A Decade-By-Decade Guide To Facial Aging

Written by Cameron Craven, MD, FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on February 8, 2018 No Comments

facial aging by decade

Do you remember the first time you saw a wrinkle in your brow or fine line at the corner of your mouth? We all know that wrinkles, volume loss (hollowing of facial areas), and sagging of the skin are normal aspects of getting older. But that knowledge still doesn’t stop the dread that comes with seeing effects of aging on your skin.

While it is impossible to fully reverse or prevent the signs of aging, there are skin care tactics and treatments that can minimize their appearance. Here are the most common signs of aging shown decade by decade, along with suggested corrective actions.

Decade: 30’s

Most people in their 30’s will notice subtle aging in several areas of the face. The upper eyelids may become hooded and a more visible “pouch” below the lower eyelids can develop. Fine lines often develop on both the forehead and around the corners of the mouth.

There are many non-surgical treatments to address these issues. Patients may consider a neurotoxin like Botox to prevent wrinkles. Chemical peels can also quickly rejuvenate the skin while enhancing the production of collagen. Lastly, fillers like Juvederm can be used to erase fine lines near the mouth. Using a high-quality sunscreen and following a sound skin care regimen may help to prevent further aging symptoms.

Decade: 40’s

The effects of normal aging are increasingly visible in your 40’s. The eyes can experience sagging of both the upper and lower eyelids, while crow’s feet may begin to develop. In the forehead area, fine lines can deepen to become horizontal wrinkles. Vertical lines and wrinkles may begin to form in the neck and chest area. Finally, age spots and other sun damage often become more noticeable.

Filler around the eyes can be used to address hollowing of the under-eye area while CO2 laser treatments can minimize crow’s feet. Botox or Dysport can be used to smooth forehead wrinkles while Thermage laser treatments can lessen the appearance of aging on the neck and chest. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacials can be performed to reverse sun damage and even out the skin tone.

Decade: 50’s and beyond

Aging symptoms become more prominent in this decade, especially if they were not addressed earlier. Some people may experience advanced sagging of the eyelids leading to a permanent heavy droop. Wrinkling across multiple facial areas deepen dramatically. Drooping of the tip of the nose is also quite common among this age group. Sagging can also manifest in the forehead, cheeks, and jawline. Prominent vertical “marionette” lines often develop from the corners of the mouth to the chin. Finally, the formation of jowls in the neck area may start to become visible.

Treatment Options

Plastic surgery may be needed to counteract more severe aging symptoms. Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) can address severe eyebrow sagging while a neck lift or facelift procedure will correct early jowls. Rhinoplasty can be performed to lift the tip of the nose. Voluma or Sculptra can be used to add volume back into the cheeks. A fractional laser like Fraxel can be utilized to smooth out deeper lines and wrinkles.


Cameron Craven, MD, FACS

Cameron Craven MD, FACS is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Craven specializes in the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction and body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser surgery, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty, as well as reconstructive surgery for skin cancers.

Leave a Reply