Tips to Prepare for Your Facelift Recovery

Face of blonde young woman smiling with hands framing her face

Looking refreshed and youthful is something many of my plastic surgery patients in Sacramento are hoping to achieve. Facelift surgery is one facial rejuvenation option that can improve a tired, aged appearance by helping you look more rested. Although facelift surgery has been around for decades, the techniques used today are more refined and sophisticated, producing more natural-looking results.

I try to help prepare my facelift patients for their procedure and recovery by telling them my top “do’s and don’ts.” If you are considering this treatment, here’s what you need to know:


  • Do stock up on supplies. Before your surgery, stock up on healthy snacks, water bottles, ice packs, medications, and anything else that will make you comfortable. This way, you’ll have everything you need after your procedure so you can rest and heal.
  • Do arrange for a ride home. Facelift surgery is performed while you are under anesthesia. After surgery, you will feel tired and won’t be able to drive. Arrange for someone to take you to and from surgery for your safety and the safety of others.
  • Do follow your doctor’s instructions and take prescribed medication. After facelift surgery, I provide all my patients with detailed post-operative instructions to maximize their healing and avoid complications. Following these instructions carefully is extremely important for a smooth and speedy recovery. You should also take all medications as prescribed to help with pain and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Do rest. Rest is critical after facelift surgery because it allows your body to heal. Don’t try to do too much too soon–take it easy and listen to your body and your surgeon. I usually recommend that my facelift patients refrain from any housework or daily activities for a few days following surgery.
  • Do have patience. It takes time to recover from surgery. Be patient with yourself and your body. I usually tell my patients that they’ll start to see the improvements as early as 2 weeks, with final results appearing around 6 weeks or later.


  • Don’t smoke. Smoking affects your body’s ability to heal and can increase your risk of complications. I recommend my patients stop smoking both before and after their procedure to improve their chances of a successful surgery.
  • Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol thins your blood and can result in increased bleeding and bruising during and after your facelift surgery. It also creates immune response issues, according to one study discussed in The Guardian. It’s best to refrain from alcohol at least 2 weeks prior to your surgery and abstain throughout your recovery.
  • Don’t wash your hair for a couple of days following surgery. Washing your hair can cause you to pull or tug at your incisions, which could cause damage to the wound. Generally, I recommend that my patients wait at least 3 – 5 days (or after their bandages are removed) before washing their hair.
  • Don’t apply makeup for about a week. While it may be tempting to use makeup to camouflage bruising or skin discoloration, it’s best to avoid applying cosmetics for at least 1 week. That way, you don’t risk additional bruising, injury, or infection of the skin.
  • Don’t participate in vigorous activity. Intense exercise like running or weightlifting has the potential to negatively affect your facelift results and even prolong your recovery. I recommend my patients resume activity slowly and gradually, building back up to their normal routines over the course of several weeks.

For a better understanding of how facelift surgery can make you look younger and more refreshed, visit our photo gallery and find out why patients choose us. You can also read our related blog post to find out the type of questions to ask your facelift surgeon before your procedure.

To learn more about your facelift options, request a consultation online or call (916) 929-1833 (Sacramento) or (916) 773-5559 (Granite Bay).

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