When you look at photos from when you were a baby or toddler, you might be amazed to think that you ever looked the way you did. Babies’ and toddlers’ faces are so different from the faces of adults. While facial changes might become more subtle as you get older, you can’t deny that your face at 30 is going to look at a lot different from how it looked at age 15. The same is true once you’re 50. Your face is going to look different from how it did at 20 or 30.
But have you ever wondered why our faces change so much? In large part, it is because of the aging process. Take a look at what typically happens to the face during each decade and what you can do to press pause or to turn back the hands of time.
For plenty of people, the twenties represent the years before “aging” really starts to set in. Your face is likely to look more mature, as you lose some of the baby fat that might have lingered through your teens. For some, teenage acne begins to clear up.
For others, though, pimples and acne become a new problem. Some people begin to experience breakouts in their 20s, even if they had relatively clear skin throughout their teens.
Although skin should still look pretty youthful during your 20s, it’s not uncommon for people to start to see some very early signs of aging. For example, at this age, you might see very faint frown lines between the brows or crow’s feet at the corners of your eyes. If you make a lot of facial expressions or squint a lot (when starting at a computer screen, for example), the lines might be more visible.
Although it might seem too early, some people decide to start getting Botox injections in their 20s, to help minimize crow’s feet and frown lines and to keep them from getting worse with age.
Everyone ages differently and some people start to really see more dramatic signs of aging in their faces during their 30s. Factors such as sun exposure, smoking and tobacco use, and your genes can all play a role in determining how your face changes during this decade.
Those dynamic wrinkles, like crow’s feet and frown lines, might become more deeply etched during your 30s, for example. Some women also start to notice that their skin tone is less even. A condition called melasma, which causes dark spots to form on the skin, is fairly common during these years.
Skin cell turnover also starts to slow down, so skin might look less radiant. Collagen production can also begin to dip, causing skin to lose some of its elasticity and firmness.
If you’re concerned about changes on your face during your 30s, you have plenty of options. The Selphyl procedure, sometimes called a “vampire facelift” can help to boost collagen production, for example. Dermal fillers can help to fill in and smooth certain wrinkles as well.
Many people start to see more dramatic signs of aging in their 40s than they did in their 30s and 20s. It’s not just the skin that changes during this decade, but also the tissue beneath the skin. For example, there tends to be a significant loss of subcutaneous fat during this decade. That can cause the face to lose a fair amount of volume. The loss of fat can also make certain wrinkles and creases seem more prominent.
If you notice a reduction in facial volume in your 40s (or earlier or later), a filler such as Juvederm Voluma can help to restore some fullness to the cheeks. The filler contains a thick form of hyaluronic acid which helps to lift up the cheek area. Other fillers, such as Juvederm Volbella, can be used to restore volume lost in areas such as lips.
Collagen and elastin production tends to decline precipitously in your 50s or later. That can mean that you’re likely to notice more significant sagging in the skin during this time of your life than ever before.
Some people can still see the results they want from non-surgical options at this stage. But others might get the most benefit by considering surgical procedures. A facelift can help to minimize sag and droopiness in the lower portion of the face, tightening up the chin and jawline. Blepharoplasty can correct drooping in the eye area, giving you a more awake and well-rested appearance.
No matter what you decide to do, the important thing is to work with an experienced, board certified facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Michael Schwartz is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon practicing in West Palm Beach, Florida. To learn more about the aging face and surgical and non-surgical treatment options, call 561-655-5562 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz today.