A facelift takes years off of your appearance. While the surgery may reduce any wrinkles or sagginess in the lower part of your face, it won’t instantly make your skin better. After a facelift, it’s up to you to continue to take care of your skin, to try to avoid sun damage or breakouts. Immediately after the surgery, skincare can help you cope with any bruising or swelling.
Dealing With Swelling and Bruising
Bruising and swelling are par for the course after a facelift. At first, it might seem as the though the bruising is getting worse, not better. Swelling and bruising typically peak a few days after surgery, then start to diminish.
There are a few ways you can help reduce swelling, or at least keep it from becoming worse. Try to keep your head elevated after the surgery. Your surgeon will most likely recommend sleeping with your head up, at no less than a 30 degree angle. Place a number of pillows on your bed and sleep on your back to keep your head up.
Ice packs or cold compresses will also help keep swelling down. Some supplements also keep bruising to a minimum. Ask your surgeon if he or she recommends taking a supplement after your surgery. Whether a surgeon specifically recommends a supplement or not, it’s always a good idea to check before taking any medications or supplements.
Cleansing and Moisturizing
Your skin might feel tender after a facelift, especially near the incisions. You’ll still want to wash your face daily or twice a day, to remove any bacteria, reduce the risk of breakouts and keep the risk for infection down. When cleansing your skin after a facelift, think soft and gentle. Use a soft cloth or piece of gauze to clean the face and a gentle cleanser. Your surgeon may recommend using an antibacterial product on the incisions to reduce infection.
A gentle moisturizer is also a good idea in the first few weeks after surgery. Look for a moisturizer that doesn’t have a lot of added ingredients. Your surgeon will let you know when it is okay for you to start using more potent products again, such as lotions or ointments that contain retinoids.
Sun protection was important for the health of your skin pre-facelift and it’s especially important post-facelift. Sun exposure while the incision sites are still healing can cause them to darken or discolor, and that discoloration can be permanent. The first few weeks after your surgery, your surgeon will most likely recommend that you avoid all sun exposure.
Sunscreen or sunblock will protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Make every effort to wear it daily and to reapply it often. If you’re outdoors, put it on every two hours. You might have to apply sunscreen more frequently if you’re sweating or swimming. Wearing a hat with a big brim and a pair of sunglasses will offer even more protection from the sun.
If mascara is your constant companion or you’re embarrassed to be seen without at least a light sweep of blush across your face, one of your big questions post-facelift is when can you begin wearing makeup again? In many cases, you can start wearing makeup again about a week after the surgery, but it’s important to check with your surgeon to be sure.
You might need to adjust your makeup slightly after the surgery. Many surgeons recommend mineral makeup, as it’s lightweight and less likely to cause irritation. If your skin is really sensitive, you might want to try hypoallergenic makeup or cosmetics designed for very sensitive skin.
Certain colors conceal discoloration better than others. Yellow-tinted concealers are ideal for bruising, for example, while green concealers work best to cover up redness.
Maintaining Your Skin
While a facelift smooths certain lines and reduces droopiness, it won’t improve your skin’s texture, fix lines on the upper part of the face or eliminate hyperpigmentation. For that reason, you might want to consider a number of other treatments along with the facelift or in the months and years following your surgery to keep your skin looking as a fresh as possible.
Non-surgical options, such as Botox or Dysport injections or filler injections, can reduce the appearance of lines on your face. Botox and Dysport work on the frown lines on the forehead and on the crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes. Filler such as Juvederm typically work on the lines by the mouth or nose.
If you want to improve the texture of your skin or reduce age or sun spots, a laser treatment in the months after your facelift can be ideal. Your surgeon will let you know when a good time to schedule the laser treatment will be.
Nationally recognized, double board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Ross Clevens can advise you on the best way to care for your skin after a facelift procedure. If you want an additional procedure, such as injections, laser skin resurfacing or an additional surgery on top of the facelift, he can help you decide on the best course of action to take. To schedule a consultation with the only double board certified, practicing facial plastic surgeon in the Melbourne area, call (321) 727-3223 today.