Facelifts are among the most popular plastic surgeries among women and men. In fact, almost 235,000 facelifts were performed in the United States in 2020 alone. This means if you are considering a facelift this year, you are definitely not alone.
But, not everyone who thinks they need a facelift actually does. In fact, there are several non-surgical and minimally invasive surgical procedures that can correct minor to moderate facial imperfections for men and women who are just starting to notice the unwanted effects of aging.
So, are you too young for a facelift? Is there a different procedure that is better suited to your needs?
Here’s the scoop on what a facelift is, who gets one, and when you may be better off with a less invasive or alternative procedure.
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Who Gets a Facelift?
First, let’s talk about who currently gets a facelift in the U.S.
Facelifts are most popular for women between the ages of 50 to 65 and men ages 71+. However, the reality is that there is no minimum age for a full facelift.
Everyone ages at a different rate, and while some patients may not notice noticeable signs until their late 60s, others may struggle with sagging skin, jowls, and deep creases in their early to mid 40s. This all depends on factors like genetics, lifestyle and overall health (diet, exercise, smoking habits, stress, sleep amounts, etc.), and quality of skin care and maintenance treatments.
While facelift surgery is more common among more mature patients, patients on the younger side of this spectrum may have a few things going for them, including shorter facelift surgery recovery times. That means there are upsides to having your facelift on the earlier side of things.
On the other hand, a facelift in your early 50s (or even earlier, depending upon various factors) could mean you will need a second lift later in life to maintain results you’re pleased with.
Why Not Get a Facelift?
Facelifts seem to be the ideal solution to skin that has begun to sag or lose definition over time. After all, it’s just one surgical procedure. And shouldn’t it make you look instantly younger?
Yes and no. While facelifts are a wonderful procedure for those who qualify, there are reasons some patients put off their facelift procedure until later. These are:
- The price tag. A facelift can cost upwards of $7-10,000 or even more, according to the most recent numbers. Yes, it’s worth it. But combined with, potentially, a younger patient or one with less extensive laxness, fat loss and sagging, a facelift might be a second possible choice instead of the default option.
- Their concerns are better suited with other procedures like laser treatments, dermal fillers, or minimally invasive lifts like thread lifts.
- These factors mean you don’t have to have a facelift if you see things beginning to change in ways you don’t like. But what if you want one anyway? Let’s find out whether you’re a candidate.
Who Can Benefit From a Facelift?
The ideal full facelift candidate:
- The patient has realistic expectations of his or her result.
- The patient is in overall good health.
- Patient DOES NOT smoke. (This is important. Smoking increases surgical risk and complicates recovery for a number of patients.)
- There is laxity and sagging in the lower two-thirds of the face and neck, which can all be addressed with a it.
Alternatives to a Facelift
If you’re not a candidate at this time for a facelift, there are other procedures that can address areas that are bothering you and impacting your self-confidence. (And remember, those are very GOOD reasons to seek plastic surgery.)
- The “liquid facelift” involves a combination of injectables that fills out and defines areas of the face, for a more “awake,” youthful appearance. This may mean restoring volume with dermal fillers or reducing dynamic wrinkles with neuromodulators.
- Mini-facelift: This procedure is less involved than a full facelift, though the results are usually less dramatic. It’s a great option if you’re not ready for a full lift.
- Ultrasound therapy: This non-invasive procedure involves using an ultrasound wand to tighten the skin without surgery.
- Laser therapy: This type of therapy helps improve the tone and texture of the skin.
When You’re Ready For a Facelift
When you do want to get a it, be sure to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. Choose a doctor with a great reputation and the experience you want to get your best possible result.
By carefully discussing all options with a plastic surgeon, you can find the procedure that will give you a new look and the self-confidence you need to be the best “you” that you can be.