Facial plastic surgeons like myself, and some of my more experienced colleagues in other cosmetic specialties have come to a new appreciation as to what makes our faces ‘look older.’ The common thought up until the recent past was that it was primarily gravity that caused facial aging (or at least the culprit that could be helped). However, we now appreciate that it is not merely the ‘sagging of our skin’ that makes us look older. Our faces appear to age as a result of multiple factors—those due to gravity, sun damage, and volume loss.
If you notice pictures of yourself from years past you will notice how your face has aged through early childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and on through your forties and beyond. As children and adolescents we have very full faces, commonly referred to as, “baby fat.” Yet, as we age we lose this fullness to our faces, typically reaching a youthful ideal in our twenties and thirties. As we continue to age, however, we begin to notice more “shadows” where there once were none. You may see these shadows below the eyes, in the temples, and around the mouth. Shadows form within crevices and wrinkles in our faces as a result of the volume which is lost. You may be aware, for instance, that your cheeks are not as full as they once were or your temple areas appear hallowed. Shadows are caused by loss of volume and not solely from sagging skin.
Ideally, it takes the trained eye of a facial plastic surgeon to notice what is causing you to ‘look older’ as it may be a combination of factors in different areas of the face. The goal of any facial rejuvenation procedure is to subtlety ‘turn back the clock’ on your appearance in order to provide natural results. Lifting procedures, such as a facelift, when performed exclusively, may not provide these results. Sometimes, these facelifts, neck lifts, or brow lifts may need to be complimented with fat transfer or a filling procedure to help restore more youthful volume to our faces. Volume, when restored in specific areas of the face, helps to eliminate “shadows” in areas of our faces which makes us appear older. Fat transferred from other areas of the body like the lower abdomen, flanks, or outer thighs provides a permanent restoration of this volume lost in our faces.
Dr. Anthony Bared is a board certified otolaryngologist, fellowship trained in facial plastic surgery.
He is in private practice, together with Dr. Jeffrey Epstein, with offices in South Miami and Aventura, and a consultation office in Tampa. He devotes his practice to the management of all problems with the nose- breathing, aesthetics, and reparative procedures.