Recovery and aftercare after a facelift

When you have a facelift done, your skin and face need time to recover. We often get asked what you can and cannot do after a facelift and how to promote recovery. Before the facelift treatment, the plastic surgeon will inform you in detail about the recovery, risks and possible complications.

Different types of facelifts

There are various types of facelifts and each one is unique. From the mini facelift(the S-lift), MACS facelift or a deep plane facelift including a neck lift. Because they’re all different, the recovery involved depends largely on how extensive the facelift is. In general, recovery is often the same for all facelifts, as it relates to swelling, bruising and the healing of the skin.

Read here about recovery after an S-Lift (specifically)

If the facelift is combined with other procedures such as endoscopic forehead lift or eyelid surgery and lipofilling, it will take a little longer for you to recover.

Facelift bandage wear

After surgery, your face will be bandaged and this will be removed after 24 hours. After removing the bandage, you’ll be given a facelift bandage to prevent swelling and bruising as much as possible. You’ll need to wear it day and night for the first week. After that, depending on the procedure, you’ll wear it for one or two weeks, only at night.


If necessary, drains (thin tubes) are placed after surgery to drain wound fluid. If you go home with drains, they’ll be removed later. You’ll receive a call from the assistant at MOOI Clinic around noon in this regard. If you don’t receive a call, we may not be able to reach you, so please call the clinic. From day 3 you may shower quickly and wash your hair with a mild (baby) shampoo. This removes any blood residue and simplifies the removal of sutures at the hairline.


Using a cold pack is not necessary with a facelift. However, if additional surgery has been done to the eyelids or eyebrows, icing is advisable since it helps with counteracting swelling around the eyes. It’s best to continue icing regularly at home, the day after surgery by applying a cold pack every hour for 5-10 minutes. There is no need to use a cold pack at night. After the first day, you can continue icing several times a day if it feels comfortable. It’s important, however, to put something between a cold pack and the skin to protect it.

The first days after your facelift

After surgery, you can usually go home the same day. We check that everything is fine with you and after our plastic surgeon’s approval, you may go home. In order to obtain the most MOOI result and speed up your recovery, we recommend the following: (Unless expressly stated otherwise by the plastic surgeon)


You might be thinking: what have I gotten myself into? Your face is sore, swollen and looks overcorrected. It is also quite possible that parts of your face are numb, though this improves over time and is part of the normal recovery process. During the first 2 weeks, you see improvements every day and are usually “presentable” again. If additional procedures have been done on the face, it may take a week longer to see improvements. After 6 to 12 weeks, you can see the results, but only after six months do the scars mature.


On the day of surgery, you’ll be given soft food. At home you may eat pureed soups, yogurt, porridge, pudding, etc. 24 hours after surgery, this may be expanded to include soft foods (e.g., pasta, stew). Eat with small bites and avoid eating hard or tough foods e.g. apples, steak. Keep this up for 2 weeks.


One thing you should not do immediately after surgery is get behind the wheel yourself. So make sure there is someone with you who can drive you home safely. In addition, your face is wrapped with bandages and you must take it easy for the first few days.


The first few days after your facelift you should take it easy and be on bed rest for the first two days. Avoid active situations where you have to do a lot of talking/laughing. This applies to anyone who has had this surgery (major or minor). This means resting a lot and not doing (heavy) household chores such as laundry, vacuuming, etc. Is there someone who can cook delicious meals for you, help you get dressed and undressed or occasionally get up for you? It’ll be useful to have someone around who can help you.

Note: Resting does not mean lying in bed all day. Resting too much and too long is not good for your body either. Stretch your legs occasionally, even if it’s a short walk from the toilet to the couch but stick to short distances indoors.


If you don’t have drains, you may shower quickly after 3 days after surgery if you feel the need. Be careful not to dry around the scars by rubbing and avoid getting the plasters wet. If you do have drains, then you should wait to shower for a while. However, you shouldn’t bathe for the first 6 weeks until the scars are completely healed.

You should wash your hair with a mild shampoo, such as baby shampoo, 3 days before your first check-up. This helps with the crusting and makes removing the sutures easier.


If you feel lousy or your face/jaw is painful, you may always take paracetamol and any additional painkillers prescribed by the doctor.


We recommend sleeping in a semi-seated position. If you had a combination surgery, for instance a forehead lift with/ and/or eyelid surgery, you may use a cold pack on this area to help with swelling. For at least one week, don’t sleep on your side or stomach.


Definitely don’t! Smoking adversely affects blood flow to the tissues, which is precisely what is important for proper recovery. We therefore recommend that you stop smoking weeks before and after treatment. It is also better not to smoke after treatment. This accelerates the aging process and increases the risk of complications.

Don’t drink alcohol in the first week after treatment because of the risk of post-treatment bleeding.

One week after your facelift

After a week you’ll return to the MOOI Clinic for a check-up. All or some of your stitches will be removed. You only need to wear the facelift bandage at night after the check-up. During this check-up, you’ll also discuss any activities you want to resume, as well as your medication use and favorite sleeping position.

Two weeks after your facelift

Especially in the first few days, there may be bruising and swelling. The area around the eyes and neck is especially more sensitive to this; this mostly goes away after 10 days or so, for most people. In some cases, this may take longer but it will resolve on its own. If additional procedures were done on the eyelids, eyebrow or lipofilling, it may take a week longer.


Two weeks after treatment, you’ll come to MOOI Clinic for a check-up with the nurse or plastic surgeon. The remaining sutures and plasters are removed. At first glance, the scars are barely noticeable during recovery and as you’re healing, because they fall right into the hairline and the natural folds of the skin. However, the scars will be red at first however this gradually fades. Do not expose the scars to bright sunlight; this can cause permanent discoloration. The plastic surgeon will give you instructions on aftercare and/or massaging the scars.

Two weeks after your facelift, you are allowed to do a little more again, but by no means everything! Always consult with the plastic surgeon.


  • Eat soft food for the first 2 weeks and then build up the hardness according to symptoms
  • Drive a car (possible after 1 week)
  • Depending on your occupation, you may start working again (not intensively)
  • Walking and gentle movements
  • If your recovery goes well, you’ll be allowed to fly again after 2 weeks. Consult with the physician beforehand.


  • Wear makeup (only after 3 weeks)
  • Put too much tension on your face and neck
  • Sports, including swimming (only after 6 weeks)
  • Heavy lifting or physically strenuous work
  • Tanning, sauna or tanning bed

Six weeks after your facelift

After six weeks, you’re usually well recovered from the surgery. It’s difficult to say when the face will return to “normal”. This varies from person to person and depends on the amount of wound fluid or bruising under the skin. An average period of 6 weeks is expected. In some cases, the face looks normal again much sooner and in others it may take a little longer. Minor hardening may also occur so the plastic surgeon will advise you to massage it. Depending on the situation before surgery, the face may look smoother, tighter and younger.

Most people can fully resume their normal lives after 6 weeks. You get to bathe, use a sauna and sleep the way you want again.


Exercise is good for your body and after all those weeks of not exercising, maybe it’s time to do something about your fitness again. Fortunately, after 6 weeks, you can return to sports, like fitness, swimming, cycling, running, but only if it feels good and you experience no pain.

Final check-up and result

After about 3 months, you’ll come for a final check-up at MOOI Clinic. The times mentioned for recovery are averages and can vary greatly from person to person, but these apply to most people. Scars begin to turn from red to purple somewhere between 3-6 months, eventually turning pale and becoming almost invisible.

Depending on the type, a facelift will give you great results on the neck, jawline and mid face but it may not do much for certain areas, like lip lines or perioral lines. Aging involves several factors including skin aging and volume loss which is not corrected with a facelift alone. In these cases, lipofilling or certain injectables may be a solution. Peeling or laser treatments of the skin can also provide further improvements.

Do you have any doubts about your situation, as to whether or not you should be allowed to do something? Then contact us!

A successful recovery begins with proper preparation

fast recovery from breast augmentation

A body that is healthy and fit before surgery will recover faster and better. The better your condition and general well-being were before surgery, the faster you recover. Therefore, make sure your body is fit and has enough nutrients leading up to the surgery. This ensures better wound healing after surgery and reduces the risk of complications. Our partner R-Support has developed two science-based nutritional supplements for this purpose: Recover Prepare and Recover After Surgery. In preparation for surgery, you could start two weeks in advance with Recover Prepare. This is a shake that enhances your immune system and replenishes any deficiencies in essential nutrients for your surgery. It complements your normal (healthy) diet. Immediately after surgery, you could start with
Recover After Surgery
to maximize recovery and promote wound healing.

Keep in mind that you must fast before surgery.

Furthermore, if possible, arrange for extra help at home, such as from a partner, friend or associate who can help you out for the first few days. Stop smoking, too!

Have you been thinking about a facelift for a long time?

At MOOI Clinic, we’re all about helping you to rediscover your MOOI face and to feel beautiful. We’d be happy to tell you what your options are and what steps you can take.