Do you wonder if a face-lift is a "prevention" or "treatment" of relaxation and wrinkles on the face and neck? The answer is: Yes, it may be both. It could be a preventive approach when it's done at an early age, and, of course, a treatment in older ages, such as 55-60, when sagging skin and deep wrinkles are established.

Although, according to an American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 2017 report, there was a 4% reduction in face-lifts compared to 2016, rhytidectomy (medical term) still remains among the top five most popular procedures. Even so, for people aged 30-39, face-lift surgery counts only for 2% of total cosmetic procedures.

However, there is a clear upward trend and it's not just a fad. It's more than evident that plastic surgery is changing face as younger people opt to go under the knife.

What does a face-lift do?

A face-lift treats soft tissue fall and intense skin relaxation with accompanying loss of skin elasticity — which is impossible to treat by any non-surgical method. It's done in cases where there's sagging skin on the face and neck, deep nasolabial folds (smile lines), "dropped" cheeks and double chins.

It aims at shaping and "filling" the face where necessary, restoring the angular outline of the face, remodeling the cheeks, and correcting any asymmetry of the face. It offers a holistic approach to aging since it corrects all the different parts of the face at the same time, in order to achieve a harmonious look.

Who is the right face-lift candidate?

It's true that non-invasive cosmetic interventions are more suitable for younger ages; none of them, though, can have the results of a surgery, when it's the appropriate solution.

The suggested American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) standards for an ideal face-lift candidate are those who meet the following criteria:

  • Good health condition.
  • Non-smoker.
  • Living with reasonable expectations and a positive attitude.

Is a face-lift in my 30s too early?

You might have noticed age is unmentioned. In fact, age should not be critical for a person to make their decision. For those considering getting a face-lift, it's better to have it done before there is further relaxation on the skin. Small remedial procedures that can be done earlier on can prolong the youthful appearance.

Today there are many different methods that apply to specific facial features — even in the neck — without incisions and in many cases can prevent the need for a complete face-lift. As we get older, it's more challenging for a face-lift to have the best outcome.

Why should I consider a face-lift in my 30s?

For some people, getting a face-lift in their 30s might sound extreme. For others, it may be the right time. It's true that we don't age at the same rate nor do we have the same expectations for our appearance. There are people who are blessed with a youthful appearance opposite of their true age, and others who, due to heredity predisposition and/or their lifestyle choices, face premature aging.

It's very common for a woman, for example, in her early 30s with rapid weight loss to lose, besides pounds, her skin elasticity. And, as her skin is an undivided organ, its relaxation isn't restricted only to her body, but is evident in her face, too.

In younger ages, women are not concerned about wrinkles in their forehead or crow's feet, but, through the face-lift, they target the lower part of the face. Jowls, although more common after 45, may make their appearance even in the early 30s.

Genetics plays a crucial role in jowl development, but their early forming may be sped up by our lifestyle choices and environmental factors, such as smoking, facial expressions, sun exposure without protection and weight loss.

A Range of Techniques for a Wider Age Range

As time goes on, face-lift procedures/techniques change. New techniques provide a more natural look, they follow the gravity law with the doctor lifting the skin upwards and not in the direction of the ears, they can be combined with fat injections on the face and come in a bloodless version, too.

The success of such a procedure in younger ages relies on one thing: good skin condition. This is very important, as it ensures not only good results but a better and more rapid healing process.

When should I put it off?

There are cases where rhytidectomy in a person's 30s is not recommended. When a man or woman has no realistic expectations or when their skin is still firm and tight, there is no point to undergo this surgery. There are still cases where the patient is not psychologically ready for such an intervention, but this percentage is small.

The Importance of Finding a Good Surgeon

The first step in getting the best results is to attend a board-certified, experienced surgeon who you can trust and can be honest with you. A doctor who will be the expert and say “no” to you, if it's just too early for you. They will assess the overall skin elasticity, the evident jowls, the descent of the mid or lower part of your face and neck in order to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for any available face-lift techniques or if you'll benefit more from a non-invasive facial rejuvenation.

Loss of volume in the mid or lower face causing marionette lines and jowling can definitely be considered as an indicator of the need for a rhytidectomy. (Learn more in A Comprehensive Guide to Jawline Reduction Surgery)

The ultimate question to ask yourself prior to your surgeon appointment should be: What are my concerns and what am I looking to achieve? When considering surgical versus non-surgical interventions, you must weigh out the cost, efficacy, and results of various therapies and determine the treatment approach that best addresses your concerns within your budget.

There's no set age for feeling good. Every positive change has a positive impact on our good mood and our self-acceptance. With a wide range of available face-lift techniques, there may be one that suits you best in order to help you reduce the signs of aging, sun exposure, and skin relaxation — and to show off the best features of your face. But you should always bear in mind that the point of a good surgery is that you can't see it.

The important thing is to not go crazy — and avoid inexperienced plastic surgeons.

Lift your face, lift your mood!