As you get older, it’s normal for your facial features to lose definition. Rather than letting nature and aging get the best of your face, take matters into your own hands and enlist the help of these preventative tips and age-erasing treatments to make your favorite features shine again.
“Mid-face volume loss is a very common sign of aging,” says Wayne, NJ facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey B. Wise, MD, who adds that it’s typical to lose anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of facial volume and fat by the time we reach our 40s. “As the years roll on, the fat around the cheekbones is lost, leading to a more sunken-in look of the cheeks. Moreover, skin loses some of its laxity over time. Combined with the lost volume, this causes the nasolabial folds and jowls to become more apparent. Despite genetics being the biggest culprit of these changes, excessive exercise and yo-yo diets can cause similar effects.”
While volume loss in the cheeks may seem hard to combat, Dr. Wise has good news: “Volume can very easily be restored with dermal fillers. Strategic, skillful filler placement can naturally lift and support the face. Moreover, nonsurgical treatments such as Morpheus8 radiofrequency micro-needling can tighten the skin by boosting collagen and elastin production in the area, leading to a more youthful appearance overall. In cases of more advanced aging, facelift surgery combined with fat transfer would be the best treatment to address these concerns.”
“The lips become aged due to a loss of tone and volume. It’s a gradual process that begins in the 30s,” says New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD. “The first signs of aging lips is vertical lines over the red part of the lips, which signals volume loss. The shape or size of the lips isn’t affected at this point, but the lips can appear less plump.” As the lips continue to age, lines become deeper and definition is lost. “Once significant volume loss occurs, hyaluronic acid fillers need to be used to rejuvenate the lips.” To prevent your lips from looking “done”, ensure your doctor doesn’t overfill them and add to much volume.
According to Westborough, MA facial plastic surgeon Min S. Ahn, MD, the upper lip also gets longer as we age. “When this happens, you can no longer see the person’s upper teeth. Seeing the white color of upper teeth is a sign of youth and is something that you can see easily in all younger people.” To correct this, he opts for a modified lip lift. “The recovery is about eight to 10 days and it almost immediately makes a person look younger.”
Once your eyes start to experience the effects of aging, they can look tired. According to Dr. Vasyukevich, excessive skin that folds over the upper lids, bags under the lower lids, or loose skin that sits under the eyes, all give the face an aged look. While the shape and size of your eyes do not change, it’s changes to your eyelids, forehead and upper cheeks that affect their appearance. “The eyes begin to look rounder, smaller and less almond-shaped, as well as hollow and less expressive,” explains Dr. Vasyukevich. Keeping the skin around your eyes well moisturized is crucial because it keeps the area smooth and elastic. But, when bags, dark circles, lines and wrinkles are issues, injectables and fillers can reverse them. “Botox softens the pull of the muscles to minimize the formation of wrinkles.”
It’s not uncommon for your nose to experience some major changes with the aging process. Chicago facial plastic surgeon Gary Wiesman, MD, explains that over time, nasal tissue begins to atrophy and some of the internal structures of the nose can soften, too. “As the face itself starts to appear like it’s shrinking inward, the nose can begin to look larger and wider,” he says. “Also, the tip of the nose can start to droop.” While injectables and fillers can be used in some patients to create the illusion of a smaller nose or slightly lift the tip, if you’re looking for long-term results, you’ll need to seek nasal surgery.
The key to a youthful jawline is, according to Chicago plastic surgeon Irwin Michael Wiesman, MD, one that’s sharp with a right angle from the jaw to the neck. “As we age, we lose that angle and definition. Once the skin and tissue start to drop, you get jowling and the jaw takes on an S-shaped curve.” To treat it, Dr. Wiesman says you need to look at your jaw and neck. “The pre-jowl area can be softened with filler. If there is some tissue decent, a skin tightener can give subtle tightening,” he says. But when extremely loose skin and severe jowls are the problems, surgery is the only fix. “When these is sagging and tissue decent in the neck, a full facelift or necklift, which reinstates and repositions the jawline and neck to make them tighter, is necessary.”
Unlike other parts of the face that can’t be “preserved” with preventative measures, the eyebrows can. Dr. Irwin Wiesman says that in your 20s and 30s you should start using Botox Cosmetic to help mitigate the amount of drooping that your brows typically experience with age. “The simplest thing to improve the look of the brows is to have Botox injected to lift up the tail and middle area of the brow. Heavy-looking brows create tired-looking eyes. But, when the brow peaks one-third of the way in and there’s a nice arch to it, the eyes look fresh and open.” While there’s only so much lifting that Botox can do, a surgical browlift is also an option.