A facelift is a great way to brighten your face, smooth out your skin, and reduce the effects of aging. Your doctor will put great care and effort into ensuring that you achieve the results you hope for, but your choices after the procedure will also have an effect on your results. Here are eight steps you can take to achieve the best possible results from your facelift:
1. Follow your doctor’s post-op instructions.
It takes a full year for your face to fully heal after the surgery, but the way you take care of your face in the first couple weeks of recovery can have a huge impact on your results. Your doctor will give you thorough instructions for how to care for the incisions and scars to make sure that they heal quickly. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and ask. If your doctor doesn’t give you written instructions for caring for your face during recovery, make sure you write everything down yourself.
2. Have a healthy skincare routine.
A regular skincare routine is essential for maintaining your results and keeping your skin bright and healthy. You should wash your face twice per day with a cleanser that works well for your skin type. If you’re not sure what cleanser to use, you can consult a skincare specialist or just try a few options until you find the best one. You should also use a moisturizer with SPF every day. Even when it’s cloudy or cold outside, the sun can damage the skin on your face.
3. Avoid sun exposure.
The sun’s UV rays can damage the collagen and elastin in your skin, which will cause wrinkles. Excessive sun exposure can also cause age spots or liver spots. Sun damage is irreversible, so it’s important to prevent it by wearing sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF every single day. If your skin is very sensitive to the sun, you should get a clinical grade sunscreen from a skincare specialist or from your doctor.
You should also limit your exposure to harsh or direct sunlight with hats or umbrellas. When possible, stand in the shade or plan outdoor activities for the morning or late afternoon, so the sun won’t shine directly on you. Even if you don’t get sunburns easily, you should be careful about your sun exposure. Damage can happen even when you don’t burn.
4. Eat a healthy diet.
The food you eat has a big impact on your skin and face. Your diet should be full of greens, fruits and veggies, complex carbohydrates, and protein. All of these foods will keep your skin nourished and maintain its elasticity, which will prevent wrinkles. Eat plenty of citrus fruits to get vitamin C, which promotes collagen production and strengthens your skin. Eat nuts and spinach for vitamin E, which smooths out scars and rough skin. Eat sweet potatoes, fish, and fruit for vitamin A, which helps your skin stay moisturized and heal without scarring.
5. Drink plenty of water.
Drinking lots of water is one of the most important things you can do to keep your skin healthy. It will keep your skin strong, elastic, and smooth. You should drink at least eight cups of water per day to achieve the best facelift results. If you’re not in the habit of drinking a lot of water, write reminders to yourself in your kitchen, your bedroom, your car, or on your phone. Whenever you see the reminder, drink a cup of water.
6. Quit smoking.
There are lots of negative effects of smoking, including skin damage. Nicotine dries out your skin and causes premature aging. It also affects your skin’s ability to heal, so smoking shortly after your surgery could make your scar more noticeable and long-lasting. Your doctor will probably require that you stop smoking while you recover. However, you should consider quitting permanently to maintain good results.
7. Reduce stress.
Stress can take a serious toll on your physical health, and it can prevent you from achieving optimal results. Over time, chronic stress can cause wrinkles and premature aging. If you tend to get worried or stressed out easily, try to incorporate relaxation techniques into your everyday life. Practice breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation, and find a hobby that relaxes you. Many people find that exercise is a great stress reliever, and it has plenty of other health benefits. Reducing stress in your life will bring about countless physical and mental health benefits, and it will keep your face looking young and fresh.
8. Have maintenance procedures.
You can get regular, noninvasive procedures that will help you achieve the best results. For example, you could get laser treatments or microneedling, which both boost collagen production and prevent wrinkles. You could also get Botox injections to minimize lines and wrinkles. Another option is chemical peels, which reduce the appearance of age spots and fine lines.
You could also get additional surgical procedures to boost the results of your facelift. One popular procedure is a facial fat transfer, which smooths out areas of your face by transferring fat from another part of your body. Eye lifts and brow lifts can also help your face look younger and brighter.
Dr. Stephen Weber, MD and his colleagues at Weber Facial Plastic Surgery in Denver have years of experience with a variety of cosmetic procedures, including facelifts. Dr. Weber is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who completed a prestigious fellowship at the University of Michigan.