation (Upper or Lower Blepharoplasty)
  • People close to you MIGHT be able to notice the changes to your facial appearance, even where natural-looking, more than they might have noticed these if you had your face lift procedure performed at an earlier age
    • Most will simply notice you look ‘more rested’ or ‘happier’
    • Recovery could take longer, but you can always cover the post-op signs using good camouflage makeup
    • You may want to get additional Healite II treatments or even Fraxel to facilitate your healing or help minimise scars, which are ideally hidden in the hairline

Are you interested in having a facelift? Download our handy guide

Facial Rejuvenation Guide Download

To get started on your Face Rejuvenation journey and meet our highly-qualified Plastic Surgeons and Face Lift Surgeons, Dr Richard Sackelariou (Sydney), Dr Geoff Barnett, and Our Non-Surgical Team, please contact us confidentiality using the form below.

Or if during clinic hours, just give us a call on (03) 8849 1444 to learn more about the different surgeries that are offered by our expert Surgical team of Melbourne’s most experienced Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeons.

You are also welcome to attend one of our special free information evening events.

Last updated: 04/12/2019
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Dr Richard Sackelariou - MBBS, FRACS, FRCS
Dr Richard Sackelariou, MBBS, FRACS/FRCS, is a leading Sydney Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgeon who sees patients in two locations: Double Bay, Sydney and Melbourne VIC (Australia). Dr Sackelariou offers extensive experience in attaining natural-looking, excellent surgical results for patients of all ages. Graduate of Sydney University, FRACS, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery plus additional training in Cosmetic Surgery in Paris at the Clinique Turin in 1994. BIO PAGE: Click here