The Truth Behind Facelift Myths

As one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures, it is no surprise that there are many myths and misconceptions about facelifts. Often, plastic surgeons like Dr. Deschamps-Braly answer similar questions and clear up the same misconceptions during consultations. Below are some of the most common myths and the truth about facelifts explained.

What Causes Facial Aging

A common myth about visible signs of aging is that sagging and wrinkles are caused by gravity stretching the skin downward. This myth was especially pervasive in the past, leading plastic surgeons to perform facelifts by simply pulling the skin upward. However, this created unnatural results with a pinched or pulled appearance.

Today, we understand that aging is caused by facial volume loss and decreasing collagen production over time. As you age, facial fat diminishes and is naturally stored lower in the face—think of “baby fat” and chubby cheeks seen in youth vs. hollow cheeks and jowls seen in older faces. For this reason, good facelift results are dependent on repositioning underlying soft tissues. This technique is sometimes referred to as a “deep plane” facelift and was first developed by a French craniofacial surgeon in the 1970s.

In addition to repositioning the underlying tissues, Dr. Deschamps-Braly may recommend restoring hollow or sunken areas using fat grafting. This involves removing a small amount of fat from a donor area of the body, such as the abdomen or thighs, which can be injected into areas of the face with the most volume loss. This creates a naturally youthful effect.

Non-surgical Treatments vs. Facelift Results

Today’s non-surgical treatment options offer excellent anti-aging results. Treatments like IPL  and ReSurFX can help boost collagen production and reduce age spots  and sun damage for smoother skin. Botox and Dysport can soften fine lines, create a “chemical” brow lift  and overall achieve a more rested and youthful appearance. Strategically placed dermal filler injections add volume to the face and can create the appearance of a “liquid facelift”. Kybella reduces the appearance of a double chin, making the jawline appear more contoured and defined. Typically, a customized treatment plan combining several surgical treatments is necessary to achieve the patient’s desired aesthetic goal. At the Deschamps-Braly Clinic, our non-surgical procedures are performed by Jennifer Fick, a board-certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist with years of experience in cosmetic dermatology.

However, non-surgical treatments are not a replacement for a facelift for all patients. Patients with moderate to severe skin laxity or wrinkles and deep folds will see the best results from a surgical procedure. This is why an in-person consultation is crucial to decide which procedure will offer the results that you are looking for.

Facelifts for All Genders

When most people imagine the typical facelift patient, they will picture a woman first. However, facelifts can be a great option for all genders. While women make up the majority of facelift patients in the United States, a growing number of men are choosing the procedure as well. A skilled and experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Deschamps-Braly can maintain a masculine or androgynous appearance with careful, tailored facelift techniques.

The Right Age for a Facelift

Often, patients ask when the correct age for a facelift is. However, this answer truly varies for everyone. We all show signs at varying rates due to our genetics, skincare habits, lifestyle factors, and more. This means that the best age for a facelift—when you start seeing sagging or drooping skin and deeper wrinkles or lines through the lower face—will vary from patient to patient.

Generally speaking, patients are opting for facelifts at younger ages than they did in the past. In general, the average facelift patient is between the ages of 40-54. In some cases, however, younger patients will benefit most from preventative or non-surgical treatment options and are not yet ready for a surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about your facelift options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Deschamps-Braly in San Francisco. Call (415) 877-6321 to schedule your appointment.

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Dr. Deschamps-Braly is a board-certified plastic and craniofacial surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and craniofacial surgery for adults and children. He is also one of the world’s foremost leaders and innovators in facial gender confirmation surgery.