What Causes Facial Aging?

A woman poses outside of her house.

That old saying about the inevitability of death and taxes should have included a third unavoidable fact of life—wrinkles. Some of us start seeing the first signs of facial aging earlier than others, but at some point, the skin reveals the years we have lived. For women and men who remain active and feel youthful, a facelift or eyelid surgery at our Nashville practice can help your appearance reflect the energy you feel.

A facelift alone, however, may not address all of the concerns you have. That’s because our faces tend to age in multiple areas, and facelift surgery is focused on the lower portion of the face. Understanding how the face changes over time can help explain what cosmetic procedures—both surgical and nonsurgical—can solve your concerns.

How Our Faces Age

Youthful faces have defined features with smooth, well-hydrated skin that’s nourished by the steady production of collagen and elastin. When we’re young, pockets of fat are evenly distributed, plumping the forehead, temples, cheeks, and around the eyes and mouth. Young faces have an inverted triangle shape, with the jawlines and chin creating the bottom of a V.

Aging reverses what’s often called the inverted triangle of youth, as gravity and the natural aging process take their toll. Facial bones lose density, and the production of collagen slows significantly. Fat loses volume and is pulled down, causing areas such as the cheeks to look hollowed out and skin along the jawline and chin to appear jowly.

Wrinkles develop for several reasons. Deep forehead wrinkles and lines between the eyebrows and at the corners of the eyes are the results of repeated movements of facial muscles when we change expressions. These are called dynamic wrinkles or expression lines. Fine lines in other areas of the face are caused by sun damage, smoking, and the natural aging process that result in the skin losing its smooth texture and volume.

Can You Prevent Facial Aging?

Some people are blessed with genes that keep their skin looking youthful into their 30s and 40s, but even they can’t prevent the inevitable signs of aging. Luckily, everyone can take steps to keep their skin looking healthy and refreshed for as long as possible.

A few of these steps are skincare habits you can perform at home daily, while others require the help of an experienced aesthetic specialist. They include:

Sun protection: If you can do one thing to keep your skin looking youthful, it’s protecting your face from the sun. Make sure to use broad-spectrum sunscreens, which protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA causes much of the damage, but UVB light causes sunburn. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, too, if you’re going to be in the sun for an extended period.

Moisturize: Using high-quality creams and lotions to hydrate the skin is something you can do daily. Some creams exfoliate the skin, ridding it of dead skin cells. You can also apply prescription-only products that contain retinoids to minimize wrinkles and age spots.

Injectables: If your face is already showing some early signs of aging, cosmetic injectables such as BOTOX® and dermal fillers reduce wrinkles and lines.

Laser skin resurfacing: Fractional laser skin resurfacing using a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser treats a range of skin conditions without the downtime associated with non-fractional lasers. That’s because fractional lasers create pinpoint injuries without damaging the skin’s entire surface.

Facial plastic surgery: When nonsurgical treatments can’t produce the desired results, some people turn to cosmetic surgery. I often combine a facelift with other procedures such as a brow lift for my Nashville patients because the procedures address different areas. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is another popular procedure because it’s a relatively straightforward surgery that results in a rested and refreshed appearance.

Whether you’re just starting to notice a wrinkle here and there or believe you need cosmetic surgery, you can contact us using the online form to request a consultation to discuss your concerns. Or call us at (615) 942-8016 to schedule an appointment.

Leave a Reply

Fields marked with * are required.

Back to Top