Importance of Skin Care After Facelift Surgery | Mr. Gwanmesia Skip to main content

The Importance of Skin Care After Facelift Surgery

Woman With a Towel on Head Looking in the Mirror


Facelift surgery, technically known as rhytidectomy surgery, has become a go-to solution for anyone looking to reverse the effects of ageing, with results that can last for as long as 10 years. However, as with any surgical procedure, the recovery and aftercare process plays a pivotal role in determining the overall success and longevity of the results.

When it comes to facelifts, the importance of meticulous skin care post-surgery cannot be overstressed: adopting a diligent skin care regime post-surgery can significantly enhance the results, ensuring that your rejuvenated visage retains its radiant and youthful appeal. So, what skincare steps can you take to ensure quick and efficient healing after your procedure? Let’s take a look.


What is a facelift?

A facelift, or rhytidectomy surgery, is a surgical procedure designed to rejuvenate the face by addressing sagging skin, deep wrinkles, jowls, and other signs of ageing.

Facelift surgery involves making incisions around the hairline, near the ears or under the chin; through these incisions, a surgeon can remove excess skin, tighten underlying tissues, and reposition the skin for a smoother, more youthful appearance. The ultimate aim is to restore the natural contours of the face, reducing the visible effects of ageing and providing a fresher look.


Facelift Aftercare: Why Is It Crucial?

While the immediate postoperative period of a facelift focuses on pain management, wound care, and preventing complications, the weeks and months that follow call for targeted attention to skin care. But why is post-surgery skincare so important?

It’s simple; the skin, after undergoing rhytidectomy surgery, is akin to a delicate fabric that has just been tailored – it requires gentle handling and specific care to ensure its smoothness and integrity. Additionally, the healing process that the skin undergoes after a facelift can make it more susceptible to dryness, uneven tone, and potential scarring, so a comprehensive skincare regime can keep your skin soft and smooth as it heals.


Moisturiser After Facelift

One of the most vital aspects of post facelift care is ensuring that the skin remains well-hydrated; hydrated skin not only heals faster by providing the skin with much-needed moisture, but also helps protect the skin’s barrier against infection and bacteria. Plus, the right moisturiser is also going to diminish the chances of flaking or peeling, which can sometimes accompany – and even hamper – the healing process.

When considering the best moisturiser after facelift surgery, it’s essential to choose a product that is both gentle and deeply hydrating; products enriched with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides are ideal as they provide deep moisturisation while promoting skin repair and elasticity. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you’ll also want to ensure you opt for a non-comedogenic product to avoid clogging your pores.


Sun Protection and Nourishment

Protection from the sun’s harmful rays is also crucial during the recovery phase of any surgical procedure, including facelifts; this is because the skin post-surgery is more vulnerable to UV radiation, meaning there’s an increased risk of hyperpigmentation or sunburn. Applying a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 daily, even on cloudy days, is non-negotiable.

In addition to sun protection, nourishing the skin with essential vitamins and antioxidants can bolster its health and vitality, while also speeding up the healing process. Vitamin C serums, for example, can assist in collagen production, reduce inflammation, and brighten the skin.


Gentle Cleansing

The use of gentle, non-abrasive cleansers is also imperative after facelift surgery. Avoiding products with harsh chemicals or exfoliants helps in reducing the risk of irritation or impeding the healing process, so this means keeping harsher ingredients such as acids and retinoid products out of your routine until your skin has healed.


Phases of Recovery for a Facelift

What’s important to understand about the recovery process is that the journey of post-operative skin care after a facelift is progressive, moving through distinct phases of recovery. The initial days involve managing swelling and bruising with cold compresses and adhering to the specific instructions of your surgeon. However, as days turn into weeks, the focus shifts towards long-term care, ensuring optimal healing and preserving the fresh, youthful appearance attained. Here’s what you need to know:


Post-Operative Scarring and Treatments

A common concern after any surgery is the possibility of scarring: while facelift incisions are strategically placed to be inconspicuous, it’s important to understand that the quality of scar healing can be influenced by your post-operative skin care. Applying silicone gel or sheets, known to be effective in scar management, can reduce the appearance of scars. Keeping the area moisturised and protected from the sun also aids in minimising scar visibility.


Diet and Lifestyle After Facelift

While we’ve discussed the importance of topical treatments, it’s worth noting that holistic care plays a pivotal role in skin health post-surgery. A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants promotes skin health from the inside out, so consuming foods rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids can further aid in skin repair and maintain its elasticity.

Don’t forget, staying hydrated by drinking ample water supports skin hydration, ensuring it remains supple and vibrant. Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake is also crucial, as these can impede the healing process and accelerate skin ageing.


Regular Check-ups

After your facelift, it’s important to keep up with regular follow-ups with your surgeon: these visits allow for monitoring the healing process, ensuring that there are no complications. Your surgeon will also provide guidance on when it’s safe to reintroduce certain products or treatments into your skincare routine, based on how your skin is healing.


Long-Term Maintenance for Facelifts

Once the initial recovery phase is behind you, it’s essential to understand that maintaining the results of your facelift is an ongoing process: regular facials, mild chemical peels, and other non-invasive treatments can help maintain skin quality. Also, as you age, incorporating treatments like dermal fillers or Botox can complement the results of your facelift, ensuring a sustained youthful appearance.


The Bottom Line

Ultimately, while a facelift offers a rejuvenated facial appearance, the commitment to post facelift care determines the duration and quality of these results. Embrace a comprehensive skincare routine, make informed lifestyle choices, and seek the guidance of experienced professionals; these steps will ensure that you can enjoy the youthful, radiant results of your facelift for many years to come. After all, a facelift is not just a surgical procedure; it’s a commitment to yourself and your skin’s long-term health and beauty – so ensure you’re taking every step to prolong its longevity!

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.