When to Consider A Facelift: Is 40 Too Young?
One of the questions I get asked most frequently as a plastic surgeon is, “What age does it make sense to begin considering a facelift?” My answer comes as a surprise to most. The average age of facelift clients has actually been on the rise due to a variety of factors, among which are improved modern skincare regimens and the development of new non-surgical procedures. Forty years old is now almost always too young to consider a facelift.
The truth is, facelifts are no longer one of the top five most popular procedures in the US. That wasn’t always the case, but in the past couple of decades, people have a greater awareness of environmental risk factors, particularly skin damage caused by over-exposure to the sun. Sunscreen use has risen dramatically, and there is more emphasis on moderation in sunless tanning, both of which have reduced the amount of skin damage for the average person. This in turn means the average 40 year-old of today looks much younger than the average 40 year-old of 20 years ago, reducing the need for facelifts.
Technological advances have also given birth to a variety of new options for regaining a youthful appearance. These include non-surgical options such as Botox, injectables, microdermabrasion, and peels, as well as new at-home skincare routines.
The primary goal of a facelift is usually to counteract sagging skin around the face, particularly at the jawline and in the cheeks, jowls, and neck areas. Other initial signs of aging that are typically repaired by a facelift are deep creases around the mouth area (called nasolabial folds and marionette lines), displaced facial fat, and creased skin in the neck area.
It should be noted that facelifts themselves have changed rather dramatically over the years. Gone are the days of the “wind-tunnel” look of an overdone facelift, a stereotype that somehow still continues to show up in present-day sitcoms from time to time. Today, most people who consider a facelift are only looking to appear subtly more youthful, for reasons ranging from personal to professional. The range of available facelifts has grown, from a completely minimal or “mini” facelift, to the full facelift, which is a more thorough procedure.
So, if you’re worried that it is perhaps a little too soon to consider a facelift, it might be preferable to start by looking at the alternatives and determining if other options are available to help you achieve the look you desire. And if you’re still unsure, a consultation with your plastic surgeon will help to answer your questions with authority and experience.
Are you around the age of 40 and considering a facelift? Have you already had a facelift and would like to share your experience? Please comment below!