While wrinkles are the most common signs of aging people wish to get rid of, they aren’t the only ones that can betray your age. Facial volume loss also has the same or more effects, as it can lead to hollows and sunken areas throughout the face. The fat in the face can also sink lower, creating jowls that hang on the lower jaw and the neck.
The thing with volume loss is it’s one of the main changes in the face that can cause you to look a lot older. This is because it tends to result in sagging skin and flattening of the cheeks, with the appearance of nasolabial folds and turkey neck. These changes can then alter your overall appearance, making you look sad, tired, or mad even when you’re not
So, what causes volume loss in the face?
Several factors can cause the skin to start losing volume, appearing thinner and sunken. We lose volume in the fatty components of the face, as well as its bony structure. This happens gradually as we age and can be exacerbated by certain lifestyle habits.
- A decline in collagen production – Apart from giving the skin a firm and plump appearance, collagen helps provide strength and support to the skin. The sad part is its production naturally reduces over time, with the skin’s elasticity also diminishing. This can make the face look aged with saggy or wrinkled skin.
- A loss and shift in facial fat – As we age, the facial fat that was once evenly distributed across the face, moves and decreases. It tends to gather in the lower part of the face, including the two sides of the lower jaw and the neck. The shifting and loss of facial fat, along with the decline of collagen and elastin, can create a baggy appearance and make existing folds and wrinkles look more prominent.
- Hormonal changes – Our bodies produce less estrogen as we age, resulting in a loss of skin volume and less defined facial contours. Lower levels of estrogen reduce your defense against oxidative stress and make your skin more vulnerable to wrinkling, thinning, and sagging.
- Lifestyle – Certain external lifestyle factors can also contribute to skin aging, including volume loss, wrinkles, and a loss of elasticity. These include:
- Prolonged and unprotected sun exposure – can damage collagen and elastin. It can lead to photoaging or premature aging caused by sun exposure and make you more prone to other signs of aging.
- Smoking – contains chemicals that can degrade collagen and elastin. It can also contribute to wrinkles and lead to reduced blood flow to the skin and lower levels of estrogen, which can all have negative effects on your overall appearance.
Other factors that can cause volume loss include:
- Extreme dieting – can exacerbate the aging process and may cause unwanted sagging of facial skin.
- Bone loss or receding bones – the effects are more noticeable in people ages 70 to 80 years old.
- Stress – high levels of stress can make the skin act out and even cause it to age more quickly. Find out more about the way stress affects your skin.
What are the signs and symptoms of volume loss?
Volume loss is most noticeable in certain areas of the face. It affects not the cheeks and the jaws, but also in other areas, along with the appearance of thinner, wrinkled, or dry skin. Signs and symptoms include:
- Lines and wrinkles, including nasolabial folds (lines/wrinkles from the edge nose to the top of the lips) and marionette lines (lines/wrinkles (from the corner of the lips down to the chin)
- Sunken cheeks, with the face starting to look gaunt or even skeletal
- Hollows around the eyes and facial volume loss around the eyebrows
- Lips that may look thin or deflated, with less contour, volume, and definition
- Changes in your facial expression; looking sad, tired, or angry even if you feel fine or well-rested
How can fillers help with facial volume loss?
Facial volume loss can be restored using a variety of treatments, surgical and non-invasive options. Dermal fillers, which are injectable gels injected under the skin, are one of the most popular options. The most common types that can help with volume loss include those made with hyaluronic acid or HA (Juvéderm) and calcium-based microspheres (Radiesse).
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
HA-based fillers like Juvéderm come in various types. They are used to volumize, shape, and hydrate facial skin, which can then soften or reduce the appearance of lines, creases, and folds. Juvéderm fillers can also add volume in different areas of the face, as well as contour the chin and jawline area. The results can last between 6 and 12 months or longer.
- Juvéderm Volux – a structural filler specifically developed for sculpting the lower face. It is intended to restore and create volume on the face and is known to be effective when used in the chin and jawline area.
- Juvéderm Volbella – the filler for smoothing lines. It can be used to refine the lips, fill fine lip lines, as well as smooth crepey skin under the eyes.
- Juvéderm Voluma – used for lifting the cheeks and strengthening the chin. It can also help correct irregularities in the nose.
- Juvéderm Ultra – used for lip augmentation and volumizing thinning lips
- Juvéderm Ultra Plus – used for filling in deeper lines and folds in the face.
HA-based fillers can be reversed or removed if you’re not happy with the results. The material can be dissolved by injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase into the area, which breaks down the HA quickly. It is completely dissolved within 24 to 48 hours.
This filler contains calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), a mineral-like compound naturally found in bones. Radiesse has a thicker consistency and typically lasts longer than HA fillers. It is commonly used to correct volume loss and moderate to severe lines and folds and wrinkles. Results can last from 12 to 18 months or longer.
Just like Juvéderm, Radiesse also has different products that can address different concerns. You can turn to this filler to:
- Reduce the appearance of jowls and marionette lines
- Improve the appearance of sagging jawlines
- Add volume to the cheeks
- Temporarily lift and sculpt your cheekbones
- Contour the jawline or lower face
- Restore a more youthful appearance to the hands: correct volume loss, reduce the look of veins and tendons, smooth wrinkles
Other types of facial fillers:
Hyaluronic acid and calcium-based microspheres are two of the most common types of fillers used for addressing volume loss in the face. There are, however, other types of fillers that can also reduce signs of aging. These include:
- Poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) – used for restoring volume loss and treating deeper facial wrinkles.
- Permanent soft tissue filler (Bellafill) – used for smoothing deep wrinkles around the mouth. Do take note, however, that the body cannot absorb soft tissue fillers and are not recommended as a first-time treatment.
- Facial fat grafting – involves surgery or removing fat in other areas of the body, which is then injected into the cheeks, lips, temples, and other areas of the face. The procedure is invasive and requires specialized training to perform safely.
At Cutis, we use Juvéderm and Radiesse, as they use natural components or substances found in the human body. Both are also US FDA-approved for different purposes, which means that they are safe and effective. Juvéderm and Radiesse also last long, with treatments projected to last between 6 months to 2 years depending on the filler used and the area.
Getting natural-looking results
When the fillers are done well, you look happier, well-rested, and more youthful. The changes are subtle but there are definite improvements that can make you look a little bit younger or good for your age. Here are some tips that can help:
- Find the right injector: with training and experience, attention to detail, and good knowledge of facial anatomy.
- Know about the type of fillers used or the main ingredient.
- Start with a conservative approach.
- Follow the aftercare guidelines.
- Avoid cheap fillers or heavily discounted deals.
- Only have the procedure in a medical or clinic setting (not typical salons or spas).
Read our previous for more detailed tips on how to get natural-looking results with facial fillers.
Book a consultation today
Is facial volume loss wearing you down? Facial fillers in Singapore can help. To find out more, contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor.