The Evolution of the Facelift

Is it olive oil or is it surgery? With social media constantly displaying the never-aging celebrity population, men and women everywhere are looking for nonsurgical options and more permanent solutions like facelifts and full-face rejuvenation to help turn back time. We spoke with Baltimore-based, facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Nadia Mostovych, about the evolution of the facelift, and how the traditional demographic we think of getting a “facelift” has shifted. 

It’s all about looking and feeling your best, regardless of a chronological number, and now we have the tools to do this safely and effectively.”

When do women typically inquire about facelift surgery? 

It’s so interesting you ask. In years past, most assumed that a facelift procedure was specifically for older women, say 65 years of age and older, as a way to reverse significant, physical aging of the face. However, I see men and women in a variety of age groups coming in, knowing they want a facelift or indicating the results they’re looking for align with what a facelift actually offers. It’s all about looking and feeling your best, regardless of a chronological number, and now we have the tools to do this safely and effectively. 

What kind of results would a facelift candidate be looking for? 

A facelift, typically combined with a neck lift, is, hands down, the best way to address loose or sagging skin of the lower face, including jowl correction, and sagging neck skin. Most people do not have sagging facial skin without sagging neck skin. In order to provide natural looking facial rejuvenation, it’s essential to address both the face and the neck together. 

Is there a difference in treating a younger facelift patient vs. an older patient?

The extent of face and neck lift surgery depends on how much aging has occurred in those areas. For example, a patient in their 40s typically has less excess skin on the face and neck, less jowling, and less excess fatty tissue under the neck, than a person in their 60s-70s. The surgery would be less extensive because of that. However, both of these patients benefit from a face/neck lift if the aging process has started to take a toll, meaning the jowling and loose skin is visible and bothersome to the individual. 

You mentioned that facelifts address the “lower face.” What if someone was looking to rejuvenate their whole face? Is that something different?

Facelifts really focus on the correction of the lower face and neck. It’s a common misconception that a facelift is a “solve all.” Depending on the patient, a plan for full facial rejuvenation may include any or all of these additional treatments:

  • At-home skincare regimens
  • Botox & Fillers
  • Eyelid lifts 
  • Fat grafting 
  • Light therapies 
  • Erbium laser resurfacing

This is why that initial consultation with your facial plastic surgeon is such a crucial step. Most patients come in knowing what they’d like to achieve visually, but don’t really know what tools/services best achieve those results. Today, we have so many treatment options and innovative tools at our disposal, it’s almost impossible for a person to establish a plan without speaking to a qualified facial plastic surgeon. 

Is there a difference in treatment plans for a younger woman vs. an older woman who wants total facial rejuvenation?

Younger facelift patients, or those inquiring, in their 40s-50 are more likely to achieve full facial rejuvenation with less invasive follow-up options (Botox, Fillers, etc.), using lasers with less light depth or IPL, and possibly no eyelid surgery. Most of my older patients (60s-70s) require a combination of all of these treatments in addition to their face/neck lift for complete facial rejuvenation. It’s important to note, a face and neck lift will not prevent aging; it often helps a person feel as though they are aging more gracefully because physical signs are reduced; it’s as if you’ve visually gone back in time. If a patient gets a facelift earlier in life, they have the opportunity to feel as though they look younger for a longer period of time. It’s all about looking and feeling your best at every age. 

Thank you, Dr. Mostovych. Is there anything else you’d like to leave our readers with?

Yes! It is so important to note that these are simply examples. The crucial first step is your initial consultation with a qualified facial plastic surgeon to create a unique plan. I always tailor my recommendations to the individual patient and recommend treatments I believe will best achieve their goals. Individuals have different priorities when it comes to aging; if something doesn’t bother them, I typically don’t recommend addressing it!  My goal is to help my patients identify and achieve their goals, while feeling and looking their best in their own eyes. 

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