• Call us now to arrange a Consultation - 0203 811 8175
  • Make an Enquiry

    Request A Call BackX

    ADDRESSBerkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6BD
    +44 (0)203 811 8175


    Sending your message. Please wait...

    Thanks for sending your message! We'll get back to you shortly.

    There was a problem sending your message. Please try again.

    Please complete all the fields in the form before sending.


Advice for Facelift Recovery

A facelift, also known as a rhytidectomy, is a surgical procedure that aims to create a more youthful appearance in the face. The process involves the tightening of loose skin and the repositioning of the underlying tissues. If you decide to get a facelift, you need to know what to expect after the surgery so you can heal well and get back to your normal life quickly.

Facelift recovery is multifaceted, incorporating not only the physical healing of the body but also social reintegration and the recovery of sensation in the face. Often, the most challenging aspect is the interruption of social activities, given the visible nature of the procedure’s aftereffects.

facelift patient during recovery

Guiding you through this journey, Berkeley Square Medical has designed a Facelift Recovery Best Practice Guide based on years of expert experience and observation. This guide aims to elucidate what you can expect through your recovery process, providing practical advice on handling various stages of recovery, managing potential complications, and dealing with the emotional roller coaster that sometimes accompanies the procedure.

The First Week: Immediate Aftercare and Pain Management

The first week after your facelift is very important for your recovery. Here are a few things you should know.

Pain Management

First, let’s talk about pain. You might think that having a facelift would hurt a lot, but the truth is that most people only feel mild pain after surgery. This usually goes away in one or two days. If you do feel uncomfortable, using ice packs and taking pain killers can help a lot.


You might be wondering when you can start driving again. At Berkeley Square Medical, we usually tell our patients that they can drive after 4 days if they’re not taking any pain meds. You might find turning your head to look for cars a bit difficult at first because of some neck stiffness. So, it’s better to wait a few days until you’re more comfortable.

Swelling and Bruising

Swelling is normal after a facelift. You’ll probably notice that your face is a bit puffy for about 10 days. The swelling usually gets worse for the first 4 days after surgery, but by the 5th day, it should start to get better. By the 7th or 8th day, it’s usually okay to start using makeup again.

Bruising is also common, especially along the neck. This, too, should start to improve after the first week. Even though you might still see some swelling and bruising, most people won’t notice it much by the end of the first week.

Remember, this is just a general guide. Everyone heals at their own pace. So don’t worry if your recovery is a little slower or faster. What’s most important is that you’re taking care of yourself and giving your body the rest it needs.

Social Recovery: Handling Social Activities

Getting back into your social life after a facelift can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips to help you handle this smoothly.

Out and About

In the first week after your surgery, you might not feel like seeing lots of people. But if you need to run quick errands, like going to the store, wearing a scarf and sunglasses can help you feel more comfortable. Just remember, you might not want to bump into close friends yet, especially if you’re trying to keep your surgery a secret.

Meeting Friends

By the second week, you might start feeling ready to see friends again. But keep in mind that even the most natural-looking facelift can still show some signs of swelling at this point. If you usually wear your hair short or tied back, you might want to wait three weeks before meeting friends. This gives your face more time to heal.

If you’re planning to have a facelift, it’s a good idea not to “squeeze it in” between lots of social events. Allow yourself at least two weeks before being around others if you don’t want them to notice something has been done.

To go to dinner with friends without them asking questions, it usually takes about two weeks. Sometimes, a change in hairstyle can help explain away any differences that close friends might notice.

You don’t need to rush things. Take the time you need to feel comfortable and confident again. It’s okay to take things slow and look after yourself first.

Physical Activity: When to Resume Exercise

Physical activity is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle, but after a facelift, you need to take it easy. Here’s what you should know about resuming exercise after your surgery.

Exercise and Heavy Lifting

Our doctors usually ask patients to wait for about 3 weeks after surgery before they start exercising or lifting heavy things again, as your body needs time to heal. Doing too much too soon can slow down the healing process and might even lead to complications.

After 3 weeks, you can gradually start getting back into your regular exercise routine.

Start slow and listen to your body. If you feel any discomfort, it’s a sign that you might be pushing yourself too hard. You can always take a break and try again when you feel better.

Dealing with Numbness

After a facelift, it’s common to feel some numbness in your skin, especially in front of your ears. But don’t worry – this is completely normal and temporary. Here’s what you need to know.

The numbness happens because the surgery affects the nerves in your face. But over time, your nerves will start to recover. This process can take several weeks, but the numbness will eventually go away completely. In some cases, it might take up to 9 months for the feeling to return completely.

Even though numbness might feel a bit strange at first, it doesn’t usually bother most patients. Once you know it’s a normal part of the healing process and it’s only temporary, it’s usually less worrying.

Communication with Your Doctor

It’s important to stay in touch with your doctor during your recovery. If you notice any changes in your skin or if the numbness lasts for a very long time, let your doctor know. They can check to make sure your recovery is going well and answer any questions you have.

We are there to help you. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns or if something doesn’t feel right. Your comfort and recovery are top priorities for our team.


How can I prepare for a facelift procedure to ensure a smooth recovery?

Before you undergo a facelift procedure, here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and ensure a smooth recovery. 

  • Manage any medications you’re currently taking. You should discuss these with your surgeon as certain medications or supplements can interfere with the surgery or your recovery process.
  • In terms of lifestyle, if you smoke, you will need to stop for at least a few weeks before and after your surgery. Smoking can slow down your healing process. Limiting alcohol consumption will also be beneficial for your recovery.
  • Nutrition plays a crucial role in your recovery. Ensuring you’re maintaining a healthy diet before and after your surgery will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal.
  • You should also prepare your home for your recovery. Set up a comfortable area where you can rest and sleep with your head elevated. If possible, prepare meals in advance or arrange for someone to help you with daily tasks while you recover.
  • Make sure to organize your transportation home after the surgery. It would be best if you could arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for the first day after your surgery.
  • Finally, mentally preparing yourself for the recovery is very important. Understanding that healing takes time and patience will help set realistic expectations. It might take several weeks or even months before you see the final results of your surgery.

How will aging affect the results of my facelift over time?

Facelift surgery cannot stop the aging process, but it rewinds your ‘aging clock’, effectively turning back the hands of time by several years. As you continue to age post-surgery, your skin will naturally lose some of its elasticity, and facial tissues might begin to sag again, but this process will be significantly delayed.

Factors such as genetics, overall health, lifestyle choices, and skin care regimen can affect how your results hold up over time. For instance, healthy habits like maintaining a stable weight, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, avoiding sun exposure, not smoking, and practicing good skincare can prolong the results of your facelift.

Ultimately, even though a facelift can’t permanently halt the effects of aging, it can provide long-lasting results that age naturally with you. And for many, a facelift can deliver a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance that lasts for many years.

For more information about the facelift procedure at Berkeley Square Medical, please visit: https://www.berkeleysquaremedical.com/face-lift

Sanjay Rai

Sharing is caring!


    Tell us about you

    A Few Contact Details

    Which procedure are you enquiring about?


      Tell us about you

      A Few Contact Details

      Which procedure are you enquiring about?


        Tell us about you

        A Few Contact Details

        Which procedure are you enquiring about?