21 Sep 2023 | by Leonard Miller, MD, FACS, FRCS

The facelift is one of my favorite procedures. Delivering natural looking facelift results has been a cornerstone of my practice here in Boston for over 25 years. I love nothing more than helping someone to look and feel vital. My goal is for you to look like you — only the best version of you. However, making the decision to go ahead and get a facelift is really only the first step in your facial rejuvenation journey. While I can take 10 years off your face with a surgical facelift, the skin and tissues of your face will still continue to age. This is something that some patients tend to forget. So, here are some tips for maintaining your facelift results.

Sun Protection is a Must

The UVA and UVB rays of the sun are two of your skin’s biggest agers. They not only cause unsightly:

  1. Brown spots
  2. Hyperpigmentation
  3. Redness

But these rays penetrate deep into the skin where they damage your collagen and elastin. Collagen helps to give the skin structure while elastin is what allows it to “snap back” after you smile or frown. We tend to lose both as we age so there is no reason to make the situation worse by being in the sun.

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Furthermore, after surgery, the incision lines on your face are going to be particularly sensitive. Sun exposure can not only make these lines more noticeable, but it also may adversely affect your skin’s ability to heal. None of which we want. So, the daily use of a high quality UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least SPF 30 is a must. Here at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, we are fans of the Elta MD line of sunscreens as they offer a high degree of protection while still being gentle enough to use post procedure. I also encourage all of my patients to get in the habit of wearing a hat or sun visor (which won’t mess up your hair) when outside doing anything. This is a good habit to get into all year round as your skin can still get sun damage during a cold Boston winter.

High Quality Skincare

In addition to sunscreen, I have seen a real difference in the skin of my patients who have embraced a high quality skincare regime. The key is finding the right products for your individual needs. During your initial facelift consultation, we will discuss your skincare routine in detail. I like to start my patients on a high quality skincare regime prior to surgery in order to “prep” your skin. This regime may change a bit after your procedure, but committing to a high quality skincare regime is one of the best ways to maintain your facelift results in the long run. We carry a number of different skincare lines that I think are exceptional including:

  1. Environ® Skincare System
  2. ZO® Skin Health & Skin Better Science
  3. SkinCeuticals

Diet & Exercise Routine

Most people don’t realize that the skin is your body’s largest organ. It is often the first place that poor lifestyle choices show up. Think about the last time that you ate a really rich, sugar loaded meal. My guess is that when you woke up the next morning, your skin looked puffy, red or sallow.  I am not suggesting that you give up french fries forever, but making small changes to your diet and exercise regime is a simple way to keep your skin looking great. Furthermore, a diet:

  1. Rich in vegetables and fruit
  2. Healthy fats
  3. Lean protein

This kind of diet is hydrating for the skin. And as we all know know, plump skin is youthful looking skin. Exercise is also great for the heart and the complexion. Something as simple as a daily walk is good for your circulation and helps your lymphatic system to get rid of toxins. As city dwellers, we are exposed to pollution and environmental toxins on a daily basis. So, doing anything and everything to aid your body in eliminating these skin agers is always a good thing.

Non-Surgical Procedures Help Maintain Your Facelift Results

Last but not least, it is important to be consistent with your non-surgical procedures. Many patients think that once they have a facelift, they will no longer need Botox® and fillers. This is simply not realistic. First of all, I often use synthetic fillers or fat grafting as part of my natural looking facelift as a way to add volume and plumpness to the mid-face. Second, as discussed, the skin and tissues of your face continue to age even after a facelift. So while you won’t need as much Botox® or fillers post procedure, you do want to maintain your facelift results with small “tweeks”. In addition to injectables, I may also recommend lasers to address further sun damage, microneedling, radiofrequency or a combination of the two, such as Profound®, to lift and tighten the skin, and further improve skin texture.

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A natural looking facelift will give you a new, rejuvenated baseline. From here, we can work together to keep the skin and tissues of your face lifted and plump so that you maintain your facelift results for as long as possible.

To find out more a natural looking facelift, high quality skincare, Botox®, fillers and Profound® with Dr. Leonard Miller at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, contact us today or call (617) 735- 8735 to schedule a consultation.

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