There are a lot of great things about getting older.
With age comes wisdom, life experience and smile lines, which are all great. And yes… there’s also that matter of “volume loss”.
What’s that? By volume loss, we’re talking: hallowing of the face, sagging around the jawline (also fondly known as jowls) or an overall droopiness. It’s just what happens with us women.
Everyone is different and it’s completely up to you what you do with your face, but for some, volume loss can be a confidence shaker.
Some women choose dermal filler injections, and that’s OK. But, if you’d rather say “nup” to needles, there are other less invasive options too.
We asked Sydney cosmetic dermatologist and Clinique Derm Pro Dr Nina Wines to unpack exactly how to help keep your skin juicy and plump, especially if you’re nervous about needles.
But first, why does our face sag as we age?
The first pearl of wisdom Dr Wines imparted on us was: every year we age, we lose a teaspoon of fat from our faces.
That might sound like a good thing, but over time, fat loss combined with the drop on our oestrogen levels when we hit menopause (more womanly fun) changes the scaffolding of the skin. This is one of the reasons people say men ‘age better’ than women. Yep.
“Think of the skin as the foundations of a home. There are two layers of our skin, the epidermis and the dermis. The dermis is the structure and scaffolding that holds the skin up and contains collagen and elastin,” Dr Wines told Mamamia. “In between the layers sits a jelly-like substance with hyaluronic acid. Like a shock absorber, it’s the thing that gives the skin the plump appearance and sucks in water and moisture.
“Part of what happens when we age is, we lose hyaluronic acid, fat, collagen, elastin and oestrogen. When that jelly substance starts going, it’s a bit like a balloon slowly deflating.
“Another way to think of the skin is as a table and a tablecloth. As we age, the table gets smaller and the tablecloth gets bigger, so it hangs over the edge.”
The most common areas women see volume loss are: temples, below the eyes, around the cheekbones, the jowls and the jawlines, and the ‘marionette’ lines either side of the mouth.
The cosmetic aspect aside, Dr Wines sees how facial volume loss can affect a woman’s confidence.
“Typically around 45, women might start to notice a change in their appearance in photo,” she says. “It’s a widening disconnect between how you feel and how you feel you look. On the inside, you feel happy, but on the outside, you feel you look sad.”
Skincare versus fillers for volume loss – which option is for you?
There’s no denying getting fillers is the fastest way to see a reduction in volume loss. Going back to the skin foundations analogy, it’s an invasive treatment where a hyaluronic acid solution is injected in the space between the layers of the skin. As the space fills up, the skin takes on a more plumped appearance. The results are pretty much instantaneous.
That said, everyone breaks down filler at a different rate and it’s an investment to top it up every six to 18 months.
Dr Wines said a preventative skincare focused approach can achieve the same results as filler, but it takes time and consistency.
“Not everyone wants to have an invasive medical treatment and I’m all about proactive solutions to prevent issues,” Dr Wines explains. “The more invasive approach is going to get an immediate result, but consistent use of skincare from an early age can prevent you from needing a treatment down the track.”
Skincare ingredients to reshape, resculpt and plump.
So, what ingredients should you be looking for to combat volume loss?
“This is a very important component of the skin and as we touched on earlier, it’s a substance that sucks in water and plumps the skin,” Dr Wines said.
The water-absorbing molecule can also hold 1000 times its weight in water, which in beauty speak equals plump, hydrated, juicy skin. You’ll find hyaluronic acid in moisturisers, serums and topical jellies applied in-salon during a facial treatment.
Soybean Seed Extract.
Another ingredient to pay attention to is Soybean Seed Extract. Rich in Lysophosphaditic Acid (LPA), this naturally derived extract helps skin achieve a tightening and lifting effect.
Sweet Almond Seed Extract.
Dr Wines also said Sweet Almond Extract works at the skin’s surface to form a film that allows an immediate blurring effect of fine lines and wrinkles.
Whey Protein can also target volume loss as it’s rich in amino acids and increases the skin’s natural collagen, leaving it looking and feeling firmer and more resilient.
Best skincare tips to plump the skin.
OK, so now we know why the skin on our face sags as we age and which ingredients can help, but what does this look like in practice?
Here are Dr Wines’ top skincare tips for targeting volume loss for a plumper, juicer complexion.
1. Target different areas of the face with different products.
Dr Wines suggested targeting different skin issues by being strategic about where and how you apply your skincare ingredients.
One way you can do this is with a dual product like Clinique’s Smart Clinical™ MD Multi-Dimensional Age Transformer.
This new product comes with two innovative formulas in the one jar. The left ‘Resculpt’ side visibly lifts, contours and firms with ingredients such as soybean and sweet almond extract, while the ‘Revolumize’ right side plumps and retexturises.
Both formulas combat lines and wrinkles as well as address uneven skin tone and dullness – all the fun things – and are allergy and dermatologically tested, and free from parabens, phthalates and fragrance.
Dr Wines suggested applying a formula like ‘Resculpt’ to the jawline, neck and décolletage, and ‘Revolumize’ to the periorbital (eye) area, the “smile” lines and forehead.
This is what the product looks like inside:
2. Always apply your skincare on damp skin.
Another great tip? Always apply skincare on damp skin.
“We know when the skin is warm and moist, the skin cells are more separate and ready to take up product so it can get the heart of the action, so I tell my patients to apply skincare within five minutes of showering. A warm face cloth over the face after applying product can also help to seep into the skin a bit more,” Dr Wines said.
3. Be consistent.
This is the least fun tip of them all, but like all good things in life, consistency is key.
Make sure you’ve got your beauty ritual down pat, and always follow the instructions on your products. That’s how to get the best out of moisturisers like Clinique’s Smart Clinical™ MD.
At the end of the day, ageing is normal, as are ageing faces.
But if volume loss is something that bothers you, these practical tips can help.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the author’s own and MSN does not endorse them in any way. Neither can MSN independently verify any claims made in the article. You should consult your physician before starting any weight loss or health management programme to determine if it is right for your needs.