There are many symptoms of aging. While fine lines and wrinkles are the most common symptoms, there are other signs of aging. Sagging is one of them. This is when loosening skin starts to sag around the contours of the cheeks and jaw, which is also called the “jowls.”
Jowls is a skin condition that’s commonly caused by two age-related factors: loss of collagen and facial fat. Fortunately, there are many treatment options to reduce sagging jowls and give your face a whole youthful look.
Here are effective jowl treatment options and more information to know about jowls.
What Are the Jowls? A More In-Depth Look
“Jowls” is the term for the sagging skin underneath the chin or jawline. Like wrinkles and other aging symptoms, jowls are very common and just about everyone develops jowls at some point.
However, some people get jowls worse than others. Some people naturally produce more collagen, have thicker skin, or have more fat in their cheeks, so their jowls will be less pronounced. Others don’t develop jowls because of their genetics.
Over time, your skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner. Your skin no longer has the strength that it used to, so it will start sagging.
Jowls are easily treated and are preventable. Healthy habits and lifestyle choices can prevent jowls from occurring, especially when you start these healthy habits at a young age.
While we went over some common causes of jowls, there are more causes that some people may not know about. Here are the complete jowl causes.
Some people are more genetically prone to developing jowls. In addition, your genetics may also determine how noticeable your jowls become.
How do you know if your jowls were caused by genetics? Take a look at both of your parents. If either of your parents had jowls, you likely inherited them.
Even if your parents didn’t have jowls, your jowls may still be genetic. Some people naturally have less elastin in their skin or their skin is naturally thinner.
If this sounds like you, you likely already developed jowls. In these types of patients, jowls likely occur early in life — even as early as your teens.
Loss of Collagen and Elastin
As you age, your skin naturally loses its elastin and collagen. When this occurs, the skin on your cheeks loses its tightness and firmness. This will then cause sagging.
Why are collagen and elastin so significant? Collagen is a protein that makes up the connective tissue in your body. Elastin is another protein that prevents the skin from stretching out.
Both proteins contribute to a beautifully youthful complexion, which is why the loss of both proteins contributes to various aging effects.
Other Lifestyle and Environmental Factors
Some people are more prone to jowls due to lifestyle decisions and even the environment they were raised in, including facial expressions you make. While certain facial expressions won’t cause severe jowls, stretching out the face and skin will cause jowls to become more prominent.
Smoking cigarettes is the most common lifestyle factor in developing jowls. The nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can damage elastin and collagen.
In addition, cigarettes cause the narrowing of blood vessels. Your skin won’t receive essential vitamins, such as vitamin A and E, that keeps it healthy.
Even healthy habits can cause jowls. For example, weight loss covered the skin where the excess body mass used to be. Over time, this skin sags.
Sun exposure is also a common cause of jowls. While sun exposure is healthy, too much sun exposure without adequate protection will damage the collagen in your skin, causing your skin to sag.
Lately, jowls have been linked to computer and phone use. When we use devices, we’re likely looking down. This can wear out the skin around your neck, causing it to lose elasticity — giving this type of jowls the nickname “tech neck.”
How to Prevent Jowls
Do you not have jowls yet? It’s important you create healthy habits and practice great skincare techniques to prevent jowls. Here are some specific actions you can take.
Limit Sun Exposure
The sun’s rays are a great source of vitamin D, so some sun exposure is necessary. However, too much sun exposure can damage your skin. Always wear sunscreen and limit sun exposure when you can. This will help minimize the damage caused by UV rays.
Avoid or Quit Smoking
The chemicals in cigarettes can damage your body in many ways, and also cause severe damage to your skin. Avoiding cigarettes is one of the best decisions you can make for your health. If you already smoke, try quitting cigarettes.
Practice Better Screen Habits
Try and prevent looking at devices constantly. But this isn’t possible for some people; for example, many people work on their computers and phones. If this sounds like you, practice better screen habits.
Keep your head at a comfortable angle when using devices. In other words, don’t look down and don’t look upward. This will cause the skin to either bunch up or stretch out. You should also take as many breaks from screens as possible.
Practice Better Skincare Habits
A little bit of skincare goes a long way. There are many products you can apply to the cheeks, chin, and neck to restore your collagen and elastin levels.
Look for serums and face masks that contain proteins such as retinol (a vitamin A derivative that boosts collagen levels) as well as peptides (stimulate the skin to produce more collagen).
Hydrating ingredients, such as vitamin E, are also important. Loss of hydration can also lead to sagging skin, so be sure to moisturize daily.
The Best Jowl Treatment Options
What if you already have jowls? There are many treatment options available to you. If you go to a medical spa, here are the treatments that you can choose.
Laser therapy is one of the most groundbreaking treatment methods available today. Lasers can treat just about any skin condition, including jowls.
Jowls patients will want to focus on two main types of lasers: Laser Genesis and Titan Infrared Light.
Laser Genesis promotes healthy and youthful skin by producing new collagen in the skin. The laser works by heating the upper dermis below the skin’s surface. This stimulates collagen regrowth. Laser Genesis is an effective noninvasive method that comes with few side effects.
Titan Infrared Light uses infrared light for deep dermal healing, which helps produce collagen over time. This laser can be used on the face and neck, perfect for jowls patients. The laser heats the skin evenly, producing great results.
Both of these lasers are safe and effective. You may have to receive different treatments, but you’ll see results after each session. These lasers can be used on just about all skin types and you’ll experience minimal discomfort.
Fillers are injectables that are administered into the soft tissue of the skin. This restores lost volume. When injected into the cheeks, the jawline, and the skin around the mouth, the fillers will counteract the formation of jowls.
You have many filler options, but Sculptra is a favorite. Sculptra is an FDA-approved injectable filler. It not only reduces the appearance of wrinkles but restores the volume in the face. The main ingredient in Sculptra is Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA), which encourages the production of collagen.
While the results aren’t permanent. That’s because PLLA disintegrates over time. However, the results are long-lasting and most patients notice an improvement quickly. In addition, Sculptra is natural-looking.
Restylane is another effective injectable. This is another FDA-approved injectable filler that restores the volume in the skin. The main ingredient in Restylane is hyaluronic acid. When injected into the areas of the jowls, the filler can reduce sagging and increase volume in the cheeks.
Fillers combine well with other procedures like PDO threading which is used to produce collagen and tighten skin.
Ultherapy is a non-invasive procedure that lifts and tightens the skin around the neck and under the chin area. As we age collagen breaks down and unfortunately collagen is what keeps our skin firm and tight. Through ultrasound technology, Ultherapy jump starts your body’s natural collagen production, taking years off your face, neck or chest. With no surgery, patients can enjoy long lasting results.
Non-Surgical Face Lift
If you want a facelift but prefer a noninvasive alternative, non-surgical facelifts are equally effective. A specialist will apply laser resurfacing treatments as well as injectables for a refreshed appearance.
The non-surgical facelift doesn’t require deep incisions, overnight hospitalization, or even general anesthesia. The noninvasive appearance will result in minimal downtime with great results. You’ll also experience little discomfort during the treatment.
Treat Your Jowls Today
Jowls are a common aging symptom and they have many other causes. Fortunately, there are many jowl treatment options. Before treating your jowls, you’ll want to find a reliable medical spa that offers a wide range of services for all clients.
If you’re based in St. Petersburg, you don’t have to look far. Our team at Indulgence Medical Day Spa has been performing some of these treatments for over a decade. We offer many specials so you can get back your youthful appearance at an affordable cost.