Facial appearance changes occur over time. We all know that it’s a natural process, but what causes these changes that we see? Why do some people age well, look years younger than they really are, and look fresh and glowing whether they’re 30 or 60? It’s no surprise that facial balance and symmetry are the basis of attractiveness, but we can’t all be Audrey Hepburn or Angelina Jolie, nor do we want to be. We just want to look the best we can, for as long as we can.
Every face can be divided into three distinct areas: the upper face, the mid face, and the lower face.
The key to looking fresh and maintaining a fresh look over time is facial harmony. When we have balance in all three areas, the total effect remains pleasing to the eye. We all age differently and some facial areas will age differently than the others. The objective of rejuvenation is not just to √ the underlying support structures and keep the whole face in harmony thereby achieving a natural, fresh look. The outward signs of aging are not just the result of what is happening on the surface; the aging process affects all four layers of the face: bones, muscle, volume, and skin. And these four layers combine to reveal what we see on the outside.
Let us first look at the upper face: At the deepest layer, loss of bone, particularly around the eyes, means less support for the overlying skin volume. The result is deeper circles around the eyes and temples, producing a more hollow appearance. With time, the constant activity of facial muscles over the bone contribute to line formation from repeated expression. Crow’s feet, frown lines and forehead lines become etched in skin over time as permanent wrinkles. Loss of muscle elasticity and descent of the soft tissue of the forehead contributes to the descent of the brow.
The mid face: With aging, loss of volume becomes more apparent. The cheekbones start to lose projection, becoming less defined, and together with the descent of cheek fat pads, more soft tissue volume is pushed downward. This is a sign of volume redistribution in the mid face.
Nasolabial folds run from the nose to the mouth where underlying ligaments stop the facial volume from moving further. Decreased muscle elasticity means less support for the fat pads that sit around the eyes and these also begin to bulge. Muscles of the mid face involved with repeated facial expressions contribute to the appearance of fine lines around the mouth, called accordion lines, and they are accentuated even further by the facial volume loss.
The lower face experiences loss of support to the lips and mouth. As with the other thirds of the face, soft tissue volume is also lost in fat pads, particularly around the mouth and in the lips. This combined with repeated muscle action over time such as pursing of lips causes permanent and prominent lines. Loss of bone along the junction of the lower face and neck leads to loss of jawline definition. Combined with decreased muscle elasticity and the descent of the overlying volume, this leads to the appearance of jowls.
Repeated muscle action around the mouth causes the corners of the mouth to turn downward and repeated muscle action in the chin leads to dimpling of the chin. In all facial areas, environmental factors contribute to the aging of the skin. Sun damage and smoking lead to pigmentation and loss of tone and texture. Intrinsic factors such as a decrease in fibrous proteins or naturally occurring complex sugars decrease skin’s elasticity.
Your dermatologist can give you a professional assessment on where you look good and what areas may be letting you down. Here are some areas you might like to discuss:
In the upper face the signs of aging are generally
- Forehead lines
- Frown lines
- Crow’s feet, normally seen only when smiling, but as we age these lines become visible even at rest
- Hollow temples and brows
- Bunny lines (wrinkles beside the nose)
Everyone is different, but all these areas can be treated with either muscle relaxants or dermal fillers to reduce wrinkles and restore volume in the upper face.
The mid face is affected by tear troughs, dark circles, and skin pigmentation issues. You may see changes in cheek contour from volume depletion and the descent of the mid face forming nasolabial folds. Dermal fillers and volumising fillers can reduce the signs of aging to larger areas in the mid face.
The lower face is particularly affected in one’s 40s and beyond. Lines around the mouth, loss of lip volume, sagging corners of the mouth, jowls, and loss of jawline definition all play a part in causing facial imbalance. Again, dermal fillers and volumising fillers are able to address all of these areas of concern.
Working from the inside out
Wrinkle relaxation treatments have been used for therapeutic indications for over 20 years. They are also used to relax the facial muscles that cause expression lines, and can provide a very effective method of preventing further line formation.
- Dermal fillers are gels made from naturally occurring complex sugars. These sugars are already present in the layers of your skin, providing structure, support and skin elasticity. They can be used to fill in discrete regions such as static wrinkles that are visible when the face is at rest, deeper folds, and the lips.
- Volumising fillers enhance or restore structure, volume and youthful contours to the larger areas of the face like the cheeks and the jawline.
- Everyone’s needs are different, so it is important to talk to a dermatologist who can suggest options to improve skin quality, texture and tone, dark circles, freckles, rosacea or skin pigmentation. There are a range of skin treatment options:
- Cosmoceuticals with active ingredients
- Laser or IPL to resurface the skin and help reduce fine lines, freckles and facial veins
- A chemical peel to remove the upper layers of the skin and stimulate rejuvenation
You can start by doing something for your skin right now.
Remember to keep it well hydrated by drinking eight glasses of water every day. Simply by wearing a hat and applying high SPF sunscreen containing UVA and UVB filters you’ll begin to make a difference. All prevention begins here.
Naturally, we all want to look our best, and understanding the changes that occur over time is a good place to start.Powered by Sidelines