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Fed up of growing old gracefully? If none of the latest miracle creams are working at ridding you of those wrinkles, a facelift (also known as rhytidectomy) could be the next step. A facelift is a surgical procedure, which means going under the knife to help get rid of lines and wrinkles, a sagging jaw line, and give your face back its youthful appearance.

How does it work?

Here comes the science bit. A facelift usually involves an incision being made from the front of the ear and around the hairline. Once the skin is carefully removed from the muscles underneath, this is when any excess fat can be sucked out, and skin tightened to smooth out those laughter lines once and for all. Once any excess skin has been trimmed off, you will be stitched up and wrapped in bandages for up to two days.

After surgery you should expect some discomfort and bruising, and be prepared to feel numbness in your cheeks and ears up to months afterwards. Your face might look puffy at first but, fear not, this is to be expected and will go down in a few weeks. Any scarring you may have will be easy to hide with some careful make up application or will be handily hidden by your hair. Any planned strenuous activities will have to postponed for at least two weeks, as will any massages or sauna use so you have time to heal.

For those who don't think they're quite ready to take the plunge and have a full facelift, some surgeries now offer smaller versions, involving less use of the scalpel, but only focusing on a specific area, such as lifting the neck and jowls.

And if the thought of going anywhere near a cosmetic surgery clinic fills you with dread, then you will be pleased to know that there are plenty of non-surgical facelift procedures now available, which are becoming increasingly popular.

Is it for me?

Yes, if you want to dramatically get rid of wrinkles and saggy skin. However, it's important to remember that how long the effects of your facelift last can vary. Maintaining a healthy body weight, and being prepared to sit in the shade away from the sun will be important in determining how long lasting your new youthful face will be.

Good to Know

It may seem like a recent Hollywood-inspired craze, but the first face lift is claimed to have been performed in 1901.

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