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The Blog Treating Facial Volume Loss as You Age – Your Simple Guide

Why does facial volume matter? Why is loss of facial volume a concern? 

The reason we want that fullness in our facial tissues is because it’s what helps to support the structure of our features, and the tautness of our skin. 

Once our underlying support starts to flag, the overlying skin is at the mercy of gravity. This means sagging, wrinkles, folds and less-than-smooth texture. 

Now for the good news: there are multiple forms of facial volume loss treatment that can address this natural process – or at least the appearance of it. 

Cosmetic treatments can work by restoring volume and recontouring features to help support facial structure. 

From a cosmetic perspective, loss of facial volume is often considered undesirable because it can make a person appear older than their actual age and may affect their perception of attractiveness. 

Facial fat atrophy and redistribution leads to facial hollowing and accumulation in areas such as the jowls. 

Once we understand what’s happening beneath our skin and how this natural ageing process works, we can get our heads around how facial volume loss treatments can work too. 

Here we’ll delve deeper into why treating facial volume loss can lessen the appearance of ageing and turn the tables on our skin’s battle with gravity.

Understanding Facial Volume Loss

The plump, cushy tissue beneath your skin is made up of collagen, elastin and fat pads – and we have plenty of this going on when we’re young.

That’s why youthful skin is firm, bouncy, and tight, with no signs of creasing, wrinkling or slackening. 

However, as we age, this volume naturally depletes, with these skin supports starting to break down and the fat pads shifting downward. 

This is all causing the firmness of our skin to decrease as it loses the good stuff plumping it upwards and outwards. 

It occurs primarily due to the natural ageing process, which involves the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin, as well as a decrease in fat and bone density. 

What does facial volume loss look like? 

It’s something we all deal with; the formation of wrinkles, lines, and folds, or a flattened, dragging or drooping appearance. 

Loss of facial volume can alter proportions and symmetry, which are important factors in facial aesthetics. 

This can contribute to a tired, aged, or gaunt look, which may impact self-confidence and overall well-being. 

Causes of Facial Volume Loss

While facial volume loss is an inevitability that affects us all, there are varying timelines for its occurrence, dependent on numerous factors. 

It’s valuable to know how to prevent facial volume loss. Let’s take lifestyle, for one. 

If we’re regularly subjecting our skin to UV exposure without protection, we’re speeding up our journey towards slackened, wrinkled and ageing skin. 

We know that UV rays are proven to break down the cross-links and proteins responsible for producing your skin’s elastin and collagen, leading to a degradation in your skin’s volume and firmness. 

Likewise, smoking is a fast track to skin damage, depriving skin of oxygen and drastically compromising its integrity and structure, leading to laxity, sagging, wrinkles and lines. Smoking can induce metalloproteinase MMP-1, an enzyme that can break down collagen, decreasing skin elasticity. 

While we’re on unhealthy habits, alcohol intake is also directly related to a decline in skin health, causing severe dehydration, inflammation, deprivation of vitamins, and inhibition of collagen and elastin production. 

Cutting out smoking and sun worshipping is obviously a smart step to take, and undoubtedly decreases the chances of premature skin ageing. However, some factors are beyond our control. 

Genetics plays a role here too. Such is the Russian roulette of life, some of us are more blessed than others in the visible ageing department, due to inherited skin and anatomical attributes. 

There are also differences between races and ethnicities, with Caucasians generally having earlier onset and greater skin wrinkling and sagging signs than other skin types. 

When does facial volume loss happen? 

On average, the time of life when most people notice these signs of skin ageing is their early 30s. 

That’s usually when the visible effects of waning elastin and collagen present themselves in the form of reduced firmness (skin that doesn’t spring back like it used to); static wrinkles and lines (ones that stay put, even when your face is relaxed); or less definition in the jawline (the beginnings of jowls, caused by sagging skin). 

Here’s the kicker though: research shows that skin ageing typically starts around age 25. In our mid 20s, our bodies begin slowing down in making collagen, which causes our skin to lose elasticity. No elasticity; no bouncing back. 

So, even if you can’t yet see these changes, they are already in action. We can take effective preventative measures to hold off the visible effects for as long as possible, but the process is entirely natural and ultimately, an inevitable part of ageing. 

Non-Surgical Treatments for Facial Volume Loss

There’s no need to run to the plastic surgeon for a facelift – not when there are so many treatment options available that don’t involve the discomfort, recovery or cost of surgical methods. 

As treatments become increasingly sophisticated and techniques are constantly refined, the results from cosmetic, non-surgical treatments are seriously impressive. 

Let’s look at treatment options for restoring facial volume… 

Dermal Filler 

It doesn’t get better than filler for correcting volume loss; this hyaluronic-acid-based injectable is specifically designed to increase volume in a targeted area, with immediate (and reversible) results. 

It can be used to restore pre-existing volume, such as areas with hollowing caused by ageing, or it can be used to create new fullness in an area that never had much volume, such as the lips. It can also be used to redesign facial structure, such as enhancing the cheekbones or sculpting the jawline. 

To restore volume in a face that’s seeing the ageing effects of volume loss, we primarily target the cheeks, as this is where underlying fat pads most noticeably slip downwards with ageing, causing a sunken or flat-cheeked look. 

The temples are one of the first areas to lose volume and give away subtle signs of ageing. This area often goes unnoticed but contributes significantly to an aged appearance. When hollowing here advances, it extends to something called ‘skeletonisation of the brow’, where the bony outline of the skull around the eye becomes prominent. We can correct this with filler, restoring a youthfully rounded contour. 

Tear troughs (those dark grooves beneath the eyes) are a zone where the skin is very thin and easily shows any loss of volume. Dermal filler can correct hollowing and indents in this zone to create a smoother contour and a more plush, bouncy appearance for your skin. 

Bio-Stimulating Injections 

This is a cosmetic injectable that works to stimulate collagen. While dermal filler provides an instantaneous effect that you can see straightaway, bio-stimulating injections contain a filler product that builds collagen in the treated area, gradually building over time. 

Collagen stimulating injections induce renewal of facial collagen fibres to tone and lift problem facial areas. Over time, these injections provide a significant increase in skin volume and tightness. 

Short PDO Threads 

These are the small threads that are designed to rejuvenate skin, as opposed to lifting it up like long threads do. 

Short PDO threads can help to restore some volume by triggering the skin into making more collagen and elastin. 

They do this by sitting beneath the skin at a level where surrounding tissues are prompted to rejuvenate, spurred by the short threads stimulating new skin cells to regenerate. 

Skin Needling 

The purpose of skin needling is essentially to cause micro-trauma to the deeper layers of the skin, triggering your skin into a healing phase that prompts skin cell turnover and collagen and elastin production. This all leads to a plumped, youthfully fuller skin appearance. 

Radio-frequency skin needling devices such as Morpheus8 and Potenza are technologies that deliver radio-frequency energy to multiple layers of the skin with an advanced level of precision, enabling targeted treatment without damaging surrounding skin.  


Further reading: Why Should I Get Cheek Fillers 

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