Hair and Makeup After a Facelift
It’s not uncommon for a many of our Seattle plastic surgery patients to ask about sunscreen and makeup application after facelift procedures. The recovery period after a facelift can depend on what specifically was done but here are a several recommendations we give our patients in regards to hair and makeup application following facelift.
Sunscreen – For optimal healing, it is important that scars be protected from the sun for at least six months after having a facelift. Fresh scars that are exposed to the sun tend to become darker and take longer to fade. Also, take extra precautions as the area operated on is slightly numb and you might not feel a sunburn developing. Opaque, occlusive sunscreens, such those containing zinc oxide or titanium, are preferable to chemical PABA containing sunscreens since the latter generate heat. If using a chemical sunscreen, one with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 is recommended. Sunscreen should be applied before applying make-up.
Makeup – You can begin applying makeup soon after your sutures are removed. If you wish to conceal scars as they heal, camouflage makeup is helpful. Use green-tinted concealer, since green is on the opposite of red on the color wheel and will offset and neutralize redness. Look for concealers specifically formulated to address redness. This cover-up is also useful to have on hand for any red blemishes that may present, totally unrelated to facelift surgery, such as acne or rosacea.
Skin care – Some patients may experience dryness on the skin of the face and neck after facelift surgery. This is related to the cleansers and antiseptics used prior to surgery to disinfect the skin. We recommend frequent use a good fragrance-free moisturizer. Many of our patients prefer Eucerin or Aquaphor products sold at local stores.
Hair Care – After facelift surgery a few patients experience a temporary change in the texture and manageability of their hair. For those who color or perm their hair, we recommend planning to have it done before surgery or wait until six weeks afterward for best results. Don’t be dismayed if your hair is slightly ‘limp’ right after facelift surgery. Most patients do not experience any changes in hair texture.
Shampoo – After about 24 hours post-facelift and once all drains have been removed, you may wash your hair or have a hair dresser do so. If you use a hair dryer keep it on the lowest heat setting, as your scalp may be partially numb and you don’t want it to get burned. Also, avoid directing the hair dryer directly on your incisions.
Most of our Seattle plastic surgery patients who have had facelifts can carry on normal activities within 3-4 days after surgery, even though they may still have some swelling. Activities such as light office work are permitted but heavy lifting or aerobic exercise are not recommended for at least three weeks after surgery. Strenuous activities can strain healing tissues and cause bleeding and swelling if done too early. View our before and after gallery or schedule a consultation for more information.