How many years can one look younger with a facelift?

What is real in your opinion? In my opinion (not an expert only a woman looking at before and after pictures of various plastic surgeons) most women or men just look a bit younger or refreshed. However, some Hollywood stars like Christie Brinkley or Lauren Koslow look 30 years younger as their real age. How is that possible? Is it the money they spent? Is it that their plastic surgeons are artists while others are just handymen? Do these women get secret proceeding that regular women don't know about?

Doctor Answers 22

I want to look 30 years younger overnight!

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Generally a face lift can take 10-12 years off of a patients appearance. Regarding Hollywood stars looking much younger than their actual ages, this can be attributed to a number of factors. Consider that these stars have not been progressively aging and then they have a facelift and BAM, they look 30 years younger. There are many factors  that may have helped these stars continue to look young. Maintaining a healthy weight and not yo-young on the scale. Staying out of the sun and wearing good sunscreen when outdoors. Not smoking. Not drinking. Healthy diet. Plenty of exercise. Starting a good skin care regimen at a young age. Then comes the surgery and fillers. Botox, Juvederm, face lift, neck lift, brow lift and eye lift are all tools in the plastic surgeons tool box. These tools can help turn back the clock. We have all seen examples of disasters when these tools have been overused or used by untrained or inexperienced doctors. But when these tools are used properly, the result can be wonderful!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Thanks for sharing your question. I can appreciate your concern.

Your question is very well taken. I partially agree with you. however, there is more depth to the concept of facial rejuvenation rather than a simple there are excellent or mediocre surgeons.

facial rejuvenation if more than pulling skin. It is based on 4 basic components: 

1. improving the quality of the skin

2. improving deep and light wrinkles

3. improving volume

4. repositioning of tissues.

There are multiple techniques to address each problem. I think that volume replacement may be an important component of significant rejuvenation outcomes. The caveat is that fat is unpredictable, and what looks great now, might not look awesome in the future. Once the fat starts behaving the way it does from the source it comes from, we might be facing significant deformities very difficult to address. 

I personally think that the actresses that you mention had a very graceful aging. making the surgery more successful. However there are a little bit overdone in my taste. Once again. beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We will see if the current surgeries will stand the test of time.

Finally, make sure that you have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Wishing you the best in your journey

A Facelift Shaves Off a Decade

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Thanks for your question. In general, I believe that a good facelift will make you look about a decade younger and yes, the skill of the surgeon plays an enormous role in your results. Personally, I believe that plastic surgeons are artists. It is part of what drew me to the field. Without photos, it is impossible for me to comment on your case specifically, but skin tone and quality do play a role. As far as I know, Christie Brinkley has never had a facelift. She is just a great example of a woman who stayed out of the sun, takes great care of her skin and has a really good cosmetic dermatologist. If you are interested in finding out what a facelift could do for you, I would advise you to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to be examined in person. Hope this helps.


Kouros Azar

How much younger from a facelift?

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Dear pristine:

Thank you for your question. The old adage about beauty being in the eye of the beholder also applies to assessments of youth, and guestimates of "how much younger" a person looks after a facelift. Most plastic surgeons strive to provide a "natural" look for their patients, and looking 10 to 15 years younger is the norm (but this is a purely  subjective evaluation, and might well vary from one observer to the next). A "refreshed look", with less lines, and a crisp jawline and contoured neck is the usual goal, and not an over-pulled or "wind-tunnel" appearance. I do not like my patients to have an "operated" look--and regardless of whether friends/family think they have turned the clock back 10 years, or even 20 years is less important than giving them a fresh, youthful and "natural" look, and a new sense of confidence and self-satisfaction.


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No one wants to appear “done”, with the skin pulled back too severely. Thanks to the advent of new technologies such as endoscopy (where surgery is done under the skin through a small incision using a tiny camera), liposuction, facial implants, and other “mini” procedures used either by themselves of in combination, we can do a lot less and achieve more positive, natural-looking results

There are several different types of face-lifts that doctors perform. A two-layer face-lift, the most common type, involves the tightening of the tissue under the skin, or SMAS (subcutaneous musculo-aponeurotic substance). With a mini-lift, only the lower face -- from cheek to chin -- is lifted, which effectively eliminates jowls and redefines the cheekbones. 

As with a face-lift, the mini-lift is often accompanied by a neck lift, which removes fat from below the chin and tightens the neck's platysma muscles, all through a tiny incision under the chin. There are distinct advantages to having a neck lift along wih your face-lift: The incision is tiny and leaves virtually no scar; moreover, your smooth neck won’t be out of sync with your youthful face! The best candidates for the mini-lift are those who are unhappy with the contour of their lower face and neck, and whose skin has good resiliency. It's also an ideal procedure for a patient who is nervous about going all the way with a major overhaul.

Younger options

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This questions is very difficult to answer but the best way to answer it is to say that first the patient will look better because aging normally changes  aour look to not attractive and lack of energy, second able the patient will look more dramatically younger if has age prematurely and more tissues are involve.

How much younger

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A facelift allows you to look 10 to 20 years younger on average. The art is to do this without changing what you look like. The key is to make you look like a younger you and not a younger version of you. A properly performed facelift should look natural and not operated looking. I always have my patients bring in a close up photo of themselves which will be used in the operating room to accurately determine the proper vector of pull. Everybody is unique.

Face lift - how long will I look younger?

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Thank you for asking about your face lift.

  • After a face lift, you will permanently look younger than your peers but you will age as before
  • Face lifts done before age 55 are less likely to need later tightenings than those done later.
  • Celebrities look so good because they constantly invest time and money in their facial appearance, because they usually start off gorgeous with great bones (always a help) and because their photos are photoshopped.
  • Having worked in Beverly Hills, I did not find the quality of surgery any better than elsewhere.
  • In fact, at times, it was worse - because many celebrity surgeons are not plastic surgeons.
  • The plastic surgeons there are very very good - but no better than plastic surgeons elsewhere.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Facelift results - what is a reasonable result expectation ?

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A well done facelift that includes peri-orbital rejuvenation (brow lift etc) and fat grafting will dramatically 'de-age' the face without a tight or 'done' appearance. There are a variety of facelift techniques available, but in general, a more extensive procedure (not a 'quick' lift or 'mini' facelift) will deliver a more stable result over time.

How Many Years Younger Can a Facelift Patient Look

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Many factors contribute to the appearance of a patient as they age including genetics, life style, skin care, facial rejuvenation surgery, make-up, etc. I will tell my patients that they will look refreshed rather than trying to predict how much younger they will look. The quality of work and care is very important; while have pointed out ladies who look fabulous there are multiple examples of celebrities who do not look so good. Having said that, celebrities get the same treatment as my patients who are not well known.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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.