It’s tempting to think about a facelift as one, single procedure that is going to “fix all your problems” and “turn back the hands of time” and “make you look like a movie star.” The truth is, like many complex things in life, rejuvenating your look requires a nuanced, multifaceted approach to address the signs of aging on multiple levels.

What are those “levels”, and how do we gently coax each one towards its most beautiful potential? I thought you’d never ask!

Structure. As we age, the tissues of the face gradually lose their elasticity, and gravity takes its toll. A facelift serves to reposition those tissues. However, done poorly, the result is unnatural-looking (you’ve seen this). My technique is to move tissues back to the place they were during your early adulthood, not to reposition them in places where they’ve never lived. Sure, I may tweak things a little to nudge you towards the golden ratios of beauty, but I will always keep it within the boundaries of what will look natural for you. I lift and tighten the underlying tissues to take away jowls and smooth sagging neck tissue, but I gently drape the skin with no tension. When surgeons seek to tighten skin to smooth out wrinkles, a distorted and unnaturally tight look results.

Volume. So how do we deal with deep lines and creases in the face if we don’t tighten up that skin? A careful, experienced, board certified plastic surgeon recognizes that this layer requires the use of fillers. Hyaluronic-acid-based dermal fillers like Juvederm and Voluma XC are safe, injectable compounds designed to fill in problem areas like the “parentheses” around the mouth, forehead lines, and vertical lip lines. Rather than stretching the skin unnaturally to soften lines or make them disappear, I strategically fill them in for a relaxed, natural, younger look. Fillers can also be used to add volume to flat or hollowed cheeks and to plump up thinning lips (although there is a special lip lift surgical technique I can use for more dramatic lip results). When lines are due to overused muscles (such as the vertical lines between the eyebrows) BOTOX injections are the best option to make them essentially disappear.

Tone. Now we have the structures in the right place and the volume issues solved, but wrinkles and skin tone issues still exist because we are dealing with skin that has been around for a few decades. Luckily, skin was designed to replace itself. As we age, this process slows down, but we can give it a little help with non-surgical techniques like chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, and microneedling.

Chemical peels take away the outer layers of skin, revealing the younger, newer skin beneath and promoting new skin cell production. This results in an improvement of skin’s color, texture and tone. Laser skin resurfacing works similarly, but instead of chemicals, lasers are used for dramatic results (just look at these before and after pictures). Microneedling uses a different technique. Microscopic punctures are made in the skin with a special instrument. These punctures cause just enough damage to prompt the natural healing response, including stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that give skin its strength and elasticity.

Color and Texture. As we work our way out layer by layer, the final step in the multifaceted facial rejuvenation process is color and texture. Chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing help improve the look of skin by sloughing off old skin cells and encouraging new ones to form. For stubborn skin complaints like age spots, unwanted freckles, sun damage, redness, hyperpigmentation, and broken blood vessels, BBL Light Therapy is available. I use the Forever Young BBL platform from Sciton, one of the most powerful intense pulsed light platforms available. The results are stunning.

Maintenance. It’s a cruel world out there—  full of ultraviolet rays and a timeline that only goes one way. To maintain your beautiful results, you’ll need a proper skin care regimen designed for your skin type. The SkinCeuticals line I recommend in my practice offers an award-winning line of cleansers, serums, moisturizers and more. I never leave my facelift patients without a very clear idea of what they can do to maintain that multifaceted beauty for years to come.  I am happy to answer your specific questions about surgical and non surgical facial rejuvenation—in person.  Contact my office to schedule your private consultation and I look forward to seeing you soon!

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