Mirrors and gravity keep me in business. We all look at our faces in a mirror. It’s hard to pass by one without taking a glance. Most of the time we like what we see. Sometimes, though, we find something that is more bothersome. We keep coming back to it. Maybe the skin is too loose, or maybe the jawline doesn’t look right. If you keep seeing features you might want to change, it might be time to consider a facelift. Let’s talk about some of the issues.
What are jowls?
As we age, a number of things happen to our face. Skin becomes thinner and less elastic. It stretches. Gravity pulls the fatty tissues down. Since the skin is more stretchy, areas of fullness develop. These are jowls. Sometimes jowls are pretty subtle. Sometimes they are very noticeable and extend from the lower face into the neck. Jowls are probably the number 1 reason people decide to get a facelift.
What can you do for loose neck skin?
If jowls are the number 1 reason for someone getting a facelift, loose skin of the neck is number 2. It might really be a toss-up. Loose skin might show up as a ‘double chin’ when you bend your neck. The dreaded ‘turkey gobbler’ is another manifestation of loose neck skin. Loose neck skin is definitely addressed during a face lift.
Should I wait to do a facelift?
This is the big question. There’s really no right answer. Most of our facelift patients are in their 50’s. They want to address the jowls and the loose neck skin before those become dominant features. Some people, however, take care of these issues while they are in their 40’s. It’s also common to see people in their 60’s for this procedure. People in their 60’s have more noticeable jowls and loose neck skin. A facelift typically results in a more noticeable change in someone who is 65 than someone who is 50. I have done facelifts on people as young as 38, and up to the age of 85. The women we see in their 50’s often say something like, “My mother had bad jowls, and I don’t want to look like that”.
What’s the best age to have a facelift? It comes down to the individual. For someone who wants to see a major change, waiting until jowls and loose neck skin are very noticeable will probably be best. A woman who doesn’t want to wait to look like her mother might have the procedure in her 50’s, or maybe even in her 40’s.
Health also matters, of course. The best candidates are the healthiest. People in their 60’s and 70’s are often quite healthy. However, people in their 50’s generally have less ‘wear and tear’ on their bodies and tend to be in better health. People who smoke or take blood thinners may not be candidates. It’s also harder to obtain great results on people who are substantially overweight.