Why Face-Lifts Just Make You Look Fake

Turns out skin isn't the only thing that sags
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2010 12:09 PM CDT
Updated Apr 24, 2010 12:00 PM CDT
Why Face-Lifts Just Make You Look Fake
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: TV personality Lynne Curtin attends Bravo's 2010 Upfront Party at Skylight Studio on March 10, 2010 in New York City.   (Getty Images)

Wondering why women with too much plastic surgery only look stiffer, not younger? Because face-lifts can’t do anything to change the bone, which also droops with age. “The look we're born with—cherubic face, puffy cheeks—that’s the look of youth,” one doctor who researched the issue tells NPR, and no amount of surgery will give that look back. This doctor, by the way, performs face-lifts for a living—so he should know.

The researchers found that bones around the eyes, jaw, and cheek shrink and descend as people age. “It's one of those things that, in retrospect, you sort of say, 'Duh, I should have known that!'” the doctor admits. A Smithsonian anthropologist adds that the bone in a 20-year-old is “really pretty stuff,” but all the milk in the world can’t keep it that way forever. Can cosmetic bone surgery be far behind? (In related plastic surgery news, your butt job can kill you. Click here for the story.)

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