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The Intricacies of Facial Ageing - and what can be done about it.

Updated: May 3, 2022

Ageing is a fact of life, and we all have to age - we can't deny it, but by understanding the physiology behind the ageing process, your cosmetic practitioner can help minimise the physical changes.

Ageing gracefully should mean that YOU feel that you look the best, most natural version of YOU!


A youthful bone structure has full high cheek bones, but there is an age-related reduction in the bones of the facial skeleton.

People lose bone mass (or density) with age, which is especially true for women after the menopause.

Certain areas of the face undergo predictable resorption (breakdown). This is particularly notable in the maxilla (upper jaw), certain areas of the eye socket and jowl region .

As the maxilla resorbs, the shape and contour of the face changes, resulting in a decrease in facial height, an increase in facial width and diminished upper lip support.

The orbit appears larger, the angle of the brow gets smaller and the jawline becomes less defined.

Deep and Superficial Facial Fat Pads:

A youthful face is characterised by a seemingly homogenous distribution of superficial and deep fat pads

Due to the loss of structural support for bone, there is atrophy, redistribution and accumulation of these fat pads.

They become thinner, descend and separate, which contribute to the signs of ageing.

The fat pads typically slide downwards and towards the nose. This creates nose to mouth lines (nasolabial folds), marionette lines, a sagging jaw line and a fullness between the neck and chin


Muscles of the face lose tone and weaken over time which, when combined with thin skin, can give the face a loose, sagging appearance .

In youth, there is a subcutaneous fullness between the muscles and skin which hide the muscles of facial expression- but this disappears with age.

This leads to more prominent muscles, whose intrinsic tone give rise to more wrinkles and folds.

Loss of tone of the platysma muscle of the neck typically leads to the reduced definition of the chin and jawline and the development of jowls


There is a gradual age-related thinning of the dermis due to loss, decreased synthesis and increased degradation of collagen and elastin fibres.

This reduces the skins ability to retain elasticity and moisture (from hyaluronic acid) making it dryer, less elastic and less supple.

Skin wrinkling occurs at some sites due to the related underlying muscle action. When this occurs in combination with dermal thinning, time and gravity, these progress from 'dynamic wrinkles' (those seen during muscle movement) to static ones as the skin ageing becomes permanent.

What can be done about it ?

Prevention: Reduce sun exposure, avoid pollution and smoking, wear SPF and have a good skin care routine.

Cosmetic Tweaks: See a medical professional; Toxin can help reduce or even prevent wrinkles, Dermal fillers can replace lost volume and plump lines, and Profhilo can help with skin firmness and elasticity.

Always seek advice from a suitable trained medical professional!

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