EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ALTERNATIVES TO FACELIFTS
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Through the natural aging process, the skin muscles begin to degrade partially little by little, eventually losing their shape over time. Our lips and eyebrows may droop a bit, fine wrinkles often appear, and our smile lines get set deeper. This is also the result of gravity and gradual exposure to sunlight over decades.
While looking after your skin during your youth can help your skin to age more gracefully, there is no true way to avoid the aging process for good. However, a lot of people will swear by the use of a facelift to help delay the process!
What is a Facelift?
A facelift (also known as a 'rhytidectomy' in fancy medical terms) is a type of cosmetic surgery where the skin of the face is pulled tighter to enhance the appearance of the person.
Often the cheeks, jawline, just under the eyes and the neck are all altered with strategic incisions, before excess skin is cut and the remaining skin is pulled tighter into a more youthful shape.
Why Do People Get Facelifts?
A facelift is seen by many as a solution to their aging appearances.
According to authorities at the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, many people find the idea of a facelift appealing because their face will match their idea of what they feel it should be.
Contrary to popular belief, facelifts are not treatments for superficial wrinkles and are rather carried out for any of the following reasons:
- Sagging cheeks
- Excess skin at the lower jawline
- Deepening of the skin fold between the corner of the nose and side of the mouth
- Sagging or fat neck skin
- Drastic weight loss
Why You Should Consider a Facelift Alternative
Facelifts are a rather invasive cosmetic surgery that should only be utilized in a case of necessity or as a last resort. There are a few detrimental side effects that come with opting for a facelift:
- Scarring. There is no avoiding scarring with a facelift, those scars will be with you for life. A good cosmetic surgeon will do their best to hide the scarring within the hairline but it will still be there nonetheless.
- Nerve Injury. A small subset of patients undergoing facelift surgeries receive damage to their nerve endings, resulting in partial or total loss of facial control for either a lifelong or limited period of time.
- Hair Loss. Temporary or permanent hair loss at the sites of scars or incisions is certain to occur.
- Hematoma. Your face may swell within 24 hours after the surgery, which is factored in as part of your hospital experience. This is the most common surgical complication and most surgeons are well-equipped to deal with it.
- Skin Loss. In rare cases, a facelift can cause blood circulation to block to your skin, causing it to peel or fall off excessively.
- Infection. As any form of surgery does, a facelift will dip your immune system and increase your chances of suffering from an infection.
- Adverse Reaction to Anesthesia. Some individuals are allergic or susceptible to an immune sensitivity reaction toward anesthetic.
NOTE: Consult with your healthcare provider before getting a facelift.
You may also want to avoid a facelift if you take blood-thinning medications or supplements, if you have a medical condition, if you smoke or if your weight fluctuates.
As you can see, a facelift can be a rather daunting prospect. Luckily there are many facelift alternatives to try that are non-invasive and constantly being improved upon!
Top 6 Modern Facelift Alternatives
Beauty and anti-aging technology are truly beginning to move forward from the dark ages into a golden era. There are now many options available for tightening the skin in our faces that do not involve the use of invasive surgical tools!
The majority of modern cosmetic treatments are moving away from classic facelifts towards more frequency-based therapies. While research is still underway, it seems that some of these frequency-based therapies may even yield some useful side perks, such as reducing pain in the facial nerves or sinuses.
Let's take a look at some of the best modern alternatives to facelifts and why they work:
A wave from the medicine of the future, this non-invasive technology is highly effective and does not require you to do anything other than pitch up for a short session.
Ultratherapy is a technology based off ultrasound that is designed to boost collagen production in the skin. A device is used that sends waves of ultrasound throughout the skin, using heat and other means to manipulate the skin's regenerative processes. The end result is vastly improved skin tone and a much more youthful appearance.
According to science experiments done on this therapy, side effects are rare if done by a proficient healthcare professional, and significant benefits may be seen within 3-6 months after treatment Patients undergoing therapy can notice a difference within a few days too, depending on their skin's ability to produce collagen.
The ultrasound from the device can hit three different levels of the skin: the muscle, skin and superficial wrinkles, improving the quality in specific areas. Your dermatologist or cosmetic specialist will no doubt make the best plan to suit your needs.
A single treatment can be anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes long. Just before the procedure, an ultrasound gel will be provided onto the targeted areas. The neck, face, and chest are common target areas.
You do not need to worry about eating a special diet or anything before going, but you may want to arrange for somebody to fetch you as it can make some people feel occasionally light-headed. You may feel heat and tingling during the procedure as well as just after before it quickly dissipates. A few hours after treatment, your skin may appear red but that should disappear after a day or so.
Thermage is a therapy that uses a specific technology designed to shoot a heatwave of a specific radiofrequency through the deeper layers of the skin. This radiofrequency generates a heat that first stuns the growth of collagen before promoting the regenerative process and encouraging more collagen to regrow. The concept is similar to ultratherapy, but instead of ultrasounds, another radiofrequency is used instead.
This therapy is rather experimental and while all the research shows that it does indeed boost collagen synthesis, not enough is known about whether it will have long-term consequences. In spite of this, many models and other beauty fanatics will swear by this treatment.
Thermage could also be adapted for effective use on cellulite in the thighs and buttocks. Currently, it is most commonly being used as a non-surgical alternative to facelifts as well as to treat mild skin laxity.
3. Microcurrent Facials
Just like the above two facelift alternatives, microcurrent facials also stimulate the muscles of the face. However, instead of using heat or ultrasound, microcurrent facials are using a low voltage current of electricity. This current stimulates the muscles to contract, causing them to tighten and firm up.
Interestingly, zapping skin with an electrical current was shown to improve the energy levels of the cells as well as reduce wrinkles on the targeted areas!
The best part about microcurrent facials is that they have been around since the 1970s and have proven countless times to be a safe and effective facelift alternative.
4. Buccal Massage
Buccal massage is a type of face massage that is used to promote better blood flow in the face. The word buccal refers to areas of the mouth and chin. Unlike the traditional idea of a massage, a buccal massage involves a trained physician who wears latex gloves and the massage takes place inside, outside and around your mouth and chin.
Buccal massage can help to reduce swelling in the skin as well as tone the muscles in the cheeks, mouth, and chin. It may also enhance blood flow and temporarily improve the contouring of the face. Apparently quite a number of celebrities vouch for it as an on-going treatment for aging skin.
Some doctors also use buccal massage when placing in skin fillers or doing other types of useful injections into the face. If you are considering doing fillers instead of a facelift, you might want to rather try a buccal massage on its own first to see if it doesn't already solve your problem!
5. Radio Frequency with Micro-needling
Radio-frequency with micro-needling is a skin rejuvenation technique used by skin specialists for several decades now.
It involves the use of needles that are charged with radiofrequency energy. When these charged needles enter into the dermis (skin's layers), it produces micro-cuts and heat which stimulate the skin's healing process as well as the production of collagen and elastin. This technology delivers more swift results than any of the others currently listed, making it highly popular as an alternative treatment option to facelifts.
6. Laser Skin Treatments
Laser skin treatments also exist that channel a high energy beam of light at a wide variety of skin imperfections. It works in much the same way as many of the other facelift alternatives above do, channeling the heat from the laser to kick-start the healing process of the skin cells, which create more collagen and elastin while tightening the skin.
Laser therapy takes a long time of recovery before one can see the results. It may not be the safest therapy, depending on the type of laser and radiation beam used.
5 Things To Consider Before Getting a Facelift Treatment
Before you get a facelift, ask yourself is this truly worth the hassle? There may be many causes to why our skins sag over time. Make sure you cross out the below five things before considering a facelift.
1. Eating a Healthy Diet
Eating a nutritious diet loaded with fruits, vegetables, fiber, plenty of green foods as well as water is what you need to allow your skin to glow! A lack of nutrition is linked to increased skin aging, therefore you can possibly prevent further wrinkles from forming by taking better care of your diet. Consult with a nutritionist to see what you can do to improve your diet.
Another point to make here is that dehydration, smoking, drinking alcohol and being surrounded by pollution will detract from your diet and promote skin aging.
2. Ensuring You're Not Just Fighting an Infection
Sometimes our faces look saggy or swollen when we are fighting an infection or in recovery from having fought one. If you are fighting an infection, give yourself bed-rest and make sure to eat well!
3. Get Your Hormone Levels Checked
Our skin can begin to get dry and wrinkle as a result of hormone deficiencies that happen as we age. If you correct your hormone balance, then you can likely get your skin looking youthful again. For example, a study demonstrated that postmenopausal women that increased their low estrogen count were found to have their dry skin corrected and a lower risk of future skin damage such as wrinkling.
When considering hormone replacement therapy, always remember that natural variations are best and to discuss your options with your doctor.
4. Sleep Well
Getting a proper, stable 7-9 hours of decent sleep each night is what we and our skins all need to function properly. Your skin can look tired after a night of bad sleep and it is a requirement should you want to prevent your skin from wrinkling.
If you have trouble with sleeping well, then here are a few quick tips:
- Switch off all electronic devices (except dim lights) 1 hour before your planned bedtime.
- Calm your mind down and do something relaxing in the hour before bed.
- Do not expose yourself to bright light as you will destroy your natural supply of melatonin, which you need to fall asleep.
- Do not eat or drink within the hour before sleep, preferably longer than that.
Whatever your skincare routine is, you need to make sure exfoliation is top on the list. Our skins work by shedding on a daily basis and if there is a problem with this flow of dead cells, then problems can arise on the skin that can make our wrinkles and appearance worse.
Exfoliating can be done with a special scrub, clay masks or a special soap, but should be done at least 1-3 times a week.
Let's face it: facelifts are scary, expensive and if you didn't have to, you probably wouldn't. If we look after our skin through proper daily care, it can remain youthful for years to come. If you're healthy on all fronts and still interested in getting a facelift, consult your doctor on which of the above alternatives is best for you. Mya Care's platform can allow you instant access to some of the world's best skincare physicians at the click of a finger!
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