What aesthetic procedures are suitable for the over 60 years group? - MeTime

There are a wide range of cosmetic treatments available today, and many can be done in the seventh decade of life. But before we answer the title question, it will help to know a little bit about what happens during the aging process, specifically in people over the age of 60. Later in the article, we will describe the difference between a surgical and non surgical cosmetic procedure and why approval for cosmetic surgery may be necessary in this age group. So, let's dive in and help you identify which cosmetic procedure you can and perhaps cannot get if you're over 60.

Lots of men and women in their 60s want to improve their appearance, whether it is through body contouring, a facelift, a mommy makeover, or breast augmentation. However, not everyone can get cosmetic surgery in the 60s. In some men and women, the overall health status simply does not allow going under the knife for an elective cosmetic procedure. There may be serious contraindications, which if ignored can lead to severe complications. What we're trying to say is that no matter how fantastic the results of plastic surgery have been for your friend or neighbor, it doesn't mean their results will be your results.

This article will help you understand what doctors are thinking when they recommend or don't recommend a particular treatment to you. You may be very keen to improve your skin elasticity with a specific treatment, for example, but it may not be suitable for your skin type or condition. A facelift might sound like a great idea to you, but your medical conditions may preclude you from having surgery. The American Academy of Plastic Surgeons is a leading authority in the field of plastic surgery and lists hundreds of cosmetic treatments. It can be confusing to read about all of them. So, we've done all the hard work for you by going through the information and presenting what's most relevant.


Common Aging Changes in the 60+ Age Groups

Let’s start with the face, which is where the signs of aging are often the most obvious after age 60. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has my skin lost its smooth texture? Do I have wrinkles?
  • Do I have wrinkles and deep creases between the eyebrows, in the nasolabial folds, or in the neck?
  • Can I see the contour of my jawline or has it become indistinguishable?
  • Do I appear tired?
  • Do I have jowls?
  • Have my upper eyelids formed ‘hoods’ over the eyes?
  • Do I have loose skin under the chin and around the neck?
  • Do I have neck bands?
  • Are there spots on my face that have appeared seemingly out of nowhere?
  • Does my face look drawn in the mid portion (from the eyes down to the jaw)?
  • Is my face hollow in the cheeks, temples, or jawline? (This is called a loss of facial volume)


If you answered yes to one or more questions in this quiz, like most people your age you're showing aging signs in areas of your face and neck. If you're one of the lucky few who answered no to all the questions, congratulations, age hasn't caught up with you yet! 


What’s Really Going On When You're Aging?

The aging signs described above are common and inevitable. The human body is not designed to look good and live forever. When there's damage or injury to the body in your 60s, it's unlikely you will bounce back as quickly as you did when you were younger. These age-related changes occur in both men and women, but women experience additional changes. For instance, have you noticed how your breasts have changed over the years?

The deterioration in skin quality occurs because the body is making less collagen, the protein that gives the skin it's smooth, hydrated appearance. Combine this with environmental and lifestyle factors such as sun exposure, exposure to pollutants, an unhealthy diet, lack of sleep, smoking, etc., and you end up with frown lines, dryness, dullness, age spots, sun spots, visible pores, and rough texture.

The good news is that with the advancements in plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine, many of these common signs of aging can be corrected or improved. You can turn back the hands of time with both surgical and non surgical aesthetic procedures and look a decade or more younger. 


Quiz: Aging Signs Plastic Surgeons Look For

We've already covered the face above. Now, here's a quick quiz on aging signs in the rest of the body. The more you answer yes to questions in this quiz, the greater the chances you're a candidate for cosmetic surgery. Remember, however, your doctor will take into consideration your overall health status before recommending any elective treatment to you.

  1. Have you lost a significant amount of weight resulting in skin sagging?
  2. Do you have love handles, belly fat (muffin top), and other pockets of stubborn fat that refuse to go with diet and exercise?
  3. Have your buttocks dropped or sagged?
  4. Have your breasts sagged over time? Do the nipples point toward the floor instead of forward?
  5. Do your upper arms feel flabby? (These are commonly called bat wings)
  6. Is your hairline receding? Have you lost a significant amount of hair compared to your youth?
  7. Does your skin look dry? Do you have age spots?
  8. Do your hands look wrinkled and old?
  9. Have your toenails become discolored?
  10. Do your thighs chafe against each other when you walk?
  11. Are you dissatisfied with the shape of your body?


Many of the changes listed above occur because of environmental insults and the effects of gravity. In addition, aging occurs at an accelerated rate in the 60s because, as noted, the body is not making enough collagen. In fact, the rate of collagen breakdown starts exceeding the rate of collagen formation when you're in your 50s. As noted, collagen is the protein in the skin that makes it look plump and hydrated.


Body sculpting procedures can include a butt lift or thigh lift to improve your appearance


With that said, all this is not set in stone. As mentioned before, there have been huge advancements in aesthetic medicine. There are now a range of cosmetic procedures that can help restore your appearance to a more youthful one. Queasy about going under the knife? You will be surprised with the results that non surgical, non invasive aesthetic procedures can achieve!


If you're feeling bad after taking these quizzes - don't. The answers are coming. You'll see how thousands of people in your age group have managed to put the brakes on aging, and how you can too.


Popular Aesthetic Procedures in Older Individuals

There are mainly 3 types of aesthetic procedures: 

  1. Cosmetic surgery
  2. Minimally invasive aesthetic procedures
  3. Non-invasive cosmetic treatments

A few decades ago, the only way to turn back the clock was through plastic surgery. Now, there are dozens of minimally invasive and non invasive aesthetic procedures available that can improve your appearance without going under the knife. 

And the age barrier has been broken as well. Earlier, 60 was considered too late to reverse aging, but not anymore. If you feel like you're looking old and tired, there's a lot you can do about it. What's more, the results are natural, so you won't look like you've had work done. Gone are the days when plastic surgery meant you looked stitched and sewn together. Your plastic surgeon can help you achieve your aesthetic goals and no one will be the wiser. 


Is 60 Too Old for Plastic Surgery?


Every year, more than 100,000 people in the United States alone opt for plastic surgery, many more worldwide. Plastic surgeons perform hundreds of thousands of aesthetic procedures including eyelid surgery, facelifts, dermabrasion, and liposuction. Some people opt for a forehead lift, while others want a breast lift. For some, hair transplantation is the most important, for others lip augmentation. What all these cosmetic medicine treatments  do is they reverse aging changes that occur after the age of 60. Of all the aesthetic procedures done, 44% are in individuals 55 and older. 

When you choose to have plastic surgery, you can often get more dramatic improvements than are possible with minimally invasive and non invasive treatments. With advances in surgical techniques, the 60s are not too old for elective surgery.  Here's a quick overview of the most popular aesthetic procedures in the 55 and over age group, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics from 2019:


Aesthetic Procedure | Total Procedures Reported | % and number of Procedures in the 55+ Age Group:

  • Eyelid Surgery 101,224 48% = 48,587
  • Facelift 81,875 66% = 54,038
  • Dermabrasion 31,735 41% = 13,011
  • Liposuction 26,913 10% = 2,691
  • Forehead Lift 20,518 55% = 11,285
  • Rhinoplasty 20,493 10% = 2,049
  • Breast Lift 17,777 16% = 2,844
  • Tummy tuck 16,567 13% = 2,154
  • Hair transplantation 15,162 62% = 9,400
  • Lip augmentation  14,475 46% = 6,659
  • Total 346,829 152,718 (44%)

As you can see, roughly 4 out of 10 people undergoing cosmetic procedures are in the 55+ age group. Some procedures like facelift and hair transplantation are particularly popular in people over 60.

What is the Best Cosmetic Surgery to Make Your Face Look Younger?


Facelifts are a good choice for men and women in their 60s, but they often involve extensive surgery and a long recovery period. Given this, the #1 aesthetic procedure that can make a dramatic difference in your face is eyelid surgery. This is because, with age, the eyes tend to become hooded, sometimes to the point of obstructing your vision. After surgical correction, the entire upper third of your face comes alive and you look brighter and refreshed. What's more, it is a relatively simple procedure with a quick recovery.


A brow lift or eyelid lift in men and women can open up the eyes and revitalize your appearance


Popular Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Procedures in People 60+


If you're squeamish about surgery or your health doesn't allow surgical procedures, there are many minimally invasive treatments available to you. Remember that minimally invasive aesthetic procedures and non-invasive treatments can often do an excellent job of improving your appearance without the risks and recovery associated with surgery. 

Every year, nearly 4 million minimally invasive procedures (usually involving injection therapy with needles) are performed. Roughly 31% of them are done in men and women 55 years and older. So, if you choose to have any of these procedures done, you will be joining thousands of others who made the same decision. What's more, minimally invasive procedures have a good safety profile and the risk of complications is much lower than surgery.


Type of Procedure | Number of Procedures Reported. | % and number of Procedures in Age 55+:

  • Botulinum toxin (Botox, Dysport) 1,766,619 23% = 406,322
  • Soft tissue fillers*     943,341 37% = 349,036
  • Chemical peels   612,173 44% = 269,356
  • Laser skin resurfacing   233,583 39% = 91,097
  • Microdermabrasion   161,454 24% = 38,748
  • Total 3,717,170 1,154,559 (31%)


*Soft tissue fillers include Radiesse, autologous fat grafting to the face, hyaluronic acid (Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus), Perlane, Restylane, Prevelle Silk, and polylactic acid (Sculptra).

As you can see, roughly 3 out of 10 patients having minimally invasive cosmetic treatments are in the 55+ age group.


Which Procedures are Best Suited for 60+ Skin?


Besides fine lines and wrinkles, one of the key problems encountered in the 60s is loose or sagging skin. Tightening the skin can be achieved with surgery such as a facelift, neck lift, arm lift, or thigh lift, but there are also newer, less invasive aesthetic procedures available that can achieve great results, including:

• Laser procedures

• Radiofrequency

• Dermal fillers

• Ultherapy or HIFU (skin tightening devices)

Many of these cosmetic procedures work by correcting the superficial signs of aging as well as working deeper down in the skin where they stimulate collagen production. In the 1 to 3 months following the treatment, newly formed collagen plumps up the skin and helps you look significantly younger. These procedures are best suited for people who are 60+ because that's when collagen production reduces quite significantly.


What to Do About Wrinkles?

Wrinkles are depressions in the epidermis, the upper layer of skin. Deep creases go further down, sometimes to the dermis, where collagen is present, and where stimulating collagen formation can help erase them. Some common treatments that benefit wrinkles include:

• Botox or Dysport injections for fine lines and wrinkles

• Facial fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, Restylane Silk, Vollure, and Volbella to correct marionette lines, smile lines near the lips, nasolabial folds, and creases in the infraorbital, cheek, chin, jawline, and temporal areas.

• Chemical peels to improve the tone and texture of the skin.

• Microneedling to minimize sun spots and improve skin tone by promoting collagen production.


What Other Cosmetic Procedure Can I Consider?

Here are some additional plastic surgery procedures that are recommended in individuals over 60.

• Grandma makeover including a tummy tuck, liposuction, and arm lift

• Lower facelift to correct jowls

• Spider vein removal

• Breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction


What If My Doctor Says I'm Not a Candidate for the Treatments I Want?

You may have your heart set on getting a particular cosmetic treatment or surgery (maybe because your friend got such great results from it), but your doctor may say you're not suitable for that procedure. The reasons can vary, including your general health status, medical comorbidities (diseases that make the treatment risky), the degree of damage to your skin, or a previous history of cosmetic procedures that preclude you from additional surgery.

If this happens, don't let it get your spirits down. There are many ways to improve skin tone, correct sun damage, and lift sagging tissues. For instance, if laser treatments are deemed unsuitable for you, something like microdermabrasion may work equally well.

Keep in mind that doctors now have amazing technologies and advanced surgical techniques in their arsenal to give you exceptional results in terms of reversing aging and enhancing your natural beauty. Combined with healthy lifestyle choices, these surgical and non-surgical procedures can take your appearance to a whole new level, where no one will believe you're over 60.


Men and women in their 60s have a wide choice of aesthetic treatments and cosmetic procedures at their disposal. You can start with something noninvasive or minimally invasive, which involves very little downtime and a quick, painless recovery. Or you can choose to go the whole nine yards and opt for a facelift or eyelid surgery. Your plastic surgeon will discuss your aesthetic goals with you and help you make a decision about what's right for you.

The 60s are an age when you can truly celebrate all the good things in life. You shouldn't feel like you're over the hill and it's too late to do anything about your appearance. There are a range of aesthetic procedures that can help you look your absolute best. It’s time to say goodbye to sagging skin and wrinkles and say hello to smooth skin and toned muscles.

The MeTime app connects you to experienced plastic surgeons and aesthetic providers in your area. You can chat with experts, do a video consult, upload photos and have suggestions sent directly to you. If you want more information about any of the treatments mentioned in this article, download the MeTime app today and start the journey to a new you.

March 25, 2021