No one ever wants to think of their own mortality, yet we’re torn between living until we’re ancient and looking young and beautiful. We can’t have it all though, sad to say. Sooner or later, even with the best care for our skin, it will start aging. Sure, we might be able to look 70 when we’re 90, but there’s only so much we can do.
We can thank gravity for that. Remember learning about gravity in science class? Yeah, well that force is not with us apparently. It will lead us to saggy skin, saggy breasts, and droopy cheeks, among other things.
While we can’t fight it completely, there are plenty of things we can do while we’re still young and hot. These things can’t turn back time like Cher but they can give you positive changes that make a big difference. In other words, when you’re 60, you’re not going to look 20. That’s life. But you can look amazing at 60 and look years younger than the age on your driver’s license.
When the skin starts sagging and becoming less firm, our confidence starts chipping away. In the days of our youth, we were carefree. We didn’t think we would ever look old or even older than our younger selves at least. And now the face staring back at you in the mirror is in tears because someone called you “Ma’am” instead of “Miss.”
Dry your eyes because all those tears won’t do a thing to enhance your looks. If you want to find out how you can lift your sagging cheeks, you’ve got to know what’s causing them in the first place and then take steps to slow down the aging process. You’ll find that confidence coming back tenfold once you do!
Part of it is genetics while another part is simply the aging process. Skin loses elasticity and gravity pulls it further down. Your face also loses volume over the years. Knowing what to do to improve your tone, lift loose skin, and bring back your youthful essence is the key to solving the problem. Read on and you’ll be empowered to fight gravity’s terrible tyranny!
What’s causing sagging cheeks?
Maybe your skin isn’t sagging like Grandma’s, but you’ve noticed it’s not as firm, bouncy, or tight as it once was. So what’s going on? Keep reading!
– The aging process
While there are certain things that will increase the chances of developing jowls and how pronounced they are, aging is the main cause. Skin loses its shape over time as fat, collagen, and elastin break down. On top of that, your skin thins out and gets drier. That really doesn’t help you much. As it loses its fullness and resilience, gravity is then better able to take a hold on it and thus, the sagging begins. When your skin sags around your cheeks and mouth, it creeps down to the chin and jawline to form jowls.
Some people are dealt a luckier hand than others. They may hold onto firm skin even as they move through their 60s. Others look 60 when they’re 40. If you want to know what the future may hold for your skin and how soon it could ag, take a look at your parents. In particular, your mother. If her skin has stayed firm even as she’s gone through middle age, then you should be good too. But that’s not always the case. Don’t ever shrug it off!
– Facial expressions
Ever hear someone say, “Your face will freeze that way,” when you were a kid? Well, it turns out that’s somewhat true. Every time you make an expression, your face stretches. And every time you repeat that expression, it can lead to overuse of those muscles that line your cheeks, mouth, and jaw. Frowns, gabbing on the phone too long (more reason to simply text!) or chewing gum can also cause these long term stretches that result in sagging years later.
– Hormonal imbalance
Your hormones do more than just make you feel nutsy at certain points of the month. They also help your body produce the collagen and elastin your skin needs to keep it healthy. When those hormones become unbalanced though, your skin may sag earlier than normal.
– Weight fluctuation
If you ever needed more motivation to get to your desired weight and stick to it, sagging skin might be it. When your weight goes up and down, it can stretch your skin. Over time, that constant stretching back and forth reduces your skin’s elasticity. In your youth, you’ve got a better chance of recovering from it, but the older you get, the more saggy skin gets.
It’s not just across your whole body but in your face too. From pregnancy to simply aging, you lose the fat padding in your face over time and are left with loose skin. That loose skin can make you feel fat even when you’re not. If you have a lot of weight to lose, do it slow and steady as early on as possible to prevent permanent stretches that will leave behind telltale sagging skin.
– Sun exposure
Too much sun, especially unprotected, is what leads to lines and wrinkles. It also can cause sagging skin. The UV rays break down your collagen and deplete the skin’s firmness. With UV light, it slows down new collagen deposits and activates the enzymes that destroy your existing collagen stores. When this happens, you lose elasticity and volume over time. Spend more time under that umbrella by the pool and keep that sunscreen on at all times!
– Poor diet
Are you filling your plate with fresh fruits and vegetables? If not, it’s time to start eating right. When you don’t get enough healthful fats, antioxidants, and key nutrients, you can wind up with jowls. Fatty acids that are good for you must be consumed to help our skin build up a healthy cell membrane.
Only bad fats are the enemy so eat the good stuff loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to boost your skin and your health. Also, be mindful of how much alcohol you consume. Too much of it will most certainly result in skin that sags.
– Depression and stress
Stress causes so many problems inside your body. However, it is also responsible for destroying your skin. That stress can age you as much as 20 years. Slack skin and the loss of firmness are the results of telomere length. When you constantly stress or succumb to your depression, you shorten those telomeres. The key is finding manageable ways to deal with stress and depression. You deserve the best so don’t let these things get to you. There are many ways to get the help you need. Start there and be on your way to firmer skin, not to mention better overall health with lengthier telomeres!
Ugh, smoking! It’s disgusting! It does horrible things to your body. You know this. We’ve talked about this in many of our other posts. Heart and lung diseases are so not cool. Neither are yellowed teeth. And wrinkles, aging yellowed skin, and sagging skin are all caused by smoking too. It speeds up the aging process and reduces your collagen.
Every time you smoke, you’re doing damage to your entire body, and your skin is the biggest organ which also suffers too. Quit now and you’ll avoid diseases and sagging skin!
What won’t cause you sagging cheeks
So, we’ve gone through all the things that could be to blame for sagging cheeks. But now we’re going to put some rumors to rest. Keep reading and you’ll find out what isn’t giving you saggy cheeks.
– Running won’t cause you sagging cheeks
As we mentioned, skin sags due to loss of collagen and the loss of your facial fat which happens during the aging process. Certain things you do can speed along the aging process.
One of the strangest rumors though is that running causes sagging cheeks. This is completely untrue. It might have some merit though if you spend long hours running outdoors because you get more UV exposure. However, if you’re protecting yourself with sunscreen every time, this is highly unlikely to happen to you.
Sagging skin doesn’t happen as a result of the bouncing from your feet pounding the pavement. In fact, running is quite good for you so keep it up, and if you’re doing it outdoors, keep that skin protected.
– Sleeping on your stomach won’t cause you sagging cheeks
Sleep positions have nothing to do with sagging, but they can give you sleep wrinkles that you wake up to in the morning. Those are from your pillow tugging on your skin as you sleep. In younger years, you don’t see this but as you make more trips around the sun, your skin is much less resilient and much more prone to settling into lines. Dermatologists advise you to sleep on your back to avoid this.
We get it though because sometimes you are a side sleeper for life and really, it’s so comfortable. Getting good sleep every night is so important for skin and overall health so what can you do?
There are special pillows and even pillowcases that minimizes the tugging on your skin (Amazon link). You should invest in those so you get the best of both worlds – good sleep and no tugging on your delicate skin while you get those Z’s.
Aside from that, there are more things you can do to prevent sagging cheeks. To find out how, read on!
How to prevent sagging cheeks
Ready to save your skin from sagging too soon? Follow these prevention tips to hold on to your youthful, firm, tight, and bouncy skin for longer!
- Always use sunscreen when going outdoors! Even if it’s cloudy, cold, or you’re not sitting directly under the sun. That dangerous UV exposure can happen as you idle down the expressway in rush hour or when you walk to the corner café.
- Drink plenty of water! Hydration is the key to a healthy body. It brings oxygen to all your cells and helps flush out toxins.
- Sleep! If your skin is looking blah, start getting to bed earlier. Within a week, you’ll start seeing a big difference in how much better it looks.
- Eat right! What you eat can help nourish your skin or deplete it. Think about that the next time you want to hit up the drive-thru.
- Exercise! It keeps your blood flowing and encourages healthfulness throughout the body. Plus, it will keep you at a healthy weight which prevents cheek sagging.
- Let go of bad habits! Stop smoking, and if you drink too much alcohol, start cutting down. It’s one thing to have a glass of wine with dinner or to meet the girls for a cocktail or two, but when it’s a daily occurrence, it’s going to destroy your skin.
You can also choose proper supplements to help slow down the shortening of your telomeres. Some may even reverse that process. Remember, longer telomeres mean longer life and longer youthfulness.
According to research, when you take a quality multivitamin, you have 5% longer telomeres. Those that have higher levels of folate have longer telomeres too. If you’re not taking your vitamins on the regular, that’s one of the biggest reasons to order some now and start this good healthy habit!
In addition to folate, you need magnesium and vitamin E for telomere health too. Look for magnesium citrate, magnesium chloride, and magnesium glycinate. Vitamin E is a little harder because you want the best form which is tocotrienol vitamin E. It can be more expensive, but research shows it to lengthen those telomeres. The study was down in human fibroblast cells, not on rats, so this is one expense that’s definitely worth it because those fibroblasts help produce collagen and elastin.
What you put on the inside of your body is just as important as the outside. And speaking of that, let’s talk about the products you can choose to help you stop sagging skin and put a halt on any sagging that has started. Read on!
Products that will prevent sagging cheeks
Healthy nutrition and quality skincare products go hand-in-hand for keeping your look as young and vibrant as possible. The secret to stopping sagging goes from your fork to your mouth and from those tubes and jars onto your skin. Here’s what you need to look for to prevent sagging cheeks!
– Invest in collagen cremes
There are TONS of products out there. TONS! We know. It can be overwhelming, but when making a selection, your best bet is to read the labels. You want to look for collagen peptides. Using collagen peptide-infused creams can help boost your skin’s own collagen production and help it tighten up while looking moisturized.
One important thing to note is that not all collagen creams have the same ingredients or a proper percentage of the peptide you need. Read the label carefully and if in any doubt, keep looking! The one I recommend is made by ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Marine Cream(Amazon link), described as the best retinol cream that delivers all its promises.
– Hyaluronic acid will keep your skin plump
We just LOVE hyaluronic acid. It’s a naturally-produced molecule your body makes. It’s fascinating because it draws water from the atmosphere up to 1,000 times its weight to bind it to the collagen in your skin. As you age, your hyaluronic acid stores also break down so replenishing them is a great way to stop that sag. The Embryolisse cream I just mentioned also contains hyaluronic acid.
Another thing to love about hyaluronic acid is that it can be used for all skin types. It is rare to trigger allergic reactions, irritation, or other troubles so be sure to add it to your daily regimen.
– Use glycolic or lactic acid
In creams or serums, these can tighten your skin. They work by means of exfoliation to help you shed that surface skin. The only thing to be aware of is that when you use them, your skin becomes more sensitive to UV rays so keep that sunscreen on at all times.
Also, the concentration of these natural acids should be 10% or less. Anything more than that isn’t safe for your skin. If you have any doubts, start with a lower concentration and work your way up to something stronger if need be. The Ordinary’s formulation has 5% Lactic Acid making it just perfect and it’s pretty affordable at only $14 but if you’re willing to invest a bit more you can check out Sunday Riley’s All-in-One lactic acid treatment (Amazon link), you’ll only need 1 or 2 pumps, which you can apply to clean skin, let it sit for a few minutes and enjoy your healthy, radiant skin.
– Vitamin C serum to tighten your skin
Your body needs vitamin C to be healthy, but giving it to your skin in topical form can really benefit your skin. Once applied, it has the power to tighten, reduce dark spots, relieve redness, and boost your natural collagen production. It’s safe for most skin types, plus many formulas will also have retinol, hyaluronic acid, and collagen peptides included for a truly potent knock-out punch to sagging skin. Just read the labels carefully to know what you’re getting, Sunday Riley also has a great Vitamin C serum (Amazon link), which is formulated for all skin types.
– Night retinoid cremes for firmer skin
Retinol is your best defense against aging skin, period. You’ll want to use it at night. We talked about retinol at great length before (read up on that here!) and if you’re not using it, it’s time to start. Retinol is proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, tighten sagging skin, and lessen the appearance of skin damage.
But retinol is not right for everyone. You can’t use it while pregnant or nursing. And it can cause irritation so you should start off with the lowest percentage and only try it 2 to 4 times per week until your skin adjusts to using it. If you experience irritations, you should reduce how often you use it. And if the irritation gets bad, give your doctor a call.
If you find you have no problems using retinol, you will also love it for its acne-busting powers.
Want instant results for a special event? You can use StriVectin Advanced Retinol Intensive Night Moisturizer (Amazon link) give you an instant firming. It won’t last, but it can give you a boost of confidence when you head to parties and other places. Some formulas have ingredients that will benefit you in the long run too. These products work by drying on as a film that gives the sensation of tightness and lift.
How to lift sagging cheeks
Don’t feel sad if your skin is sagging on the cheeks. There are many ways to remedy it if your sagginess has left you with jowls. Read on to find out!
– Non-surgical skin tightening procedures
Good news! Just a couple of decades ago, the only way to fix an aging face was to go under the knife. Now modern advances have made it possible to tighten up sagging skin with little to no downtime. Are you in?
First, you need to be a proper candidate. You’ll likely be asked to be:
- At a healthy weight
- Eating healthfully
- Not smoking
- Not a big drinker
- Practice safety in the sun with protection
- Never use tanning beds
- Have just a small amount of skin sag
If you’re pregnant, have a skin infection, or are on certain medications, you shouldn’t get a skin tightening procedure. Check with your doctor on your medications to see if any of them would rule you out as a candidate.
This is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses little microneedles. They puncture your skin slightly which causes it to create new collagen and tissue. It is non-surgical but will cause irritation and redness immediately following the procedure. These side effects will soon go away though and you’ll have firmer, smoother, and more toned skin to show for it.
Yes, you can cut costs by micro-needling at home, but do know those devices don’t go as deep as the medical-grade ones. Still, it can help inspire your skin to absorb more of your skin tightening moisturizers and creams so they penetrate deep down into the layers of your skin for the best results.
RF treatments involve the insertion of thin tubes or needles into your skin. Your dermatologist will heat up the skin tissue underneath to tighten loose skin where it needs it most. The heat gives you faster results though this method is often used to tighten in the neck or under-arm flab. In about a month, you’ll notice the results and they will continue to lift and tighten for up to a year.
– Laser resurfacing
While it requires a bit more downtime (you’ll need to Netflix and chill for 5 to 7 days afterward), laser resurfacing is among the most effective procedures for tightening saggy skin. After healing, you’ll see tighter skin and fewer wrinkles within only 2 weeks. This is a great one to go for if you have other visible signs of aging on your skin.
Along with the longer downtime, side effects include possible scarring. It’s wise to discuss your concerns with your dermatologist first before going for it.
When done right, fillers really make you look like you went back in time. They work by adding lost volume under your skin. That lost volume is injected back in and lifts your skin back up where it belongs. And it will last for up to 2 years. It’s great for plumping away lines and bringing back that missing padding under your skin.
Generally, you’ll be given fillers that will last 4 to 6 months to start. If you like how it looks, you will go back again and then get fillers that will last you for a couple of years. It’s a bit pricey but still less expensive than plastic surgery. It’s also minimally invasive. You can even get it done on your lunch break!
You can also ask your dermatologist about ultrasound. It sends heat deep into your skin which can help your body produce more collagen. Just one treatment brings good lifting and tightening in 2 to 6 months though many women opt to have additional treatments done.
– Facelift: surgical skin tightening procedure
Facelifts were once the only way to get the desired tightening results. And in some cases, your sagging may be so severe that these non-surgical methods won’t be beneficial. If you pull your cheeks a little up with your hands and notice your face looks a lot better and full of definition, you may want to go for a consultation though you should explore non-surgical ways first. Surgery is always a riskier choice.
If your jowls are really severe, a facelift allows the doctor to take out some skin from in front of your ears and pull it back tighter. It will require plenty of downtime and is expensive. It’s a nice option to explore but if the only way to lifting your face back up is a facelift, start saving. It can cost between $7,000 and $12,000 on average, sometimes more. It’s also very risky so weigh out your options first to ensure you’re making the right decision for you!
Will facial exercises help to lift sagging cheeks?
We’re sure you’ve seen those silly face exercises on YouTube. Laugh all you want but it seems these exercises might just improve the muscle tone in your face. They could help with gravity-related fat loss. Some studies, pardon the pun, frowned down upon them, but one study revealed that these exercises can lift sagging jowls.
This study was conducted by Northwestern University in January 2018 and showed that doing facial exercises enhanced upper and lower cheek fullness. Basically, it was like face yoga targeting the jowls. Doing these exercises did help, but it’s important to know that it won’t get to the root of the problem which is the fat loss underneath. Building that back up again with volume or tightening it is the only way to correct it for a youthful appearance.
Sagging cheeks are part of aging as well as lifestyle factors. By focusing on a healthy lifestyle while you’re still young, you can avoid looking older before you’re technically old. Even if genetics are working against you, by taking care of your inner health and your skin, you can hold onto those firm and bouncy cheeks for longer!