Full, defined cheeks are a sign of youth and beauty, but over time the face loses fat, causing the cheeks to become flat and saggy, giving way to a sunken-in look. Although some are born with naturally high cheekbones, achieving the look of sculpted cheeks can be accomplished through both nonsurgical and surgical treatments that focus on restoring plumpness, volume and definition. To restore volume to the midface and recreate youthful contours, your doctor may suggest facial implants, fillers or fat grafting.
Fat grafting and transfer
Using your own fat (taken from another part of the body, like the hips or butt), your plastic surgeon can give you fuller, plumper cheeks. Fat transfer is probably the most popular option at the moment for long-term cheek fullness, but using your own fat requires an additional liposuction-like procedure to be performed.
Along with fat grafting, cheek implants are another option for restoring youthfulness more permanently. Silicone implants, ideal for someone who wants to add a lot of volume as opposed to a slight increase, add fullness and create a lifting effect.
Fillers and injectables
To restore volume lost with age or to provide definition, your plastic surgeon or dermatologist can inject fillers along the cheekbone. While there are a variety of injectables available, different ones produce varying effects—and not all of them last the same amount of time.
“Technically, there are no fillers approved by the FDA for use in this area, but there are several options that are considered to be safe and effective,” explains Plano, TX, facial plastic surgeon D.J. Verret, MD. For temporary correction, Dr. D.J. Verret suggests hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Juvéderm, as well as collagen-stimulators Radiesse and Sculptra Aesthetic (which last longer).