It’s normal to experience swelling, bruising, and redness of the skin following a facelift procedure. The recovery period and downtime can be disheartening for some as the incisions and facial skin need time to heal properly.
While you no doubt went into surgery expecting to look better afterward, that takes time and personal care
Your surgeon will have given you important instructions on how to care for your skin so that the healing process can go forward without interruption or complications. This includes the use of makeup during the immediate post-operative period of your recovery.
Makeup can help to camouflage residual bruising and discoloration, but it’s important to follow your surgeon’s guidelines on when it is okay to resume wearing makeup.
Each person’s skin tone, color, and texture are different to work for facial procedures. Changes to the skin are common after surgery so a little bit of tweaking from your normal makeup routine may be necessary to ensure optimal results. You most certainly do not want to do anything that might delay the healing process or cause unnecessary skin irritation or possible allergic reaction.
For starters, get rid of any old makeup. It may have become dry or contaminated with bacteria or other makeup products. In fact, you should consider products that are specifically made to aid facelift patients, including products like The Big Coverup Kit or Cover Creme by Dermablend. Building a good foundation of makeup with good coverage will ensure you get the best results from your surgery.
Start with a good, gentle cleansing of the face from neck to forehead using a gauze pad or soft facial sponge. Work gently in and around the facial skin incisions to remove dirt and oils that may cause infection. Always use a gentle soap that won’t irritate your skin or incision sites.
Use water-based makeup during the first three weeks of your recovery period. It’s easy to wash off should you encounter any skin problems or reactions. Oil-based makeups are not as easily removed and can clog pores. If your skin is on the sensitive side, use hypo-allergenic makeup that won’t cause irritation or inflame incisions that have not yet healed.
Here are some other basic guidelines when applying makeup after your facelift:
- Always use a foundation that is one shade lighter than the surrounding skin as the skin may tend to darken with swelling and bruising.
- Green-colored makeup is best for balancing out reddened areas, and blue eye shadows helps minimize red skin around the eyes.
- If your skin tone is naturally ruddy, don’t use makeups of similar color.
It may be especially challenging covering large swollen or bruised areas. Fortunately, special corrective cosmetics are available that are designed to give complete coverage of these problem areas.
Your surgeon will have other helpful makeup tips and techniques so that your wounds will heal properly and make sure that your results are truly stellar.
Dr. Philip Miller is a board certified facial plastic surgeon with offices located at 60 East 56th, Third Floor, New York, N.Y. Call (212) 750-7100 for a personal consultation.