American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

What everyone needs to know about the aging process

If you do not know what the problem is, how do you expect to fix it? Understanding the aging process throughout your lifespan is necessary if you plan on slowing or reversing it. Finding a board-certified plastic surgeon who understands the aging process can be your secret weapon in aging gracefully. As a plastic surgeon, we are in the face protection business, not witness protection program. Our goal in the battle against aging is to rejuvenate your look, not change it. Below you will find an outline of common aging concerns per decade as well as surgical and nonsurgical ways to correct them.


When you are in your twenties, you have finally reached adulthood, so you do adult things like drink, smoke, take adventures in the sun and party. Your twenties are filled with self-discovery of who you are and, depending on your lifestyle, this can wreak havoc on your skin. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to develop a skin care regime that includes daily sunblock, limiting alcohol consumption, exercising regularly and definitely not smoking. Smoking and sun damage can rapidly affect the aging process, and most of the damage you do will not be seen until later in life. Popular nonsurgical and surgical procedures for this age group include skin resurfacing, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, Botox, laser hair removal and dermal fillers.


In your thirties, stress coupled with the beginning losses of elastin (that keeps your skin tight) and collagen (that keeps your skin supple and firm) seems to be the major driving force of aging. Maybe you are progressing in your career, maybe you are starting a family or maybe a combination of both. Your thirties can be a stressful time and your body knows it. Popular surgical procedures for this age group include postpartum breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction and liposuction. Popular nonsurgical treatments include skin resurfacing, Botox and dermal fillers.

Forties and Fifties

The eyes are the windows to the soul, and in your forties and fifties that window will start to show drastic signs of aging. Loss of volume in the face leads to sunken eyes and sagging skin that was never there before. The key to plastic surgery in this age group is to keep you looking like yourself, only better. Popular surgical procedures include breast augmentation, eyelid rejuvenation and liposuction. Popular nonsurgical treatments continue to be skin resurfacing, Botox and dermal fillers.

Sixties and Upward

Patients in their sixties and beyond will likely have the same concerns as those in their forties and fifties, however, the appearance will be much more pronounced. Thus, more invasive surgical procedures such as facelifts, neck lifts and fat transfer are required to reestablish a balanced and youthful appearance. Popular surgical procedures include eyelid rejuvenation and facelifts. Popular nonsurgical treatments continue to be skin resurfacing, Botox and dermal fillers.

At any age when considering plastic surgery, you need an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who is an expert in the field and can show you proof of exceptional results. For your safety, I cannot stress the importance of discussing your goals with a plastic surgeon who understands the aging process and can determine whether a noninvasive or invasive procedure will be required to achieve your desired results.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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