Why Do Celebrity Facelifts Look So Bad?

bruce jenner is just 1 of the celebs who seem to have really bad facelifts. windswept looking. is this because they went to a bad doctor, or just were bad candidates for a facelift? i'm just wondering cuz it seems they can afford the absolute best plastic surgeon in the world!

Doctor Answers 31

Celebrity Plastic Surgery

Great Facelifts don't make people look like they have had surgery. They just make people look great. I have attached a link to my before and after facelift gallery. I always suggest that people look just at the after images to see if the people look like they have had surgery. Look closely at the hairline, the ears, the sideburns and the eyes.  You should be able to view many many photos. Some plastic surgeons may include some immediate after photos. There may be visible scars in the very early stages of healing, but there should be no distortion to the hairline or the ears.  The new "bad" in plastic surgery are a result of people being overstuffed with fat or filler. This is an example of too much of a good thing. Fat grafting when performed with precision and moderation is an important component of natural looking facial rejuvenation. 

The celebrities who seem forever youthful may have good genes, but chances are, they may have also had some very good work along the way.
I will not comment on any specific celebrities. Public people are human beings too. The best way to determine whether or not a plastic surgeon operates on high profile people or not is to see whether or not they have ever commented on "celebrity plastic surgery" in the media. Celebrities and others who value discretion will stay far away from this kind of plastic surgeon. 

Many intelligent and wealthy people have made poor decisions about selecting a plastic surgeon. Start by looking at many, many before and after photos, and look for a plastic surgeon with extensive experience and expertise. Find a plastic surgeon who has attended a top tier medical school and received training from prestigious medical universities. 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Bad celebrity plastic surgery

You only see bad bad plastic surgery. There are plenty of celebrities who have had plastic surgery and you will never hear about who their doctor is, because they quietly get their work done and don't publicize it. They just look great for their age.

Many well publicized cases of plastic surgery gone wrong are the result of silicone face and lip injections performed by dermatologists or unscrupulous practitioners.

Celebrities in the limelight live under tremendous pressure to be beautiful and thin. They will literally do anything to maintain the spotlight. Plastic surgery is a mainstay of many of their programs. Hopefully they will choose an ethical surgeon who doesn't prey on their insecurities and tells them no when it is appropriate.

Los Angeles in general and Beverly Hills specifically area is a big area and there are many good plastic surgeons who quietly do their work on celebrities and you will never know it is happening.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Good Plastic Surgery is rarely noticed; Bad Plastic Surgery Screams at you

The answer to your question is threefold. Many of the results you may be referring to come from a different era in Hollywood and Plastic Surgery. Facelifts were performed in a way that did not respect the limitations or boundaries of the procedure (Ethel Merman's mouth for example). This may be related to poor judgment on the part of the surgeon, unrealistic expectations on the part of the celebrity, or both. My second point relates to Dr. Aldea's: socially popular Plastic Surgeons are not always skillful practitioners. Thirdly, there are many celebrities and people in any town USA who have had great Plastic Surgery; they look good without looking stigmatic. Unfortunately, a bad Facelift screams at you from across the room. The difference is, for a celebrity, a bad Facelift often equates to tabloid exposure.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Some Celebrities go to BAD Surgeons!

Celebrities believe in what they sell - media exposure.  Celebrity surgeons who are prominently seen in the media are automatically considered by the public to be something special.  Almost everyone assumes they are skilled as surgeons, when quite often this is not the case.  Many have just average surgical skills. What they are skilled at is culling media exposure - either by paying for it or having an esoteric personality that is interesting to watch.  The deficits in their surgical skills become more obvious with more complex procedures.  For simple procedures such as breast augmentation, it is likely the results will be “acceptable” (some might question their judgement of size choice).  On procedures as complicated as a face lift where many small but complex decisions are needed, the results as a whole can look very strange.

You will be surprised, but a number of celebrity surgeons who have a very prominent media presence (ie: their own TV shows, appearances on Oprah, etc), ARE NOT EVEN BOARD CERTIFIED.  Board certification is the minimal bar when considering a surgeon, so be sure to check their status at abms dot org.  After that, confirm that your surgeon is a member of ASPS and ASAPS.  These professional societies monitor the ethical behavior of their members - surgeons who falsely advertise superiority or expertise in areas where they are not truly experts will be reprimanded or excluded from these societies.  If you are considering a plastic surgeon who has a high profile and is not a member of these societies - think again!

It definitely pays to do your homework!  Check board certification / license status from the ABMS and State website (not the surgeon’s website).  Confirm the surgeons membership status in nationally recognized societies (be wary of the “fake” boards and societies).  And read their on-line reviews from independent websites (RealSelf, Vitals, Google, RateMDs, etc)...

I wish you the best,


Celebrity facelifts and poor results

The pulled and stretched, tightened wind-tunneled look from a facelift is due to the skin being stretched too tight. This is not the muscles being stretched too tight; it is only the skin being stretched. It gives a very false wind-tunneled look.  Good plastic surgery results are not obvious. A comprehensive facial rejuvenation  is supposed to look natural not surgical.
 For many  examples of a  natural look comprehensive facial rejuvenation in our practice, please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

In Plastic Surgery you don't always get what you pay for

What you are seeing are the worst of the worst results. These results are a combination of what the surgeon sees as an acceptable outcome to a facelift and what the client/patient has asked that surgeon to produce. Both parties should probably take a step back and have a good look at the outcomes.
Although there are many talented surgeons performing facelift surgery with beautiful results, there are many who have marketed themselves to such a degree that they have created a perception and buzz that is often times undeserved.
Celebrities are like the rest of us when it comes to their health care. They rely on word of mouth, only on a much more grand scale. They would not think of going to doctor #2 when doctor #1 did so and so's facelift, even if they have never seen the results. Do your own homework.

Philip S. Schoenfeld, MD
Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

It's the emperor's new facelift

I assure you, the fact that celebrities get horrible work does not bode well for regular folks getting great work.

Remember that most general plastic surgeons get very little training in comsetic surgeon while in their residencies. A number of forward thinking individuals go on to do aesthetic fellowship. However, many general plastic surgeon simply hang out their shingle and try to figure out cosmetic surgery on their own or by taking weekend courses. This is a tough way to learn. Some are great at it some are not.

In addition, celebrity surgeons are generally very good a public relations. The take home message is that there is no assurance that you will get what you want when you go with a particular surgeon. It is best to do your own home work and consult with a number of surgeons before committing with a particular one. Just because a surgeon did a star's facelift does not mean that surgeon will be right for you. The same advice applied to heavily marketed facelifts. You must do your own homework and research you doctor.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Celebrity plastic surgery

Celeb facelifts or any celeb plastic surgery for that matter is not the gold standard. They've chosen someone who they can relate to, someone who they heard is the best or the most popular but this is not necessarily someone who performs the best technique in plastic surgery. They look bad because they've had operations that don't make anatomical sense. A facelift must actually lift up and not sideways, it must be done from the deeper tissues and not just the skin. If the skin is pulled, it looks pulled, 'windswept'. There's lots more literature on this topic but that's the bottome line. Those patients should've had a procedure that was more anatomically sound.

In short, so many of them look so bad because many surgeons (poorly trained) are doing procedures that are safe but not sound.

Best Wishes,


Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

A good facelift is not immediately appreciated

Don't you feel sorry for Kenny Rogers or Melanie Griffith?
I do, and while I used to be confused as to why they were unable to get excellent plastic surgery, I have come to realize that being a star doesn't imply common sense and resourcefulness.
The reality is- it is in fact possible to get a natural appearing facelift. Now some of the final result is dependent on some inherent facial characteristics: skin thickness; bone structure; elasticity of the skin are the three big ones, as well as the quality of the surgeon.
Surgeons experienced in achieving aesthetic results will include the following steps in their procedures: respect of the temporal hairline; absence of skin tension instead relying on the deeper layers to achieve long lasting and free from tension results; freeing up the earlobes; and some other steps.
Do your homework, and don't rely on your "agent" to find your surgeon alone.

Jeffrey Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Celebrity facelifts

It is amazing that a star who has endless disposable income (and even deducts their cosmetic surgery on their taxes as a business expense!) would fall into the hands of any but the best plastic surgeons. But the results are there to see on TV specials and in the magazines.

I think many young "real" plastic surgeons as well as "pretend" plastic surgeons set up shop in Beverly Hills and promote themselves heavily and some even seem to believe in their press releases and web site puffery. The problem is that this doesn't necessarily mean they are good surgeons. Excellent plastic surgery comes from the best training and the most extensive experience and attention to detail coupled with an artistic eye that you can't teach.

In the end, the best results are ones where you can't even tell they had surgery but when you look at the before pictures you see what a great change took place.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.