A facelift can help combat the signs of ageing and improve some of the most visible signs of ageing, from unwanted wrinkles or sagging skin. As much as you need to know about the surgery, you also need to know about the facelift recovery process. While recovery time may differ from person to person, there are certain things you can do after your surgery to increase comfort and speed up your recovery. Keep reading to find out what you can expect following a facelift and our top tips for a speedy and effective facelift recovery.
Facelift Surgery 101
A facelift is a surgical procedure to lift and pull the skin back on the face to create a tighter and smoother appearance. It can tighten up sagging skin and redefine the jawline. During the procedure, your surgeon will make an incision, remove excess skin, and then lift the skin into its new position.
If you decide to go ahead with the procedure, you need to take several weeks to prepare for your facelift surgery. By being completely aware of all potential risks and side effects, you can go into your surgery fully ready and confident in your treatment.
What to Expect When Recovering from a Facelift
Here’s what to expect after your facelift surgery.
Immediately following the procedure, expect to look worse before you look better. You will experience some swelling and bruising. But, as the bruising fades, you will start to see results. After your procedure, your head will be bandaged. The bandages are usually removed about 1 day after your surgery. Once your bandages are off, you can shower. It’s essential that you keep calm and rest during your recovery.
Facelift Recovery Timeline
Here is a breakdown of the facelift recovery time:
- 1-3 days – there will be some discomfort but not significant pain.
- 1 week – you will be starting to feel more normal and be a little more active around the house. You can do light exercise like walking, but nothing strenuous. You should be able to drive by this point.
- 2 weeks – by now, you are over the biggest part of the recovery. You can return to work, and many patients go outside at this time.
- 1 month – you will almost be over your recovery. You can resume normal activities like strenuous exercise. You still need to be careful, though. Most of the bruising and swelling should have subsided.
- 2+ months – all the side effects should be gone, and you will be enjoying your new face. There should be no sign of bruising or visible incisions.
There are different types of facelifts depending on your concerns, suitability, and hopes. Your facelift type will also influence your recovery time. The above timeline is for a standard facelift. On the other hand, mini facelift recovery takes less time. As bruising and swelling are more minimal, you usually recover more quickly. Because the incisions are smaller with a mini facelift, the surgery reaches a more superficial level of the skin. A mini facelift is still major surgery but only focuses on the lower part of the face.
7 Facelift Recovery Tips
To help you make the most of your recovery, here are 7 plastic surgeon-approved tips to achieve the best results.
1. Keep Your Head Elevated
To minimise swelling and bruising, keep your head elevated in the first few days following your surgery while you sleep. Lifting your head reduces the fluid accumulation near your incisions, reducing swelling.
2. Don’t Wear Makeup for One Week
Give yourself one week before applying any makeup. Although it’s tempting to apply makeup to cover up any bruising, it’s best to avoid makeup for one week. The same applies to skincare products as well. Skincare products and makeup can enter your incisions which could lead to infection. So, it’s best to avoid all products for one week while you’re healing.
3. Avoid the Sun
Avoid direct sun exposure during the healing process, as this can be harmful to your skin. During your facelift recovery, you should avoid the sun to reduce the risk of post-op complications. While you’re still healing, you’re at a higher risk of increased inflammation and skin irritation.
4. Stay Hydrated and Eat Well
Follow a healthy diet and stay hydrated during your recovery to give your body the best opportunity to heal. Whether it’s a facelift, rhinoplasty, or liposuction, you can only benefit from staying hydrated. Drinking water helps to flush the anaesthetic out of your body which can help you to feel more like your normal self.
5. Wait Before Your First Facial
It’s best to wait at least three months before you get your first facial. This gives you enough time for any bruising and swelling to go down beforehand.
6. Take it Easy
Remember to take it easy and get plenty of rest. Try to move just a little as soon as you can after your facelift surgery. A walk in the garden or around the bedroom is fine.
7. Avoid Alcohol
You should wait at least 2 weeks before having alcohol after a facelift. Alcohol can make your tissue more prone to swelling as well as dehydrate you. No matter your surgery, the general advice is to not drink alcohol for about 2 weeks. Alcohol can also thin the blood, which puts you at a higher risk of bleeding. Consuming alcohol both before and after surgery is a no-go as it puts you at a higher risk of complications. It’s not forever but it is important for making a procedure as safe as possible.
The main facelift recovery period is about 2 weeks. This is when it has the most impact on your life, and you need to take active steps to heal. By following your surgeon’s post-recovery guidelines and sticking to our expert tips, you can promote healing and make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Facelift Recovery Photos
Facelift Surgery London at the Harley Clinic
If you’re considering a facelift, book a consultation today at the Harley Clinic to talk about your options and start your facelift journey.