Hi my beauties! This past week in clinic I saw a lot of beautiful patients who were seeking treatment for lower face laxity, aka jowls. So I figured what a perfect time to do a video and blog on this topic!
Why do we get jowls?
As we get older lose volume, collagen, and elastin fibers in our skin. This can be due simply to aging, or environmental stressors (like sun damage), bone resorption, or a combination of these. Either way, as we age we likely will see laxity in the lower face.
I also want to make a note on buccal fat removal, because I’m seeing this a lot with younger girls who want to have more of a snatched, or chiseled, look to their face. Removing buccal fat when we’re younger might give a toned and snatched look in our 20s or 30s, but as we get older we want to have that fat in our face to keep us looking youthful, and to give structure to our face. Removing buccal fat in our 20s will lead to an advanced look of aging in our 40s, 50s and upwards. So please consider this if you are thinking about going for buccal fat removal!
So what are the ways we treat lower face laxity? There are a number of options, so let’s go over them!
Filler & botox
When we see lower face laxity due to bone resorption, or due to anatomical deficiencies, we can use a little bit of filler with a high g-prime, like volux or voluma, to add definition and chisel to the jawline. However, I say this with caution because filler is not the only answer, and I do see a lot of medi-spas that just pump their patients full of filler because they either don’t know how to perform, or don’t have access to, other more efficacious treatments.
You can also use a little bit of botox along the jawline to inhibit the muscles that pull down on the facial skin, and allow the muscles that pull up to be unopposed and lift the skin for a tighter look.
Lasers & tightening devices
I often get asked if lasers tighten the skin. For the most part lasers are more resurfacing to the skin, meaning they work in the epidermis to smooth out texture and improve tone and pigment irregularities. They do stimulate collagen in the uppermost part of the skin, so you will see slight tightening, but the main focus of lasers is resurfacing.
Tightening devices, however, work deeper in the skin to stimulate your body’s own regenerative processes by stimulating collagen in the deeper planes and will give you a much more dramatic tightening and lifting effect than lasers will. Thermage, a tightening device that I use in my practice, has stood the test of time and gives consistent great results and satisfaction rates. While results from thermage are amazing, they won’t be visible right away. You will start seeing results in 2-3 months after treatment, and then in a year you will really see the full spectrum of results.
You can use lasers & tightening devices in combination to maximize results! Using these two devices together gives you a 1+1=3 result - absolutely knocking it out of the park!
Ellacor & microneedling
Ellacor, which is microcoring, is essentially ‘shrink wrap’ for the skin. This device takes out tiny micro cores of skin (the same amount of skin that is removed during a face lift!) without any scarring or movement of the underlying facial structures. So you essentially get a non-surgical facelift with no scarring.
Microneedling is another option, however, I am not a fan of microneedling because I’ve seen a lot of patients who are either dealing with side effects of the treatment or who simply aren’t thrilled with their results. So while this is an option, it’s never one that I recommend to my patients.
I have been doing thread lifts for years, and my favorite are PDO threads. They provide two mechanisms of action - mechanical lifting of the skin and stimulation of the body’s own regenerative collagen building processes. I usually use threads as a last resort, starting with a little filler or botox, then we do thermage, and then we do threads if the patient still wants to see a little more results. If a patient wants even more lifting after this process I will refer them out to a plastic surgeon.
We have so many amazing options to treat jowls and lower face laxity, however, it is important as a physician to know your capabilities with the tools you have and to always refer out if needed.
To hear more in depth about each of these treatments check out my YouTube below! Subscribe and leave a comment while you’re there - tell me you came from the blog with a little star emoji! See you next week my beauties!