Don't Let Jowls Drag You Down

Around your 40s, you may start to notice the development of one of the most dreaded signs of aging: jowls. That sagging skin that begins to form along your jawline is caused by a loss of facial volume. If you have a fuller face, it may take longer for jowls to appear, but if you have a thin face, they may show earlier.

Luckily, there are a number of ways to slow the progression of jowls before they drag you too far down.

Skin tightening: Skin that is in the beginning stages of aging may respond well to skin-tightening devices, such as radio-frequency energy. A nonablative technique, like Thermage, utilizes electric and magnetic energy with radio waves in short, intense pulses to oscillate through the skin and deliver heat to the deep layers of the skin without damaging the outer layer of skin. However, if you have very saggy skin, this type of technology won't do much for you, and you may need surgery instead.

Fillers: Your plastic surgeon may opt to use a filler to build your cheeks back up, which may affect the look of your jawline, too. The key, experts say, is for the filler to be injected deeply, rather than superficially. Boosting the cheeks with fillers like Radiesse, Sculptra Aesthetic, Restylane or Juvéderm may help create a more balanced, youthful face.

Mini facelift: You can have a partial facelift surgery to simply address the sagging skin in your lower face. Like a traditional facelift, the muscles will be tightened, yet you'll have less of a scar. A mini facelift can not only erase the early signs of jowls, but can keep you looking younger for longer. If you need another facelift later (your first may last eight to 12 years), your plastic surgeon will likely only have to remove saggy skin and won't have to alter your muscles again.


Related Links:
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How to Stop Your Skin From Sagging

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8 Comments
  • sandra
    Posted on

    I just got a galvanizing machine t help remove or tighten my skin and get rid of jowls so they work? i cant afford the surgery so thought this might be a way to go?

  • Jane
    Posted on

    Thermage and many lasers are a bit of marketing hype. No long term results and very expensive. Surgery may be expensive but you have results that last decades! Above all choose a great surgeon with over years of experience and who teaches in a well known university. Just being on staff at a hospital is meaningless. If surgeon teaches other surgeons then you know you have experience and expertise. I have my recommendations if anyone is interested. I have spent 10 years researching the field.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    Great comments-informative! I am reading more and more literature on the benefits on "sooner" than "later" with the mid or lateral face lift (in the 40's). I assume that if you stay on top of gravity with maintenance/adjustments as the aging process inevitably occurs, the changes one makes are also less obvious and simply appear fresh?

  • Douglas Hendricks anonymous
    Posted on

    This is a great review of the basic choices for early signs of aging such as the appearance of jowls. Prominent jowls are simply a symptom of tissue looseness or laxity. Definitive correction is best done with some form of face lifting procedure. Regardless of what the catchy name the facelift may have, the most critical component to any face lifting procedure is the DIRECTION of pull. When the vertical direction of the lifting is applied to the cheeks (sometimes called Cheek-Lift or Mid-Face Lift), the cheek fat pads are lifted upward onto the cheek bones where they belong. Not only are the cheeks restored to a more youthful fullness, but the secondary benefits include softening of the naso-labial folds, correction of the loss of fullness beneath the lower eyelid, and elimination of the jowls and straightening of the jawline, all without thinning the existing tissues. As the article describes, this is a great place to start for the early 40's to early 50's group when there is no accompanying facial or neck skin excess. In that situation, the same vertical lifting is applied a little bit further back, near the sideburn region. Vertical movement of the tissues in this area will result in an excellent correction of loose facial and neck skin, with further improvement in the jowls and jawline. The result is an extremely natural and youthful restoration which actually adds back fullness to the face which had been lost down into the upper neck.

  • Posted on

    So, can products really help against aging? Yes, the right ones can. A common question in my practice is if a specific product is good, example, “Is Lubriderm or Cetaphil a good moisturizer?” and my answer would be: as a moisturizer, yes; but as an anti ager, no. So what does that mean? It means that moisturizer alone is only a small piece of the puzzle. It will provide hydration, period. But to really fight the hands of time you need ingredients such as Retinol (helps stimulate collagen), Vitamins C&E fight free radicals by preventing new damage, an exfoliant to help aid in cell renewal (as we age this process slows and can make skin drier/wrinklier/coarser), sunscreen with Zinc, there are others and products are chosen based on a specific person’s needs. In a nutshell Retinol tells our skin to make new collagen, but we need Vitamin C to make that new collagen. New studies have shown that fat soluble C is better penetrating that water soluble, so here is an example why where you buy your skincare from makes a difference. At our office we are constantly approached from companies that want us to sell their products. We do a thorough analysis and if they pass our critical judgment, we will bring them in. So if you are one of those people that just use a moisturizer, that’s OK, but you can be doing much better and it will show on you face.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    As a skin care specialist, fortunate to work closely with a facial plastic surgeon, I get to see all types of procedures and their results. This article is good in outlining options for jowls. But the most important thing to remember is that if you do not have a great daily skin care regimen in place prior to any facial procedure your results will be compromised. Caring for the skin and working in the “skin care” business for over 30 years, I have learned that there are many products that support and tighten the skin from the inside out. For example, retinols and peptides make a huge difference in skin tone and texture. No matter what you hear, there is a price to pay with many procedures. So before you sign up for laser tightening treatments, it is important to understand the pros and cons. We live longer now, and any procedure that thins the skin or compromises its natural strength is a concern. The facial plastic surgeon, with whom I work, is not a fan of Thermage. His machine sits unused, because the treatments melt fat and thus create an unattractive dimpling in the skin. As we get older, we need fat in the face. This is why fillers, such as Sculptra, are so wonderful. I work hands on with the skin, and have seen enormous benefits in facial tone through massage, using good skin care products that contain specific ingredients that support skin tone and strengthening skin structure. For long-term “skin” health, the most important thing is to adopt a good daily skincare regimen. Then, at the very least, your skin will be at its best, should you choose any kind of procedure.

  • Devra Wathen
    Posted on

    I can tell you from personal experience that diligent maintenance can make a big difference in your aging. Great blog right to the point on what works! Over the past few years I have had two THERMAGE treatments with amazing results-I am turning 58 this year and see no need for surgery yet! I am excited that the Thermage has improved over the past 2 years. You don't see the results right away but over a 3-6 month period your jowls really do tighten up.My skin was never sagging I really approach this treatment as maintenance and feel this is the number 1 reason the integrity of my skin has been maintained so well. *Important Note: If you are going to get these treatments, face lifts,fillers, then you really need to make a concerted effort to keep your face out of the SUN!UVA=Aging it destroys your collagen and elastin. Why spend the time and a lot of monies just to reverse all the good you just paid for? Much Aloha,Devra WathenETSIS Hats

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    It is true that there is no such thing as "nonsurgical facelift" but there are some useful technologies that can help. Ulthera uses microfocused ultrasound to target the deeper, collagen rich layers under the skin with precision. Thermage and others use radiofrequency, which cannot be focused as well. With judicious use of fillers and nonivasive technologies it will be possible to maintain a more youthful condition but beware of claims that sound too good to be true.

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