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Have you ever wondered how or why some people look younger than their actual age while others look older than they really are? Consider a couple of scenarios for a moment: the first is an athlete, a runner maybe, in her early 30’s with an extremely low body fat percentage and the second is an older woman in her early 60’s who is overweight. Whose face looks well beyond her actual years? If you’re thinking the younger, thinner runner, you’re right. The key difference in the faces of these two women is volume. Thinner or average sized people tend to lose volume that is more noticeable in their face with time, compared to those that carry more weight as they age.
There are certain changes that occur in all of our faces as time passes. Bone and muscle loss occur and gravity kicks in. Our skin becomes thinner and less firm, and the underlying, support structure of our face flattens out, much like a deflated balloon. The net result is an elongated, heavy and square-shaped face. Let’s divide the face into thirds and talk about the specific ways that age affects each.
The upper face is the eyes and everything above. This is often referred to as the “upper third”. The changes that occur here can really affect your appearance as they are centered around your eyes. Since this is the facial area that people tend to focus on as they look at you, age-related changes here produce a tired, older-than-you-feel look. Volume changes in the forehead, skin laxity and repeated muscle contractions pull the eyebrows down and in toward the nose. Over time, lowered eyebrows and heavy upper eyelids result. Permanent lines appear between the brows (the elevens) and extend from the corners of the outer eye (crow’s feet). Temples sink-in, accentuating the boney structure of the eye socket.
The midface is the area between the lower eyelids and the nose. Also called the “middle third”, this area is often overlooked by both patients and injectors. Changes here in volume affect BOTH the upper and lower face, so it’s critical to address volume loss here as it may mitigate some of the unwanted changes that you see in other areas. For the upper face, a full midface supports the lower lids, making under eye bags look less prominent. Proper volume in the midface also literally “lifts” the appearance of the lower face, lessening the creases and folds around the mouth and the jowls.
The lower face, or “lower third”, is the area around the mouth, the lips and the jawline. Over time, our lips and area around the mouth lose volume triggering a sunken-in, “pursed” appearance. Because the muscle around the mouth acts just like a purse-string, lines etch in the areas above and below the lips (smoker’s lines). The corners of the mouth start to turn down, creating folds on either side of the chin called “marionette lines”. The space between the nose and upper lip elongates; coupled with midface changes, this creates “sagging” in the lower face causing “nasolabial” folds to appear around the sides of the mouth. A straight, defined jawline begins to sag too as the whole face begins to “slide” downward creating jowls.
If all of this sounds depressing as we’ve got solutions to address your aging! And this is where injections of dermal fillers such as Restylane, Restylane Lyft and Juvederm can really make a huge difference in the way you look. Yes, products such as Botox and Dysport are important and have a role in smoothing our lines and wrinkles in the skin, but they cannot address underlying structural changes and volume loss the way that dermal fillers can.
Many patients ask about facelift surgery. Again, facelifts have a place, but they are only good at “picking up and moving” facial structures that have moved over time. While many patients need this, many do not! They simply need volume correction in critical areas to regain a youthful appearance. Remember, a natural appearance is what you are looking for. An overly tight, pulled-appearing midface and lower face will get rid of your nasolabial folds, marionette lines and jowls, but if it doesn’t look natural, who cares?
The key is having an evaluation by someone with an astute, keen aesthetic eye and the willingness to have an up-front discussion of what your needs and goals are. Here at Celibre, we only recommend treatments that are appropriate for you based on these things and we won’t do you a disservice by performing a treatment that we don’t believe will benefit you.
Before and After Pictures
A youthful appearance means different things to different people. Although we all age in many of the same ways, we all do so at different rates and degrees. Treatment of volume loss with dermal filler injections is a completely individualized process that should help to restore soft, rounded features and fullness to your unique facial structure and shape.