Traditionally restoring volume to the mid-face and addressing wrinkles in the upper face have been the goals of rejuvenating the face. However, over the past few years, the lower face has become a focus for rejuvenation. With advancements in technology such as cameras on telephones many people are taking selfie pictures of themselves and often times these are from the profile view or at a slight angle. When you turn your neck your jawline definition decreases. So many people have learned to stick out their chin or take pictures from above. But now we have many tools that can help improve your jawline definition.
What happens to the jawline as we age?
There are a number of things that happen to the face slowly over time. Each of these occur at different levels. First there are changes in the bones of the face. At the same time the fat pads overlying the bones, which also help support the skin, move. These changes make the cheeks move downward toward the neck and inward toward the mouth. There are also many muscles on the face and neck that we use when moving and making facial expressions. In the lower face there are a number of muscles that pull down on the mouth or face. The more we use these muscles, the stronger they become. Slowly, these muscles affect the jawline definition. Finally, in the skin itself there are other changes. In youth your skin contains high amount of collagen, elastin, and growth factors. This makes the skin firm, tight, and young. Over time your body doesn’t make as much of these proteins. Also, sun damage further damages these proteins, making it even worse. Together, all of these structural changes lead to a number of visible changes in the face: volume loss in the mid-face, hollowing under the eyes, formation of laugh lines (nasolabial folds) and marionette lines, the appearance of jowls, loss of jawline definition, a decreased projection of the chin, loss of the angle of the jaw, downturned corners of the mouth, fine lines, wrinkles, and loose skin. Fortunately, we are able to address all of these issues. Many people accumulate fat just below the chin, giving the appearance of a double chin. This occurs as a result of age, weight gain, or simply genetics. Getting rid of this fat will help improve your jawline definition. Since the changes occur at different levels, multiple treatments need to be combined.
Using a good skin care regimen lays the foundation for rejuvenating any part of your skin. If there is only one product you use it should be sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 with UVA and UVB protection. Our most popular sunscreen is the Alastin Hydratint sunscreen because it has these qualities. The Alastin Hydratint sunscreen also has a slight tint to provide coverage so you won’t need foundation. The Alastin Hydratint sunscreen also protects your skin from environmental pollutants and infrared light. The Alastin Hydratint sunscreen contains antioxidants to prevent sun damage to your skin. Next, it’s important to have a regimen twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. A good skin care regimen always starts by washing the skin. During the day the skin surface accumulates a lot of dirt, dust, and debris. It is important to clean all of this off so that when you apply your skin care products they are absorbed well and function appropriately. After washing your face, there are many products that you can apply. Some work best in the morning, others in the evening, and other twice a day. One thing that happens to your skin over time is that the growth cycle slows down. This leads to a buildup of dead skin cell on the surface, leading to a dull appearance. Products containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, retinol, or retinoids will help remove dead skin cells and give you a bright and radiant glow. Other products help to restore the collagen and elastin in your skin. These include retinols, retin-A, vitamin C, and Tri-Hex peptide technology such as in the Alastin Skin Nectar and Alastin Restorative Skin Complex. Growth factors such as apple stem cells in the A E Skin Green Tea Essentials Rejuvenating Cream will further help tighten your skin and give it a youthful look. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, kojic green tea extract, caffeine, and resveratrol treat and prevent sun damage in your skin. These can be found in products such as the A E Skin Brightening Cream, the A E Skin Green Tea Essentials Illuminating Cream, the A E Skin Triple Antioxidant Serum, and the A E Skin Green Tea Essentials Restorative Cream. And don’t forget to keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid found in the A E Skin Hydrating Serum work well to bring water into your skin. Immediately after applying the A E Skin Hydrating Serum it is important to apply a good moisturizer such as the A E Skin Green Tea Essentials Nourishing Moisturizer or the A E Skin Green Tea Essentials Rejuvenating Cream to trap that water in your skin. Not only will these skin care products improve the look of your skin, but they also make the results of treatments better; you’ll notice better results and faster recovery times with your treatments when you use these products.
As discussed above, you lose a lot of collagen and elastin in your skin as you age. Using skin care products such as those described above will help. But there are other treatments that you can have to really boost the amounts of collagen and elastin in your skin which make a big difference. Laser skin tightening and the Infrared Facial use gentle micro-pulses of infrared light to slowly and gently heat the skin. This stimulates your body to form its own natural, new, fresh, and healthy collagen, giving a lift and firmness to your skin. The other benefit of these treatments is that they decrease inflammation in your skin. This will help treat acne breakouts and provide a good environment for healthy skin. These are great treatments with zero recovery time, so you can put on makeup and resume your normal activities right away. If you do have some time for recovery, then treatments such as Ultra Microneedling or Fractional CO2 laser treatments can give even better results. These treatments use a laser technology to create tiny holes in the skin and generate heat. This stimulates even more collagen. It also resurfaces the skin, improving the texture. With Ultra Microneedling you will only have a few days of recovery time. The Fractional CO2 laser treatment, on the other hand, is more aggressive and your recovery time will be one to two weeks.
Fillers such as Voluma can be used to restore lost volume in the face. The active ingredient in Voluma is hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring sugar found in the skin. Hyaluronic acid draws water into the skin to give you that volume. Voluma is commonly used in the upper cheeks to restore the apple of your cheeks. At the same time Voluma will lift the lower face, helping with laugh lines (nasolabial folds), marionette lines, and jowls to improve your jawline definition. Also placing small amount of Voluma in the chin and corners of the jaw will elongate your jaw and define your jawline. All of these areas where Voluma is placed is where you loose bone structure over time. Having Voluma placed in these areas will restore your youthful facial structure. The best things about Voluma are that the results are very natural, you’ll see your results right away, and you’ll enjoy your results for a year or longer. It will make you look rested and refreshed, without looking like you had work done.
There are many muscles in the lower face that affect how you look. One muscle is called the masseter muscle. This a strong muscle that you use to bite. This muscle can get enlarged in people who grind or clench their teeth. When this happens, you’ll see a bulge in the lower face along the outer portion of the jawline. You can test this by feeling the muscles with you fingers. While looking in the mirror with your hands over the muscles bite down. If your fingers are pushed outwards then the muscle is enlarged. Botox can be used to relax muscles. Although in the upper face Botox provides improvements in wrinkles, Botox can do other things in the lower face. When Botox is used for the masseter muscle, the muscle size decreases and the lower face becomes narrower. This makes you look like you’ve lost weight. There’s another muscle near the jawline a little close to the chin called the DAO (depressor anguli oris). This muscle pulls down on the corners of the mouth. By relaxing the DAO muscle with Botox, the corners of your mouth will be elevated by one to two millimeters; this can help improve the appearance of marionette lines. There is another muscle located right on the chin called the mentalis. This muscle often contracts when you purse your lips. When the mentalis contracts you can see dimpling in the chin or a cobblestone appearance. Relaxing the mentalis muscle using Botox will provide a smooth appearance on your chin. Perhaps the most important muscle that affects jawline definition is not even on the face. It’s a muscle in the called the playsma that goes from your collar bones to your jawline. In some people this muscle is very strong and when it contracts you can see four or more vertical neck bands. Relaxing the playsma muscle with Botox will prevent it from pulling down on your lower face. As a result, your lower face will be lifted. All of these treatments are non-surgical and have no recovery time. You’ll see the results of you Botox treatment within two weeks and you’ll enjoy your results for three to four months.
A double chin is very common and I not necessarily from weight gain. It occurs naturally as you age and genetics can have an effect. Kybella is a simple non-surgical treatment that will permanently remove this fat. The active ingredient in Kybella is a salt found in your body which is used to digest the fat that you eat. When Kybella is placed in the skin, Kybella will dissolve the fat and it’s naturally eliminated by your body over time. You can expect swelling for about a week or so after your Kybella treatment so plan it when you have time for recovery. Most people require two to four Kybella treatments spaced every two to three months. Kybella can also be used to treat stubborn fat in other areas such as bra fat below the underarms, the banana roll under the butt, and abdominal fat.
Depending on your skin and concerns, you can combine multiple of these treatments. People that combine treatments have outstanding results which can make them look ten or more years younger.
Dr. Alex has performed over 10,000 cosmetic treatments with many satisfied patients. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a free consultation with Dr. Alex in our Encino, CA office.