23rd March 2021

Defying the Droop: Jowl Prevention

Last Modified: November 17, 2022

Welcome to our series on sagging jowls. The Part 2 of this series will focus the technique that prevent jowl development during middle-age. Not sure what jowls are? See Part 1 of the series.

Jowling begins sometime around middle-age and continues throughout late adulthood. Though several factors contribute to saggy jowls, the age-related depletion of collagen and elastin plays a key role in their development.

Depicts young skin, before loss of fat and subdermal collagen leads to wrinkles and jowling.

At around 30 years of age, skin begins to shed about one percent of its collagen and elastin content every year. What the body does continue to produce isn’t as effective, either. Collagen isn’t as strong. Elastin isn’t as flexible.

These changes result in looser, less pliable skin that contribute to the “drooping face” that marks late middle age.

Depicts the loss of collagen and subdermal fat, showing how they cause wrinkles and jowls.

But there’s good news! Since age-related skin deterioration is a big factor in the development of jowls, a variety of treatments and therapies that restore collagen and elastin will help tighten facial skin and maintain a youthful jawline.

How to Prevent Sagging Jowls

Part of any successful skin therapy should include preventative strategies that retain and strengthen collagen and elastin. Of course, it’s also necessary to avoid habits that damage the skin. When it comes to sagging cheeks, an ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure!

Maintain a Healthy, Balanced Diet

While “you are what you eat” represents a common cliché, when it comes to skin care it’s true. A healthy, nutrient-rich diet promotes the production of collagen and elastin—amongst a host of other benefits.

Collagen isn’t just found in the skin. It’s an important protein found in almost every major system of the body. Animal-based proteins are rich in collagen-boosting amino acids and can help promote the synthesis of collagen. Chicken is one of the best proteins for the collagen-conscious, though fish is also good.

Bone broth—made by rendering meaty joints and bones—is perhaps the single most beneficial food for introducing collagen to the body. Bones, themselves quite packed with beneficial amino acids and collagen, also contain a lot of gelatin—and gelatin essentially is collagen.

For those who don’t eat meat or animal byproducts, beans, nuts, fruits and leafy greens are all great alternatives. They’re rich in the same amino acids that help produce collagen.

Hit the Gym

We all know exercise is important to ageing gracefully. We all know its benefits, and that we should be exercising (more). The method that exercising improves skin is secondary, though.

Exercise relieves stress and promotes better, deeper sleep at night. Insomnia and a lack of sleep create stress, and stress produces cortisol. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone and helps power the fight or flight response while regulating the body’s response to immediate threat.

Cortisol also destroys collagen.

Lack of sleep is one of the most common stressors that induce cortisol production. Exercise can help produce the quantity and quality of sleep that promotes healthy cortisol levels, so make sure you’re getting enough of both.  

Regular and Routine Skin Care

Ensuring that your skin is taken care of is a no brainer. Clean and healthy skin is a reward itself, but a healthy skincare routine doesn’t especially help collagen development. A good routine can prevent early signs of ageing.

Of the numerous parts of a skincare routine, the most important is protecting your skin from UV rays with sunblock. UV Rays damage skin in a few ways, and one of those is breaking down collagen. Sun exposure causes an unnatural buildup of elastin. The body releases enzymes to break the buildup down, but they also take the collagen along with them.

Use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen and—this is very important—reapply it regularly. Sunscreen is only effective for approximately two hours at a time.

Incorporating retinol in your routine can also help boost your collagen production.

Skin Tightening Treatments

There are two therapies currently popular amongst dermatologists to replace and restore collagen. Both help promote the generation of collagen and elastin and can rejuvenate a variety of skin conditions. They also tighten facial skin.

The first, a chemical skin peel, refers to a variety of treatments. They utilize a topical solution that includes a very mild acid (think salicylic acid) that penetrates down into the dermis. The acid gently removes dead skin cells, the action of which promotes increased production of collagen and elastin.

The second is collagen induction therapy, which is more commonly called by its more popular name “microneedling.” Microneedling utilizes small—.05-.25mm—needles to pierce the very top layer of skin and induce the same kind of response that chemical peels do.

RF Skin Tightening treatments are also extremely effective on jowls

We’ll be talking all about microneedling and chemical peels in part 3 of the series!

Dreading the Droop?

No time to wait for results? Book a consultation with Dr. Farmah and his aestheticians to learn more about treatment options.

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.

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