The Signs of Ageing in the Lower Face and Anti-ageing Treatments.
A sagging jawline and the resultant jowls are a common signs of ageing in the lower face and this area is commonly overlooked by standard aesthetic practitioners.
Over 3000 years ago the Egyptians identified the aesthetic importance of the lower face and neck, Queen Nefertiti (1370 BC – 1330 BC) was considered for thousands of years to be the most beautiful women of her time. She was renowned and revered for her long elegant neck and her elegant facial features which tapered down to a well defined sharp jawline and chin.
As cosmetic practitioners it is essential to take into consideration the lower face when we are assessing the ways of maintaining beauty. The lower face is an even more important area when we consider what happens to this area as we age; most of the adult population during middle-age develop laxity of the tissues and skin around the jaw. Sagging and laxity of these tissues causes the face to appear to square off and flatten around the jaw line which then loses its sharpness.
The overhanging dependent skin and tissues droop below the jawline and are commonly known as the ‘jowls’.
Perhaps the reason why the treatment options of the lower face are overlooked are that many aesthetic practitioners in the UK are taught little more than where to put the needle and inject on their 1 day ‘Botox’ training course. These ‘one trick pony’ practitioners focus on Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) treatment in the three most common treatment areas (i.e. the frown, the forehead and around the eyes to treat crow’s feet), which are all in the upper face.
It is still common practice by plastic surgeons to treat the lower face with surgical procedures and ‘surgical’ face lifts are still performed to pull tissues back and up. However at times you have to question if at all a surgical procedure is necessary in the majority of clients.
The additional draw back of a surgical face lift is that it can distort your appearance and give you a pinched ‘caught in a wind tunnel’ look.
Non-Surgical Jaw Lift using Botox.
A treatment option to treat jowl formation is a non-surgical jaw lift; this treatment can now be combined with other treatments to augment its effect.
The Non-Surgical Jaw Lift in the right hands is simply a combination of 2 relatively straight forward lower face Botox techniques which relax the underlying facial muscles that pull down the skin and tissues of the lower face.
The platysma muscle is found superficially wrapping around the front of the neck and it depresses the skin and tissues of the lower face and jaw. The platysma is treated by a series of superficial Botox injections to prevent its depressor effect on the facial skin around the mouth and jaw.
In addition the depressor anguli oris is a small triangular muscle found on both sides of the mouth, when this muscle contracts it depresses the corner of the mouth and pulls down the tissue around this area.
In the hands of an experienced practitioner Botox treatment in the lower face is safe and can give excellent results. On a note of caution I would be very wary of a practitioner who does not fully understand the underlying anatomy or disregards the adjacent muscles in the face and larynx that that could be affected by poor injection placement.
Recent advancements have allowed us to combine lower face Botox treatments with other newer treatment options to give even more improved treatment options in the lower face.
My personal preference is to use medical micro-needling therapy to tighten the skin and dermal tissues around the jawline in addition to lower face Botox treatment.
Micro-needling therapy around the jaw.
Micro-needling in the lower face causes tightening of the lax dermal tissues around the jawline the treatment involves an initial application of a topical anaesthetic cream to enable the treatment to be carried out with almost no discomfort at all.
A small amount of redness is generally caused by micro-needling however this fades after a few hours and can be covered up easily with make-up.
A micro-needling procedure causes small micro-channels to be formed in the skin these heal and when they do so they contract and tighten the skin, this healing process also rejuvenates the skin by causing the skin to produce more collagen and other.
Unlike other skin tightening treatments micro-needling relies on the body’s own healing process to rejuvenate and tighten the skin, other skin tightening treatments such as lasers and radio frequency treatments cause contraction of the skin due to thermal damage.
Micro needling is relatively safe whereas the long term effects of lasers and especially microwave treatments are unknown.
Additionally after micro-needling the small channels created in the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis can now allow active cosmeceuticals to penetrate more effectively into the deeper dermal layers of the skin to additionally induce collagen formation and therefore strengthen lax skin.
Experience shows that Botox techniques used to relax the muscles of the lower face typically last for approximately three months; the micro-needling treatments are commonly repeated every 6 weeks after the initial treatment typically 3 micro-needling treatments are needed performed under topical anaesthetic with an appropriate micro-needling device.
A bust of Queen Nefertiti can be seen when you search for her on Wikipedia, this piece of art is over 3000 years old and is considered probably one of the most important pieces of art of its time but despite its age her beauty can be clearly seen.