The Skinspirations Strategy for Facial Aging Repair- a 3 Dimensional Approach
Much of the changes we see in our face as we age is due to a combination of:
- the loss of both fat and bone volume with age
- repetitive muscle movements leading to permanent creases or wrinkles
- the loss of skin elasticity and thickness
- Textural and pigmentation changes from cumulative sun damage
Facial Volume Loss
As we age, we start losing facial fat in some areas faster than others. It starts in our twenties around the eyes and by our thirties, we start losing fat in the apples of our cheeks. As the upper face loses volume, the skin essentially loses its underlying frame & the face starts to sag.
To understand how much volume we’re losing from our face, consider that we lose about 1 teaspoon of fat & bone each year after the age of 25, so that by the age of 50, we've lost about 1/2 cup of facial volume.
One of the cruelties of aging is that we tend to lose fat from the upper & mid face before losing fat in the lower face. The inverted triangle shape of the youthful face becomes a bottom-heavy triangle as we age, with our cheeks becoming our jowls and our lower facial skin slipping down under our jaw.
Facial fat is divided by ligaments into compartments both above and below the facial muscles. As the fat in the compartments shrink and the skin is no longer filled out, grooves develop where the ligaments attach the skin to the bone between the compartments.
These grooves break up the previously smooth contours of the youthful face into hills and valleys associated with an older face.
Besides fat, we also start losing facial bone as we age, which is the frame upon which our facial fat, muscle and skin is suspended.
Like fat, some bony areas start to shrink faster than others, especially around the eye sockets, under the nose, around the mouth & chin, and the outer jawline. As the frame of bone and fat shrink, the skin sags downward.
Age-related fat & bone loss produces 3 dimensional changes that require a 3-D solution
Replacing volume while we're young is a way to prevent the clock from advancing. When we try to restore volume in our 40's & up, it takes more "teaspoons" to get back those youthful contours. Luckily once we've restored the volume, only occasional small touch ups are needed to maintain the results.
This Old Face Remodeling
Repairing the changes caused by aging in the face can loosely be compared to remodeling an old house, with an older face often requiring treatments that start with restoring the foundation, but a younger face possibly able to get good results with just a new roof.
The foundation - As in home remodeling, before you can address the rest of the house, you need to ensure that you have a solid foundation. Obviously there's a lot of variability, but in general, most people can use some added support to their facial foundation after the age of fifty. People who are noticing multiple facial areas starting to look older get the best results when they start by restoring overall volume first, rather than filling in individual lines and wrinkles.
Sculptra treatments are ideal for overall volume replacement and the results usually last at least 2 years. Sculptra is a tissue stimulant which over several treatments, done at least a month apart, subtly & slowly builds up the foundation to make the canvas again fit the frame. Other fillers can be used to build up the foundation as well.
The walls - The framing of the walls on top of the foundation can be achieved with stiff dermal fillers like Juvederm Voluma & Radiesse, which by reframing the skin, lift the areas below those treated as well.
Details like windows, shutters, etc. - Other softer dermal fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, etc. are used to fill individual wrinkles, enhance cheeks & lips, lift brows, etc. Decreasing & then preventing wrinkles that have developed from repetitive muscle movements, like smiling & frowning, is done every 3-4 months, usually, with muscle relaxant treatments like Botox Cosmetic.
Replacing the roof - Fractionated laser resurfacing like Profractional, Laser Peels or a series of SkinPen micro needling treatments replaces old, damaged skin with brand new skin that's smoother, with better texture and smaller pores.
Paint - Maintaining the new look on the most exterior layer is done with a combination of at-home professional skincare products & periodic in-office skin care treatments. Our estheticians will be glad to go over recommendations based on your skin type & concerns.
If you’re new to cosmetic treatments this can seem like an overwhelming amount of information but we don't expect anyone to be their own contractor. That's our job.
We expect that most new cosmetic clients will start with small remodeling steps and we hope this information can help you understand the rationale of an overall anti-aging facial strategy.
If you are interested in learning about what you can do to look your youngest, schedule a complimentary consultation with our facial architects and designers by registering online here or by calling 727-571-1923.