Skip to content


Top Tips for a Smooth Recovery After a Facelift


Recovering from facelift surgery is an important time because the way you care for yourself after the surgery can significantly affect how well you heal. Dr. Goretti Ho Taghva, a specialist in cosmetic procedures, insists on the importance of following your post-operation care plan closely to ensure a good recovery process.

The advice provided here is based on Dr. Taghva’s broad experience with surgeries. The goal is to help patients through a successful facelift healing period, focusing on key practices such as getting plenty of rest, taking care of your skin softly, and making choices that promote recovery.

Facelift Recovery Made Easier

  1. Following your surgeon’s post-op care instructions closely can lead to a smoother facelift recovery.
  2. Keeping your head elevated, even during sleep, can reduce swelling after a facelift.
  3. Applying cold compresses as recommended can help ease discomfort and reduce bruises after the surgery.
  4. Staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy diet aids in faster healing from a facelift.
  5. Avoiding strenuous activities and direct sun exposure protects the healing skin and ensures better facelift results.

1. Prioritize Rest and Allow Your Body to Heal

Healing after any cosmetic surgery requires giving your body the necessary time to recover. For a successful recovery, it’s advised to take the days of rest suggested by your healthcare provider, typically ranging from a few days up to a week after surgery. This period of rest is crucial for both the healing skin and the tissues that have been affected by the facelift.

To benefit from optimal healing, create a restful environment. This means focusing on relaxation and avoiding any heavy activities that could interfere with the healing process. Adequate rest supports the healing tissues and contributes to a swifter healing on a daily basis. Emphasizing rest, including plenty of rest, is not just helpful; it is a vital part of the healing process and can lead to faster healing and better results.

2. Implement a Gentle Skin Care Routine

Post-facelift, fostering the healing of your facial skin, especially if there’s been removal of excess skin, is crucial for effective skin recovery. Include these steps in your gentle skincare routine:

  • Facial Care: Opt for mild cleaners to minimize irritation and facilitate the skin’s natural healing abilities.
  • Incision SitesFollow-up care should prioritize the care of incision sites, ensuring they remain clean to ward off complications.
  • Consistency: A consistent routine plays a pivotal role in a smoother recovery and helps preserve the effects of your facelift.
  • Gentle Approach: Incorporate gentle care into your daily skincare routine, essential for both prompt recovery and enduring outcomes.

3. Stay Hydrated and Maintain a Nutritious Diet

Supporting your body’s healing after a facelift is essential for returning to normal activities. Eating well and staying hydrated are crucial. Here’s how a balanced diet and proper hydration can benefit your recovery:

  • Healthy Diet: Consume a balanced diet that includes foods rich in vitamins and minerals to aid tissue repair and reduce swelling.
  • Plenty of Water: Drink enough water to help remove toxins and prevent the accumulation of fluid, which could hinder your recovery.
  • Complexion-Boosting Fluids: Incorporate herbal teas and other fluids that support a youthful appearance.
  • Variety of Nutrients: Ensure your balanced diet consists of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to provide a comprehensive range of nutrients.

It’s not only about what you eat but also ensuring you stay hydrated with enough fluids. This straightforward approach is vital for your post-surgery healing.

4. Manage Swelling and Bruising Effectively

After a surgical procedure like a facelift, encountering swelling and bruising is quite usual. However, with proactive measures, you can effectively minimize and control these post-surgery effects:


  • Apply ice packs or gel packs regularly within the first 48 hours to keep swelling at bay.
  • These cooling methods aid in reducing the buildup from swelling.
  • Tackling minor swelling promptly can speed up its resolution.


  • Employ cold packs or cool packs to help bruising fade more rapidly.
  • While some residual swelling and bruising are normal, consistent use of these packs can be beneficial.
  • For necessary outings, consider using makeup that’s designed to conceal bruising.

By consistently applying these strategies, the typical post-surgical effects can be managed effectively, supporting a smoother recovery.

5. Avoid Exposure to Direct Sunlight

After a facelift, it’s crucial to protect your skin from sun exposure to ensure proper healing. Stay out of direct sunlight, especially between the intense hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved tops when outdoors.

It’s important to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF to all areas of exposed skin. This consistent protection helps reduce hyperpigmentation and scars.

6. Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Consumption

Smoking reduces blood flow and slows down the healing process. Cease smoking to support faster recovery.

Consuming alcohol in moderation, such as one cup, can lead to increased swelling and slow down the recovery process. It’s crucial to avoid excessive alcohol consumption to ensure a smoother and quicker recovery.

7. Practice Patience and Set Realistic Expectations

Recovery from a facelift surgery takes time. It’s essential to have patience and set realistic expectations right from the start. Understand that your body needs time to heal, and the outcomes will manifest progressively. Each stage of recovery plays a crucial role in the overall healing process, and usually, recovery time may span several weeks.

To aid in managing your expectations and contributing to a satisfying result, consider the following:

  • Realistic Expectations: Anticipate gradual changes rather than immediate transformation.
  • Patience: Allow yourself time. The body’s recuperation cannot be rushed.
  • Stages of Recovery: Acknowledge that each phase is a step toward full recovery.
  • Healing Process: Support your body by following post-operative care instructions carefully.

Being mindful of what to expect during the recovery period is vital for your satisfaction with the facelift procedure. Understanding and being patient with each step of the process helps healing.

If you’re thinking about getting a facelift, it’s important to talk to an experienced professional to make sure you heal safely and effectively. Dr. Goretti Ho Taghva at LEA Plastic Surgery is highly knowledgeable, with top-notch training in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Meeting with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ho Taghva is your first step towards healing well. She keeps learning and works closely with top plastic surgeons worldwide so her patients get the latest and best care.