You aren’t imaging it. Your face looks different than it did when you were younger. In fact, facial aging goes beyond surface-level concerns such as the formation of wrinkles and folds. There are underlying changes taking place involving fat, bone, muscle, and other supporting structures.
Facial plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Weiss is very familiar with these processes. Using this knowledge, he creates comprehensive plans to address the aging face. Below, learn about these changes — and ways to combat them for a more youthful look.
The Triangle of Youth and Pyramid of Age
Younger adults tend to have distinct and elevated facial features. Specifically, a youthful face is characterized by high cheekbones and a contoured jawline. These prevailing traits form what is known as the triangle of youth. It’s an imaginary upside-down triangle that can be drawn with the base running from cheek to cheek and the apex located at the chin.
With age, the triangle becomes inverted like a pyramid. The base can be drawn near the chin, the apex between the eyes. Instead of the fullness resting in the mid to upper face as it did in your youth, your lower face is now much heavier. Numerous factors are responsible for this change.
Common Effects of Aging on the Face
Facial aging is a combination of several mechanisms. Some of the most significant changes happen below the skin.
It begins with the fat compartments, or fat pads, dispersed below the skin’s surface. In charge of providing volume, fullness, and contour to the face, these fat pads descend and get thinner with age.
Because of these changes, your face may not look as round and supple as it once did. You may notice a loss of fullness in your cheeks, the development of hollows under your eyes, and an accumulation of fat below your chin. Drooping eyelids are another concern.
Next are the muscles. Located beneath your fat pads, your facial muscles eventually succumb to the effects of gravity and repetitive movement. As a result, deep wrinkles, creases, and lines can form. These muscles can also get weaker, with a loss of muscle tone leading to a sagging, undefined appearance.
Then there are the facial bones. Facial bones support your muscles, fat, and skin. Your bone structure is largely responsible for your unique face shape.
Over time, facial bones lose some of their mass. Because of that, your cheeks can flatten, your eye sockets can look bigger, and your lower jaw may look less defined.
Ways to Regain Your Youthful Look
While facial aging is unavoidable, some treatments and procedures can take years off your appearance. Talk to Dr. Weiss about what is right for your situation. He will analyze your face, accounting for changes on and below the surface, and discuss customized treatment options to help you look your best.
For many people, dermal fillers are a great way to restore lost facial volume. Strategically injected, these products can lift and fill sunken areas of the face for a youthful look. Dr. Weiss can also perform fat grafting on the face to replace lost or displaced fat. For fat that has settled below the chin, the injectable treatment Kybella may be an excellent solution.
To address other concerns, surgery may be appropriate. For example, blepharoplasty can effectively reposition the skin, fat, and muscle around the eye area. Meanwhile, facelift and neck lift surgery can reshape the underlying tissue to create tighter, better supported facial contours.
Explore Your Anti-Aging Options in New Orleans
If you’re interested in addressing age-related facial changes, schedule a consultation today at 504-814-3223. Dr. Sean Weiss welcomes patients from Metairie, New Orleans, Mandeville, and nearby areas of Louisiana.