Expert-Recommended Facelift Recovery Tips | Mr. Gwanmesia Skip to main content

Expert-Recommended Facelift Recovery Tips

woman with face marks


Undergoing a facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a significant personal decision, often marked by extensive research and contemplation. While the procedure does hold the promise of a rejuvenated and more youthful appearance, understanding the post-operative journey is equally critical. Facelift recovery is a complex process that requires time, patience, and an array of expert-recommended practices to ensure optimal results.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to be sharing expert insights and practical tips to help you navigate your facelift recovery with ease, from nutrition tips to advice on reducing and minimising swelling. We’re also going to delve into the fundamentals of a facelift, the benefits it offers, the typical recovery timeline, and essential tips for a smoother healing process. Whether you’re considering a facelift or are currently in the throes of recovery, this guide aims to equip you with knowledge, reassurance, and the tools needed to support your healing journey. Let’s take a look!


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What is a facelift?

Often referred to medically as a rhytidectomy, a facelift is a surgical procedure that aims to provide patients with a younger and more rejuvenated appearance. This is achieved by minimising visible signs of ageing such as wrinkles and sagging skin. The procedure involves tightening the facial muscles, removing excess skin and redistributing fat and skin in the face. Although most commonly associated with the ageing process, facelifts can also be utilised to improve facial contouring following weight loss or other lifestyle changes.

If you’re interested in more information on facelift surgery in the UK, please fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch promptly with further details.


Facelift recovery: a realistic timeline

When it comes to facelift recovery, every case is an individual process, with timelines varying depending on the extent of the procedure, the patient’s overall health, and their body’s natural healing rate. Generally, the initial recovery period post-facelift surgery can last between two to four weeks: during this time, common post-operative symptoms such as bruising, swelling, and mild discomfort may be experienced.

However, full recovery, particularly internal healing of tissues, may take several months. The recovery period may be longer for lower facelift recovery, as it often involves more extensive work on the neck and jawline area. Even though every patient’s recovery journey is unique, most can expect to resume normal activities within a few weeks, keeping in mind that the healing process shouldn’t be rushed. Sticking to the recovery tips your facelift surgeon provides and avoiding strenuous activities during the initial weeks can contribute to a smoother and more effective recovery process.

Facelift recovery tips: what you need to know


Keeping swelling and bruising at bay

Swelling and bruising are normal occurrences in the aftermath of a facelift procedure. To manage these symptoms, elevation is key: keep your head propped up at a higher level than your heart, even during sleep. This encourages excess fluid to drain away from the face, reducing swelling more rapidly. Cold compresses can also be beneficial for mitigating inflammation, though always remember to wrap ice packs in a cloth before application to protect your skin.


Meticulous wound care

To minimise the risk of infection and promote effective wound healing, meticulous wound care is crucial during your facelift recovery. Always follow your surgeon’s guidelines regarding wound cleaning, and take special care while washing your face or showering. You should also avoid the temptation to touch or pick at sutures or scabs, as this could cause damage, delay healing, or lead to scarring.


Fuel for healing

Fueling your body with the right nutrients during facelift recovery is a non-negotiable aspect of the healing process. Focus on a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals it needs for recovery. Hydration is equally crucial – aim for at least eight glasses of water daily to support optimal bodily functions and skin health.


Moderate exercise

While rest is integral to facelift recovery, gentle activity can also be beneficial when performed correctly. Once your surgeon gives you the go-ahead, introduce light activities such as walking into your daily routine: as exercise promotes blood circulation, this can aid in reducing swelling and speeds up the healing process. However, it’s crucial to avoid strenuous exercises and heavy lifting until your surgeon confirms it’s safe, as these activities can increase blood pressure and potentially lead to complications.





When can I return to work after a facelift?

Typically, patients are able to return to work approximately two weeks post-surgery, depending on the nature of their job, although jobs that require physical exertion may necessitate a longer recovery period. Always consult with your surgeon before resuming work or any other activities.


Can I wear makeup during the facelift recovery period?

It’s best to avoid makeup for at least the first week following surgery, to prevent irritation or infection of the healing incisions. Ideally, you should wait for your surgeon’s go-ahead before resuming your regular makeup routine.


What are the signs of complications during facelift recovery?

While complications are rare, it’s important to be aware of potential signs. These could include excessive pain, sudden swelling or redness, discharge from the incisions, fever, or sudden changes in vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your surgeon immediately.

Dr Ivo Gwanmesia

Dr Ivo Gwanmesia is one of Harley Street’s most experienced and renowned craniofacial plastic surgeons. With over a decade of professional experience, he has transformed the lives of countless patients from all over the UK & abroad.

Due to his vast and hands-on training in the UK and the US, Dr Ivo now specialises in more than a dozen different aesthetic, craniofacial and transgender procedures. Some of them include face, neck, and brow lifts, upper and lower blepharoplasty, breast reduction & breast uplift as well as facial feminisation surgery, to name a few.

Dr Gwanmesia has also conducted pioneering research, which led to the development of a new technique for the reconstruction of the middle vault of the nose, known as the ‘Fulcrum Spreader Graft’. He was also part of a study comparing the efficacy of the Sheen Spreader Graft and the Fulcrum Spreader Graft. The study has since been published on PubMed and the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.