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3 Facelift Myths Debunked


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According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s (AAFPRS) most recent annual member survey, facelifts not only continue to be one of the most popular surgical procedures, second only to rhinoplasty, the number of facelifts performed annually is growing. Facial plastic surgeon and AAFPRS president Paul Carniol, M.D., helps to explain the increase in numbers by debunking several myths that surround the facelifting procedure.

Myth 1: All Facelifts Are the Same

Actually, facelifts are not a one-size-fits-all. The “facelift” not only comes in multiple sizes—from the deep plane to the mini—each is also highly individualized based on multiple factors, including age, skin type, and desired results. As a result, the number of facelifting procedures has and will continue to grow. But, Carniol cautions, that doesn’t mean you can expect maximum facelifting results with a mini version of the facelift.

“There are multiple types of mini lifts and neck lifts, but they will usually give a lesser improvement than a full facelift,” he says. “If a patient is in their 40s or early 50s and has thin skin tissues, one of these types of lifts can give a visible improvement with a very brief recovery. If they are older or have more extensive age-related changes, patients can get a more dramatic visible result from a full facelift.” 

Patients also can be misinformed about the treatment of wrinkles versus skin laxity, says Carniol. While facelifting procedures tighten loose skin, such as jowls and neck, wrinkles are best addressed with lasers, microneedling, radio frequency, or peels. Thus, often one or more of these treatments are also performed to enhance facelift results.

Myth 2: Facelifts Are Only for Older Women

In reality, men get loose facial skin, too. Therefore, not only do both men and women have facelifting procedures, so do younger people. 

Consider this: A mini facelift procedure may be a better option for someone in their 30s looking to tighten up the jawline or mid face than multiple microneedling treatments.

“Procedures like microneedling, peels, and other non-invasive treatments will also give some skin tightening, but not as much as the typical face/neck lift procedures,” says Carniol, making the one-and-done procedure perfect for busy professionals.  

Myth 3: All Plastic Surgeons Are the Same

“Finding the right, most qualified physician to perform any procedure should always be a patient’s first priority,” says Carniol. “Make sure the physician is qualified, experienced, and board-certified in the procedure you are considering. If you are seeking a surgical procedure on the face, head, or neck, the AAFPRS always recommends you select a surgeon who trained specifically in procedures of the face, head, and neck.”

About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.