The jaw line is one those things we tend to take for granted, and unlike your hips and tummy we cannot hide them away in those Woolworths spandex tights. Jowls tend to creep up on us… For a long time, there is no sight of this concern, and before you can say bulldog – you are almost 40, reminiscing about your youthful years while pulling your sagging jowls towards your ears for hours in front of your (now least favourite) mirror.
I partly blame INSTAGRAM – particularly the filter tool that lifts and firm our faces to match those of the next top model, or giving us the look of a baby deer, only to accidentally flick past that filter to find Shrek staring back at you. Let’s be honest, its not like we need any other body part to fall out of place, but once you’ve noticed the increasing accumulation of soft flesh around the outer edges of your mouth, there is no coming back. Don’t worry – at Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates we’ve got your sag.
Here is HOW:
We start by identifying the cause of the sagging jowls.
Culprit number 1 is skin laxity, which can be a result of genetics, inflammatory skin conditions (such as acne or rosacea causing the skin to age so much faster), or damage caused by the 2 evil brothers: smoking and excessive sun exposure.
The second culprit is one that gets to all of us: GRAVITY. As we age our facial fat moves downwards, causing heaviness and loss of definition in the lower part of the face and jowls. This can lead to pre-jowling and the dreaded bulldog look.
Luckily help is at hand! If skin laxity is one of your concerns, vitamin A-derivate creams and vitamin C (such as tretinoin, retinoic acid and l-ascorbic acid) will stimulate the building blocks of the skin, fixing you from the inside out. (Our favourites are ZO’s Radical Night Repair and Mesoestetic’s AOX Ferulic). To camouflage rather than to treat a soft jaw line, hyaluronic acid fillers can contour the jowls to create a more defined jawline.
To stimulate collagen production your specialist may suggest treatments such as the Forma Lift and 3D Micro-needling. This is a great place to start if you are experiencing the early stages of sagging. It is however important to remember that the results of these treatments are temporary and must therefore be maintained. If you are experiencing more advance sagging, more intensive approaches will be required to make significant changes to your jowls.
When it comes to the migration of fat-pads, our amazing doctors like to use a thread lift, a non-surgical face lift that delicately adjusts your facial architecture. A fine thread is inserted in the skin and gently tugged upwards to persuade falling fat pads back into their original position. The threads also stimulate collagen production to eventually hold the fat pads in place, and then naturally dissolves over time.
If, however, you have tipped into bulldog territory with jowls extending down into your neck, Dr Nerina Wilkinson’s cosmetic surgery procedures will be your magic wand. If you want to hold off on going under the knife there are important lifestyle changes that might help.
It is important to try and keep your weight stable, as fluctuating weight gain or loss can cause stretching of your skin, which can eventually lead to jowls forming prematurely. If you love being outdoors, make sure you always wear a hat and sunblock all the way down to your chest! Last, but not least – train yourself to sleep on your back, this will delay the process of jowl formation…
Sweet dreams – we hope to see you soon!