Facelift surgery, especially when performed by an experienced surgeon who knows how to deliver natural-looking results, has the ability to take up to 10 years off of your appearance. But how do you maintain these beautiful results? Though your skin texture and how quickly it shows signs of aging are largely a matter of genetics, certain lifestyle habits are also key factors that can either hinder or prolong your results. In this blog post, facelift surgeon Dr. Julio Clavijo-Alvarezdiscusses what to do— and what not to do — to keep your skin looking smooth and youthful after facelift surgery.
Tip #1: Follow a Healthy, Balanced Diet
It is a known fact that what you put into your body shows up in your skin, which is why eating foods that are rich in nutrients will help maintain the health of your skin as well as your body. Facelift surgery can do wonders to turn back the clock with your appearance —but it can’t stop the clock altogether. The aging process will still cause skin cell regeneration to move at a slower pace, causing your skin to dry out and sag. This process results in lines and wrinkles forming once again. How can you slow this process down?
A well-balanced diet full of dark, leafy greens, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates and lean meats will stimulate and maintain a healthy rate of cell regeneration for your skin, causing it to create new, healthy skin cells and flushing out toxins more efficiently. And with the addition of foods that are rich in antioxidants (think beans, berries and nuts), your skin will have further protection from free-radical damage.
Tip #2: Ditch the Cigarettes
At ReNova Plastic Surgery, Dr. Clavijo-Alvarez recommends to all of his patients who smoke and are undergoing surgery that they stop smoking for at least the few weeks before and after their surgery. Not only does smoking (and other nicotine and tobacco products) hinder the healing process, making the recovery period much longer, but it may also result in wound-healing problems and even skin tissue death. As if this weren’t a good enough reason to throw those cigarettes away, smoking also significantly accelerates the skin’s aging process, breaking down the skin’s elasticity which leads to dull, tired and drooping skin along with deep grooves and fine lines on the face (and particularly around the mouth). The carbon monoxide that cigarettes contain depletes the skin’s nutrients, including vitamin C (which helps the skin repair itself when damaged).
Tip #3: Sun Protection is Key
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays breaks down the elastin in the skin, causing it to dry out and lose its youthful buoyancy. The damage caused by sun exposure, especially direct and prolonged exposure, will break down the skin’s fibers, causing brown spots and weakening its structure so that it is more prone to tearing and bruising. To protect your face from the sun (particularly in the first six weeks after surgery), use a sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and wear a hat for added protection. And don’t think that you’re in the clear when you go to the tanning bed — the UV radiation used has the same skin-aging effects; so it is best to avoid it altogether.
Want More Facelift Tips?
Would you like to learn more about preserving the beautiful results of facelift surgery, including using top-of-the-line skin care, such as the Zein Obagi line offered at ReNova Plastic Surgery? Contact our practice today when by calling (412) 638-2391.