It can be disheartening to look at yourself in photos or in the mirror and realize that you are beginning to look older. You may look closely at your skin and not really see any wrinkles, leading to you wondering just what has changed in your facial structure that is giving you an older appearance. While facial wrinkles such as crows feet and a smile line are one of the first signs of aging for many people, others begin developing other changes in their facial structure first. Read on to find out what changes in your facial structure may be causing you to look older and what you can do to fix them.
1. Lengthening of Your Upper Lip
The area between your upper lip and your nose is called your philtrum. Compare photos you have of when you were younger and now, and you may notice that your philtrum has become larger, meaning the distance between your nose and your upper lip has increased. Your philtrum actually grows by .5mm every decade after the age of 18. That means that shortening your philtrum surgically can actually make you look much younger in a very natural way.
There are actually several different ways a cosmetic surgeon can make your philtrum appear shorter. This area can literally be shortened with a lip lift, which is where a surgeon makes a small incision just below your nose, removes a pre-determined length of skin and tissue, and then stitches the incision back up.
A cupid's bow surgery can shorten your philtrum while also helping define your lip-line. With this surgery, a cut is made inside your mouth, your cupid's bow is shaped how you would like, and your upper lip area is reduced at the same time.
If you want to obtain the appearance of a shorter upper lip without invasive surgery, then a lip filler, such as collagen, can be used to plump your upper lip. A plump upper lip can hide a bit of your philtrum and make you appear a bit younger.
Who knew that such a small, typically ignored part of your face could make such a difference in your appearance? Shortening your philtrum can take years off your face.
2. Sagging and Loss of Skin Elasticity
Another reason you may appear older is a loss of elasticity in your skin and facial sagging. To determine if this may be the cause, simply pinch a bit of your facial tissue, such as your cheek, and see if the skin feels as firm as it did when you were younger. Also, notice how long it takes to "snap back" into its original position. Old photos can also come in handy for this, and you can compare a recent photo with an older one to see if there are areas of your face that are not quite as high and perky as they were in your older photos.
When dealing with a loss of skin elasticity and sagging skin, your best option to look younger is a surgical face lift. However, if you only have skin that sags in one area, you can have just that area lifted instead of opting for a full face lift.
Lift options include:
- Eyebrow lift. If your brows sit lower on your face due to sagging in your forehead, this targeted procedure can lift them and lead to a younger appearance to your entire top third of your face. A surgeon will make an incision that runs from the top of one ear and along your hair line that ends at the top of another ear for a classic lift, or just several cuts along your hairline if performing an endoscopic lift.. The skin and muscle will be pulled up and the incision is then sutured closed.
- Lower face lift. If just your lower face and neck are sagging with age, a lower face lift can tighten both of these areas.
- Mid face lift. This lift targets the cheek area and lower eye area.
- Full face lift. If you dislike the sagging appearance of your entire face, then it may be best to get a full face lift that combines all of the above procedures into one streamlined surgery.
If you feel like you are not yet ready to "go under the knife" then there are ways that cosmetic surgeons can strategically inject fillers, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid based ones, to give a lifted appearance to some ares of the face. This option only works when there is mild sagging, and it only works well in specific areas of the face. Fillers also wear off after a few months, so this is not a permanent solution to facial sagging.
If you think you look older but you don't have many wrinkles yet, then one of the above problems may be adding years to your face. Speak with a cosmetic surgeon to see what your options are and just what they can do to make you appear younger. You can also click here for more information about your face lift options or other treatments.