Facial Volume Loss: The Sneaky Thing That Could Be Aging You

Woman Smiling

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and thought something about your face looks older or more tired but you just can’t seem to put your finger on exactly what that something is, you could be experiencing facial volume loss. As you age, you lose the collagen and fat pads that once gave your skin a youthful appearance (think of a baby’s face, round, full and smooth).

What does facial volume loss look like?

Facial volume loss may appear as hollow temples, sunken-in eye sockets, flattened cheeks, or loose sagging skin around the jawline also known as jowls.

What causes facial volume loss?

The natural aging process and your genetics are the major causes of facial volume loss. However, certain medications, weight loss, stress and other lifestyle factors may contribute to exacerbated facial volume loss.

When does facial volume loss begin to occur?

While every person ages differently, many patients begin to notice signs of facial volume loss starting in their 20s. In your youth, fat in the face is evenly distributed, with pockets that plump up the forehead, temples, cheeks, and areas around the eyes and mouth. As you age, the natural supports of the skin begin to break down and fat pads may shift downward. This process accelerates as you age and can be influenced by a number of environmental or behavioral factors.

What are some non-surgical options for treating facial volume loss?

“There are several options to help with facial volume loss. HA fillers are composed of synthetic hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring plumping substance in skin, that gives you results in a few short weeks. Sculptra is a building block for collagen that we lay under the skin and is therefore great for long-term correction. Most patients over the age of 30 are a candidate for HAs or Sculptra as prevention and treatment of volume loss over time,” says Dr. Sherry Ingraham of Advanced Dermatology Houston.

Are men’s concerns addressed differently than women when it comes to correcting mid-face volume loss?

“Absolutely,” says Dr. Ingraham of Advanced Dermatology Houston, “The brain reads feminine as being curved, soft and round, and the brain reads male when we see angles and sharpness, so we want to maintain those angles in our male patients. You want to fill that loss rather than raise the cheek bone as you do in women,” she says. “In men, I’m not looking so much for lift as I am looking for volume replacement and volume correction. This requires deep placement of the filler.”

How are various areas of the face (such as the temples and mid-face) treated differently when it comes to facial volume loss?

“Hollow temples respond very nicely when treated with injectable fillers. Dramatic improvement can be achieved with Sculptra as well as Radiesse Plus and even Voluma. The choice depends on the age of the patient as well as the level of correction needed,” says Dr. Kelly Duncan of Advanced Dermatology Houston.

In regards to mid-face volume loss, Dr. Sherry Ingraham recommends fillers that have a high G prime, such as Juvéderm Voluma XC (Allergan) and Restylane Lyft (Galderma), are top-line choices for midface volume replacement, but Sculptra Aesthetic (Galderma) is also a good choice for those who want subtle, gradual improvement.

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.