Summary: An expertly performed face lift can achieve dramatic results, making someone appear years younger. But how long does a face lift last? Is it permanent, or will you have to have revision surgery somewhere down the road? 
While face lifts are considered to be a long-term facial rejuvenation solution, there are certainly some factors that can affect just how long term.

Your Skin

Your skin type, color and condition all play a role in how long your face lift will last. Fair skin ages more quickly, so darker skin will likely retain the results of a face lift longer. People with skin damaged by things like smoking and sun exposure will probably age faster than someone with healthier skin, even after a face lift. Someone with thin, damaged skin may be ready for a revision in as little as 2 to 4 years while a person with healthy skin might see their face lift last for a decade or more.

Your Age

How old you are when you have a face lift matters, too. Patients in their 40s and 50s with fewer signs of aging usually have longer lasting results than older patients who display more signs of aging. If your face is already showing advanced signs of age, your face lift results may fade more quickly.

Your Surgeon

The answer to “how long does a face lift last?” can be found largely in the hands of the doctor performing it.

One of the most important factors affecting the longevity of your face lift is the skill and expertise of your plastic surgeon.

That’s why it’s so important to choose a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced at performing face lifts. Always ask to see before and after pictures of their work.

What You Can Do

While the genetic factors that affect how long your facelift will last are beyond your control, there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your results looking fresh as long as possible.

  • Use good skin care products. Invest in quality products that are gentle and nourishing to your skin. Moisturize every day and always use sunscreen — SPF 30 or higher. Exfoliate using a mild formula that will help to slough off dead skin cells without causing irritation.
  • Eat right. The old saying, “you are what you eat” is true, in a sense. Your skin looks better when you’re eating a healthy diet. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Try to eliminate or limit things like junk food and sugary drinks.
  • Practice healthy habits. Good skin care and good eating will go far in keeping you looking younger. Don’t sabotage your efforts by smoking, drinking excessively or not getting enough sleep.
  • Treat yourself. Med spa treatments can be a fantastic way to prolong the results of your face lift and improve the texture of your skin. Facial fillers like Restylane® and procedures such as microdermabrasion provide natural-looking results, and can be administered during a quick office visit.
  • Take your recovery seriously. Follow your aftercare instructions closely. Any directions your care team gives, such as when you can shower and how long you should rest, must be followed closely to ensure your best and longest lasting results.

Face lift techniques and results have evolved significantly over the years. Talk to a board certified plastic surgeon about the options that will keep you looking your best for years to come.