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Summary: The facelift goes back a long time. As a medical profession, plastic surgery is something like 100 years old—and among the first areas of the body to earn its attention was the face. But facelifts have gotten a reputation as a procedure “for old people.” From Los Angeles to Clear Lake facelifts combat this kind of reputation. Or, to put it another way, some patients are avoiding facelifts because they feel as though they’re still too young to consider the procedure. As a result, some plastic surgeons are offering more ala carte facelift options: smaller procedures designed to stop the aging clock rather than turn it back. The results have definitely been worth discussing.

It's difficult to pinpoint a perfect age for facelift procedures.

What’s the Best Age for Facelift Procedures?

We tend to think of plastic surgery as something that turns back time, that preserves youth, that makes you feel young again. But in order to feel young again, don’t you have to feel old first? That’s one of the problems that’s come up with certain plastic surgery procedures—they’ve been imbued with a certain sense of oldness. Some patients don’t want a facelift, for example, because—in their opinion—facelifts are for old people. Or, that is, people who are older than the patient in question. Now, age ranges for facelifts can run the gamut—to be precise, these procedures are not reserved only for a certain age range. To be sure, you can get a facelift too early in life, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. However, facelifts are not by themselves a signifier of old age.

That said, some plastic surgeons are taking to rebranding some facelift procedures to appeal to those patients that might otherwise feel their youth would be put into doubt. One surgeon in Scottsdale, AZ, has begun using what he calls a Gen-X facelift. This Gen-X facelift focuses on making minor alterations, and the surgeon generally targets it towards patients who are in their late twenties or early thirties. This is, admittedly, different from most traditional facelifts. Those traditional facelifts most often target patients who are in their fifties and sixties. In theory, the smaller facelift procedures earlier will yield more subtle results—but that’s what many younger patients want.

Stopping the Aging Clock—for Now

Much as with dermal filler or injectable treatments, subtle facelift procedures are designed more to maintain an age than to push back on one. Or, let’s put it this way: a traditional facelift is designed to make your face look more youthful. That’s obvious. That’s the way it’s always been. But these new, Gen-X facelifts are designed to keep your age looking the same longer. They won’t necessarily make you look more youthful. Rather, these mini-facelift procedures will stave off the aging process. They’ll keep you looking 30 longer. And that’s what some patients are after.

It helps that the recovery times for these procedures tend to be somewhat shorter, allowing patients to get back to their lives a little bit more quickly. This is important for the target audience, as those in their thirties generally have busy professional lives that are difficult to take extended breaks from (not saying that those older than their thirties don’t have busy professional lives to keep track of—simply that those in their thirties may haven’t adjusted to such a busy life quite as adeptly as those who have a bit more experience with it).

Whether you’re interested in one of these mini-facelifts or not, this discussion is useful in that it highlights something great about facelift procedures: they aren’t monolithic. In other words, we’re used to thinking of facelifts as a single procedure with a single outcome. But one of the things this Gen-X facelift illustrates is that there are, in fact, many different types of facelifts. Which means there are many different ways to address an aging face. There are small facelifts and big facelifts. Essentially, there’s a facelift option for whatever it is you want done. Which means that there is no one true optimum age for facelift procedures.

Giving Patients What They Want

This is a good thing. It allows patients to get the results that they’re after. And when it comes to facelifts, subtle procedures generally ensure more natural looking results. I think where part of this comes from is that young people are afraid of that stereotypical plastic-looking-face that is often (unfairly) associated with facelift procedures. This plastic-look only occurs when (usually at the behest of patients) plastic surgeons over-extend how much this procedure can accomplish. Such a danger, with modern techniques, is quite rare. Usually, facelifts generate excellent results. And if you’re afraid of any kind of facelift, you can fight aging through the use of Botox or other injectable fillers.

So we’ve learned something new about facelifts, hopefully. As one of those procedures that, in some ways, is as old as plastic surgery itself, it’s important to emphasize just how much innovation facelifts have to offer. They can help you dampen the impact of aging a little bit at a time or they can be used to help offset decades of aging and leave you feeling much more youthful. In either case, you definitely want to be upfront with your plastic surgeon about what you want out of this procedure. And, of course, you should go into any and every procedure with realistic expectations. If you’re 50, a facelift won’t make you look 20 again. But, it can bring a more youthful overall look to your face.

No matter how old you are, we always want to be a bit younger. A facelift can help you accomplish that, at least in terms of looks. And that’s why it’s such a popular procedure—whether you take it on all at once or a little bit at a time.

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