Everyone ages differently. Genetics, sun damage, and other environmental factors all play a role in when the underlying foundation of our face starts to change. That being said, there is no set age or simple answer to the question of when to do your facelift. Instead, when evaluating clients, I focus more on the severity of their aging condition, skin elasticity, sag, and droop. This is much more important than age as a determining factor.
While some patients opt to have a mini facelift procedure in their mid-to-late 30s as early aging begins, the most common age for facelifts these days is anywhere from 40-60 as more visible signs of aging occur. I’ve performed first facelifts on patients in their early 80’s, many of whom had thought about a facelift for years, then, for any number of reasons, decided that now was the time. Let’s take a look at a few determining factors that may make you a candidate for facelift surgery.
Droopy or Sunken Cheeks
Volume loss can cause our cheeks to slowly fall over time. While a loss of volume is typically associated with the natural aging process, hormonal changes and weight fluctuation can also affect how well our mid-face looks. While synthetic fillers can be a good short-term solution for droopy or sunken cheeks, a facelift, with or without fat grafting, remains the gold standard for these concerns.
Excessive Nasolabial Wrinkles and Folds
Repetitive facial expressions and movements can cause deep, dynamic wrinkles around the nose and mouth. Some patients are more susceptible than others and can start to see the formation of nasolabial folds as early as their mid-to-late 30s. Facelift procedures re-drape the skin and tighten underlying muscles for long-term wrinkle reduction.
Loose, Sagging Skin
Our collagen levels can start to drop as early as our mid-20s which thins the skin. We also begin to lose the elastic fibers in our skin at this time. Excessive sun exposure accelerates this normal process. As this decrease occurs, many men and women see loose sagging skin that wasn’t there earlier in life. As a general rule, patients should have at least a centimeter of pinchable skin laxity on the lower jawline before considering a facelift procedure. The exception to this rule is when the deeper structures (muscle and deeper fat pads) have sagged, or when substantial volume loss has occurred. In those cases, early facelift procedures, focusing on the deeper structures rather than the skin, are helpful.
Is A Facelift Right for Me?
You may be a good candidate for facelift procedures if you are unhappy with your facial appearance and you’ve considered all of your non-surgical options, or if the non-surgical options are no longer providing the results you want. You should be an otherwise healthy non-smoking adult with realistic expectations about what the procedure can do for you. A well trained plastic surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation surgery can give you an accurate assessment of your suitability for facial surgery. In my practice, I turn away about 30% of all patients who come in for a consultation. For many of the younger patients, that “rejection” is temporary. I tell them to come back annually for a no charge follow up a consultation. At some point, we both determine that now is the right time for surgery. I learn about their skin, their aging process, and their expectation – and we build trust – so that when the time is right, we both feel comfortable moving ahead.
The best way to determine if a facelift is right for you is through an in-person consultation and evaluation with a skilled facial surgeon such as myself. We may decide that you’re better suited for a mini facelift or a minimally-invasive procedure rather than a full facelift. I’ll work closely with you to help restore your natural beauty so you can feel confident in your own skin once again.
Facelift Consultations Available
Take the Next Step
Ready to look and feel your best? Schedule a consultation with Andrew Barnett M.D. to discuss your options today. Consultations are available in both our San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices. You may schedule for either location by calling (415) 943-0749. Renee or Laurie will help you and answer any pre-consultation questions you may have!
*Individual results may vary.