Losing your crisp jawline can show your age like nothing else. But because it happens gradually, it’s hard to recognize in yourself.
If you’re wondering if it’s time to get rid of your jowls, try this quick test: Pull up a picture of yourself from 10 years ago and compare it to a recent photo. Or just hold up that old picture next to your reflection in the mirror.
See a difference? Specifically, do you see two pronounced folds from the nose to your lip? Does your jawline seem a little lower now? If so, there’s a way to get a neck lift without surgery.
What Causes Sagging Jowls?
The two lines you noticed below your nose are the nasolabial folds, which become more pronounced with age. Why? The older we get, the more fat we lose in our faces. As we lose volume in our cheeks, everything slides down. You’ll see more wrinkles and a drooping jawline.
When we ask patients what type of results they want to see, they lift up their cheeks and say, “I want to look like this!” They’re really saying, “I want the fullness in my cheeks back!” They’ve lost volume in their face, and their skin has gravitated down, forming nasolabial folds, marionette lines at the corners of the mouth, and sagging jowls. The fix is simple — add volume!
Do Facial Exercises for Jowls Really Work?
If sagging jowls were a muscle problem, exercises would help. But this is an issue with loss of volume (fat) and elasticity. So strengthening the muscle doesn’t correct the root of the problem.
Think of your skin and face muscles like baggy pants over muscular legs. Doing a few more squats and lunges won’t make much difference in how the pants look — you’re still wearing baggy pants. So the solution is to either add volume to fill it out or to tighten the covering.
How to Prevent Loose Jowls
Loose jowls happen naturally. As you age, the skin starts to loosen. And some people are genetically predisposed to sagging jowls. So look at your mother or grandmother to see where you’re headed without intervention.
The best strategy to keep jowls from sagging is to keep up with fillers and tightening problems as you age. Ultherapy keeps the skin tight, and adding volume gradually is more affordable than one major attempt.
Does Weight Loss Cause Sagging Jowls?
Extreme weight loss creates sagging jowls earlier or more drastically than typical. As you lose weight, you also lose fat from your face. Hence, the skin will be looser and you’re more likely to see the jowls sag.
How to Get Rid of Jowls
Now we know how to get rid of jowls without ever going under the knife. Since losing volume is the source of the problem, we add volume to fix it. Adding the same filler to the cheeks (where the fat pad has disappeared) lifts the skin back to its original place. As your cheeks regain their volume, you’ll look like your younger self again. Plus, it lasts up to two years!
Fillers give you back the fullness you’ve lost (See: Should You Use Injectable Fillers?) and improve the nasolabial fold. Remember, that fold formed because the skin lost volume and slid down. That means the lines disappear as we restore your cheeks. When we increase the volume in the cheeks, we give you a lift that comes forward rather than a traditional facelift that pulls the skin back (and removes the excess).
We start with fillers that last 4-6 months. If you like the look, we’ll use fillers that last 2-3 years for the next treatment. Of course, longer-lasting fillers cost more than shorter-acting ones, but they show great results.
Tighteners help the fillers make even more effective changes. For many of our patients, we start their treatment with Ultherapy or Pelleve. Ultherapy, a one-time, long-lasting correction, uses ultrasound to tighten loose, sagging facial skin. Once the skin is taut, the filler tends to go further. Then, as we add the filler, the face lifts and those jowls disappear.
A facelift is the surgical correction option for jowls— and for some people, this may be the best choice. In a facelift, they take out a margin of skin in front of the ears and pull the skin back tighter. But, for those looking to get great results without surgery, the combination of Ultherapy and fillers gives you a natural, youthful look.
Will This Treatment Work for You?
Put your hands on your cheeks and lift them up a little. If you see more definition in your jawline and the lines below your nose begin to disappear, this treatment could work for you. But the best thing to do is get a consultation.
When it comes to a sagging jawline, the best way to tighten neck skin is to restore the volume that has been lost. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options for a more youthful appearance!
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.