The typical facelift patient is in their 50s or 60s — around this age, both wrinkles and contour changes start to appear in the face and neck. Occasionally, a patient in their 30s can have enough early aging changes to justify a facelift. Because of this, the right time to have a facelift is not based on the age of the patient. Instead, the necessity for a facelift is based on the aging changes that are present — regardless of the patient’s age.
Facelifts for Younger Patients
Facelifts in younger patients occur because of extreme weight loss, genetics, or even unfavorable facial bone structure, all of which can cause early sagging in the face and neck. But, can someone still be too young for a facelift? The answer is yes. There is almost no one in their 20’s who would get enough benefit from a surgical facelift. A facelift at such a young age would not achieve long-lasting results. If the patient thinks they need a facelift, they most likely just need more volume in the face. In these younger patients, adding back volume to the face can almost always give them the youthful lift, shape and contour they were hoping to achieve with a facelift
Non-surgical Options for Youthful Volume
There are several ways to achieve more youthful volume in the face in nonsurgical ways. A young patient can start with laser skin resurfacing to rejuvenate the skin’s elasticity. Another easy and non-permanent way is through injectable fillers, such as Voluma for cheek volume and Restylane or Juvederm for other areas. Other products (such as Botox) work very well. If the patient likes the results of these non-permanent fillers, they can continue to be used effectively and easily, often for years, achieving results similar to a facelift until the patient has truly aged to a point that a facelift is required.
If you are older than your 20’s and are thinking about a facelift, these are the aging factors we consider: the bony facial structure, the amount of soft tissue volume, the overall shape of your face, and the integrity and elasticity of your facial tissue. We also analyze skin quality and environmental damage to the skin.
Comprehensive vs. Mini Facelift
There are several facelift options to decide between when considering a facelift: a full, comprehensive facelift; a less invasive “mini” facelift; and a cheek or neck lift. A full facelift extends from the lower eyelids to the lower neck. The mini facelift lifts the same areas, but is designed for younger patients who don’t have much heaviness in the lower face or those who are just looking for a “minor touch up.” A cheek lift is the “upper” part of a full facelift (lower eyelids to just above the jawline), and a neck lift is the “lower” part of a full facelift (the jawline to the lower part of the neck). Any of these procedures can be done as first-time facelifts, facelift touch-ups, or revisions to a prior facelift.
Right Time for a Facelift
Facelifts are semi-permanent. A well-done facelift lasts from 10-15 years before needing to be re-done. And while you will continue to age at your normal rate following a facelift, you will always look better than you would have looked had you not had your facelift, even 25 years later. The right time to do your surgery is typically when you are regularly bothered or upset about the way you are aging. If you are in your 20’s or 30’s, perhaps a small amount of well-placed filler is all that you need. If you are in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, or even your early 70’s when these aging changes start to become a concern, it’s worth a visit to see what options are available.