If you haven't taken good care of yourself, now is the time to start? You should not pursue surgery at this time but could certainly see a board certified dermatologist for recommendations on skin care, sun screen and whether you would be a candidate for a facial peel.
Mini lift is not for sun and cigarette damage
Prematurely aged skin that is a result from sun damage and smoking is not usually treated by surgery so you are not likely candidate for a mini lift. Mini lifts don't really undo the damage from sun, stress and smoking. This damages inside the skin itself. You probably need some sort of fractionated laser resurfacing to improve your skin tone and texture. Also, giving up the smoking will very quickly help to start undoing the damage as your skin starts to receive more nutrients and less toxins. Also, a good sun block should be applied to your face every day, even in winter.
Mini Facelift in Your Twenties
26 years old, you are relatively young to be considering a mini facelift
surgery. Though a mini facelift is aimed at a younger demographic and is
less-invasive than a traditional facelift, 26 is still unusually early to have
skin elasticity great enough to be addressed with surgery. It is true that the
stress you have described in your life is probably a contributing factor
in your pre-mature aging, yet I would advise you to consider other options
first. You may want to look into non-surgical treatments including
dermatological fillers to rejuvenate your face at your younger age and may
decide to progress to surgery after these options have been explored.
I would not pursue a surgical procedure at this time based on the photo submitted. Strongly consider a chemical peel, laser resurfacing, and lifestyle habit changes for improvement of skin tone and textural issues. You will be surprised as to how far this would take you along your road to improvement and rejuvenation...be conservative now and you will have plenty of options available left to you in the future. Dr. Shep
My youngest was in her 30's and was very happy. You photo does not look so bad. Usually I recommend fillers until you are ready, maybe in 10 years. Good luck, Nasim Huq
Mini lift for the younger patient
Your photograph is a bit dark to evaluate your exact situation. I would state as a general rule I do not think age 26 is time to start facelift type procedures. In my younger facial surgery patients I typically do an endoscopic browlift with mid face suspension through small incisions in the forehead. This allows the entire facial unit of skin, muscle and soft tissue to be lifted to it's original position. The results give a natural look as no skin is removed it is just repositioned allowing the lift in the cheek area you desire. I would still estimate that you are to young for this and would be something to consider after the age of 30 if needed. Clean living and some facial skin care would be most beneficial to you at this time.
I am sorry that it is difficult to see your photo well. But at 26 I doubt very much that you are a candidate for a mini-lift.
Anything is possible but that doesn't mean that it should be done on you. You need to change some of your habits and you may be able to improve your skin and the youthful appearance with a variety of nonsurgical techniques ranging from microdermabrasions, to light chemical peels, to laser peels, to laser treatments (such as Fraxel re:Store). You definitely need to see a medical esthetician to get on a program of skin care so your damage does not progress. You will need this program along with the other techniques noted above. Don't bother doing anything if yo have no intent of stopping smoking or protecting your skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Mini face lift for younger patient
I wouldn't recommend any form of face lift surgery at your stage of life. The most minimal form of face lift doesn't really begin until late 30's or early 40's.
First, I would consider a healthier lifestyle. A much better approach for facial rejuvenation for you would be basic skin care and consider using Retina. Use a good sun screen and avoid the sun. Keep yourself well-hydrated. Get plenty of sleep. Stop smoking and don't drink excessively.
After you've done the basics, then you may consider a chemical peel, Botox Cosmetic, or an injectable filler (hyaluronic acid). Liposuction of the neck area may help too.