As you get older, your skin begins to sag, wrinkles form, and everything seems to shift a little lower. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but luckily, there are options to help you age gracefully – including facelifts. And while it used to be that people would wait until their 60s or 70s to consider a facelift, these days more and more people are considering facial plastic surgery in their 40s and 50s.
In fact, 21% of people that had a facelift in 2020 were aged 40-54. Facelift procedures are customized to each person, but there are some common trends regarding what types of cosmetic concerns are most likely to be a focus for different age groups.
Is There a “Right” Age for a Facelift?
While the aging process is inevitable, not everyone ages at the same rate or in the same way. Some people may experience more severe aging effects in their 40s, while others may not see significant changes until their 60s. This means that there’s no “right” or “ideal” time for a facelift – it entirely depends on when you feel that you’ve “had enough” of the aging you’re seeing in the mirror and it’s time to take action. Let’s look in more detail at the common issues a facelift will correct for different age groups.
Facial Rejuvenation in Your 40s
If you’re in your 40s, the most common aging effects that can be addressed through a facelift are usually related to volume loss in the mid to lower face. As you age, your face can lose fat, causing the cheeks to flatten and the skin to sag. A facelift in this age range is typically focused on restoring volume and tightening loose skin. This may involve including fat grafting as part of the facelift, where fat is taken from another part of the body and injected into the face to add volume.
Facial Rejuvenation in Your 50s and 60s
By the time you’re in your 50s and 60s, the aging effects on the lower face become more pronounced. The skin loses even more elasticity, and deep wrinkles and folds may begin to form. At this stage, a facelift is typically more focused on lifting and tightening the skin, along with wrinkle reduction and smoothing the skin tone. A facelift at this age also often includes a focus on the skin and tissue of the neck, a procedure that some surgeons refer to separately as a neck lift.
Facial Rejuvenation in Your 70s and Beyond
Going back to the point made earlier, there is no “right” time for a facelift and many people who think they are “too old” to have cosmetic surgery are in fact great candidates who can enjoy the results of a facelift for many years to come. For older patients, a big focus is often on sagging skin on the jaw and neck. This can be a considerable source of self-consciousness. People in their 70s and 80s who have facelifts usually are not trying to radically transform their look so that they can appear many decades younger. Instead, they have the goal of “looking great for their age” – still like themselves, but with a defined jaw and smoother skin that still looks very attractive.
Considering Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation
We’ve spent a lot of time focused on a surgical facelift, but what if you’re in your 40s and feel like you’d rather try a few nonsurgical options first? The good news is that there are plenty of non-invasive treatments available that can help reduce the signs of aging. These can include injectables like BOTOX® or Dysport®, and dermal fillers, which can help smooth out wrinkles and add volume to the mid- to lower-face. Nonsurgical procedures can also focus on other areas of the face that a surgical facelift doesn’t target. For instance, OcuRx can be a great option if you are noticing signs of aging in your lower eyelid area.
Whether you’re ready for a facelift or deciding to go the nonsurgical route, it’s important to make sure that you consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon when it comes to facial rejuvenation. By choosing a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re in the hands of a qualified professional who has the skills and knowledge to deliver safe and effective results.
Dr. Raghu Athré is one of the few cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons in Houston who is a double board certified Facial Plastic surgeon, certified in Otolaryngology and Head/Neck Surgery.