In your twenties, you may be crabby about a full, fat face and how it makes you look portly in tagged pictures. But when in your forties, you’ll be amongst the lucky few who are still enjoying voluminous cheeks. For at this age, most of those who enjoyed a shapely face with defined cheekbones are having troubles with volume loss and a hollow and sagging appearance. When the inevitable volume depletion kicks in, those with a plump and round face are likely to get defined cheekbones but most others are finding ways to make the face pretty and firm like it used to be.
What happens to our face over the years?
Facial volume loss starts from the time we lose our baby fat which is usually in the 20s, but in most people, it only begins to become evident during middle age. And gravity alone is not to blame. Ageing signs are aggravated by the loss collagen in the skin creating a hollowing and sagging appearance of loss of facial volume and contours. As volume loss progresses, you’ll notice the cheek skin less supported, giving more prominent smile lines. You may also outer eyebrow area drooping. The overall result is a transition of a circular child face, to a youthful heart-shaped face during middle age and eventually into a more masculine-appearing elongated rectangle as you get older. But many fail to realize that volume loss is the reason that their face is beginning to sink and sag and often only focus on the tightening of wrinkles and folds.
Which areas of the face are most vulnerable?
Volume is lost in all areas of the face as we get older but the most vulnerable regions are the lower eyelids and cheek area. The thin skin in the eye area becomes even thinner, giving an appearance of bags under the eyes. As volume loss progresses, you’ll notice the cheek skin less supported, giving more prominent smile lines. You may also see the outer eyebrow area drooping. The overall result is a transition of a circular child face, to a youthful heart-shaped face during middle age and eventually into a more masculine-appearing elongated rectangle as you get older.
What are the ways to plump up our face?
Previously, you could only inject volume externally with temporary fillers. The most popular filler is injecting Hyaluronic acid, because it’s effective, safe and has negligible side effects. It is biodegradable so our body dissolves it naturally. It is also reversible, so if you are not satisfied with the results you can just inject enzymes to melt it. However, it is temporary and only lasts one to two years. For longer lasting results, there are semi-permanent fillers of poly-L-lactic acid like Sculptra and Radius that last for as long as there years. This compound is also biodegrable, but doesn’t flow well and could cause lumps and clumps on the injected area.
Then’s there’s the option of fat transplant which involves sucking out fats from our thighs area and injecting it into the face, breasts or buttocks as required. It is very popularly used for those who need a lot of volume. The results of a traditional fat transfer lasts between six months to a year. A disadvantage of injecting fats into the face is it’s unpredictability of how long the fats last and where it disappears which can cause an uneven face in the long run. Another disadvantage is the longer down time. For longer lasting results, there’s the latest and recently introduced technology of stem cell fat transplant.
What is the Stem cell fat transplant?
This technology uses the knowledge that our body has most stem cells in the stomach fat. And the stem cell’s role is to help the engraftment of the cells o make them survive and stay longer. Using this awareness, we first use liposuction to take unwanted fat from the belly. Then stem cells are extracted from a portion of the fat by a complex process in a specially equipped laboratory and added to the remaining body fat. This fat is then inserted into the required area. The highlight of this is it is natural in the sense that your own fat is used and not something external. The other advantage is it helps to make your waist visibly thinner by draining out excess fat. Simply put, you get a smaller waist and a fuller waist in just one sitting.