Poor face muscle tone and saggy skin become more prominent as you grow older.
And if you add drooping facial fat pads to the above(problems), you can end up having jowls.
The once attractive triangular shape face has now turned into a square face.
You would probably notice the clean straight jaw line has disappeared. And the jowly face makes you look older and overweight. Sigh … time to get to know about jowls.
So what are jowls?
Jowls are the areas of facial skin or facial fat that have sunk to hang along or below the jaw line.
Taking a simplistic view, jowls can be caused by a combination of factors: saggy facial skin, droopy facial fat and loss of facial volume.
In fact, one of the earliest sign of facial aging is the development of jowls. Jowling can happen as early as your mid 30s. You might not notice the subtle changes at first. But slowly and surely, the jowl problem becomes more prominent as the face muscle sag worsens. Sagging jowls and drooping jaw line become apparent after 10, or 20 years.
What causes jowling and why do the jowls sag?
1. Time And Gravity
The constant downward pull of gravity can change the appearance of the face over time. Gravity causes jowls to form and other parts of the face to sag. For eg. the tip of the nose droops and the ears elongate. Often, facial sagging is noticeable in people in their 50s.
2. Loss Of Face Muscle Tone
With age, the face muscles weaken due to wear and tear. The muscles lose the firmness, causing your facial features to sag. Jowls form when the cheeks sag. The sexy cheekbones disappeared, and you now have a flat, wide face with cheek pouches.
3. Reduced Skin Elasticity
The skin loses elasticity with age and sun exposure. Loss of skin elasticity causes skin to sag. Since the lateral and lower cheeks are not tightly attached to the facial bones, the cheek muscles tend to droop along with the sagging skin.
4. Loss Of Facial Volume
We have less facial fat as we get older. The face is less full and the overlying skin can become lax and sags.
Also, facial fat is positioned up in the cheek when we are young. With aging, the facial fat descends. Fat pads hide the jaw line and gives an unattractive square shape to the jaw instead of a more attractive triangular shape.
Smoking cigarettes can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, causing wrinkling and sagging skin.
The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels near the skin surface. This restricts blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A, which provides protection from skin damage.
Many of the over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin. These are fibrous proteins that give your skin its strength and elasticity. Wrinkles and facial sag develop prematurely and this can contribute to jowling.
6. Weight Loss Or Weight Gain
Overweight individuals usually have more facial fat. Hence the jowls are noticeable.
On the other hand, a rapid weight loss can leave excess facial skin that droops and form saggy jowls. So do watch your weight and state of health. Choose your diet program wisely. Losing too much weight too quickly can leave you with sagging jowls.
In some cases, your genes from your mom and dad play a role in the development of jowls. If older family members have developed jowls, you might be predisposed to getting them yourself when you grow older. It can be a hereditary facial feature.
How to get rid of sagging jowls?
The jowls can be treated by a number of surgical or non-surgical procedures. You have options like: facelift, liposuction, filler injections, and skin tightening using laser or heat generating devices.
If you want a DIY solution, consider doing specific face exercises that target the jowls. It might take some time before you see results. But it is safer and a less expensive approach.
Face exercises strengthen the face muscle tone and keep your skin healthy. It helps to firm the jowls and give you a leaner, younger looking face overtime.
Image Credit: claudiogennari
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