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Facial Sagging

Facial sagging, is a loss in structure and support in the face that happens with age, leading to drooping or sagging in various areas of the face. This can give rise to common concerns such as nasolabial folds, jowling, droopy eyelids or double chin. It is a natural part of the aging process but can also be influenced by factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors.

What is the SMAS?

The Superficial Musculoaponeurotic System (SMAS) is a complex network of connective tissue and muscles located beneath the skin in the face and neck. It plays a crucial role in facial structure, support, and movement. The primary function of the SMAS is to provide structural support to the skin and soft tissues of the face and neck. It helps maintain facial contours and prevents sagging and drooping of the skin with age. The SMAS also plays a role in the distribution and positioning of facial fat pads, contributing to overall facial aesthetics and volume. As we age, the SMAS layer can stretch out, giving less support to the fat pads in the face and resulting in facial sagging. In addition to this, our supporting fat pads may also get smaller and contribute further to facial sagging.

Causes of facial sagging

1. Aging: As we age, the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential proteins responsible for skin elasticity, decreases. This results in a loss of firmness and resilience in the skin, leading to sagging and drooping.

2. Sun Damage: Prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin, causing premature aging and skin laxity.

3. Smoking: Smoking can contribute to facial sagging by reducing blood flow to the skin and depleting the skin’s natural collagen and elastin levels.

4. Genetics: Genetic factors play a significant role in determining how quickly and to what extent facial sagging occurs. Some individuals may be predisposed to develop more pronounced signs of aging due to their genetic makeup.

5. Lifestyle Choices: Poor dietary habits, lack of exercise, and inadequate skincare routines can all contribute to accelerated skin aging and facial sagging.

What are some ways to prevent sagging?

1. Sun Protection: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen daily, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing and accessories.

2. Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, exercise regularly, stay hydrated, and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

3. Skincare Routine: Establish a skincare routine that includes moisturizing, using anti-aging products containing retinoids and antioxidants, and gentle exfoliation to promote skin health and collagen production.

4. Regular Maintenance: Consider undergoing non-invasive treatments such as Ultherapy or RF skin tightening regularly to maintain skin firmness and prevent further sagging.

What treatments help with facial sagging?

Ultherapy

Ultherapy is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses ultrasound technology to lift, tighten, and tone the skin on the face, neck, and décolletage (chest area). It targets the SMAS layer to offer natural support and improve the tissue quality of the face. It is FDA-approved for the treatment of sagging skin and wrinkles, making it a popular choice for individuals seeking a non-surgical alternative to facelifts and other invasive procedures.

Radiofrequency Skin Tightening

Radiofrequency (RF) energy can be used to tighten and lift the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. This device is FDA-approved for the treatment of mild to moderate skin laxity on various areas of the body, including the face, neck, abdomen, arms, thighs, and buttocks. This device stimulates collagen production in the dermis, to improve the extracellular matrix and leave the skin looking bouncier and firmer. 

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic acid-based fillers, can restore volume to areas of the face affected by sagging, providing a lifting and rejuvenating effect. They are able to replace volume to fat pads that have shrunken with time and offer more support ad structure to the face.