Much has been said—within this blog and elsewhere—about the rise of plastic surgery against the backdrop of new nonsurgical procedures that promise quick results and little to no downtime. As plastic surgery prioritized discretion, the stigma faded and the lunchtime procedure became part of the mainstream vocabulary.
While the noninvasive landscape evolved over the years, that lunch-hour jaunt to the plastic surgeon’s office became even more productive: dark under-eye circles were erased with facial fillers, radiance was restored with gentle fractional lasers, and bulges were frozen away with CoolSculpting.
A strange thing was happening all the while, however: The traditional facelift was experiencing a resurgence. Over 28% more people got facelifts in 2015 than in 1997, five years before the introduction of Botox, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Turns out, that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Is this really about time management?
The emergence of Botox and the other quick shots and no-downtime lasers was thought to spell the beginning of the end for the more invasive plastic surgery. But it seems to have had the reverse effect. Nonsurgical procedures have become an easier access point, allowing a lot of people who were curious to begin with to wade into plastic surgery through the shallow end.
As a result, interest is spiking in all kinds of plastic surgery, according to the ASAPS. In the case of the facelift, it helps that it’s undergone its own makeover in recent years. A rash of advances is enabling surgeons to achieve more natural-looking results while minimizing scarring and downtime.
But the larger trend is being attributed to an appreciable shift, with more and more people seeking long-lasting or permanent procedures, especially millennials. They’re forgoing nonsurgical means and instead investing in mini-face- and necklifts, their thinking being that it’s an easier commitment than returning to their surgeons’ offices every six months.
Pulling back the curtain on the facelift
As interest in the facelift continues to increase, those inquiring about it are getting younger. Some start as early as their thirties, but it’s generally smarter to wait until your forties, because the surgery’s less extensive than it is at later ages and the results can be easily—and beautifully—maintained with injectables. Not to mention the simple fact that younger bodies heal faster.
Whether this youth movement is responsible for the destigmatization of plastic surgery, or they’re just jumping on board because of it, this much is clear: The occasional nip-tuck is no longer taboo. Behind-the-scenes videos demystifying the surgical process and the unfiltered testimonials on social media have effectively made the process a whole lot less frightening.