Dr. Menachof, MD, FACS has performed thousands of facial plastic surgery procedures in over 20 years of experience. He has been recognized as a Fellow by multiple academies, named one of America’s Top Facial Plastic Surgeons continually since 2003 and is featured in multiple national publications.
The typical facelift patient is in their 50s or 60s. Around this age, both wrinkles and contour changes start to appear in the face and neck. Occasionally, a patient in their 30s may have enough early aging changes to justify a facelift. The point is, the right time to have a facelift is not determined by the age of the patient, but instead is based on the aging changes that are present in their facial features. Discussing your aging signs with a qualified surgeon is the best way to determine if you are ready for a facelift.
Facelifts for Younger Patients
Facelifts in younger patients can be necessary because of extreme weight loss, genetics, or even unfavorable facial bone structure, all of which can cause early sagging in the face and neck. However, it is still possible for someone to be too young for a facelift. There is almost no one in their 20’s who would benefit from a surgical facelift. A facelift at such a young age would not achieve long-lasting results. If a young patient thinks they need a facelift, they most likely are looking for more volume in the face. In these younger patients, adding back volume to the face with non-surgical fillers can almost always give them the youthful lift, shape and contour they are hoping to achieve with a facelift.
There are several ways to achieve more youthful volume in the face in nonsurgical ways. A young patient can start with laser skin resurfacing to rejuvenate the skin’s elasticity. Another easy and non-permanent way to enhance the skin’s volume is through injectable fillers, such as Voluma for cheek volume and Restylane or Juvederm for other areas. Other products (such as Botox) can also work very well. If the patient is pleased with the results of non-permanent fillers, this solution can continue to be used effectively and easily, often for years, achieving results similar to a facelift until the patient has truly aged to a point that a facelift is required.
If you are older than your 20’s and are thinking about a facelift, these are the aging factors we consider:
- Bony facial structure
- Amount of soft tissue volume
- Overall shape of your face
- Integrity and elasticity of your facial tissue
- Skin quality and environmental skin damage
Comprehensive vs. Mini Facelift
There are several facelift options to decide between when considering a facelift: a full, comprehensive facelift, a less invasive “mini” facelift, and a specific cheek or neck lift. A full facelift extends from the lower eyelids to the lower neck. The mini facelift lifts the same areas, but is designed for younger patients who don’t have much heaviness in the lower face or who are just looking for a minor touch up. A cheek lift is the “upper” part of a full facelift (lower eyelids to just above the jawline), and a neck lift is the “lower” part of a full facelift (the jawline to the lower part of the neck). Any of these procedures can be done as first-time facelifts, facelift touch-ups, or revisions to a prior facelift.
Right Time for a Facelift
Facelifts are semi-permanent. A well-done facelift lasts from 10-15 years before needing to be re-done. And while you will continue to age at your normal rate following a facelift, you will always look better than you would have looked had you not had your facelift, even 25 years later. The right time to do your surgery is typically when you are regularly bothered or upset by the way you are aging. If you are in your 20’s or 30’s, perhaps a small amount of well-placed filler is all that you need. If you are in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, or even your early 70’s when these aging changes start to become a concern, it’s worth a visit to an experienced surgeon to see what options are available.
This article was originally posted in May 2017 and has been republished in 2022 with updated information.