Instead of turning back the clock in their 60s or 70s, many facelift patients today are deciding to stop the clock several decades earlier in their 40s and 50s.
Younger people are increasingly having facelifts to assure they never actually look like they need a facelift. Patients under the age of 54 accounted for 34% of the 123,685 facelifts performed in the United States in 2019. Their relative youth at the time of their surgery provides some advantages, such as less tissue to be repositioned or adjusted and a quicker recovery time.
A facelift, or rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure to improve visible signs of aging in the face and neck. Office procedures such as Botox, fillers and skin treatments are often helpful for fine wrinkles. However major facial folds, descent of the cheeks to form “jowls” or significantly loose skin of the neck can most reliably be addressed by a surgical approach. The 40s and 50s are often the tipping point for these phenomena as this is often the age when skin thins, face volume deflates, and wrinkle lines become deeper. These decades often also see evidence of aging from sun damage, smoking, gravity, heredity, and stress.
Combating those issues when skin is more elastic, may be an advantage for younger facelift patients. If the underlying tissues are in good shape, a younger patient also might qualify for a partial lift that would reshape just the midface or the neck only, resulting in less downtime and a more discreet transformation. In addition, younger patients are likely hoping to reverse aging by five to 10 years, so results would be less noticeable than a patient hoping to reverse aging by several decades at once.
Facelifts done in the deeper planes of the face can also last for decades and most patients only have a facelift once in their life. Therefore, younger patients pursue a facelift earlier in life because they want to “enjoy” the results of looking younger in their 40 and 50’s and get 30-40 years out of their facelift investment instead of 10-20 years.
Bottom line, a good facelift can be very transforming and assist with self-confidence at any age. Regardless of the timing, removing years of sagging allows patients to reclaim a more youthful look.
The best candidates are in reasonably good health and have a clear expectation of what a facelift might do. The surgery can be done in conjunction with other procedures, such as eyebrow lifts to improve drooping eyebrows and rejuvenate aging eyes and fat transfer or fillers to replace the loss of volume. Laser resurfacing and lip lifts and now more common to improve the appearance around the mouth.
As with any plastic surgery, candidates should schedule an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon to help determine their best course of action. To search for a highly qualified plastic surgeon in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, see Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons’ directory.