I always thought that having a facelift (or rhytidectomy) was the final push against aging. The last resort when all the creams, treatments, Botox, and fillers are no longer enough. The ultimate saggy skin eliminator.

And it is!

But, should we consider rather getting a facelift sooner than later?

More and more people are opting to go for mini facelifts in their 40s and 50s and the reasons make sense.

At this age, you are only trying to knock off 5-10 years so the results are a lot more natural-looking. The mini facelift is less invasive, sometimes only needing a local anaesthetic. And the recovery time is shorter.

But, if you leave it till you are older, your skin has already lost volume and elasticity. This means more tissue repositioning and adjustments, more excess skin removal. And a longer recovery. Older patients are trying to erase as much as 15-20 years in one go, so the results can be more dramatic. This is where the experience and skill of your plastic surgeon is so important to achieve results as natural as possible.

What is the difference between a mini facelift and a full facelift?

A mini facelift addresses minor sagging skin on the lower face and neck of younger patients. A shorter incision is made and minimal skin tightening is performed. The results are the most natural-looking but not as long-lasting as a full facelift. This is most likely how our ageless celebs keep looking younger for longer.

A full facelift repositions facial tissue and fat and removes excess skin, restoring the cheeks, jawline and neck. The results are longer-lasting but recovery time is more than a mini facelift.

It’s good to note here that a facelift does not address the upper face. So, sometimes an eyelid lift or brow lift is combined for a full-face rejuvenation.

For some, the journey of growing older includes embracing the signs of wisdom etched on their faces. For others, it feels good to look good. And, if a little plastic surgery can boost your confidence then why not? It is your face and your right to decide.

So, whether you are planning for a facelift in the future or not, there are some smaller things that can delay the inevitable signs of aging.

How to delay premature aging

In your 20s a sunblock will protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays, and help prevent premature aging. By 30 you should have a good skincare regime, including a nourishing moisturizer. By 40 even a decent skincare routine and a healthy lifestyle are not enough to keep frown lines, laugh lines, and fine creases away. This is when Botox and dermal fillers might start to sound appealing.

When done by an experienced practitioner, Botox can prevent a frown line from becoming a permanent groove. Botox can even lift the brows a little and erase some lines. When professionally administered, fillers can plump up areas that have lost volume, helping you look more youthful. Unfortunately, these treatments are all temporary and need repeating throughout the year. Eventually, even they may not be enough.

A popular little procedure that may delay the need for more invasive surgery is blepharoplasty or an eyelid lift. This cosmetic surgery produces impressively youthful results. In fact, it is so effective in turning back the clock you may find it’s enough.

How to decide if a facelift is right for you?

Make an appointment to come and discuss your concerns and goals with Dr Mark van der Velde. He is a very experienced Plastic, Reconstructive, and Maxillofacial surgeon in Cape Town. With his impeccable sense of symmetry and proportion, he will be able to advise you on the best way forward. He will examine the quality of your skin and the underlying tissue and discuss what is achievable. His techniques are safe and tested and he prides himself on attaining natural-looking results.

Want to know more?

Enhancing your appearance can have wonderful positive effects on your self-esteem, confidence and happiness.
It’s an empowering decision that is yours to make, and we are here to help you reach that dream.