A Plastic Surgeon's Guide To Forehead & Brow Surgery: Why The Smallest Tweaks Can Make The Biggest Difference

by Dr. Marc Pacifico

Every good surgeon will say that as much as there is no ‘miracle fountain of youth’, there are subtle tricks you can do to create a youthful, natural-looking complexion without resorting to drastic or invasive surgery. By making minor tweaks in the more noticeable ‘problem areas’, the overall effect can be dazzling – making you look younger, more energetic and with a glowing complexion that, importantly, still looks like you.

One of the latest trends in facial rejuvenation (and, admittedly, one of the most effective) is brow surgery (blepharoplasty), which targets the forehead, and eyelid surgery – areas that are notorious for showing signs of stress and premature aging.

Leading Plastic Surgeon Dr. Marc Pacifico says ‘In order to combat the signs of facial aging, increasing numbers of people are resorting to facelifts; however, in many cases, ‘tweaks’ to noticeable problem areas can be far more effective in restoring a youthful appearance. For example, the upper face (eyes and brow) in particular tend to make our faces appear more tired; whereas the lower face (jawline and neck) show ageing. Therefore, to brighten up the face, I would start with the eye area. That will restore that refreshed, alert twinkle of youth; whereas, to restore a youthful complexion, I’d target the lower face as often the neck becomes wrinkled. By targeting these areas, it’s possible for one to appear years younger but the face will still retain a lot of natural movement, and importantly, loo like you.’

‘Having minor tweaks is preferable to major surgery as not only is the effect more natural but, should you want to have further surgery in the future, the natural facial muscles will be more resilient and of a better quality to respond well to- and recover well from- the subsequent procedures. Performing regular facial exercises will also help to maintain good facial structure, skin elasticity and muscle quality, all of which will help whether you choose to opt for surgery or not.’  

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

In many cases, sleeping well, eating well, exercising regularly and generally leading a happy and balanced lifestyle will protect against drastic body changes, reducing the speed and intensity to which signs of aging take effect; yet it’s something many people don’t do. ‘Bags below the eyes are a big problem for many people but, in the majority of cases, they’re preventable. The most common cause of bags under the eyes is the decent of the mid-face (i.e. the triangle between the lower eyelid, nose and cheek). As this descends, it reveals the fat pouches in the lower lid, which appear as bags‘ says Dr. Pacifico. ‘It’s also natural for the brow to drop and become wrinkled as we get older. Age and gravity will both take their toll and, as much as many people favour anti-aging creams and superficial beauty treatments, unfortunately, once this has happened, the effects are irreparable without assistance. Non-surgical interventions such as botulinum toxin can help but eventually surgery is required.’

‘The main benefit of brow surgery is that it’s a relatively simple procedure that can be done under general anesthetic to eradicate those dreaded drooping eyelids, and defy the heavy effects of gravity, without leaving any visible scarring (they’re hidden underneath the eyelid crease). During upper blepheroplastic surgery, for example, we will remove the excess skin on the upper lid and the finished effect is a brighter, fresher and more vibrant complexion. Other variations are also available.’

‘The best advice to postpone signs of aging of the brow and forehead following surgery (or for those who prefer more natural measures), is very cliché but it works. UV rays are always present regardless of the temperature so wearing sunglasses in the hot and cold weather will prevent squinting and frowning. You should also look after your skin, ensuring that it remains well nourished to encourage good collagen production, cell renewal and skin elasticity. Staying well-hydrated and reducing alcohol and sugar drink consumption (as the sugars damage collagen and are associated with faster aging) will help; as will annual courses of facial peels.’

‘If you are considering facial rejuvenation, before considering fillers, facelifts and the like, I’d highly recommend discussing Blepharoplasty and eyelid procedures with your consultant. The procedures take between 30-90mins to perform and cost between £2600-£3000, with long-lasting effects. Studies also show that 5 years after surgery, the brows remain in a better position than they were pre-surgery.’

The procedures have a wealth of celebrity fans, with A-listers including Catherine Zeta Jones, Cameron Diaz, Elizabeth Hurley and even Paul McCartney and Al Pacino reported to have benefited from them. To be fair, it’s not uncommon for them to trial surgery and they all looked incredible to begin with but the people who really caught our attention are presenters Ruth Langsford and Michael Aspel. The differences in their appearances is staggering – they look refreshed and invigorated but they still have fantastic facial expressions and look like themselves. Sign us up!

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