Some facial surgeries make you look younger and others make you look more attractive
A study published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery raised a lot of eyebrows because of unexpected results. Pre and postoperative photos of 37 women and 12 men who underwent facial rejuvenation procedures like facelifts, brow lifts and eyelid cosmetic surgery (blepharoplasty) were evaluated by independent reviewers. Study results showed that plastic surgery made people look about three years younger but had an insignificant effect on their perceived attractiveness.
Michael Yaremchuk, M.D., Chief of Craniofacial Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, took a close look at the study and discussed results with colleagues from the American Society for Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). He reported to the Huffington Post, putting the study in context and explaining the results, which turn out to be not so surprising when you consider the facts:
- The study included only one plastic surgeon's surgeries, which may or may not reflect plastic surgery results in general.
- The study doesn't include any images at all of surgical results.
- Most patients in the study underwent eyelid surgery (upper and lower lid blepharoplasty and browlifts). Standard blepharoplasty can make eyes round and hollow from too much fat and skin removal, which can be aging. Further, young women actually have low brows, which may elevate with age. So it's no surprise that periorbital surgery did not make people look younger.
Even more significant, according to the Yaremchuk, is that "lifts," such as brow lifts, eye lifts and facelifts are designed to bring your appearance to where it was years before. If your facial morphology was considered attractive before the "lift," you will, at best, return to that state. If you were not considered attractive, you will likewise return to a younger version of you.
Facial attractiveness is determined by the balance of your features (nose, chin, cheeks and jawline). Plastic surgeries that change the size and shape of these features can alter attractiveness. The primary determinant of facial appearance is the facial skeleton. And the operations that have the most significant impact on facial appearance are those that manipulate the skeleton: rhinoplasty (alters the nasal bones) and cheek bone, chin and jaw implants.
So, it makes perfect sense that facelifts, brow lifts and eyelid surgeries can help you appear younger, but cannot be expected to change your level of attractiveness. If you're happy with your underlying facial structure and want to look younger, a facelift can be an ideal solution. That being said, consider one more factor: younger is usually perceived as more attractive.