We have all been there! As soon as we step out of our 20s we start to notice that the fine lines on our faces are more significant than ever, and our facial skin is slowly losing its elasticity. The word “jowls” has daunted us for quite a few years, but what do jowls actually mean and signify?
In this blog, we will understand everything surrounding the loosening of skin, and the formation of Jowls. How are they caused and what does the solution look like? Let’s begin.
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What Are Jowls?
The word ‘Jowls’ relates to loosening of the skin, particularly in the lower region of the face, along your jawline. In most cases, low elasticity causes the skin to hang below your jawline, changing the outline of your face.
Jowls appear overtime and indicate aging. They describe sagging skin below your chin or jawline. Jowls can be less prominent in individuals with thicker skin that is collagen-rich in the area below the cheeks and chin. Also, due to genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, some people may never develop jowls.
Keep on reading to learn more about the causes, prevention and treatment of the appearance of jowls.
What Causes Jowls?
Decrease in Elastin And Collagen
Collagen, a common protein found in the body is responsible for keeping cells healthy and providing a youthful appearance. Elastin, on the other hand, provides elasticity and resilience to a tissue.
Overtime with age, the facial skin on our cheeks and around the jawline loses most of its collagen and elastin. Loss of these proteins results in loss of firmness and tightness of the skin. Adding to the present condition, gravity causes the skin around the mouth and jawline to further sag resulting in the formation of Jowls.
Genes & Heredity
Most of our traits are hugely influenced by our genetics and can also determine whether we are to develop jowls or not. If yes, then how prominent will they be. Let’s say one of your parents have jowls, chances are, you might develop them as early as your teens or twenties.
Environmental and lifestyle factors
Environmental factors and lifestyle choices also contribute to jowls. These factors include:
Repetitive Facial Movements:
Certain facial expressions like smiling or frowning can enhance fine lines and stretch out the skin on your face or neck.
Change in Weight:
When you gain or lose weight, your skin stretches or withdraws to fit the current body mass. Constant change in weight can result in sagging skin.
Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays during day-time can damage the collagen generation in your skin. This can cause sagging of the skin.
Chemicals inside cigarettes such as Nicotine can severely damage collagen and elastin levels in the skin. Smoking also limits your blood’s circulation by narrowing the blood vessels which prevents your skin from getting enough oxygen and nutrients.
Overuse of Electronics:
Using electronics like a computer, smartphone or an ipad for long hours can have its consequences. The blue light emitted from these devices could lead to skin ageing and premature wrinkles. Further, it may also cause hyperpigmentation and skin laxity.
“Tech neck” is a condition where jowls are formed over time making the skin around your neck lose its elasticity over time.
How To Prevent Jowls From An Early Age? | Jowls Prevention
These are some preventive measures you can take to restrict jowls from developing or your skin from sagging prematurely.
Limit Electronic Usage
Try to switch on the night light after 6 pm. Make sure you have an erect posture and your neck isn’t stretched out or bunched up.
Sunlight contains harmful UVA/UVB rays that expose your face to premature aging by damaging the muscle tissue and elastin.
Facial Exercises have been proven to work great when it comes to jowls. We have an in detail blog about the best facial exercises for women and men. You can include these exercises in your daily routine to see visible results.
Give up Smoking
Smoking causes plenty of damage to your body. It not only damages your lungs but also your skin. Smoking has the same effect on collagen and elastin production that sun exposure does. This means smokers age faster than those who don’t.
How to treat Jowls? | Jowls Treatment
There are several ways you can treat jowls and their appearance. There are surgical procedures, such as face/neck lifts that tighten the skin. Then there are nonsurgical procedures such as thermage, lasers, and skin peels, that can enhance collagen production in the skin.
Surgical procedures are recommended only in severe cases where non surgical methods haven’t effectively worked. Make sure to research really well before scheduling your appointment.
A Neck Lift or Facelift
A neck lift (lower rhytidectomy in medical terms) is a procedure wherein fat removal is done by rearranging the skin around the neck to tighten muscles and shape the jawline. An incision (surgical cut) is made in front of the ear going behind it, extending into the hairline.
The surgery involves general anesthesia and recovery takes anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks. Risks include- bruises, nerves/muscle damage, internal Bleeding, anesthesia associated complications, swelling & sepsis
During liposuction, a microcannula is used to remove access fat from the jawline area. Reshaping of the skin and jawline is done to prevent future jowl formation.
General anesthesia is used and recovery takes about a few days to a couple of weeks. Risks included are the same as in a Face lift.
Some treatments don’t require any surgical procedure and general anesthesia, hence, have lower risks. However, the results may not be drastic.
Thermage Jawline Tightening
This procedure uses a tool that uses heat and radiofrequency energy to tighten the skin around your jawline. The recovery time is very minimal and the procedure is done within a day.
Dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid. This acid is injected into your neck and chin to fill in jowls, making them firm. Some fillers are also meant to boost collagen production to keep your skin tight.
Other Ways To Reduce Their Appearance
If you haven’t made up your mind or are avoiding any of the above mentioned procedures, you could consider changing your clothing/personal style to help cover the jowls. Makeup and clothing might help to a certain extent.
Contouring is the trend of today. Try using a darker shade of bronzer along your chin and neck, this will make your jowl less noticeable and produce an illusion of a sharper jawline. There are various tutorials online to help you with the technique.
While you are just starting out your facial exercise journey, you can meanwhile cover up your neck with scarves or even rock a turtleneck, anything with a high-rise collar will work too. Try and avoid sheer fabrics as they do not serve the purpose of providing coverage.
Mewing is a technique , or may I say a lifestyle where in you mainatin the correct tongue posture. The proper tongue posture is when your tongue is resting on the roof of the mouth rather than the floor of the mouth.
This in turn pushes the center of your face upwards, sharpening your Jawline. Try and avoid the common mewing mistakes and you are good to go.
There are many non-invasive ways to tackle, prevent, treat, and conceal jowls if you’re unhappy with them.
Make sure to do in depth research about all the alternatives before talking to your doctor about the best option for you. If you’re older than 60 or have any prevailing health conditions, make sure to learn about all risks involved before the surgical procedure.