Five Tips for Making Your Facelift Last
Let’s just say you went ahead and did it. In a fit of officially being “over it,” you bid adieu to droopy jowls, a saggy brow and any number of the effects of aging that, as time marched on, became immune to temporary fillers and skin rejuvenating procedures. You went and got a face lift and, fortunately, you’re thrilled with the results. But before you throw in the towel when it comes to healthy living, SPF and skincare, you should know that a facelift doesn’t “stop the clock” on the effects of aging. No, Father Time marches on, bringing with him the same effects of aging, sun damage and hormonal changes that started this whole face-meets-gravity nonsense to begin with. So how exactly does one keep their facelift fresh?
We’ll start with the DIY’s. It’s essential that you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy on the inside is directly correlated with how your body handles aging and recovery on the outside. A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, drinking enough water, not smoking, and continuing a relationship with SPF that borders on fanatical are all essential to keeping your skin looking great, and it just so happens they are key to healing from and maintaining the results of a facelift. So sure, you’re feeling as fresh and dewy as a college graduate, you’ll still want to refrain from living like one. *sorry.
Now that we’ve harped on the at-home basics, let’s talk about a few things you can do to keep the results of your facelift looking fresh with the help of your doctor and some of the treatments and products available to them.
Dr. Richard A. Baxter, M.D. revealed the cold hard truth on ThePlasticSurgeryChannel.com, explaining that a facelift does not mean your days of regular maintenance are over. In fact, he wrote that a facelift merely “disguises” the effects of aging, making maintenance with other treatments that target the aging process essential to making your results last. *We’ll give you a moment to wipe away the tears.
Maintaining your new youthful visage means doing everything you can to make sure that your skin looks healthy, hydrated and youthful. Treatments like IPL, Ultherapy, injectables and the continued use of retinoids and other topicals can all act as support to emphasize your new defying gravity results with a dewy, radiant complexion that looks as young as the rest of you.
As you likely know, retinoids and other anti-aging skincare products like AHA’s, BHA’s and products containing ingredients like resveratrol are great ways to keep your skin exfoliated, with some products even enhancing the production of new skin cells. Treatments like Ultherapy can help stimulate new collagen production — as well as improve skin-tone — using micro-focused ultrasound to lift the skin without surgery, while IPL treatments are key to fixing pigment variations and discernible small blood vessels that might mar your newly minted visage. Since recovery times are different for everyone, you’ll want to talk to your doctor before starting any treatments or new products after your surgery.
And don’t completely rule out fillers and Botox after your facelift. Since swelling changes considerably during the healing process, it’s good to wait several months before consulting your doctor about continuing the use of injectables. But, after a facelift, these treatments can do wonders to minimize new wrinkles from “etching” themselves into your face, help maintain volume where it was lost, and help minimize deeper furrows that you may already have.
So you see, while your facelift may have eliminated the tired, saggy and decidedly aged look caused by a loss of skin elasticity, a loss of facial fat and a lack of youthful connective tissue keeping your face in place, you’ve by no means won the entire war. The clock ticks on, and thankfully there is an entire arsenal of DIY and doctor-facilitated procedures that you can do to maintain the results of your facelift and continue looking fabulous regardless of that little number on your driver’s license.