Are your eyes always drawn to your jawline and neck when you look in the mirror? Has your lower face started to resemble that of an English bulldog? If so, it is time to target sagging skin!
Between the ages of 20 and 50, we experience dramatic changes in our facial structure. Skin begins to thin, followed by the loss of bone, fat, and muscle in the cheeks and jaw area.
Saggy skin is typically a dead giveaway of age and reversing its effects involves medical grade skin care products, injectables such as Botox, dermal fillers, and Profhilo, and device treatments including radiofrequency, microneedling and laser.
What causes sagging skin?
Saggy or loose skin is caused by the loss of facial fat and the breakdown of collagen and elastin (the connective tissue that gives skin its firmness and bounce). Both happen naturally with age but are also exacerbated by UV exposure. Studies have shown that sun damage is responsible for 80% of visible facial ageing signs in the Caucasian population aged between 30 and 70.
Collagen, on the other hand, is an essential scaffold protein that gives smoothness and elasticity to skin. When its production declines with age, skin loses firmness and elasticity.
How can you restore your skin’s firmness and elasticity?
Fear not, there are lots of things you can do, it isn’t too late!!
- Anti-ageing skincare
An effective rejuvenating skincare regimen must primarily focus on returning the quality of the skin, improving everything from skin texture and fine lines to tone and pigmentation.
The first step is to adopt a skincare regimen that addresses ageing skin. Using products which contain active ingredients like vitamin A (retinol, retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate and retinoic acid) which increased skin cell turnover, bringing new, healthy skin cells to the surface, and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which can neutralise the destructive effects of ageing free radicals, can truly revitalise a dull complexion.
Prescription-only Hydroquinone effectively reduces pigmentation caused by sun damage (sun spots) and aging (age spots). It will transform the appearance of your skin.
Your skincare should ALWAYS include a sunscreen SPF-30 or higher daily to protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. Sunscreens use UV filters to shield your skin, creating a layer which acts as a barrier, reducing the risk of sun damage.
The Obagi Nu-Derm® System is a scientifically-proven, prescription-only skincare regimen, specifically formulated to target ageing skin and address skin laxity. Nu-Derm® is ideal if you suffer from uneven skin texture, age spots or pigmentation and your skin has become loose and is showing fine lines and wrinkles.
- Anti-ageing injectables
Whilst leading a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a well-balanced diet can help slow down the appearance of saggy skin and ageing in general, it doesn’t stop it altogether. Unfortunately, ageing skin is simply the result of your body’s wear and tear. The daily, repetitive movement of facial muscles creases the skin, causing wrinkles. In addition, the face loses volume due to a decrease in fat. The facial fat that was once evenly distributed around the eyes, cheeks, forehead, temples, and mouth shifts and diminishes. Round cheeks fall downward and sink, causing hollowness under the eyes. Lips begin to lose their plumpness and appear thinner with age.
Anti-ageing treatments, such as botulinum toxin injections and dermal fillers, are the number one choice when it comes to plumping and smoothing skin. With minimal down time and discomfort, these popular procedures give a natural result and can take a years off your face.
Botox injections are particularly effective to treat wrinkles across the forehead, between the eyebrows (11/frown lines), and around the eyes (crow’s feet). Botox can also be used along the vertical muscle bands on the neck as a way of tightening the jawline and neck.
Dermal fillers help replace the volume loss on the face, such as cheeks, under eyes and lips, but can also smooth the lines above the lip and by the corners of the nose and mouth. They can also define the jawline and make it look more youthful. The hyaluronic acid in dermal filler sculpts, contours, re-volumises and plumps the targeted areas.
- Skin boosters
An increasingly popular way to hydrate, plump and smooth skin comes in the form of injectable skin boosters.
Formulated to accelerate skin renewal, these line-smoothing concentrates contain hyaluronic acid and a mixture of amino acids to feed the skin from within. They are ideal to improve the overall tone and texture of skin as well as boost collagen production, plumping out creases and creating a firmer, healthier, more glowing appearance.
My favourite skin booster is Profhilo. Containing the highest concentration of hyaluronic acid on the market, Profhilo is an intense moisturising treatment used to increase firmness and elasticity and promote healthier and softer-looking skin.
Treatment consists of 5 injections on either side of the face (or 10 on the neck), stimulating the skin’s natural production of collagen and elastin – the proteins which give it its juicy, smooth quality. Once injected, hyaluronic acid spreads out, forming a water-binding layer, giving hydration to skin from inside out.
While traditional dermal fillers also use hyaluronic acid, the scientific make-up of the product is different. Profhilo is used to deliver a more subtle overall effect, plumping, refreshing and tightening the whole face. It can be used in conjunction with dermal fillers or as a stand alone treatment.
Profhilo skin treatments comprise of a course of two sessions spaced four weeks apart. Two or three weeks after the second session, your skin will look plumper and softer, and fine lines will appear diminished.
For skin that is starting to lose laxity, microneedling is another great option.
Also known as collagen induction therapy, this skin rejuvenation treatment uses multiple fine, sterile needles to puncture the top layer of skin. This triggers the skin’s natural healing process. When skin starts to repair itself, it boosts the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in new skin which is thicker, plumper, firmer, and smoother.
Additionally, if using an active skincare regimen, products are able to penetrate more deeply into the skin, making them more effective.
Microneedling can be used as a stand-alone treatment using a device such as SkinPen, or as part of a combined treatment with radiofrequency, such as Morpheus8.
- Radiofrequency and Laser
Radiofrequency uses heat to shrink wrap and tighten the skin. It can be used on the face, neck and body for skin tightening and contouring. It is a painless procedure with little downtime but delivers big results.
Near-infrared (near-IR/NIR) laser treatments helps to tighten sagging, crepey-looking skin by using heat to naturally stimulate the production of new collagen, helping skin to appear firmer and more youthful.
For more information about device treatments, click here.
If you are considering getting injectables to treat sagging skin, it is important you work with a professional doctor, who has a sound knowledge and understanding of facial anatomy in order to receive the safest and most suited aesthetic treatments.
At D’Souza Aesthetics, I provide my patients with a personalised service to assess their skin condition and facial anatomy and determine what the best treatments are to help them achieve a natural and youthful appearance. For best results, some treatments involve a combination of anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers and professional skincare.