As the popularity of non-surgical treatments and “nano” anti-aging therapies soars, more and more people are starting to approach cosmetic medicine from a preventative standpoint—and at an earlier age. For the last few years, the topic of millennials and plastic surgery has been covered by beauty magazines and bloggers, with headlines claiming that younger generations are increasingly opting for cosmetic procedures.
While these stories might be stretching the truth somewhat (patients between the ages of 35-50 still make up the largest percentage of cosmetic surgeries performed), it’s true that we are seeing more and more younger patients who are concerned with aging.
In fact, one of the most common questions we hear is, “am I too young for a facelift?” When considering the effects and impact of aging, no two people are exactly alike. All of us have different genetic traits and life experiences, which ultimately contribute to the condition of your skin and overall “genetic age.” With this in mind, let’s explore the “ideal” age for getting a Lafayette facelift and how Dr. Duplechain’s advanced facelift techniques differ from many others who offer procedures.
So, what exactly is a facelift?
A facelift is a procedure that lifts and tightens facial skin to reduce excess, sagging skin and deep wrinkles and creasing. Traditional, deep plane facelifts include tightening the SMAS (superficial musculoaponeurotic system), which is the underlying muscular structure and overlying tissues. This elevates facial fat and tissues to a more youthful position while reducing the appearance of jowling. Full facelifts are often combined with additional procedures, such as a brow lift, neck lift, or eyelid lift for full facial rejuvenation. Traditional facelifts usually offer the most visually dramatic results for men and women who are experiencing deep creasing on the face and drooping skin.
However, facelifts are not a one-size-fits-all procedure—and the technique used will be fully customized to your personal needs. Dr. Duplechain often uses traditional techniques focused on certain problem areas on younger patients for a more subtle improvement that is less invasive, for example.
Dr. Duplechain’s unique facelift approach
Dr. Duplechain has refined his approach to facelifts over many years and now performs an advanced facelift technique for patients with significant skin laxity, neck banding and loss of facial volume. This technique is called the modified composite facelift, and it safely results in substantial improvement to not only the jawline and cheek complex, but also the junction between the lower eyelid and the cheek which is often neglected with other facelift techniques. Moreover, Dr. Duplechain’s refinements to this technique incorporate minimally invasive measures, including endoscopic approaches to lift and rejuvenate the face.
I’m only in my 30s—is that too young for a facelift?
There is no easy way to answer this question because everyone ages differently and at varied rates. While some people retain a youthful appearance well into their 40s or even their 50s, others may show some advanced signs of age earlier. Not only that, patients who have lost a significant amount of weight may feel self-conscious over drooping skin on the face, regardless of their age.
Because genes play such a huge role in our appearance and how we will age, some people experience common signs of aging much earlier in life. Therefore, to truly answer the question of whether a facelift is right for you, it’s necessary to consult one-on-one with an experienced cosmetic surgeon. They may find that you are a candidate for the surgery, or they may be able to recommend different options or procedures that address your unique and individual concerns.
As a younger individual in your 30s or 40s, you may not have significant skin laxity, wrinkling, or banding in the neck—and therefore you may be looking for a less invasive option to a full facelift. In these cases, Dr. Duplechain will customize a surgical treatment plan for you, often to recreate the youthful jawline that many of us would like to have.
Many younger patients come to Dr. Duplechain for facial rejuvenation procedures and often believe they are not candidates for surgical treatments until they develop severe sagging and wrinkled facial skin. Therefore, many people think that the only treatment options that they can have are injectable fillers and nonsurgical treatments. However, this is not always the case. With Dr. Duplechain’s minimally invasive surgical rejuvenation techniques, often a surgical option is more cost effective in the long run and can provide overall better results with minimal downtime. Problem areas like cheek laxity or prominent tear trough deformities are not well treated with non-surgical options. The combination of surgery with minimally invasive neck lifting techniques and adjunctive subdermal skin tightening technologies, such as Renuvion, can help patients achieve a dramatic improvement with minimal downtime and no visible scars.
What is the “ideal” age for a facelift?
When considering statistics and patient demographics alone, 55-65 tends to be the average age of facelift patients. This is often the age when non-surgical treatments, creative makeup application, and a solid at-home skincare routine no longer yield satisfying results—and lax skin and deep-set wrinkles become more obvious.
But as we’ve addressed above, we can’t apply a hard rule when everyone is unique. Dr. Duplechain has helped many men and women in their 40s and early 50s address earlier signs of aging through facelift surgery. Though facelift results on a younger patient may appear less dramatic than that of an older patient, Dr. Duplechain has actually found that this age may be a perfect time to consider surgery. The reason for this is simple: skin elasticity is more sufficient the younger you are, which means skin more readily “bounces back” and a beautiful result can be achieved.
Rather than focusing on age, Dr. Duplechain recommends patients instead consider their concerns. Typically, a facelift is a great option for those who:
- Feel their face is starting to droop. When skin elasticity begins to wane and underlying facial fat begins to sag downward, the face starts to look saggy and fallen. A once youthful midface can begin to look gaunter, and excess fat and skin accumulate around the jawline.
- Have deep creasing along the mid-to-lower face. The lower two-thirds of the face are very susceptible to expression lines from talking, emoting, and even sipping on straws, playing a wind instrument, or smoking. Over time, these creases deepen and remain when your face is at rest.
- No longer feel they look like themselves. Often, patients can’t exactly pinpoint what has changed, they just know they no longer look or feel like themselves. We often hear patients saying they think they look tired or irritated and simply want to look more alert—which is often the result of drooping in the upper face.
- Have lost definition of their jawline. Although this is a common complaint amongst patients in their 50s-70s, it often bothers individuals in their 30s and even late 20s as well. Sometimes poor jaw definition can be attributed to having a genetically weak jaw bone, but often there are things we can do to create a youthful jawline, such as combination therapies involving neck liposuction, subdermal skin tightening and minimally invasive neck lifting techniques.
What are the benefits of having a facelift when you’re younger?
There are quite a few benefits to having a facelift when aging concerns aren’t as severe: improvements will be more subtle and discreet, healing is often quicker and more comfortable, and a combination of surgery and minimally invasive solutions can typically achieve a great result with less downtime. Additionally, when a patient has a facelift before deep creasing sets in, they can usually achieve better results in the here and now and even possibly avoid deep creasing down the road.
Another point worthy of consideration is the length of enjoyment you can have from undergoing a surgical treatment earlier in your life compared to later in your life. Dr. Duplechain will often discuss with patients that is not necessary to wait until they have a severely aged facial appearance before undergoing surgery. Why not turn back the time and look and feel younger at an earlier age to allow you to enjoy the result for many years to come?
The final result is typically more durable when surgery is performed in younger individuals and can result in long-lasting effects that can be maintained with less invasive rejuvenating therapies. After a facelift, you’ll continue to age, but younger patients note that their need for more invasive procedures is delayed by early intervention.
Are there non-surgical facelift alternatives?
If you have some concerns about aging, but feel surgery might be too drastic or you want to delay the need for a facelift, then keep in mind that there are many non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures that can help you refresh and revitalize your appearance with little-to-no downtime. While non-surgical intervention will not give you the dramatic improvement of a facelift, incorporating non-surgical treatments into your anti-aging plan can help you keep your youthful looks for longer and delay the need for more surgical solutions.
For instance, consider non-invasive dermal fillers such as Juvederm® and Restylane. These hyaluronic acid-based fillers can plump the appearance of skin and smooth lines and wrinkles. They are most commonly used around the nose and mouth. The effects last for several months.
For creasing along the brow and around the eyes, BOTOX® is a fantastic option. By relaxing muscles in the upper face, BOTOX can make the appearance of moderate-to-severe crow’s feet, frown lines, and forehead wrinkles less visible. Treatment usually takes only 15-20 minutes, and results can be seen in about a week’s time and last for three to six months on average.
Laser skin resurfacing is another excellent option for reducing signs of aging for those who aren’t quite ready for a facelift—and as an add-on to your facelift procedure. This treatment improves skin texture and appearance through the use of either ablative or non-ablative lasers. Both types of lasers can address superficial skin concerns as well as deep wrinkles, scars, age spots, and other problem areas. These procedures are done through a simple office visit and downtime is usually minimal. Patients typically benefit from multiple sessions.
So, is a facelift right for me?
Whether you’re considering a facelift or a non-surgical anti-aging treatment, determining the treatment that is best for you based on your age, skin concerns, and health is best achieved with a little expert guidance. Dr. Duplechain and his highly experienced aesthetic medical team can help you explore your options and find the perfect solution for you. We’d love to meet you during a private consultation at our Lafayette cosmetic surgery office. Contact us to get started.