As we age, losing skin elasticity is inevitable. The lower face prominently shows the effects of aging due to saggy skin around the neck, chin, and below the jawline. While this is a harmless process, it significantly impacts a person’s appearance and self-esteem.
This sagging of the skin doesn’t happen only due to age and can result from several factors, making it unavoidable. Thankfully, there are several preventive measures and treatments you can incorporate into your daily routine to slow down the appearance of jowls.
Have you started developing jowls? Let’s take a look at what they are, the causes, and how you can get rid of them.
What are Sagging Jowls?
Jowl is a term used to describe sagging skin below the chin and jawline. As we age, we tend to lose fat on our faces resulting in a drooping jawline and wrinkles. Almost everyone will develop jowls as the skin becomes less elastic with time.
Apart from age, jowls can develop due to stress, weight loss, weight gain, lifestyle choices, and genetics. However, jowls are a problem for most women. Because of this, you need to identify the causes and risk factors for your skin to reduce the occurrence or minimize their appearance.
Causes of Sagging Jowls
The appearance of jowls on your face results from factors that are either within or beyond your control. Let’s look at some of them.
• Genetic Composition
Jowls don’t develop at the same time for everyone. Depending on your genes, they might appear earlier than in other people. For example, if your parents have jowls on their jawlines, you are more likely to develop the same.
For individuals with naturally thin skin or little elastin, the jowls may appear on your face as early as in your twenties. Therefore, you need to observe your genetic makeup and disposition to determine whether you are at a higher risk. With this information, you can start taking care of your skin earlier and minimize its intensity.
• Collagen and Elastin Deficiency
Collagen and elastin are essential proteins that constitute the connective tissue in your body. Elastin goes a step further to bring back your skin into a standard shape. A significant loss of these proteins affects the skin around your mouth and cheeks. Due to lack of skin tightness, the skin below your chin and jawline will sag, causing jowls.
• Excessive Sun Exposure
Environmental factors such as sun exposure are damaging to your skin. For example, if you tend to spend long hours under the sun without the proper Ultraviolet rays protection, you will damage the skin collagen and elastin. So pay attention and start using sunscreen early in life to prevent sagging.
• Smoking Habits
Smoking has a significant adverse effect on the skin. Chemicals and nicotine present in cigarettes cause damage to the collagen and elastin on your skin. A considerable side effect of smoking is the narrowing of blood vessels. When this happens, your blood circulation gets affected, and hence your skin can’t get the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and firm.
• Weight Loss and Gain
We all want to maintain healthy body weight and lose any extra inches. However, an extreme weight loss or gain could significantly affect your skin. When you lose weight, you lose fat all over your body, including the face. As a result, the skin tends to sag in areas where there is excessive skin.
On the other hand, if you gain weight fast, the skin stretches excessively. This situation happens, especially to people on crash diets that affect the weight range frequently.
• Overusing Computers and Phones
In this digital era, you might be mostly bending down your face looking at a computer or phone. This can be detrimental to your skin, especially around your neck. Spending a lot of time on your device will impact your skin elasticity to form sagging jowls.
• Facial Expressions
If you tend to make some frequent facial expressions such as frowning, they might affect your skin negatively. This is because the skin stretches out to form wrinkles and sagging jowls.
• Low Nutrient Diet
Healthy skin needs a constant supply of nutrients such as Vitamin A. Taking diets low in antioxidants and healthy fats could affect your skin elasticity and result in jowls. It would be best if you were also dehydrated consistently to keep your skin moisturized.
How to Protect Your Skin from Sagging Jowls
As much as most people can’t avoid jowls, there are preventive measures that you can take to make it safer for your skin. Here are some tips.
1. Wear Sunscreen
This product is the best protection from UV rays, especially if you are constantly under the sun. In addition, having this protection slows down the appearance of jowls. You can additionally add sunscreen and a moisturizer to your face and neck beauty routine.
2. Avoid Smoking
Staying away from nicotine is healthy for your blood circulation and skin. However, if you smoke, you can find alternatives to stop the habit for the sake of your skin.
3. Limit Daily Screen Time
When using your phone or computer, place them at a comfortable angle. This method keeps your neck muscles straight and prevents skin stretch out.
4. Incorporate Facial Exercises
Facial exercises keep your muscles activated and slows down the onset of jowls. Schedule these exercises in between your day to keep your skin healthy.
Facial Exercises for Sagging Jowls
To eliminate sagging jowls, there are some exercises that you can do at home. However, you should note that these exercises alone can’t lift your sagging skin. Instead, you can incorporate some of these to boost your facial muscles.
• Fake Yawning
This exercise is as direct as it sounds. First, mimic a yawn by opening your mouth and holding for about 5 seconds, and closing it. Then, repeat this process several times without the teeth touching.
• Blowing Your Cheeks
You can also activate your facial muscles by blowing the cheeks as far as possible. As you do this, you can feel the cheek muscles activate. You can incorporate this exercise into your daily routine twice a day.
• Titling Your Jawline
To activate your jawline, you can tilt the head slightly back as far as possible until the skin under your jawline tightens. As you do this, you can add chewing by either pretending to chew with nothing in your mouth or using chewing gum. Doing this for 30 seconds each day will exercise your jawline muscles.
• Toothless Grin
This method is one of the crucial ways of exercising your jawline. Have the bottom lip on top of your upper lip as close to the nose as possible. Try to add a smile while in this position for about 10 seconds, giving your jawline a good stretch.
How Do You Treat Sagging Jowls?
If you already have jowls, you can either cover them, ignore or seek medical treatment. Because they are not harmful to your health, treatment measures depend on your needs and how comfortable you feel. However, if the jowls are causing a dip in your self-confidence, here are a few things you could do.
A dermatologist or a plastic surgeon could advise on the following surgical procedures.
The surgeon will use a cannula to remove fat from your chin and neck area. Typically done together with a facelift, the procedure also reshapes your jawline to prevent any future sagging.
The procedure is invasive and involves removing fatty deposits around these areas. As a result, you should expect some bruising and swelling during post-surgery recovery.
2. Neck or Face Lift
You can opt for an entire or mini facelift procedure. This procedure could either be a neck lift that removes fat around the jawline and tightens the muscles or a whole operation below your face. The surgeon will make an incision under your chin and side on your face to sculpt your face muscles.
This treatment is the most effective but comes with a higher risk of complications. For example, you may encounter severe bruising, swelling, internal bleeding, or nerve damage. It’s also essential to note that neck lifts are more costly than liposuction procedures.
If your case is not severe, you can opt to have non-surgical procedures. These methods carry less risk and can be done in an outpatient facility.
3. Dermal Fillers
Fillers are injected into the skin to fill up the space left by saggy skin. With hyaluronic acid as the main component, they are injected into the jowl to give your chin a fuller experience. Some of these fillers also contain elements such as silicone.
They can last for up to two years and help your skin produce collagen to keep your skin tight. Dermal fillers work best for younger individuals, preferably below 50 years.
A popular procedure with American celebrities, ultherapy involves the use of ultrasound to activate collagen creation. There are no incisions or injections needed making it one session therapy. With this procedure, your skin will get back its tightness within a few months.
Apart from the ultrasound, your doctor could use heat and radiofrequency energy to tighten the areas around your chin and neck. Using a tool known as Thermatip, this procedure gets done several times to boost your collagen levels.
Thermage stimulates collagen production along the jawline, reducing the amount of saggy skin.
6. Laser Therapy
Non-invasive procedures such as laser therapy are becoming more popular in the treatment of jowls. This procedure uses multiple laser streams to contract the skin and stimulate collagen production. With modern laser treatments, doctors can now target the deeper skin layers without scarring the skin surface.
If you are not big on medical treatment, you can incorporate some tactics to hide your sagging jowls from the public. These methods involve altering your style and fashion sense to conceal these saggy parts of your jawline or neck. Let’s look at the alternative methods.
7. Use Make-Up
Make-up can conceal any wrinkles and saggy skin around your face, chin, and neck with ease. You can incorporate a routine every morning before you go about your day to make jowls less visible. Then, depending on your skin tone, you can use online video tutorials to get tips on applying makeup to your skin.
8. Use Scarves and Turtlenecks
As part of your fashion, you can add a scarf or a turtleneck to cover the jowl lines. These pieces of clothing can conceal saggy skin and boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Sagging Jowls are common, especially as you age. Other environmental and lifestyle factors could contribute to the early onset of jowls. However, there are preventive measures that you can take to ensure that you delay their appearance.
Once you spot jowls on your face, you can opt to get medical procedures that tighten the area around your jawline and neck instantly or within a few years. To avoid all these expensive procedures, it’s best to take care of your skin from early on before the skin starts sagging.