Saggy Skin Causes and Key Facts
Our face is our unique identity. It’s how we are recognised. It’s how we communicate to others.
Non-surgical face-lifting is about reversing and slowing down your facial aging process.
It is unavoidable for our skin and bodies to change with time, and usually, it happens in a way we don’t find pleasing. A lot of factors are involved when it comes to making you look younger or older – from your skin tone, texture, and volume to the formation of wrinkles and sagging of skin. These are all affected by aging, genes, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
Sagging mainly happens because the production of collagen, which is your skin’s structural support, decreases over time. In fact, research has shown that we lose 1-2% of collagen per year after the age of 25 years old. Loss of this nutrient in your skin causes your skin to sag, and what comes with saggy skin are more unpleasant features you might find frustrating to deal with.
Let’s explore why we have saggy skin as we age and what are the treatments available in Singapore to tighten saggy skin and address facial aging.
Hanging cheeks and jangly jowls are the main features of a sagging face – and gravity is not the only reason for this. Your face’s soft tissue (fat and muscles) and bone volume are also significant determinants of your ageing process. The loss of volume in these two factors has a massive effect on your appearance, which causes the face to “sag” and “sink”. What was once a plump and healthy looking face may look saggy, deflated and much older.
By understanding what happens to your skin, you can effectively find preventive plans, natural methods, and medical aesthetic treatments that focus on skin tightening, contouring, and diminishing blemishes – all of which treats sagging face.
How Your Face Ages
Paying attention to your skin’s protection and health early on can make a difference in the formation of wrinkles and other blemishes like pigmentation. But there are still unavoidable changes that are going to take place as you age.
Some visible signs of aging are:
- Loose and sagging skin
- Baggy chin and jowly neck
- Drooping of the nose because of weak nasal cartilage
- Receding Hairline
It is a fact that you will look much different when you get older. Under those outward changes are caused by deep structural changes in the four major areas – skin, muscle, fat, and bone.
Below is an outline of what happens to each area of your face as you age:
The most visible signs of aging are due to age-related decrease in your skin’s collagen, which is your skin’s structural support. As we lose 1-2% of collagen per year after the age of 25 years old, visible signs of collagen loss start to be visible after your early 30s. Signs of skin collagen loss include fine lines, enlarged pores and wrinkles,
SMAS, or the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System, is the facial muscle between your bone and fat. As you age, this deep facial muscle loses elasticity, while fat pads and facial muscles lose their volume. This is why facial aging extends beyond skin deep.
We will explore treatments that target this loss of collagen and elasticity in the deeper layers of your face in the later sections of this article.
As you age, fat rearranges itself slowly to new pockets which are usually located around the chin, jaw, and neckline. This results in wrinkles and sagging skin over time.
The defining features of your youth are also disrupted due to lack of soft tissue support.
Just like other areas of your body, your facial bones also undergo osteoporosis and lose their shape and volume as you age. This results in significant changes in your facial bone structure. Loss of bone mass can result in narrowing of your temples and shortening of your jawline. As bones lose its density, your eye sockets widen which give your eyes a more sunken and ‘hollow’ appearance.
Key Facts on Sagging Facial Skin
You start to age in your 20s – at the cellular level. Your first true aging wrinkle will show in your late 20s or early 30s. As you age, these fine lines become deeper and longer, which will lead to new wrinkles. Age spots may also appear especially to those who spend a lot of time under the sun.
The mid-20s is the right time to start with an anti-aging skincare routine. Moisturizers and sunscreen should be your skin’s best friend if you want to slow down your skin aging process.
By your 30s, you will see more sun damage appearing if you didn’t make it a habit to apply daily sunscreen. As your collagen production decreases, the chances of lines from forming become higher. You may start to notice crows feet and laugh lines beginning to appear.
In your 40s and beyond, your skin slowly starts to lose its ability to retain its moisture and continuously reduces the production of natural collagen. It’s best to stick to a skin care routine with anti-aging and hydrating ingredients.
Smooth and plump cheeks are caused by abundant amounts of collagen tissues in the skin. However, as you age, you also lose collagen, which leads to less prominent cheeks and the presence of excess skin, particularly in the lower areas of the face.
Sagging cheeks are easily identified with the lines that develop in the middle cheek area (malar area). The main culprits that affect your cheeks are the loss of foundation in the major support mechanisms under the skin – your bone, muscle, and fat. Besides aging, the damage done to these areas are caused by several factors that lead to sagging cheeks.
What Causes your Cheeks to Sag?
Sagging cheeks are part of life’s natural process and are caused by a lot of factors. Some may develop a permanent droop, while others can overcome it through facial exercise and other methods. The underlying muscle just underneath the epidermis (outer skin) is responsible for skin tightening. The lack of elastin in this muscle causes sagging in the area.
Excessive Sun Exposure
Sun exposure is a huge contributor for signs of aging, which are wrinkles, pigmentations, and lack of firmness of the skin. UV rays breakdown collagen and elastin production, which are essential nutrients to keep the skin healthy, tight, and glowing. Excessive exposure to the sun will damage your skin cells and sabotage your skin.
An imbalance in your hormones may be the culprit of your sagging cheeks. Lack of elastin is also one of the main reasons for losing skin elasticity. These hormones are responsible for stimulating fibroblasts to produce the two essential nutrients for healthy skin; elastin and collagen. The production of these nutrients is disrupted when your hormone balance is broken.
How to Prevent Cheeks from Sagging?
Hollowed cheeks and loose skin makes a face look older than it really is. This is one of the reasons your confidence may fade as you age. Elastin and collagen fibres are what keeps your skin and face looking healthy and young. As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of factors contributing to the decreased production of elastin and collagen fibres. By treating your skin right, you can minimize the damages that cause your cheeks to sag.
Keep stress at bay
Telomeres are responsible for the rate of which you age. It is an enzyme that gets shorter as it divides cells. Chronic stress and depression affect your telomeres directly, which can speed up your aging. Besides grey hair, fine line and wrinkles, it can cause your face to lose its condition and lead to sagging skin. Meditate and get involved with activities that may reduce your stress – like exercising, self-care, or making time for your hobby.
The earlier you start, the better. People begin to show signs of aging in their 20’s – this is the reason why you should start a skincare routine by this age. Be sure to apply sunscreen every day as sun exposure is a big contributor to skin aging. Know which products work best for you and stay consistent with using them. However, your skin may change as you age. What once worked for you might not be as effective anymore. It is best to visit your dermatologist once in a while to make sure your skin is healthy.
Eat more healthy fats
Avoiding fatty foods can lead to sagging of cheeks and dropping of jowls because you don’t get enough fatty acids that the skin needs. Omega-3s are powerful anti-inflammatories which may control how the body responds to UV rays, minimizing its damage. Also, they support the skin’s structure by producing collagen and elastin, which reduces wrinkles and help with skin tightening.
Sagging Skin on Face: Non-Invasive Treatments in Singapore
Sagging skin may be hard to deal with, but there is still something you can do about it. Thankfully, we live in a generation where it’s possible to bring back that youthful appearance.
Sozo Aesthetic Clinic is a medical aesthetic clinic in Singapore that offers a wide variety of effective aesthetic treatments. The procedures listed below focus on skin rejuvenation, lifting, and contouring, all in which help get rid of saggy skin.
This treatment targets cheek fat, wrinkles, and even double chin. Ultraformer 3 is a 3rd generation treatment that requires no injections, is HSA approves, and shows visible results after just one treatment. This works by tightening old collagen and helps in the production of new collagen for a younger and tighter looking skin.
Price of Ultraformer 3: from $450.
Radiofrequency and micro-needling treatment are known to be effective procedures to tighten and lift skin. INFINI uses both methods which allow radiofrequency energy to reach deep into the skin layers using insulated gold micro-needles.
The results are more collagen production, skin tightening, and even improved acne scars. INFINI treatment is ideal for patients who have tried Ultraformer HIFU treatment but are still seeking more skin tightening effects.
Price of INFINI: from $850.
PicoPlus Fractional Cold Rejuvenation
Unlike most treatment, PicoPlus doesn’t use heat to stimulate collagen production. Laser beams are used to target deep layers of the skin and cause tiny explosions beneath the surface. This encourages resurfacing and remodelling of scars and skin rejuvenation.
Price of PicoPlus fractional: from $450.
Dermal fillers are mainly used for facelifting, contouring, facial augmentation, and improving fine lines and wrinkles.
The targeted areas are filled with fillers, which will add volume to the area – making the face look more alive and healthier.
Price of Filler Facelift: from $800/ syringe.
The regions treated by EndyMed are around the eyes, jowls, cheeks, and neck areas. EndyMed treatment uses radiofrequency energy, which delivers heat deep into your skin layers and causes collagen to form. As the treatment causes skin tightening, lifting, and firming, this gives your skin a healthy glow. We advocate the use of EndyMed as a complementary treatment to Ultraformer HIFU for longer-lasting skin tightening results.
Price of EndyMed RF: from $450.
Traditional Botox targets facial muscles, while botox dermalift targets layers within the skin. It is effective for treating fine lines through its muscle relaxant effect. Results are seen by 2 weeks and will last between 3-6 months. Results may last longer with repeated treatments.
Price of Dermalift: from $850.
Silhouette Soft works by lifting subdermal layers of the skin to erase wrinkles, restore volume, and redefine the face.
Thin threads and cones are inserted around the targeted areas, which helps reposition and elevate tissues to achieve that instant lift.
Price of Silhouette Soft: from $2000.
This treatment delivers healing compounds and energy deep into the skin layers resulting in microtrauma – which in turn stimulates the body’s natural healing ability. The process helps create new tissues and produce collagen and elastin. Enerjet effectively treats saggy skin, acne scars and stretch marks.
Price of Enerjet: from $850.
Which is the most effective skin tightening treatment for saggy skin in Singapore?
Everyone ages differently. Hence, there isn’t one fixed solution for everyone. Neither is there a single best solution for everyone.
At Sozo Aesthetic Clinic, we have one of the most comprehensive range of treatments available to treat saggy skin and facial aging.
As a key opinion leader and trainer for injectable treatments and lasers, Dr Justin Boey approaches the problem of saggy skin holistically using a customised combination of synergistic treatments.
For patients with more severe signs of facial aging, 2-3 different types of treatments may be needed for natural and long-lasting facial rejuvenation results.