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.


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