7 Tips for Skin Care After a Facelift Procedure

Jul 24,2023

skin care


If you have undergone a facelift, it’s natural to have concerns about how to deal with after facelift care, for a smooth recovery. So the rhytidectomy post op skin care should be highly valued, whose phase can be a crucial time for your skin’s healing. In order to enhance the outcome of your procedure, besides following your surgeon’s advice and practicing patience with the healing process, it’s essential to maintain proper skin care after facelift.

After plastic surgery care plays a crucial role in promoting healing, minimizing complications, and enhancing the results of a facelift. You should keep your skin clean to prevent infection and support healing. Avoiding exposure to direct sunlight is effective to prevent hyperpigmentation and scar darkening. Getting into a habit of consistent skincare routine can help prolong the benefits of the facelift and bring you long-term skin health.

Understanding the Healing Process: What to Expect After a Facelift

A. Post-Operative Healing Timeline: A Guide to Recovery Stages

You would go through several healing stages after facelift surgery. First, with bandages or dressings to protect incisions, swelling and bruising occur immediately after mini lifting the face. During the early healing stage (Day 2-7), swelling and bruising may peak, so that cold compresses are recommended to reduce swelling. In Week 2-4, facelift swelling continues to decrease and bruising fades away. As the healing progresses, improvements in your facial appearance would be thus noticed. In the advanced healing stage (Month 1-3), swelling continues to diminish and the final results can be seen by this stage.

As far as incision healing is concerned, it varies depending on the procedure, the individual’s healing ability, and even suturing techniques. In the first week, the incision site may be tender, red, and swollen, which may start to scab by the end of the first week. Around two weeks, the incision typically begins to heal and the scabs start to fall off, which will gradually fade and flatten over the next several months.

It’s normal that you will experience swelling, bruising, and possibly discomfort. The swelling and bruising will be most pronounced in the first week, which starts to subside by the end of the first month. And most of the swelling would have resolved by the first three months. From six months, swelling should be minimal or totally ignored, so that the facial appearance would look more natural and youthful.

B. Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions: Adhering to Post-Operative Guidelines

It’s absolutely crucial to follow the post op facelift instructions for a successful facelift recovery, which can give your body the best chance to heal properly and efficiently. Moreover, the proper facelift aftercare can prevent infection and ensure pain relief.

Attending follow-up appointments can effectively monitor your healing progress, minimize the impact of complications, as well as adjust your recovery plan for achieving the best outcomes. Besides that, the professional guidance can address your concerns about the facelift recovery, which provides reassurance and alleviates anxiety.

As each individual’s healing process is unique, it’s crucial to have your own surgeon who can provide personalized guidance based on your healing progress, so that your surgical outcome can be evaluated and any potential issues can be identified.

After Facelift Surgery Skincare Routine

1. Cleansing Incisions: Proper Technique and Products

First, wash your hands with soap before touching the incision site. Gently dab the incision site with a cotton ball soaked with disinfectant, avoiding any harsh rubbing or scrubbing. Start from the center of the incision and work your way outward. Then apply a sterile bandage or dressing to cover the incision site.

Sterile saline solution is advised to keep the wounds clean and support the healing process. Use silicone gel or sheets to reduce redness and flatten scars. Choose a mild cleanser, as well as a gentle moisturizer that does not contain harsh chemicals or irritants. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from the sun.

Gentle cleansers are formulated to be less harsh on the skin, reducing the risk of irritation and discomfort. They can prevent infections, as well as reduce scarring. A healthy skin barrier can be promoted, which can avoid allergic reaction and reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

2. Moisturizing and Hydration: Nurturing the Healing Skin

Keeping your skin hydrated is vital for recovery after facelift. Applying a moisturizer can alleviate skin dryness and tightness, which helps ease tension on the incisions. The protective layer it creates can help to strengthen the barrier function and reduce the risk of infection. Moreover, well-moisturized skin is less prone to develop scabs, which can potentially cause facelift scars.

Since post facelift skin care is essential for the healing process, you should use a proper moisturizer to help support the skin’s recovery. There’s no such thing as the best moisturizer after facelift, but only the right one. You are recommended to choose moisturizers that contain ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. They can help hydrate and restore the skin’s protective barrier.

Maintaining moisturized skin after a facelift procedure can not only promote a faster healing process, but also reduce the discomfort and tightness of the incision sites. The worrying issues about post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scar appearance can be greatly prevented as well.

3. Sun Protection: Shielding the Healing Skin from Harmful UV Rays

The importance of sun protection to mini facelift aftercare cannot be emphasized any more, which can safeguard your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Besides reducing the risk of sunburn, consistently protecting your skin from the sun can prevent the development of hyperpigmentation and maintain a more even skin tone. In the long run, sun protection is beneficial to prevent premature aging and support overall skin health.

As a crucial element in sun protection routine, sunscreen is a topical product designed to absorb or reflect UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin. Choose UPF-rated clothing, as well as long-sleeved shirts and pants can serve as a physical barrier between your skin and UV rays. You can also opt for hats with broad brims for better protection.

The post-facelift inflammation and redness can be minimized if you avoid direct sun exposure. Moreover, protecting the healing skin from the sun can promote collagen production and scar healing, as well as preserve and optimize the treatment outcomes.

4. Scar Care: Minimizing Scarring and Promoting Scar Healing

If you’d like to minimize the appearance of scars, consistent and proper scar techniques are required when healing after facelift. You should keep the wound clean to prevent infections. Apply a moisturizing ointment or cream to keep hydrated and reduce scarring. You can also use silicone-cased products to flatten and soften scars. And remember to avoid sun exposure to prevent hyperpigmentation.

Scar healing creams are designed to moisturize and nourish the skin while reducing the visibility of scars. Silicone sheets are soft and flexible, which adheres to the scarred area and are often used for raised or hypertrophic scars. Massaging can help break down excess collagen fibers and improve blood circulation to the area, leading to a smoother and softer scar texture.

For the reason that scar healing is a gradual process that can take several months to even a year or more, patience and consistent scar care are essential. Applying healing creams, silicone sheets, and gentle massage as recommended, day after day, allows the skin to benefit from continuous treatment, promoting healthier and more vibrant skin.

5. Healthy Habits: Supporting Skin Healing and Overall Well-being

Healthy lifestyle habits play a significant role in the healing process, which contributes to faster recovery, better wound healing and improved overall well-being. These habits not only support effective repair and regenerate tissues after facelift surgery, but also contribute to mental well-being, promoting a positive outlook during mini facelift recovery time.

Adopt a balanced and nutritious diet for collagen production and overall tissue repair. Stay well-hydrated can help transport nutrients to the cells and remove waste products, supporting efficient healing. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga can support the body’s healing mechanisms.

Besides what has been mentioned above, engaging in regular physical activity, ensuring adequate sleep, and opting for a smoke-free and alcohol-conscious lifestyle can also help to make a remarkable difference in skin healing and overall wellness. So make these habits a part of your daily routine to achieve optimal well-being.

6. Patience and Emotional Well-being: Nurturing a Positive Recovery Experience

During the recovery process, the emotional aspect is just as crucial as the physical healing. Understand that healing takes time and there exist individual variations. Do not be so quick to define it as a bad facelift. Practice patience can allow your body to heal at its own pace, which also brings a deeper connection with yourself.

Focusing on the positive aspects of your life to shift your mindset towards optimism. Set realistic goals and celebrate each milestone you reach. Practice mindfulness to help you focus on the present, fostering a positive outlook. Engage in activities that can bring you joy and relaxation to maintain a positive mindset.

You can practice deep breathing and meditation to calm the mind and reduce stress. Yoga can be considered as a helpful activity to promote relaxation and flexibility. Besides that, using essential oils or scented candles, and taking a relaxing bath also can ease tension and promote emotional well-being.

7. Makeup or no-Makeup: Know What’s Harmful for Facelift Healing

Even though it’s hard to define the best skincare products after facelift, what we do know is that makeup cannot be used during recovery. Because some makeup products contain ingredients that can exacerbate or trigger allergic reactions, which may worsen the condition. And if the skin is swollen, it may be more susceptible to infection. Using makeup on the swollen area might introduce bacteria or irritants, increasing the risk of infection.

When you’re experiencing a swollen face after surgery, elevating the swollen area above the heart level can reduce fluid buildup. Applying a cold compress to the swollen area can help reduce inflammation. Gentle massage can help improve circulation. And wearing compression garments as needed can also help control swelling.

Avoiding strenuous physical activities can promote proper healing. Both smoking and alcohol should be avoided during the recovery period. Try to protect your face from direct sunlight, and do not use harsh skincare products when caring for skin after facelift procedure.


If you are considering or have recently undergone a facelift, these post op tips of facelift aftercare are recommended. Caring for your skin after a facelift can support your healing process and better achieve optimal results. Remember that you’re already on a journey to facial rejuvenation, where you are required to be patient, self-cared and dedicated. It’s normal to encounter different questions or uncertain moments in the process, so just be kind to yourself and confidently embrace the changes, both inside and outside.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How to reduce swelling after facelift?

Applying cold compresses to the affected areas can help reduce swelling. Keeping your head elevated can promote fluid drainage and minimize swelling. Wearing a compression garment or wrap around your face and neck to provide gentle pressure and support.

2. What should I avoid after a facelift?

Avoid engaging in any strenuous physical activities or exercises. Minimize exaggerated facial expressions, or any movements that strain the facial muscles. It’s advisable to avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake for a certain period before and after the surgery.

3. How do I take care of my face after a facelift?

Keep the incisions clean and protect them from direct sun exposure or excessive heat. Avoid rubbing, scratching, or picking at the incisions to prevent infection or scarring.

Avoid applying makeup or using harsh skincare products on the incisions until your surgeon allows.

4. What is the best skincare for quick recovery after facelift?

Gently cleans your face with a mild and non-irritating cleanser. Keep your skin adequately moisturized to promote healing and minimize dryness. Avoid using any harsh skincare product. Protect your skin from UV rays by applying sunscreens and wearing hats.

5. What is the recovery time after a facelift?

Bandages are applied on incisions immediately after surgery. In the 1st week, swelling and bruising commonly occur, which will start to subside after a few weeks. Most people can resume normal daily activities in weeks 2~4. The majority of the swelling can be resolved in months 1~3. The final effect would be seen from 6 months.

6. How long does the face stay swollen after facelift?

Swelling is a normal part of the healing process and is typically most noticeable in the first few days after the surgery. However, the majority of the swelling will subside within the first two weeks following the procedure. Generally, it can take several weeks to a few months for the swelling to fully resolve.

7. How is the experience of 1 week facelift recovery, day by day?

On Day 1, you may experience some pain, discomfort, and tightness. On Day 2~3, the swelling and bruising will usually peak and the most discomfort will be caused. The swelling will gradually start to subside from Day 4. On Day 6~7, the swelling and bruising should continue to improve.

8. How long does a facelift last?

On average, a facelift can provide noticeable improvement in facial appearance for approximately 5 to 10 years. The duration of the results can be influenced by several factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and overall skin quality, as well as the surgery skills and the post-operative care.