Face the facts – or lift your face

“The idea is to die young, as late as possible.”


Facelift for a young pretty woman, isolated, white background
Facelift for a young pretty woman, isolated, white background


– Ashley Montagu

You can’t help getting older but you can delay and reverse some of the physical signs of ageing with facelifts.

– What is a facelift and how is it beneficial?

Think of the skin as a dress for the body. As the body gets thinner, the outfit doesn’t fit as well and starts to sag. Similarly, due to ageing, blood circulation weakens, muscles lose their natural tone and the face loses volume and fat, resulting in loose skin forming droops, wrinkles and bands in areas such as eyelids, cheeks, temples and lips.

A facelift can’t stop the ageing process, but it can slowdown the clock, re-drape the skin and reduce the visible signs of ageing. This is done by contracting the underlying tissues of the skin, resulting in a tighter and uplifted appearance.

– When is one a candidate for face lifting?

To be a candidate, you need to be healthy with no major medical problems and, of course, you have to be realistic about the results. In non-surgical facelifts, patients will see a gradual change rather than drastic changes immediately after the procedure.

Facelifts can be attempted at any age and work best on candidates who don’t quite yet need facelifts and want to put it off for a few years. I have a 19-year-old patient who gets facial treatments because her work demands extensive sun exposure. So it varies between individual skin and lifestyle. But a recommended age to begin observing and taking care is during your mid- to late-30s.

– Is the time frame different for Asians and Caucasians?

It is. On average you can expect to look younger than your Caucasian peers, particularly under the eye area. Asian skin is less prone to premature ageing, so wrinkles and sagging tend to crop up at a later age. It also burns less easily than pale Caucasian skin, making it less prone to sun damage and skin cancer. The downside though is that Asians are more likely to see a sudden change in their facial skin during their 50s, unlike Caucasians who face it gradually.

– How to choose amongst the range of treatments available?

There are diverse methods of non-surgical face lifting, depending on your age, your facial skin and your budget. Each individual ages uniquely, so seek expert opinion to know which treatment will be most cost-effective for you.

There are a choice procedures for each of the skin’s three levels, varying in technology and price.

For the upper layer of the skin there are T-Max, Ulthera and Thermage, and for the muscles beneath the skin there is the Micro-current-muscle-stimulator among other various non-surgical facelifts. These non-invasive treatments require no scalpel, no cutting the extra skin and no anaesthesia.

Ulthera is a non-surgical method, using ultrasound technology, to lift and tighten skin, in one easy treatment that can last up to two years. The revolutionary science behind Ulthera, simply put, is that it is the first lifting treatment to employ ultrasound, which penetrates much deeper than the usual skin and fat layers.

Ulthera reaches right down to the SMAS (sub-muscular aponeurotic system), responsible for the shape of your skin, in a non-invasive manner, meaning there’s no need to go under the knife. Imagine a thousand virtual stitches counteracting the ravages of time and gravity on your skin. Instead Ulthera promotes the body’s own regenerative powers of healing to slowly and safely improve the skin’s “memory”, working from below right up to the surface.

The growth of collagen is stimulated and the tightening, lifting effect is gradual, so you will not walk out of the skin clinic with an overly surprised look on your face. The process is much more natural and the effects happen over time, yet still in one sitting only.


Thermage employs a patented radiofrequency (RF) technology that delivers tighter skin, renewing the facial contours and healthier collagen. It has been clinically proven to tighten and gently lift the skin to smooth out wrinkles that can last up to two years.

The device uniformly heats a large volume of collagen in the deeper layers of the skin and its underlying tissue, while simultaneously protecting the outer layer of the skin with cooling. This deep uniform heating action causes deep structures in your skin to immediately tighten.

– Do these non-surgical procedures hurt?

Radio-frequency or ultrasound treatments use considerable heat to alleviate the deep tissues, so it’s definitely not going to be comfortable, but it is tolerable pain. Since patients are awake during the procedure, dermatologists can tailor the shots to suit the patient’s tolerance level.


Before a facelift

Choose the right doctor. Don’t go for the addresses, go for the expertise. Fancy addresses do not ensure a good job. Search more information and consult your doctor in detail to get a realistic picture of what to expect. And take a photo of yourself before the procedure. It will give you a clear picture of the transformation when comparing your postprocedure look.

Anti-ageing moisturisers

Moisturisers can’t stop you from ageing but they can remove the dead outer layer of the skin, or hydrate the skin and plump it up, giving the appearance of removing wrinkles. Creams can also provide the required amount of moisture to your skin to decelerate ageing.

Maintaining youthful skin

Eat a healthy diet, sleep well and stay away from the sun. Limit alcohol and avoid smoking. Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated. Avoid drastic weight loss. And remember, a healthy body equals a beautiful face.