Along with fine lines and wrinkles, sagging jowls are a sign of aging that create a lot of frustration. Our face changing as we age is a part of life, but even knowing that fact doesn’t prepare us for when it actually begins to happen. If you want to have a sense of control in aging gracefully you can do so by staying knowledgeable of anti aging products & treatments as well as staying knowledgeable about the aging process. Let’s explore what the causes of jowls are and the different ways you can work to reduce their appearance or slow the process of their development for aging gracefully.
What causes Jowls
Simply put, there are many factors that play a part in causing jowls including lifestyle habits like exposure to sun damage, smoking, family history of jowls and extreme weight loss which are briefly explored in Medical News Today’s article on How to Get Rid of Jowls (Huzien, 2018). The most notable cause of jowls is the Earth’s gravity. We’ve talked a few times before about how the skin’s elasticity reduces with age as the natural production of key structural proteins Elastin and Collagen slow down. With the loss of recoid, tautness and the unavoidable variable of the Earth’s gravity our skin begins to sag. Sagging skin and extra skin along our jawline as well as the appearance of drooping cheeks are referred to as “jowls”.
How to Prevent Jowls
Because jowls are a natural part of the aging process their development isn’t completely avoidable. Having said that there are a handful of preventative measures and treatment options to maintain a more youthful appearance of your skin. Our tried and true response to any preventative skin care efforts are to take care of yourself, stay hydrated, wear sunscreen daily and try to sleep on your back instead of your stomach. One of the best active approaches for preventing jowls is regular exercise. When we talk about regular exercise this can be limited to traditional fitness but there are also special facial exercises you can implement into your daily routine that help specifically target the area where jowls tend to occur. Plastic Surgery Research by Micaela Rooney explains that these exercises might look like puffing up your cheeks as much as you can or humming with the tip of your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth (Rooney, 2019).
Another less-traditional trend you can explore for facial exercises is “Face Yoga” which has become more and more popular over recent years. Like Microcurrent, Face Yoga is supported by the understanding that our face is made up of muscles and in order to look younger and maintain our appearance we need to exercise these facial muscles.
Having said that you can also utilize Microcurrent as a preventative approach to jowls.
What is Microcurrent Therapy
Microcurrent therapy is known as a natural facelift alternative and is a great option for preventing jowl development as well as other signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. It activates your facial muscles with tiny electrical current, encouraging the facial muscles to stay fit and tighten to their healthiest state. We always compare this process to that of visiting the gym regularly to build definition and tone the muscles of your body. Our muscles have always been there but if we don’t put them to work, we don’t look our healthiest. It is important for us to clarify two points. The first being that while microcurrent facial therapy is stimulating and activating the facial muscles, this process does not increase the size of the muscles in your face. The second clarification we like to make is that microcurrent facials can provide instant results but are most beneficial in the long-term when completed in a series. We always suggest speaking with your esthetician about a microcurrent series if you are more serious about a long-term solution to jowls.
Microcurrent therapy triggers the healing process in our skin and helps even skin tone by increasing Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) levels in the skin cells. As we age, our cellular activity decreases. The stimulation of microcurrent to the face boosts ATP, or cellular activity of the skin cells, resulting in production of those key structural proteins mentioned earlier, Collagen and Elastin. These proteins are what help our skin look younger, taut and radiant. The increase in the production of these proteins helps our skin hold its original lift and shape.
If you are using microcurrent at home, you can keep in mind that the muscles are deeper in the cheek and you can usually increase the intensity of your microcurrent while working that area if you have the option to. That is, you can increase the intensity as long as it does not create discomfort. For MyoLift microcurrent users, we encourage that when approaching this as a primary area of concern you complete the full five movements in each area around the jaw, neck and cheeks, holding for the full five seconds. If you follow the movements recommended in our training videos and user manual you will, by default, be performing movements that lift and tone the muscles responsible for lifting jowls.
How to Treat Jowls
When we turn to the topic of how to treat jowls you will notice that a lot of the same preventative measures can be applied to treatment measures. You’ll see non-surgical treatment options like microcurrent facials for treating jowls, face yoga and regular exercise routines. However in this topic, you’ll also see surgical treatment options for jowls, invasive treatment options for jowls and a handful of non-invasive treatment options.
Some of the non-invasive treatment options for jowls that we have not yet discussed are radio frequency facial treatments and ultherapy facial treatments that you can schedule with your esthetician. Radio frequency facials are different from microcurrent facials as they generate heat to the skin to trigger a healing response from the skin with a primary benefit of collagen being increased. Radio frequency facials require multiple sessions for desired results, while Ultherapy facials (or ultrasound) only requires one treatment and creates an ongoing healing process and reproduction of collagen (Huizen, 2018). Non-invasive Ultherapy may be the best solution if you are eager for fast results for treating jowls.
If these methods don’t seem viable for you, surgical treatment approaches to jowls are the next area to explore. Let’s start small with Fillers. Fillers enhance volume and plumpness to areas of the face that have hollowed with age. These are a gel-like injection and still requires some upkeep. The time between maintenance appointments ranges from 3 months to a year (Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD., 2018).
Finally we arrive at the surgical neck lift. While this may require the most downtime and financial investment a surgical face lift has been considered one of the most effective treatments for jowls (Petravicius, 2018). As you can probably guess, this invasive procedure combines the removal of extra skin to smooth the features and remove the appearance of the jowls.
Managing Expectations: Can you really lift jowls?
Today we have listed a handful of fantastic preventative and treatment options for sagging jowls. Each method mentioned has been scientifically supported and has yielded results, however it is important to be realistic when it comes to any anti aging. With natural and non-invasive options we encourage patience, consistency and working with a professional to get the lifting results you have in mind. Natural and non-invasive options do generally take longer to show results but have the more comfort of being just that: non-surgical. If you are determined to eliminate the appearance of jowls but cannot be patient or consistent with these processes (or if you have severely sagging jowls) you will want to seriously consider the surgical options listed and speaking with a surgeon about your concerns.