You’ve come up with a way to pay for your facelift, and are in the midst of recovering from the surgery. Now, your big question is: how do you get the most out of your surgery? You’ve just spent thousands of dollars and at least a week of your life in active recovery from the procedure, odds are high that you want its results to last for as long as possible.

Depending on the person, the results of a facelift can last for about a decade. You’ll continue to age, but you’ll also continue to look younger than your years. Making certain choices can throw a wrench in the works when it comes to maintaining your new, more youthful look, though. If you want to get the most out of your surgery, following these tips will help.

Watch What You Eat

It’s probably no surprise that what you eat plays a big role when it comes to prolonging the results of your facelift. While you might have heard of so-called super foods, which contain a lot of antioxidants and other nutrients, you don’t have to stress too much about making sure your diet is full of those. Instead, focus on eating a lot of whole foods and a lot less junk.

That means choosing vegetables and fruits, whole grains and sources of protein over options such as frozen dinners, white bread and rice, and candy. It helps to be particularly mindful of the amount of sugar you’re taking in, as sugar plays a big role in aging process.

Another reason to be mindful of your diet is that changes in your weight can contribute to changes in your face. Losing or gaining a lot of weight changes the amount of fat in the facial area, which can make you look more drawn or older.

Give Up Those Bad Habits for Good

If you smoked before your surgery, you know that your surgeon advised staying away from cigarettes and other tobacco products for at least two weeks afterwards. Just because two weeks have passed doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to return to smoking, though. Tobacco use is one of the leading external causes of aging and it’s a habit to give up for good if you want to get the most from your facelift results.

By the time of your surgery, you’ll have been off of cigarettes for at least two weeks. If you continue to avoid smoking for the additional two weeks afterwards, you’ll have been tobacco-free for a month, by which point continuing to avoid cigarettes might seem to be a walk in the park. Your surgeon can also give you additional smoking cessation advice and assistance, if you need it.

Another habit to rethink if you want to extend the life of you facelift is spending a lot of time in the sun, especially spending a lot of unprotected time in the sun. Right after your surgery, exposing the healing incision sites to the sun’s rays can lead to hyperpigmentation, making scars more visible.

Even after your incisions have healed, avoiding sun exposure is a good idea. Like smoking, spending time in the sun is a leading cause of aging on the skin. Skip the long days lying out on the beach or by the pool. Instead, make sure you limit sun exposure between the hours of 10 am and 2pm. If you are outdoors, always wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 30. When headed to the beach, pack a big umbrella or rent one when you get there.

Care for Your Skin

Starting or continuing a good skincare routine after your facelift will also help you continue to look more youthful for longer. Your facial plastic surgeon can recommend pharmecuetical grade products that slow down aging and that help keep your skin looking fresh. Even if you don’t go for the prescription strength products, using an over-the-counter moisturizer or serum with an ingredient such as retinol can be helpful.

On top of using anti-aging products, don’t neglect the basics of skincare after your surgery. Continue to wash your face twice daily to keep the pores from clogging and to help moisturizers and other products work more effectively.

Finally, certain skin care treatments, such as chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, and injections, can give your facelift results a boost, when needed. Remember that a facelift only targets a specific area of the face and won’t help improve texture or the wrinkles that form in the upper part of the face. Considering treatments that smooth wrinkles in the forehead area, such as Botox, or that reduce uneven skin tone or the appearance of large pores, can give you a balanced, more youthful look for longer.

Whether you’re still weighing the pros and cons of a facelift, or have gone ahead and had the surgery, Virginia Beach based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Kyle Choe can provide guidance on the ways to get the most from your results or on treatments that will help you prolong your results. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe, call 757.389.5850 today.