Facial Aging: Are You A Sinker, Sagger or Wrinkler?
As people naturally age they fall into one of three distinct categories: “Sinker”, “Sagger”, or “Wrinkler”. Because each aging style exhibits distinct aging traits (illustrated in diagram below), different treatment options are better suited depending on the category you fall into.
Is your face losing volume like a slowly deflating balloon? If so you’re probably a “Sinker”.
Sinkers are characterized by volume loss around key areas of the face which can cause a sunken hollowed out appearance. The temples, mid-face and the area below the cheekbones are the most common places where this volume loss occurs.
The natural aging process causes us to lose about 10% of the fat in our face at the age of 35 years and an additional 5-10% every 5-10 years thereafter. By the age of 55 you may have lost 40% of the fat in your face, which once gave it a plump, full, youthful appearance. Additionally the skin becomes thinner, and rougher in texture, contributing to a haggard appearance.
Rapid weight loss can often accelerate the visual effects of “Sinking”, including a hollow facial appearance and loose, wrinkly skin this causes on their face. At Westlake Dermatology, we help a number of patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and want to combat the accompanying negative side effects.
This style of aging is best combated with dermal fillers or a fat transfer procedure. By inserting a little extra padding to the hollowed out areas, we can plump the face, resulting in a vibrant youthful appearance. Juvederm Voluma is the newest dermal filler recently launched that is the first and only FDA approved filler for mid-face volume loss.
If your skin looks like it’s sliding away from the bone structure beneath, you’re a “Sagger”.
As the skin’s connective tissues lose their integrity, your face begins to lose the battle against gravity. This saggy appearance occurs when the skin begins to lose its elasticity and becomes too lax. As we age the skin’s connective tissues, elastin and collagen weaken and break down, so the skin loses its youthful, springy texture.
The most successful anti-aging treatments for ‘saggy’ faces involve a combination of volume restoration, and collagen stimulation.
Younger patients can opt for Thermage, a non-invasive radiofrequency treatment. Thermage helps prevent the signs of aging, by stimulating the body’s production of connective tissues, thereby tightening the skin and reducing the saggy, aged appearance.
For more mature patients, we use Ultherapy, which is also non-invasive. This treatment uses ultrasound to stimulate the collagen within the skin, creating a lifting effect. This is our most popular treatment for skin tightening, and can turn back the clock by 5-10 years.
A “Wrinkler” will exhibit clearly defined patches of wrinkly skin, often located around the eyes, brow and lips. Usually these lines are caused by frequent fine motor movements of the face, repeated over many years. Examples include:
- Frown lines from a brow frequently furrowed in concentration or concern.
- Fine lines radiating from the outer corners of the eyes, caused by squinting into the sun, at poorly lit work, or at a computer screen.
- Lines around the edges of the mouth caused by puckering lips to smoke or suck a straw.
The continuous repetition of the above actions causes minor lines and wrinkles that transform into permanent wrinkles over time. To help eradicate these aging wrinkles, we offer two treatment options: Botox, and Belotero.
Botox, our most popular anti-aging injection, is a muscle relaxant. Carefully positioned injections of Botox will relax the muscles beneath your skin, reducing the likelihood of new wrinkles forming, and smoothing the appearance of any existing wrinkles, but does not affect the expressiveness of your face.
Belotero is a new treatment, which involves injecting filler into the surface layer of the skin, the papillary dermis. This helps to fill out, and smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and is often use around the eyes, cheek and lips.
Whether or not your natural aging style is already apparent, there are a number of measures you can take to keep your complexion looking youthful:
- The aging process is accelerated by exposure to sunshine, so stay in the shade, stay out of the mid-day sun, and slap on some sunscreen.
- Keep your alcohol consumption to moderate levels. Excess alcohol can deprive the skin of the essential nutrients it needs to maintain a full, plump appearance. In the short-term, drinking alcohol can cause dehydration, which makes the skin look rough, dry and sunken.
- Finally, ensure you are eating a nutrient rich diet, that will supply your skin with the vitamins and antioxidants it needs to stay healthy.
With healthy habits, and carefully targeted anti-aging treatments, you can turn back the clock and enjoy a more youthful appearance.