What are the Causes of Jowls?
Jowls refer to the sagging skin or flesh along the lower jawline or cheeks. Here are some of the causes of jowls, including drooping facial fat:
Aging: As we age, the skin loses its elasticity and firmness, and the fat pads in the face begin to migrate downward, resulting in sagging jowls.
Genetics: The tendency to develop jowls can run in families, with some individuals more prone to sagging skin and fat deposits in the lower face.
Sun damage: Exposure to the sun's harmful UV rays can cause collagen and elastin fibers to break down, leading to skin sagging and jowls.
Weight fluctuations: Significant weight loss or gain can cause the skin to stretch and lose its elasticity, resulting in jowls.
Poor nutrition: A diet lacking in essential nutrients, such as vitamin C and protein, can weaken the skin's structure and contribute to jowl formation.
Smoking: Smoking can damage collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, leading to premature aging and jowl formation.
Facial expressions: Repeated facial expressions, such as frowning or squinting, can cause muscle tension and contribute to the development of jowls.
Gravity: The downward pull of gravity over time can cause facial tissues to sag, including the skin and fat pads around the jawline.
Hormonal changes: Changes in hormone levels, particularly a decrease in estrogen during menopause, can contribute to jowl formation.
Overall, the development of jowls is typically a combination of several factors, including aging, genetics, and lifestyle habits.
What are the Best Treatments to Tighten Jowls?
1- Facial Exercices
While I am not a big fan of facial yoga, which exaggerates certain movements like puckering the lips. This movement may vey well help th jowls, but can advance the wrinkling around the lip area. There are however, a few facial exercises that can help strengthen and tone the muscles in the face and neck, which may help lift and reduce the appearance of jowls. Here are some of the facial exercises that may help lift jowls:
Jaw Opener: Open your mouth as wide as you can and say "ahh." Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
Chin Lift: Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling. Push your lower jaw forward and hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
Neck Curl: Sit up straight and slowly tilt your head back. Curl your chin in towards your neck and hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
Cheek Lift: Use the index and middle fingers of each hand to lift your cheeks towards your eyes. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then release. Repeat this exercise 10-15 times.
While some studies have shown that facial exercises may improve facial appearance, there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of facial exercises for lifting jowls specifically. One study published in the Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research in 2014 found that facial exercises improved the elasticity of the skin and increased blood circulation, which may lead to a reduction in sagging skin and wrinkles. Another study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal in 2018 found that facial exercises improved the appearance of the cheeks and lower face in a group of middle-aged women.
2- Head Massage
Notice I didn't say; Facial massage. Our neck, head and facial tissues are all connected; and they get weighted down by gravity overtime. So, consistently massaging the face upward, the scalp towards the back of the head, and down in the back of the neck, can help maintain skin elasticity, improve lymphatic drainage, and prevent skin sagging and jowls.
You also need to know about Fascia! Fascia is a layer of connective tissue that surrounds and supports the muscles, bones, and organs in the body, including the face. The facial fascia plays an important role in facial aging and can contribute to sagging skin and jowls.
As we age, the facial fascia can become weaker and lose its elasticity, causing the skin to sag and jowls to form. Massage techniques that target the fascia can help improve circulation, stimulate collagen production, and tighten the skin, which can help lift the face and reduce the appearance of jowls.
Here are some massage techniques that can help improve fascia health and lift the face:
Facial Massage: Gently massage the skin on your face using your fingers or a facial roller. Start at the jawline and work your way up to the forehead using upward and outward strokes. Repeat this massage for 5-10 minutes every day.
Scalp Massage: Massaging the scalp can improve circulation and stimulate the fascia in the face and neck. Use your fingertips to massage the scalp in circular motions, then straight toward the back, starting at the hairline and working your way towards the back of the head. Repeat each motion for 5-10 minutes every day.
Back of the Neck Massage: Massaging the back of the neck can help relieve tension and improve circulation to the face and neck. Use your fingertips to massage the back of the neck in upward and circular motions. Repeat this massage for 5-10 minutes every day.
Gua Sha: Gua Sha is a technique that involves using a tool to scrape the skin in upward and outward strokes. This can help improve circulation and stimulate the fascia in the face and neck. Use a gua sha tool to gently scrape the skin on your face, starting at the forehead and working your way down to the jawline and neck. Repeat this massage for 5-10 minutes every day. It is very important to use an appropriate oil for Gua Sha so as not to pull on the skin itself, but rather scrape the muscle. Do this 2-3 times a week to see results.
It is important to note that massage techniques should be done gently and consistently to avoid causing damage or strain to the muscles and skin in the face and neck. It is also recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before starting any massage or facial exercise program.
Ultherapy is a non-invasive cosmetic treatment that uses ultrasound technology to lift and tighten the skin on the face, neck, and chest. During the procedure, ultrasound waves are delivered to the deep layers of skin and tissue, causing a thermal reaction that stimulates the production of collagen, which helps to lift and tighten the skin over time. Ultherapy is typically performed by a licensed healthcare professional in a clinic or medical spa setting.
Ultherapy cannot be used at home, as it requires specialized equipment and trained professionals to perform the procedure safely and effectively. Attempting to use an Ultherapy device at home could result in serious injury or damage to the skin.
There is potential for irritation following the treatment, so if yo are sensitive, I wouldn't' recommend it.
Are there alternatives to Ultherapy for home-use?
There are a number of at-home devices that claim to offer similar benefits to Ultherapy, such as facial lifting and tightening. These devices typically use various forms of technology, such as microcurrents, radiofrequency, or LED light therapy, to stimulate collagen production and improve skin elasticity. Some popular at-home devices include the NuFACE Trinity, Tripollar Stop X Device, and the Revive LED Light Therapy Panel. We'll discuss all of these later in this blog post.
It is important to note that the effectiveness of at-home devices for improving jowls and other signs of aging has not been extensively studied, and results may vary depending on the individual and the device used. It is also recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using any at-home device, as some devices may not be suitable for certain skin types or conditions.
The recommended frequency of use for at-home devices can vary depending on the device and the manufacturer's instructions. Some devices may recommend using them daily or several times a week, while others may recommend less frequent use. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and to give the device time to work, as results may take several weeks or months to become noticeable.
4- NuFace Trinity Micro-current Device
The NuFACE Trinity is a popular at-home device that uses microcurrent technology to stimulate the muscles and skin on the face and neck, helping to lift and tighten sagging skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
To use the device, start by applying a conductive gel to the face and neck. Then, place the device on the skin and use gentle, upward strokes to glide it over the targeted areas. The device has multiple settings and attachment heads that can be used to customize the treatment to your specific needs.
For best results, it is recommended to use the NuFACE Trinity for 5-20 minutes per day, several times per week, and to follow a consistent treatment plan over several weeks or months. It is important to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using the device and to avoid using it on areas with open wounds or skin irritations.
How does NuFace Help Improve Jowls?
The NuFACE Trinity device helps with jowls by using microcurrent technology to stimulate the facial muscles and promote collagen production. As we age, the muscles in our face and neck weaken and lose tone, causing the skin to sag and creating the appearance of jowls. By using microcurrents, the NuFACE Trinity device can target these weakened muscles and help to strengthen and tone them, lifting the skin and reducing the appearance of jowls.
In addition, the microcurrents help to improve circulation and promote the production of collagen, which can improve the elasticity and firmness of the skin, further reducing the appearance of jowls over time. With regular use, the NuFACE Trinity device can be an effective non-invasive treatment option for improving the appearance of jowls and other signs of aging on the face and neck.
5- Tripollar Stop X
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A popular at-home device that uses radiofrequency technology to stimulate collagen production and tighten the skin on the face and neck. The device is designed to be safe and easy to use, with multiple settings and attachment heads that can be customized to your specific needs.
To use the device, start by applying a conductive gel to the face and neck, then use the device to massage the targeted areas in circular motions. The radiofrequency technology heats up the deep layers of skin, causing a thermal reaction that stimulates collagen production and tightens the skin over time.
The Tripollar Stop X is recommended for use 1-2 times per week for 6-8 weeks, and then as needed for maintenance. It is important to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using the device and to avoid using it on areas with open wounds or skin irritations. With regular use, the Tripollar Stop X can be an effective non-invasive treatment option for improving the appearance of jowls and other signs of aging on the face and neck.
6- LED Light Therapy
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Red light therapy, in particular, has been shown to stimulate collagen production and increase blood flow, which can help to tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of jowls. Collagen is a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin, but as we age, collagen production decreases, leading to sagging and wrinkles. Red light therapy can help to stimulate the production of new collagen, which can improve skin firmness and reduce the appearance of jowls over time.
Additionally, LED light therapy can help reduce inflammation and promote healing in the skin, which can improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. By reducing inflammation and increasing circulation, the therapy can help to reduce puffiness and promote lymphatic drainage, which can further reduce the appearance of jowls and other signs of aging on the face and neck.
7- Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing can help improve jowls by stimulating collagen production and tightening the skin on the face and neck. During the procedure, a laser is used to remove the outer layer of skin, revealing a smoother and more youthful layer of skin underneath. The laser also heats up the deeper layers of skin, which stimulates collagen production and tightens the skin over time. This can help to reduce the appearance of jowls, fine lines, and wrinkles on the face and neck.
Laser skin resurfacing is typically performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon and can be done using a variety of laser types, including CO2 lasers, erbium lasers, and fractional lasers. The type of laser used will depend on the individual's skin type, concerns, and desired outcome. The procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia or sedation, and downtime can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the depth of the treatment.
While laser skin resurfacing can be an effective treatment for improving jowls and other signs of aging on the face and neck, it is important to note that there are some potential side effects, including redness, swelling, and peeling of the skin. In some cases, scarring, infection, or changes in skin pigmentation may occur. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with a healthcare provider before undergoing laser skin resurfacing, and to follow all pre- and post-treatment instructions carefully to minimize the risk of complications.
Darker skin tones have a higher susceptibility to complications from laser therapy. Melanin-producing cells react more negatively to heat and induced injury, so they have a tendency to respond more to inflammatory treatments. Hence they can show more scarring. So for those skin types I recommend avoiding procedures such as lasers, chemical peels, and micro-needling.
8- Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid or other substances that are injected into the skin to fill in wrinkles, add volume, and contour the face.
To address jowls specifically, a healthcare provider may inject dermal fillers into the cheeks to restore volume and lift the skin in the lower face. By lifting the cheeks, the skin in the lower face is also lifted, which can help to reduce the appearance of jowls. The results of dermal fillers can last anywhere from several months to over a year, depending on the type of filler used and individual factors such as metabolism and lifestyle.
It is important to note that dermal fillers are a temporary solution for jowls, and that results may vary depending on the individual. Additionally, dermal fillers may not be appropriate for everyone, and it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with a healthcare provider before undergoing treatment. Possible side effects of dermal fillers may include redness, swelling, bruising, and infection at the injection site. More on these in this blog.
Micro-needling is a cosmetic procedure that uses small needles to create tiny punctures in the skin. This process is thought to stimulate collagen and elastin production, which can improve skin texture and firmness, including the appearance of jowls. The micro-injuries created by the needles also allow for better absorption of topical skincare products.
Studies have shown that micro-needling can be effective in reducing the appearance of jowls, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. However, the results may take several weeks or months to become noticeable.
Like any cosmetic procedure, micro-needling does carry some potential side effects. These may include redness, swelling, and mild discomfort during and after the procedure. In rare cases, there is a risk of infection, scarring, or hyperpigmentation.
It's important to have micro-needling done by a trained professional and to follow proper aftercare instructions, which may include avoiding sun exposure and using gentle skincare products. It's also important to note that results may vary and multiple sessions may be needed for optimal results.
There are two main types of micro-needling devices: rollers and pens. Micro-needling rollers consist of a cylinder-shaped device with multiple tiny needles that roll over the skin, creating micro-injuries. Micro-needling pens, also known as derma pens, have a smaller, handheld device with a single needle that rapidly punctures the skin.
While both types of devices can be effective in stimulating collagen production and improving the appearance of jowls, there are several reasons why micro-needling pens are often considered the better option.
First, because micro-needling pens have a single, vertical needle, they can be more precise in targeting specific areas of the face. Additionally, micro-needling pens allow for adjustable needle depth, which can be important for treating different areas of the face with varying skin thickness.
Another advantage of micro-needling pens is that they are less likely to cause excessive trauma to the skin compared to rollers, which can lead to more downtime and potential side effects. Finally, micro-needling pens can be easier to sanitize and maintain compared to rollers, which can be difficult to clean thoroughly.
10- PRP Treatments
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments are a cosmetic procedure that involves injecting a concentrated solution of the patient's own blood platelets into the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production. PRP treatments have gained popularity in recent years as a natural and non-surgical alternative to traditional facelift procedures.
PRP treatments have shown promise in improving the appearance of jowls by promoting skin firmness and elasticity. The PRP solution, which is created by extracting a small amount of the patient's blood and processing it to isolate the platelets, is injected directly into the skin around the jowls. The growth factors and other proteins found in the platelets are thought to promote collagen and elastin production, which can lead to improved skin texture and firmness.
PRP treatments are generally considered safe, as they use the patient's own blood and are minimally invasive. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, there is a risk of side effects, such as bruising, swelling, and infection.
It's important to have PRP treatments done by a trained and experienced professional, and to discuss potential risks and benefits with a healthcare provider beforehand. Additionally, while PRP treatments may provide improvement in the appearance of jowls, multiple sessions may be needed for optimal results.
11- Skin Tightening Supplements
Dietary supplements can be a helpful addition to a skincare routine when looking to tighten the skin from the inside out. Copper and Vitamin C are two supplements that can promote collagen synthesis, which can help improve the appearance of jowls.
Copper is an important mineral for collagen production and can be found in foods such as nuts, shellfish, and leafy greens. Taking a copper supplement may help promote collagen synthesis and improve skin elasticity.
Vitamin C is also essential for collagen synthesis and is a powerful antioxidant that can protect the skin from free radical damage. Taking a Vitamin C supplement or increasing intake of Vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits, berries, and dark leafy greens can help improve skin texture and firmness.
Hyaluronic acid is another supplement that can help with skin tightening. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body that helps to keep the skin hydrated and firm. As we age, our body produces less hyaluronic acid, which can lead to loss of skin elasticity and the formation of jowls. Taking a hyaluronic acid supplement or using skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid can help to hydrate and tighten the skin.
Collagen peptides are another supplement that can help improve skin firmness. Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin and helps to maintain its elasticity and firmness. Collagen peptides are broken down forms of collagen that are easily absorbed by the body. Taking a collagen peptide supplement can help improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of jowls.
It is important to note that while dietary supplements can be beneficial for skin health, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen. Additionally, supplements should be used in combination with other healthy lifestyle choices, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sun protection, for optimal skin health.
12- Skin Tightening Topicals
There are several skincare ingredients that can help tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of jowls. Peptides and amino acids are two types of ingredients that can help stimulate collagen production, which can help improve skin firmness. Peptides are short chains of amino acids that can penetrate the skin and signal the body to produce more collagen. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, including collagen, and can help improve skin texture and elasticity.
Rosehip oil is another ingredient that can help improve skin firmness. It is high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which can help protect the skin from free radical damage and improve skin texture. Rosehip oil is also rich in vitamin A, which can help stimulate collagen production and improve skin elasticity.
Hempseed oil is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as amino acids, which can help improve skin elasticity and firmness. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, including collagen, and can help improve skin texture and promote overall skin health. Hempseed oil also contains antioxidants that can help protect the skin from free radical damage and promote collagen synthesis.
Bakuchiol is a natural plant extract that has been shown to have similar benefits to retinoids, which are known for their ability to improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Bakuchiol can help improve skin firmness and reduce the appearance of jowls without the potential side effects of retinoids, such as skin irritation.
Retinoids are derived from vitamin A and can help stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. They are often used in anti-aging skincare products to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and can also help improve skin firmness.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the skin from free radical damage and improve skin texture. It is also essential for collagen synthesis and can help improve skin firmness. Vitamin C can be found in many skincare products, including serums, creams, and masks.
Copper is an essential mineral that plays a key role in collagen synthesis. It helps to stabilize and cross-link collagen fibers, which can improve skin elasticity and firmness. Copper peptides are often used in skincare products to promote collagen production and improve skin texture.
Overall, these skincare ingredients can help improve skin firmness and reduce the appearance of jowls. However, it is important to use these ingredients in combination with a healthy skincare routine, including sun protection and regular exfoliation, for optimal results.
There are many different treatments available for improving the appearance of jowls, ranging from non-invasive procedures like facial exercises and massage to more invasive options like lipo-suction and surgery. Some of the most popular treatments include ultrasound therapy, radiofrequency devices, dermal fillers, and micro-needling, each of which offers its own unique benefits and drawbacks.
While the effectiveness of each treatment can vary depending on the individual's skin type, age, and other factors, many people have found success in combining different treatments for maximum results. It's important to consult with a healthcare provider or skincare professional to determine which treatment options may be best suited for your individual needs and goals.
Ultimately, whether you choose a non-invasive or invasive treatment, the key to achieving long-lasting improvement in the appearance of jowls is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, hydration, sun protection, frequently massaging your face and neck, and using toxin-free skincare that contains firming actives. By combining healthy habits with targeted treatments, you can help achieve a more youthful and lifted appearance to your face and neck.
Be well. Be safe. Be beautiful!