Men and Women Look and Age Differently: Rejuvenation SHOULD be Gender Specific!
Many things factor into how each of us age:
- Sun exposure – Your degree of exposure to the elements and how well you protect your skin definitely plays a role into how your skin will change and respond to the wind and sun. In general, our skin thins with age.
- Volume loss – As we get older, we start to lose some volume in our faces. We often see this in our late 30s and 40s in the middle of our face, below our eyes; along our nasolabial crease and in the corners of the mouth. As we get older, this may progress and involve other areas of the face including the jawline, lips, and around the eyes.
- Gravity takes its toll – With loss of volume in our faces as well as the loss of collagen and elastin within the skin, all structures in our face may sag. This includes our brows, eyelids, mouth, cheeks, jawline, and neck. Even our nose can age and droop!
When I see a patient for facial rejuvenation it is very important to sit in front a mirror and carefully analyze their face. This helps us determine how you have aged and what we can do to help turn back the hands of time. Additionally, it is very helpful to have 10- and 20-year-old photos to help guide our treatment plan. We do not want to change your appearance but rather just eliminate a few years, creating a look that you remember from a decade or two ago.
Your face is unique but there are differences we generally see between male and female faces. An aesthetically pleasing female face has an oval appearance with highlights over the cheekbones. In contrast, a men’s faces tend to be squarer with a wider and sharper jawline. The male chin is square and more prominent than a woman’s chin, which is rounder and more narrow. The upper eyelids and brows tend to be fuller and lower in men when compared to their female counterparts. In general, a men’s lips tend to be less full and flatter than women’s lips. These gender specifics make all the difference when I plan your facelift surgery.
As plastic surgeons map out a treatment plan for our patients, we consider gender. Things to avoid:
- High arched brows in men
- Hollow upper eyelids in men and women
- Excessive fullness over the cheekbone in men
- Oval appearance of the face in men
- Flat cheeks and a square jawline in women
In both men and women, we perform a SMAS Facelift to optimize the outcome and enhance the longevity of the procedure. In women, we shape the deep tissue to highlight the cheekbones and change the shape and angulation of the face, also known as the High SMAS Facelift. SMAS stands for Superficial MusculoAponeurotic System, the underlying musculature of the cheek. With aging, the female face drops from its oval form to a squarer look. As the deep tissues are lifted and suspended, the oval shape returns to the cheekbones. Less volume in the lower face restores a more youthful appearance. The jawline and neck are also tightened and rejuvenated with this procedure.
While the principles are similar in men, our goals and outcomes are clearly different. We want to preserve the square appearance of the male face but sharpen the lower face, jawline, and neck for rejuvenation. For men, we focus on the lower aspect of the face rather than highlighting the cheeks.
It is very important to understand these crucial differences and aesthetic goals in masculine and feminine faces. Most unnatural results come from failing to consider gender or by relying on excessive tension on the skin to achieve lift. This does not work and leaves the patient with a distorted face and poor quality, visible scars.
Our facelift patients stay with us overnight in our hotel-like Extended Care Unit, under our full supervision. We remove the bulky dressing and place you in a Velcro chin strap for neck compression. You’ll be able to go home with a drain tube that stays in place for 4-5 days. Then your sutures will be removed at around 7 days following the facelift. Our goal is to have you confidently be able to go out in public within two weeks. When eyelid surgery (upper or lower blepharoplasty) is added, your recovery and desire to be out and about may take a little longer, about another week. We allow our patients to begin physical activity at 2-3 weeks. You may experience some swelling, particularly in the cheeks and area under the chin, for up to two months.
For more facelift before and after photos click here!
It is important to do your homework and research when seeing your plastic surgeon. Make sure they are board certified in Plastic Surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). You can check their credentials and status at https://www.abplasticsurgery.org/public/verify-certification/ModDefault.aspx?section=SurgeonSearch. Your surgeon should design a procedure that is specific for you and not use the same procedure and technique on all patients – particularly in both men and women. After an appropriately customized and performed facelift you will look as good as you feel!