The Aging Face: the Brutal Truth About Skincare Limitations
Skincare is, as the name suggests, about caring for our skin. Yet, many skincare products tantalizingly promise us the fountain of youth, or at the very least, a face that defies time. However, there’s a reality we should be aware of: our facial appearance is influenced by not only our skin but also by our bones, muscles, and fat. These components morph and evolve as we age. While a quality skincare routine can indeed help decelerate skin aging, it’s essential to recognize its limitations in combating changes in other facial aspects. Let’s take a closer look at what really happens as our faces age.
Changes that age our faces
Aside from skin, various other aspects of our faces undergo significant alterations with age. These include:
As we age, the shape of our facial bones evolves – some dimensions expand while others contract. Our faces generally become wider, shorter, and deeper, leading to more prominent eye sockets and darker circles under the eyes. The upper jaw diminishes, accentuating smile lines and contributing to wrinkles around the mouth. Also, areas of the jawbone linked to chewing muscles roughen, while others soften.
Aging faces often lose volume in certain areas like the forehead, cheeks, and around the mouth, while retaining fat in others such as under the chin, around the nose, lips, and jowls. This change is less about overall facial fat loss and more about a shift in its distribution.
Our facial fat is structured in separate compartments, held in place by muscles and other tissue. In youth, these compartments provide volume to our faces, contributing to a youthful appearance. As we age, these fat pockets rearrange and become more distinct, creating a less even look on an older face.
Aging also affects our facial muscles, resulting in lengthening, increased tone, and reduced movement range. These changes can lead to a tightened appearance, limited facial expressions, and a shift in fat that emphasizes skin creases. Over time, dynamic facial lines become permanent wrinkles.
The limitations of skincare
In essence, a significant portion of age-related facial changes occurs beneath the skin, in the bones, muscles, and fat. These deeper, so-called “mimic wrinkles” form primarily due to these changes; the skin merely reflects them.
The skin, however, does play a vital role in aging. The more elastic and firm it is, the more it can counteract the aging changes in fat and muscle. Moreover, addressing its own wrinkles and pigmentation can help us look more youthful. But let’s face the truth: even with the best skincare products and daily sunscreen application, topical skincare alone can’t freeze our faces in time.
This might sound slightly disheartening, recognizing that inevitable change is a part of life. Our facial evolution is largely out of our control, aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, daily sun protection and good nutrition. Of course, surgical interventions offer an alternative, though not without their risks.
Yet, there’s a different perspective to consider. If we are fortunate to live long enough, our faces naturally transform over time, much like a child’s face matures into an adult’s. Beauty companies often promote the notion of erasing wrinkles, maintaining baby-like cheeks, and striving for a mythical youthful glow. But should we buy into this idea, or embrace our evolving natural beauty? The choice, ultimately, is ours.
As for products that pledge to rejuvenate or restore elasticity, treat these promises with a dose of skepticism. They can enhance collagen and hydration, improving skin elasticity to some extent. However, they can’t completely eradicate sagging skin or dramatically restore skin firmness. Instead of investing in an array of potions, concentrate on overall health, daily sun protection, and good nutrition.
Choose your products based on actives
WIMJ Search allows you to select skincare products based on what’s inside. Filter products by actives included, and exclude ingredients you don’t want. Check the concentration of ingredients and potential irritants.
- The Anatomy of the Aging Face: A Review https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0036-1582234
- Anatomy of the Facial Fat Compartments and their Relevance in Aesthetic Surgery https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ddg.13737
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