Time affects everything. As it marches on, you see the changes in nature, in attitudes, in mechanical objects, and of course, in your own body. Systems slow down, wear down, and break down. And when they do, it’s time for repair.
When the skin on your face shows signs of aging, there are several things you can do to slow the process, and even reverse it for a while. A surgical facelift is one of them, but what age is best for this procedure?
Robert A. Guida, MD, our double-board-certified plastic surgeon, gets this question a lot, and the short answer is: it depends. Here, he explains the variables involved so you can determine when a facelift is right for you.
How and why your skin changes with age
The main factors that affect your skin are sun exposure, environment, genetics, and time. The combination of these forces alters your skin inside and out. Here are the highlights of the changes you can expect as your skin ages:
- Loss of pigment, sometimes translucent
- Remaining pigment clumps and forms age spots
- Loss of collagen and connective tissue
- Decreased resilience and elasticity
- Blood vessels become more fragile (leads to bruising and angiomas)
- Sebaceous glands produce less oil; skin gets dry
- Loss of fat
So, when you look in the mirror, you see wrinkles and lines because your skin can’t bounce back from constant pressure, stretching, and tugging, and it has lost volume that once kept it taut and smooth. No longer able to resist gravity, jowls begin to form at your jawline, and all your facial skin from hairline to neck line sags and droops.
But take heart — there are ways to reverse these effects.
What does a facelift do?
A facelift is a fairly common surgical procedure these days — more than 234, 000 people a year get one. Although every facelift is one of a kind, the general principle remains the same for all: you undergo a surgical procedure to tighten, reattach, or remove excess skin to alter the contours of your face and restore its youthful appearance.
What’s the right age for a facelift?
There’s no right or wrong age to get a facelift, because every face is different. That said, we typically advise our patients who are considering a facelift to shoot for getting it done in their 40s. At this age, you’re beginning to see the sagging, and it’s only going to get worse. You also begin to notice the textural wrinkles caused by a loss of collagen and elastin, which likely began to deplete in your 20s. And without these proteins at work, there’s nowhere for your skin to go but down.
You can get a facelift well into your 50s and 60s, but keep in mind that the more damage your face has sustained over the years, the more advanced your needs will be than those of someone a decade or two younger. Dr. Guida is highly experienced at performing facelifts on people of all ages, and finds that your actual age is less important than the symptoms you’re experiencing. If you’re not happy with your appearance, it’s time to consider a facelift.
Dr. Guida performs several types of facelifts, including:
- Facial implants
- Facial liposuction
- Deep-plane, 2-layered facelift (focuses on the deeper tissues and muscles)
He also offers his signature 3-in-1 Facelift™, which combines CO2 laser resurfacing, to address textural problems; SmartLipo, to reduce fatty neck tissue; and surgery, to lift and tighten.
What’s too young for a facelift?
Most of our facelift patients are at least 40 years old, but there are some exceptions. However, for most folks under the age of 40, the signs of aging are still fairly mild, and they don’t yet require a surgical fix. In these cases, we may recommend:
Botox® to ease deep creases caused by facial expressions
Dermal fillers to replace lost volume
Laser skin resurfacing to clear away fine lines and age spots
Whatever your age, we have a solution for the aging that’s changing your face. To find out which one is best for the condition of your skin, schedule an appointment at Robert A. Guida, MD, at either of our locations: Staten Island or New York, New York. Call the office, or book online today.