The decision to undergo any sort of cosmetic procedure, especially a facelift, is very personal and not to be taken lightly. You've got to make sure you're in the right hands and then consider the financial commitment, your expectations, any potential pain or discomfort and of course recovery/downtime.
If you do decide to green-light a cosmetic procedure, it's important to note that most do have a shelf life. The good news? You can influence what that shelf life is!
Your age, medical history and genes all play important roles in determining how well a procedure will go and how long the results will last, but certain lifestyle factors can also influence the outcome. When it comes to facelifts, Michael Olding MD, Chief, Division of Plastic Surgery at George Washington University and member of ASAPS says, "The longevity of the facelift is determined not only by the expertise of the surgeon, but also by the quality of the skin (which is determined by the genetic makeup of the individual and the exposure to damaging effects of ultraviolet light -both sun and tanning beds.) If the skin at the time of the procedure is sun-damaged and inelastic, the result will not last as long as say, someone who has little sun damage."
Cosmetic surgery, laser skin resurfacing and other procedures have the potential to take years off of your face. Here are 5 solutions to help you maintain your new, youthful look for as long as possible:
1. Sun protection. Adequate sun protection is essential to maintain post-procedure results. Though it's a major part of any anti-aging regimen, it's especially important now, as any scarring could become sun-damaged which could lead to a more noticeable scar in the future. Dr. Olding explains, "Adequate sunscreen is more important than any other cream or ointment a patient might read, hear about, or purchase." Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and consider using makeup with added sun protection in it as well.
2. Maintain a consistent weight. The process of aging takes a toll on the elasticity of our skin anyway, but when skin is stretched out and constricted due to weight gain and weight loss, it can exacerbate the issue, making it even more lax. Especially after undergoing any procedure you'll want to keep your weight from fluctuating too greatly. Dr. Olding cautions against any sort of weight gain/loss cycle saying, "You do not want to over expand your skin envelope and then deflate it. The same thing happens to your breasts during pregnancy, and look what happens to them after you return to normal weight. They fall. So does your face after gaining and losing a lot of weight."
3. If you smoke, quit. Health detriments aside, smoking wreaks havoc on your skin. This is due to a decrease in circulation, oxygen levels and healing, an increase in free radicals which impair collagen production, and the process of repeated puckering from inhaling which results in wrinkles around the mouth.
4. Follow a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, eating a balanced, nutritious diet and staying hydrated will go a long way toward maintaining your new-and-improved look. Give your body what it needs to heal and help itself maintain its condition.
5. Use professional skincare products. Medical-grade skin care products contain higher concentrations of active ingredients than over-the-counter products and are clinically proven to give results. Your doctor can help personalize the best skincare regimen for you.
Surgery, procedures and anti-aging treatments can help turn back time, but not stop it. Good skin quality before surgery will help you achieve the best results, but taking care of your skin and yourself post-procedure will help you maintain those results for as long as possible.