How do our faces age?
All of us middle-aged folk have had that moment where we look at an old photo of ourselves and notice that our face has begun to age. Tell tale signs can be sun damage, fine or deeper lines, and volume loss. You may notice your face is thinner or your features a bit more sunken.
This is a natural process. We accumulate sun damage as we are out and about leading our lives, which breaks down collagen and can leave skin discolored. Collagen is the protein in our skin that keeps it buoyant and springy – think of a baby’s chubby cheeks – and for most of us, around age 30, we stop naturally producing collagen. Over time, this can lead to sagging skin on our faces and bodies. Additionally, we begin to absorb bone, and break down the fat pads in our faces. These fat pads, muscles and bones are what give our faces structure, and as they break down, we can notice more hollowness or sagging in our appearance.
All this volume loss adds up to about a 1 teaspoon deficit every year after age 40. That means, in general, once you turn 40, you begin to lose about 1 tsp. of volume in your face each year. One teaspoon is equivalent to 5 sugar cubes, which may be a better visual for you when you think about your own face and it’s volume loss.
Volume loss is cumulative – so if you are looking to correct volume loss and get back a more youthful appearance, you may be looking at a larger deficit – meaning you may want to add back in more volume.
It may be surprising to some – I know it was for me when I first heard it – that one syringe of filler is equivalent to just 1 sugar cube – and that it would take 5 syringes of filler to equal one teaspoon. This is why one syringe of filler can only do so much in terms of facial rejuvenation.
Does this mean you should get 5 syringes of filler each year? Not necessarily – and most people do not. Carefully placed filler in expert hands can do wonders – and some fillers like Sculptra, actually encourage you to grow in your own collagen – making them last longer and do more “work” to rejuvenate the face.
For those wanting more volume, fat grafting can be an excellent option. Fat is taken from a part of your body where you don’t want it – processed – and then injected in to your face, hands, breasts, etc.. This can dramatically rejuvenate the face – without the enormous expense of many multiple syringes of filler. Fat can also last a very long time. While your face will continue to age, fat grafting is a great, long-term solution. Your fat also contains huge stores of stem cells – which have massive rejuvenation powers – and can give your skin a glow that you can’t get from other fillers. Fat can be use all over the face, under the eyes, in the lips, and in the hands – and in some cases, in other parts of your body. And we do get asked this a lot – it has to be your own fat, so it is bio-analogous and adopted by your body.
We want you to look natural, and we certainly don’t think a sixty year old should attempt to look like they did in the late twenties. Most of our patients do small, incremental touches to help them feel their best. And fillers can have a cumulative effect – meaning you can build on what you’ve already had done.
For us, it’s all about helping you shine your inner light out to the world – and we love being your partner in stepping in to your own empowerment. We want you to love the skin you are in – and we can offer some tools to help your outer self match your own inner grace.
If you have questions, we invite you to come in (or call) for a complimentary, educational consultation with Dr. Janowski and our staff. We are here to serve you, to be your partner, and to help you reclaim your face and your body in service of your own highest good.