How long will a facelift last?

The immediate benefits of cosmetic surgery are obvious: a part of the face or body that has been bothering you for ages gets tightened, or reshaped, or corrected, offering an instant transformation. We know that, thanks to technological advances and the use of safer materials, procedures are safer than ever. We’re also aware that the idea of cosmetic surgery being only available to the obscenely rich has been obliterated.

But there’s still one question that prevents certain people from reaping the benefits of a facelift: how long will the effects of a procedure last? And when the effects wear off, will the treated area look worse than it was before?

The simple answer is: it depends on many factors. So let’s break them down, one by one…   

Facelift longevity: it depends on your skin

Obviously, the quality of your skin is a huge factor. If your skin is still rich in elasticity, it’s going to have a greater chance of snapping into place after surgery and staying there. If a client has issues with skin laxity, there’s a greater chance of the procedure needing a top-up sooner rather than later. Interesting side-note: the darker your natural skin tone, the less your skin ages.

It depends on your age

This ties in somewhat with your skin condition, for obvious reasons, but a quick rule of thumb is that clients under the age of 60 tend to have longer-lasting results than clients over the age of 60.

It depends on the skill of the surgeon

Bottom line: there’s no substitute for skill, experience, and quality. The better the surgeon, the better the procedure – and the better your chances are of a longer-lasting facelift. You are strongly advised to do your homework on your chosen surgeon before taking the plunge on a cosmetic procedure: by checking their qualifications, going over their reviews, talking to former clients and scouring their Before and After pictures, you’re maximising the odds of getting the best and longest-lasting treatment possible.

It depends on the procedure

A no-brainer, but a fact worth repeating. Here’s an outline of the average longevity of certain procedures:

  • Threadlifts – six months to a year
  • Minilifts – two to four years
  • Revision facelifts – two to seven years
  • Skin-only facelifts – three to six years
  • Facelift with SMAS treatment and volume restoration – five to eight years

Obviously, the more work you have done (and consequently the more you pay), the longer the effects will last.

It depends on your lifestyle

This is probably one of the most important factors, both before and after the procedure in question. If you have been or are a smoker, you’ve been hampering your blood flow and accelerating the ageing process, which causes premature wrinkling. If you’re a heavy drinker, you’ve been dehydrating your skin – which means it won’t be as firm and supple as it should be. If you’re overweight, or have gone through extreme weight loss, you’ve sacrificed a modicum of skin elasticity. If you’ve been a sun-worshipper, that’s taken a lot out of your skin too.

The moral of the story is that no facelift is designed to last forever – it can only turn back the clock a few years, not freeze it. However, by starting to take care of yourself now, doing your homework in the run-up to your first procedure, and continuing to take care of yourself after you’ve had work done, you can make the most out of whatever procedure you choose to undertake.