Losing a significant amount of weight can be a life-changing achievement, but just when you think you’ve done everything right to improve your appearance, you‘re faced with a new problem: weight loss can rapidly age your face. One of the advantages of carrying a few extra pounds is that the added fat helps to fill out lines and wrinkles that start forming on your face as you age. Once you’ve shed those unwanted pounds, you may find yourself with a few extra creases you didn’t even know you had.
How is it possible to adopt a healthier lifestyle and still appear to age at lighting speed? “There is a saying that you can either have a perfect body or a perfect face, but not both. There’s some truth to that—as you lose a large amount of weight, you lose volume disproportionately in your face,” says Wayne, NJ, facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey Wise, MD.
How Weight Loss Can Age You
As you look in the mirror to admire the positive changes in your body, it’s hard to miss an older looking face staring back at you. “When your skin is no longer being pulled by the excess fat it begins to sag from volume loss, resulting in more prominent jowls and marionette lines around the mouth, creating a more aged appearance,” says Greenwich, CT, dermatologist Kim Nichols, MD.
According to Dr. Wise, the effects of weight loss aren’t just limited to one part of your face, “Although the mid-face tends to be the area depleted of volume, it provides a saggy or drawn appearance to your entire face, including the tear troughs, neck, cheek and jowl regions.” It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel and get off the treadmill.
How to Restore Youth
But all is not lost, there are ways to delay the aging process and stay on track with your health and fitness goals. To regain your pre-weight loss youthful contours, facial volume can be restored in a variety of noninvasive ways. “Laser treatments and chemical peels may tighten and rejuvenate your skin. Ultherapy is another great treatment that I recommend to dramatically lift, tighten and tone facial skin, giving you noticeable results with no downtime,” says Dr. Nichols.
Dermal fillers are a great option if you want to see immediate results. “Hyaluronic acid injectables (Restylane, Juvéderm and Perlane) and long-lasting fillers (Radiesse, Sculptra and Bellafill) are quick and easy solutions for restoring facial volume. Another effective treatment to consider is a fat transfer procedure that involves harvesting fat cells and using them to fill in areas of deficient or lost volume,” recommends Dr. Wise.
In addition to diet and exercise, a good weight-loss plan should include ways to treat your skin as your aesthetic needs change. “Skin care is an essential aspect of any rejuvenation plan. Topicals such as retinols and aesthetician services like intense pulse light (IPL) for skin tightening, tone, and texture are a must,” says Dr. Wise. “Look for products that contain an antioxidant or growth factors to help plump up dehydrated and dull skin,” adds Dr. Nichols.