When you look at a person who looks young for his or her age, do you have a hard time putting your finger on what exactly it is that makes that person look a decade or so younger? While the youthfulness may seem elusive to you, there are actually a few distinct features that determine how young or old you look.
Aging is about more than just wrinkles. Several different areas of your face change as you get older. Your facial plastic surgeon can help you see what is making you look older than you feel and offer suggestions for what can reverse those signs of aging.
Even Skin Tone
Even if you didn’t spend a lot of time out in the sun during your teens and 20s, age spots can start to appear as you get older, making your skin look splotchy and adding years to your appearance. Although people often think of freckles as a sign of youth, they also think of evenly toned skin as a sign of youth. If you’ve begun to notice some discoloration, you have a few options for treating it.
Laser skin resurfacing can help make your skin tone more even, for example. Ablative laser treatments destroy the top layer of skin, taking away any areas of darkness. As the skin heals, it returns to its natural color and tone. Chemical peels can also make the skin tone more even. Some types of peels contain hydroquinone, which is a bleaching agent that can reduce areas of hyperpigmentation and prevent it from occurring as the skin heals.
The Triangle of Youth
The shape of younger people’s face is often that of an upside down triangle. The area around the cheekbones is the widest, while the area around the chin is very narrow, coming almost to a point. As people age, they lose fat from the cheek area, so that the triangle shape fades and the face takes on a more rectangular shape. Gravity and reduction in bone structure as a person gets older also contribute to a more rectangular looking face.
Dermal fillers, such as Radiesse and Juvederm Voluma, can be used to restore volume to the cheek area and restore the "triangle of youth." Although both can be used to restore volume, they are not made from the same ingredient and they work in slightly different ways.
Radiesse is made from calcium hydroxylapatite, a synthetic substance. When injected into the skin, it stimulates the production of collagen and provides instant volume. As the filler itself fades away, the newly produced collagen remains, helping provide support and structure to the cheek area, so that the face looks fuller.
Juvederm Voluma is made from a thicker, more viscous form of hyaluronic acid than standard Juvederm. It’s the only filler approved by the FDA specifically for adding volume to the cheek area. It provides instant results that can last for as long as two years.
Smooth Under Eye Area
Those bags under your eyes do more than make you look tired. They also add a few years to your appearance. While in some cases under eye bags form as a result of lifestyle choices and habits, in some people, bags are genetic. The best and most long-lasting way to remove under eye bags and to create a smooth look under the eyes is with a lower lid blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery.
The procedure involves making an incision inside the lower lid and removing excess fat from the under eye area. If a person has very noticeable tear trough or hollow looking eyes, plus bags, the procedure can reposition the fat to fill in the area directly beneath the eyes, reducing hollowness and eliminating dark circles caused by shadowing.
A well-defined and smooth jawline is another sign of youth. Few people have jowls or double chins when they are still very young, for example. The lower part of the face begins to look older as skin loses its elasticity and the effects of gravity and lifestyle habits begin to be visible.
If you have begun to notice looser skin around your jaw or that your cheeks are starting to sag, a facelift might be the best way to handle the situation and restore a more youthful look. While there are non-surgical options for skin tightening, a facelift provides the longest lasting results. You can expect to look younger for years after your surgery, even though you will continue to age.
It can be difficult to put your finger on what it is that’s making you look older. But, speaking with a specialist, such as Dr. Jessica Kulak, can help. Dr. Kulak is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in anti-aging. She can help you determine what’s making you look older and provide the treatment you need to take years off of your appearance. Dr. Kulak practices at the Naderi Center, with locations in Virginia and Maryland. To schedule a consultation in Virginia, call (703) 481-0002. For a consultation in Maryland, call (301) 222-2020 today.