Does a Facelift Get Rid of Wrinkles?

If you are researching wrinkle solutions, chances are you have come across the facelift. There are many online solutions, crazy life hacks, and homeopathic remedies that reportedly combat wrinkles, but how effective are they at turning back the clock? In this post, we will explore the facelift procedure and determine whether it actually works as intended.

Let’s dig in.

What is a Facelift?

Known by plastic surgeons as a rhytidectomy, the facelift is a surgical procedure that tightens the skin of the face, leading to a more youthful appearance. Generally, the facelift procedure focuses on the bottom two-thirds of the face and is considered separate from a brow lift or eye lift. However, all three cosmetic procedures can be performed during the same outpatient visit.

During a facelift, the surgeon reshapes the layers of fat and muscle that lie beneath the skin. Excess (omitted sometimes) skin is removed so that when the skin is reattached, it is tighter across the face.

What Causes Wrinkles?

Several factors cause wrinkles. Some of these you can control, while others you cannot. Two proteins work to keep skin youthful and smooth – collagen and elastin. These proteins become damaged as a cell ages. Certain harmful chemicals – like those found in cigarettes – when combined with prolonged, unprotected exposure to UV radiation accelerates the damage to collagen and elastin.

The takeaway is that everyone’s skin will eventually show signs of aging. However, some behavior choices accelerate the aging process.

What Areas of the Face Get Wrinkles?

Regions of high tension or high mobility are likely to show wrinkles before other parts of the skin. Areas like the brow and the regions around the mouth and eyes are vulnerable to developing wrinkles faster than the other parts of the face, but all skin is susceptible to the effects of aging. 

How a Facelift Resolves Wrinkles

A facelift is the top cosmetic procedure to permanently get rid of wrinkles. By removing excess skin, resetting facial muscles, and sculpting facial fat, a plastic surgeon can drastically reduce the appearance of wrinkles. A professional facelift performed by an expert plastic surgeon can de-age a face creating a much more youthful appearance.

Facelift Procedure

Your facelift surgeon may recommend local or general anesthesia, depending on the amount of work needed. After you are sedated, the surgeon makes two incisions above the ear that go down in front of and behind your ears. An additional incision may be made under your chin to help treat sagging skin in the neck. 

A facelift then involves tightening the facial muscles and shapes, sculpting, and repositioning the subcutaneous fat to achieve the desired look. If there is excess skin, the surgeon will remove this before closing the incisions.


After your facelift, it is common to experience pain, swelling, discomfort, and numbness in your face. The incisions are usually covered with special dressings designed to be tight to the face to reduce swelling. Additionally, the surgeon might install a tube behind one or both ears to drain excess fluids and blood. 

You will need to rest with your head elevated for several days following your facelift. Take any prescribed medications as needed and treat the area with cold packs to help with swelling and pain. Your doctor will schedule several follow-up appointments to monitor your healing process. Bandages can come off, and stitches can come out as early as a week, depending on how you recover. 

You must follow the post-op care instructions provided by your surgeon. The success of your facelift also depends on how you handle the recovery process.

What Else Does Facelift Treat?

A facelift helps rejuvenate the appearance of your face by addressing several signs of aging. The cosmetic procedure can help to remedy the following symptoms of aging and skin damage:

Sagging Skin

Skin sags due to the same factors that cause the skin to wrinkle – time and damage. As your skin loses elasticity, the forces of gravity win out over the forces of collagen. This leads to sections of skin that hang loose and droop – especially around the jowls and chin. A facelift corrects this by removing excess skin and effectively resetting the volume of skin on your face. 

Excess Fat

A facelift can often be combined with liposuction to remove excess fat below the chin. This process brings a vibrant, youthful look back into the face and neck.  

Skin Folds

Skin folds are creases in the skin that accentuate the features of the nose and the mouth. Like wrinkles and sagging skin, the cause of severe skin folds is cellular damage and a loss of elasticity. A facelift can correct skinfolds by tightening the facial skin, which softens the appearance of skin folds. Combining various procedures specific to the patient, such as laser resurfacing or a chin augmentation, may also further complement their results.

When Will I See My Facelift Results?

Most of the severe swelling will go away by the third week. At this point, you should start to notice the final results of your facelift procedure. Generally, the results of a facelift provide a cosmetic reset, but the aging process will continue. Some patients may opt to have another facelift several years after their first cosmetic procedure. 

Trust double board-certified and award-winning plastic surgeon Dr. Dominic Castellano and his team at Elite Facial Plastic Surgery to help you recover your youthful, vibrant appearance! 

To schedule a free facelift consultation and discuss how we can help you achieve your cosmetic goals, call Elite today at 813-547-6692.

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