23rd March 2021

Defying the Droop: All about Sagging Jowls

Last Modified: August 3, 2022

Although we blame age for our beauty woes, gravity should share much more of the blame. Unfortunately, most of us can expect both to exact their toll. Wrinkles will start to form. Things will start to droop.

The biggest—or at least most noticeable—casualty is the jawline. Around middle-age, people start to notice their face begin to sag. Their jawline becomes less defined. Skin around the mouth and neck begin to droop. Cheeks flatten.

And that is gravity’s fault.

As we age, our skin is less able to repair itself. This inability is responsible not only for crow’s feet but the sagging flesh that eventually become jowls.

What are jowls?

As the skin begins to loosen and sag, it pools—amongst a few other places—around the mouth. Eventually, that skin develops into jowls. At first, they’re just a slight widening of the chin area, but they get larger with time.

Eventually, jowls fall below the chin. Jowling normally begins sometime during middle-age and along with other changes, will dramatically alter the shape and structure of a face.

But jowls don’t exist in a vacuum.  They’re a consequence of age-related changes to the skin, changes to the composition of subdermal tissue, and gravity.

These changes are collectively described by “The Ageing Triangle.”

The Ageing Triangle

We notice age-related changes to the face because several of them begin at once. The changes are interlinked: the same skin and facial tissue changes contribute to the structural changes. The result dramatically alters the face’s overall shape.

The Ageing Triangle illustrates these changes:

Sagging Jowls are part of a trio of changes described by “The Ageing Triangle.” In the picture there are two face, a youthful one and an older one. Each face has a triangle superimposed to show how the structure of the face changes over time.Youthful faces are represented by an inverted triangle, with the base around the cheeks and eyes and point around the chin. Older faces are the opposite: the jowls move the base around the chin, and the nasolabial folds direct the point towards the nose.

Skin loses its elasticity with age and begins to sag. This dramatically alters the structure of the face, and sagging jowls play a big part.

When we’re young, the base of the triangle is around the eyes. It points down towards the chin. This configuration establishes the baseline for how we perceive faces. The cheeks are pronounced, the chin and jawline defined, and the skin is smooth and wrinkle free.

As we get older, the triangle flips. The base settles around the chin, thanks largely to the development of jowls. The triangle now points up, towards the nose, in part because jowls form the base of triangle.

What causes saggy jowls?

As we get older there are two key changes to our body that cause the cascade of symptoms that lead to sagging jowls. While our skin begins to break down and lose collagen and elastin, we also begin losing the fatty deposits in our face that fill our cheeks.

Collagen and Elastin

Collagen and elastin are cellular proteins that make up the body’s connective tissues. They keep skin pliable and healthy. As we age, they begin to break down. Our bodies also produce less of both. And if that weren’t enough, what we do produce isn’t as effective.

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in the body. It is a kind of glue, responsible for keeping bodily systems together. It provides the skin’s structure and shape. As we age and lose collagen, skin becomes thinner, looser and less pliable.

Elastin works alongside collagen. It is a lot more flexible. It helps skin stretch and contract, which keeps skin taut, firm and elastic. As the skin loses elastin, it is unable to shrink back were there any changes in subdermal tissue.

And, of course, there are changes.

Loss of fat pads

We begin life with fatty pads in our cheeks. During adolescence and adulthood, the fat burns away. As the face slims, the skin—partly because its elastin and collagen content—contracts to keep the skin taut.

The fat continues to burn away into middle age, though. Because we begin losing elastin and collagen at the same time, the skin can’t contract as our features continue thinning. The stretched skin has nowhere to go.

Enter gravity.

Gravity pulls the skin as far down as it can. This results in jowls, deeper nasiolabial folds—or laugh lines—and flatter, less pronounced cheeks.

What can I do to get rid of jowls?

The good news is that there are a variety of treatments for sagging jowls. Alongside preventative skin care, surgical and non-surgical treatments can be remarkably successful at shrinking jowls and restoring your face’s youthful appearance.

This series aims to cover everything you need to know about sagging jowls, their causes, prevention and the therapies that will alleviate them. Stay tuned for part two of the series about what does—and doesn’t work—to help you minimize jowling.

Dreading the Droop?

Don’t book that one-way flight to the International Space Station just yet. Dr. Farmah and his team of aestheticians can transform your saggy jowls and restore your youthful looks. Book a consultation today and learn how they can help you defy the droop.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 23rd March 2021
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

For everyone that walks through our clinic doors, you may think you are alone, but you are not. Our patients all have a different story to tell but all come from a similar place.
Make An Appointment

Related Posts

28th October 2022
The 5 Key Factors to Getting Natural Results with Dermal Filler

Long gone are the days when people were willing to put up with sagging cheeks and worry lines or have jowls that seem to droop with age, only to surely enough tick at us like an alarm clock at 5 a.m. The days of care-free attitude towards sagging skin and aged, tired looks are long […]

Read More
10th September 2022
Guide To Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation For Men

Over the past decade, non-surgical facial rejuvenation for men has increasingly become a mainstream treatment for those seeking anti-aging solutions. The growing availability of injectable fillers, treatments and products has popularized facial rejuvenation among men. Today, more men than ever are having dermal fillers and other professional cosmetic treatments. That said, they have different goals […]

Read More
7th April 2021
Defying the Droop: How to Make Your Non-Surgical Facelift Last Longer

In part 4 we discussed the non-surgical facelift as an option to get rid of jowls. The non-surgical facelift is a safe, affordable way to get rid of a drooping face, but it isn’t permanent. This article will help you get the most out of your non-surgical facelift. While more cost-effective and generally consisting of […]

Read More
birmingham medical spa practitioner

Book Your Treatment Today

Dr Aesthetica is a Medical Aesthetic Clinic offering professional Botulinum Toxin, Dermal Fillers, Profhilo, Microneedling, Skin Peels and Advanced Home Skincare treatments in the Birmingham area.  Our aim is to solve your Aesthetic and Cosmetic related issues with non-surgical interventions.
Book Now
Looking for a rewarding career in the aesthetics industry? We're hiring! Check out our Jobs Portal
We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves.
Dr Aesthetica, Unit 1, 1431 -1433 Bristol Rd S, Birmingham, B31 2SU
calendar-full linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram