The Quest For A Youthful Jawline

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A pretty jawline can help keep your face in proportion so long as it doesn’t go to extremes-meaning that it’s not too angular and not too weak. In those cases, a less-than-ideal jaw can make other features, like your nose or cheeks, look out of proportion.

And even if you have an ideal face shape, chances are you will eventually suffer from the effects of aging-like fat settling lower in the face. “The chin and jawline are among the first areas to show signs of aging,” says American Society of Plastic Surgeons President Malcolm Z. Roth, MD, who recently shared ASPS statistics that name chin implants as the fastest growing procedure in 2011.

The ideal shape for the jaw looks like an upside-down egg, with soft, smooth angles so that it creates definition between the cheeks and jaw. To improve the shape, your doctor may suggest fillers early on (if you don’t have excess fat there already) or perhaps use small, soft silicone implants to fill in your jaw.

If sagging skin is the issue, skin-tightening treatments or a facelift can help, but New York plastic surgeon Sharon Giese, MD, says they’re only needed for about 20 percent of women. “The other 80 percent of women, who have significant jowl fat, get very little improvement from a lift because the fat just moves a little higher on the face,” she says. “This is why the jowl is the first thing to recur following a facelift-I think because it is inadequately treated with a traditional [superficial musculo-aponeurotic system] SMAS facelift.”

As an alternative, Dr. Giese melts the fat in the neck and jowl with micro-internal ultrasound and removes it via suction, which she says changes an aging square-shaped face into a more youthful oval shape. She says after 200 treatments, she removes an average of 4 ccs of pure fat from each jowl.

“The evidence is radical and bucks the traditional thinking as women age, they have volume loss and fat atrophy,” she says. “I have shown a significant volume reduction of the lower face leads to rejuvenation and helps women put off a facelift now or indefinitely.”

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