When it comes to facial aging, we are so honed in on treating lines and wrinkles that we sometimes forget there’s a whole host of “other” factors that can contribute to an aged appearance as well. To make sure you’re hitting ALL signs of aging, don’t forget these three culprits:
Not to make things totally confusing, but facial fat can have both a positive and negative effect on your face. “Volume loss appears as deflation in predictable patterns: upper outer cheeks, at the nasal base of the smile lines (nasolabial triangle), in front of the jowls (pre-jowl sulcus), and temples,” says Las Vegas plastic surgeon Goesel Anson, MD, adding that all of this occurs regardless of weight. “Weight gain accentuates the already full areas, giving a square appearance to the lower face. To make matters worse, weight gains and losses will increase laxity as skin ages.” Volume loss should be treated with adding volume. Injectable fillers show excellent results for improvement in contour and shadow irregularities. Autologous fat is also a consideration but requires a longer downtime.
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Time, genetics, sun exposure, smoking history and hormonal status are just some of the factors that influence skin texture and elasticity. “The simplest ways to help are to stop smoking and use sunscreen. Everyone should take advantage of topical creams with hydrating agents, antioxidants, retinols and many, many other ingredients that can help maintain skin health and improve already damaged skin. If you are able to take it a step further, chemical peels, deep exfoliation and microneedling are excellent choices. Various lasers for pigmentation, broken blood vessels and texture can further improve skin appearance,” Dr. Anson says.
Along with the deflation that results from volume loss, increased skin looseness occurs with age. Dr. Anson notes that fillers can dramatically improve volume loss and can “camouflage” excess skin if not severe. “Nonsurgical treatments such as radio frequency and focused ultrasound have some effect. Significant skin excess requires surgical tightening with facelift, mini-facelift, necklift, browlift, etc. Autologous fat transfer can provide a permanent, but variable improvement.”