Here Is How to Get Rid of Sagging Jowls

Apart from wrinkles and fine lines, another common skin concern that comes with aging is the appearance of sagging jowls. The good news is that there are several procedures and methods that may prove helpful. Stick around as we look at the potential causes of jowls and methods to help improve their appearance.

What are jowls?

Jowls are the loose skin that forms under the chin and jawline as we age. When we get older, the skin loses some of its elastin and collagen, potentially causing sagging skin. Although almost everyone can develop jowls, people with thicker skin or more fat on their neck area tend to have less pronounced sagging.

What causes sagging jowls?

Understanding the root causes of jowls may help you find the best method to improve their appearance. Here's a list of some of the most common causes:

  • Aging. Aging is the main cause of sagging jowls. Since collagen and elasticity are responsible for maintaining skin tightness and firmness, their natural breakdown with age may cause the skin to sag.
  • Sun exposure. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can also break down both elastin and collagen, leading to wrinkles and jowls.
  • Weight loss. Weight fluctuations often prompt the skin to adapt to our body's changes. However, significant weight loss can lead to sagging skin due to the skin's inability to shrink proportionately to the lost fat and tissue.
  • Smoking. Smoking is another factor for skin changes. Besides affecting collagen and elasticity, it also narrows blood vessels in the outer layer of the skin, which may limit blood flow and reduce the amount of nutrients essential for skin health.
  • Genetics. Genetic factors play a huge role in the early development of jowls. If one or both of your parents have sagging jowls, you're more likely to get them.

Early signs of sagging jowls

Early signs of sagging jowls include loss of jawline definition, which is evident when the natural jawline contour and the corners of your mouth appear lower. Another sign is wrinkled, crepey skin or an additional layer of skin drooping below the jawline, more like a double chin. These signs are usually followed by sagging jowls.

Facial exercises for sagging jowls

Research suggests that facial exercises, also known as facial yoga, may aid in improving facial appearance in aging women. However, scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness is very limited. Some facial exercises that may help reduce sagging include closing your mouth without letting your teeth touch, smiling exercises, yawning, and facial massage.

At-home treatment for sagging jowls

While at-home skincare cannot completely reverse sagging, certain practices may help improve skin health and potentially reduce the appearance of sagging jowls.

Collagen peptides

As the name suggests, collagen peptides may help reduce sagging jowls by promoting collagen production. They come in topical and oral forms and may help enhance your skin's moisture and elasticity.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid, capable of retaining up to 1,000 times its weight in water, plays a crucial role in building skin elasticity. Found commonly in face serums and creams, it may aid in reducing sagging jowls and potentially prevent their formation.

Retinoids

Over-the-counter retinoids may stimulate collagen production, improve skin texture, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Using skincare products with retinoids can potentially reduce the appearance of aging signs like sagging jowls. However, it's always advisable to consult a dermatologist before you start using retinoids.

Non-surgical treatment for sagging jowls

For individuals seeking to address sagging jawlines without resorting to surgery, non-surgical methods offer appealing alternatives. Below are some strategies to achieve this goal.

Dermal fillers for jowls

Dermal fillers use hyaluronic gel to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen. These fillers can help improve sagging jowls by adding volume to make the jawline more defined. With minimal downtime, dermal fillers usually offer instant results and can last up to two years before you need a top-up treatment.

Ultrasound therapy

Ultrasound therapy (ultherapy) is an FDA-approved procedure for skin concerns like sagging jowls. It uses micro-focused ultrasound to stimulate collagen production deep into your skin. Research shows that ultherapy provides effective facial rejuvenation through lifting and tightening loose skin. The best thing about this therapy is that it's possible to see noticeable improvement after one treatment.

Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency (RF) therapy generates heat to stimulate collagen production. It's a quick and easy procedure requiring minimal downtime, with the best results observed in around six months. Results may last between two to three years with the right skincare.

Botox for jowls

Botox is a non-surgical treatment, but it usually involves injections. It is by far the most popular anti-aging procedure that freezes your facial muscles and prevents them from getting saggy or stretching. Botox injections can help reduce the appearance of jowls, and one Botox treatment can last 3–6 months.

Surgical treatment for sagging jowls

Jowl surgeries are typically performed by plastic surgeons in a clinical or hospital environment. These surgical procedures necessitate the use of general anesthesia, and recovery times can vary from a few days to several weeks. Popular surgical options for addressing sagging jowls include:

Facelift

A facelift (rhytidectomy), is a surgical procedure that can help improve the most visible signs of aging. During facelift surgery, excess skin is removed, and the underlying tissues are tightened in order to create a more youthful appearance.

Neck lift

Neck lift surgery (platysmaplasty) may be a preferable option for patients with severe jowls and excess neck skin. During a neck lift procedure, incisions are made under the chin or behind the ears to remove excess sagging skin and tighten loose muscles. Neck lifts usually provide the most dramatic and long-lasting results. However, this procedure is more expensive and requires a long recovery time.

Liposuction

Liposuction is an invasive cosmetic surgery that removes excess fat from any part of the body. With liposuction for jowls, the surgeon uses a microcannula (a small, thin tube) to draw out fat from the chin and neck area.

How to prevent sagging jowls

While it's impossible to completely avoid the natural aging process, there are some steps you can take to help slow down the development of jowls.

  1. Practice good skincare habits. Good skincare habits include cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating the skin regularly to maintain your skin's health and elasticity.
  2. Avoid smoking. Smoking reduces collagen production and speeds up the aging process. Therefore, refraining from smoking can help maintain skin elasticity and prevent sagging jowls.
  3. Stay hydrated. Hydration is essential for maintaining skin elasticity, so ensure you drink a lot of water to keep your skin plump and healthy.
  4. Maintain a healthy diet. Eating a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats may boost collagen production and enhance skin health.
  5. Protect your skin from sun damage. Make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, wear protective clothing, and avoid prolonged sun exposure to shield your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays.
  6. Exercise. Regular physical activity can help you improve blood circulation and promote healthy skin.

Side effects of sagging jowls treatment

Every treatment comes with potential side effects, so it's important to consult a medical professional before you try any of these treatments. At-home treatments like skincare routines generally have mild side effects. However, some products, especially those that contain retinol, might cause irritation.

Non-surgical procedures usually offer quicker results than at-home treatments. Nonetheless, they can come with temporary side effects that usually disappear within a few days. These might include pain, swelling, redness, headache, or bruising at the injection site for Botox and other fillers. Radiofrequency and ultrasound therapy might cause a mild feeling of discomfort, redness, and swelling.

Surgical procedures are typically the most invasive options for treating sagging jowls and come with certain risks. Potential side effects of neck lifts and facelifts include scarring, bruising, pain, infection, and allergic reactions to anesthesia. Risks associated with liposuction may involve swelling, internal bleeding, and bruising.

Ultimately, there are numerous options available to improve the appearance of sagging jowls. It's important to consult a dermatologist or a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to develop a personalized plan. In the end, remember that while enhancing your appearance is valuable, self-acceptance is equally beautiful. Embrace your natural features, as true beauty radiates from within.

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