Skin-Deep Secrets: How Do Facelifts Work?

As the world continues to embrace plastic surgery, more and more people are now going under the knife to improve their appearance. One of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures is the humble facelift. Facelift surgery has the innate ability to rejuvenate one’s face and bring back a youthful appearance by counteracting the effects of time and gravity. In today’s article, we have a look at exactly how facelifts work and what you should know before deciding to go under the knife. Read on to find out more!

  1. What Does Facelift Surgery Achieve?

First off, let’s have a look at exactly what a facelift can help you achieve. A facelift is a procedure that lifts and firms sagging facial tissue to restore a much more youthful appearance. It is a common procedure for many people in their mid-40s/50s. Often, most people opt for a secondary “refresher” facelift when they enter their 60’s. By removing excess, sagging and inelastic skin on the face, facelifts allow patients to turn back the clock and achieve a younger, better aesthetic. 

  1. Reasons For Getting a Facelift

There is a multitude of reasons for getting a facelift, and each individual’s reasons for going under the knife will differ. Some of the most common reasons for getting a facelift to include insecurity due to sagging skin on the neck, excess skin in the lower jawline, sagging cheeks and deep skin folds on the face. 

  1. The Facelift Procedure
  • In general, a facelift involves elevating the skin by creating incisions at the temples or hairline that continue down and around the front of the ears and end behind the ears in the lower scalp. An incision may also be made under the chin for those who are looking to rectify a saggy neck or chin area. 
  • After incisions are made, the skin is separated from underlying connective tissue and muscle. This allows the surgeon to reposition the deeper facial tissues and create a firmer foundation for the skin.
  • For those who are looking towards a limited facelift which isn’t as invasive as the traditional facelift, a shorter incision is made at the hairline just above the ear and wraps around the front of the ear. This type of incision does not extend all the way to the lower scalp. 
  • Facelifts can take anywhere between 2-4 hours to complete.
  • Once healed, the incisions made during the facelift are well concealed within the natural hairline and the contour between the face and ear. 
  1. Healing 

After a facelift, one may experience symptoms such as numbness, swelling, bruising, drainage and moderate pain. Most of these symptoms will lessen within the next day or two, but full recovery will take around 2 weeks. One can resume exercise a month post-operation but always refer to your doctor’s suggestions as each individual may differ. 

You will also have several follow-up appointments with your surgeon. The first will be a day after surgery to remove your drainage tube and treat your incisions. About a week later, your surgeon will see you remove your stitches. Subsequent visits over the next year or so will be used to monitor your progress and healing. 

  1. Tips For Self Care

As with all cosmetic procedures, it is incredibly important for the patient to practice good self-care and hygiene during the healing process. Here are some tips that will help post-surgery:

  • Do not pick at scabs and wounds
  • Do not use hair dye or bleach for at least 6 weeks
  • Avoid using makeup
  • Avoid direct exposure to the sun. Always use SPF 30 or above when heading outside
  • Avoid vigorous activities such as jogging, aerobics or swimming
  • Wear clothes that fasten in the front
  • Follow wound care instructions to a tee


Facelifts can truly transform your appearance and give you newfound confidence. It is no wonder that so many men and women around the world are opting to go under the knife to improve their appearance and turn back time. We hope that this article has given you insight into how facelifts work.