How Do You Know If You Need A Facelift?

The passage of time can be cruel to both men and women, and before we know it, our faces are losing the fight against gravity as we start to spot lax skin, drooping jowls and lines marking our faces in ways we haven’t noticed before.

This is all a natural part of aging gracefully, but unfortunately, mass media seems to take pleasure in bombarding us with images glamorising younger and younger models and actresses, telling us that the only way to be beautiful is to stay young. This is the reason why anti-aging is a booming business, as we lap up all this misinformation and buy into this ‘forever-young’ culture.


Does Your Face Need A Lift?

As we age, collagen and elastin production in our skin inevitably declines, causing our skin to be less supple, with more slack and wrinkles. We may also notice our nasolabial folds, the ‘laugh lines’ extending from the corners of our nose to our mouth, becoming more prominent with time, too.

The traditional facelift entails a surgical procedure to help you look younger — this is mainly achieved by removing excess loose skin in the lower part of the face and neck, tightening the skin around the cheeks and jawline, as well as removing fat under the chin and deep creases in the neck. It is worthy to note that in the United States, more than 100,000 women and 13,000 men had undergone facelift surgeries in 2016.


Downsides of Facelift Surgery

As with any surgery, surgical facelift procedures come with possible complications and risks, like:

  • Haematoma, or a thick mass of clotted blood that forms as a result of the surgery
  • Bleeding, bruising, infection or negative reactions to anaesthesia
  • Nerve damage, which can affect nerves controlling muscles or sensations
  • Scarring, especially around the incision sites
  • Hair loss around incision sites, but this is rare

If you have been lucky enough not to live with a permanently startled, pulled-back look after your facelift procedure, you should note that the effects of facelift surgeries do not last forever, unfortunately — they last for an average of about 7–10 years.

The cost of facelift surgeries can run into tens of thousands of dollars, and is usually not covered by your insurance. The duration of the procedure takes about two to five hours. Lastly, the downtime for such a procedure is considerable at about one to two weeks.


Surgical Prerequisites

Besides the risks, cost and downtime involved, there are a number of considerations that your surgeon would take before going ahead.

  • You should not have high blood pressure, diabetes or problems with blood clotting.
  • Smoking increases the risk of complications and poor wound healing after the surgery.
  • Stop all blood thinners like aspirin to reduce the risk of haematomas, post-surgery.

You should be in general good health and ideally not have a history of ‘yo-yo’ weight fluctuations, in order to qualify for facelift surgery.


Non-surgical Alternatives

With the advent of technology, there are now many types of treatments offered that are non-invasive and do not involve surgery. They typically utilise different types of energy applied to penetrate the skin surface and increase collagen rebuilding in the dermal layer of the skin. With new collagen being regenerated, this results in tightening of loose skin around the cheeks, jawline and neck so that your skin has a firmer, more youthful look.

Since these non-invasive treatments focus on energy, the downtime is significantly reduced, with some even allowing you to resume normal activities right away. However, the production of collagen in the skin takes time, so you would have to wait for a few weeks to months to see the complete progression of results after your in-office treatments.

Results are expected to be long-lasting for such treatments, and unlike surgery, you can always pop in for a touch-up every so often to maintain your more youthful appearance.


Wrinkles, Wrinkles, Go Away

Besides stimulating the production of collagen and elastin in your skin, essentially turning back the clock, what these energy treatments can do is also improve the look of lines and creases in your skin due to aging.

The offered treatments are usually painless and comfortable, and are safe for all skin types. You can start seeing visible skin-tightening improvements in previously drooping jowls in as early as three treatments, with wrinkle reduction observable at around the tenth treatment mark.


Parting Thoughts

Not everyone is cut out for the non-invasive, non-surgical energy treatment modalities, hence it is always a wise choice to seek out a qualified service provider or therapist to assess your skin laxity condition before embarking on your chosen treatment. In some serious cases of drooping or sagging skin, you might be better off with a surgical facelift.

Perhaps, what we really need is to remind ourselves that outer beauty is only part of the equation. If you already feel beautiful on the inside, it will be easier to embrace your flaws as you age — saggy skin, wrinkles, age spots and all.