Characteristics of the Aging Face

Characteristics of the Aging Face

You may be in excellent health and “aging well.” However, you may also be contributing inadvertently to accelerated facial aging with activities such as smoking and unprotected sun exposure, particularly in South Florida.

At their first consultation, many South Florida face lift and BOTOX® Cosmetic patients know they would like an improved appearance, but can’t identify what it is that detracts from the way they look. Wrinkles and sagging skin seem to be the obvious culprits, but in reality the face is complex, with many layers and tissue structures that change differently over time.

Here are some guidelines that should help you understand those changes in your appearance that you would like to correct. You can learn more about the facial aging process and Dr. Cooper’s extensive menu of facial enhancement procedures when you contact Cooper Plastic Surgery at (561) 741-9000 or request a complimentary consultation online. Both Dr. Cooper and his highly trained staff would be happy to answer your questions.

The Effects of Aging: On the Surface

As we age, the effects of gravity, exposure to the sun, and the stresses of daily life can become clearly visible on our faces:

  • Eyes: Sun damage deepens the “laugh lines” at the corners of the eyes and creates additional creases below the eyes. Thinning, sun damaged skin under the eyes also droops, giving the impression of fatigue or weariness.
  • Forehead: Vertical “frown lines” and horizontal bands of wrinkles (“expression lines”) form as the result of years of repeatedly raising (or lifting) the forehead in concentration, annoyance, or surprise.
  • Mouth: Fine wrinkles also appear on the cheeks, above the upper lip (particularly for smokers), or at the corners of the mouth.
  • Nose and Cheeks: Sun damage may create discoloration or blotchiness, especially “sun spots” or reddening in these areas.
  • Skin Quality: Suppleness and softness is replaced by a coarser look and feel, and the glow of youthful skin gives way to a duller, less healthy look.

Dr. Cooper’s practice offers a full selection of noninvasive treatments to treat surface-level signs of aging, including BOTOX® Cosmetic for South Florida patients, injectable fillers, and physician-strength skin care. However, for many patients these temporary solutions will not be sufficient to address the deeper causes of facial aging.

The Effects of Aging: Below the Surface

Wrinkles are only one aspect of the aging face and often result from a combination of deeper factors that affect different areas of the face differently.

The Upper Face:

  • The forehead begins to sag, lowering the brows and upper eyelid tissues and creating an appearance of fatigue or tension.
  • Excess upper-eyelid tissue may settle over the eyes, giving them a puffy, wrinkled look and obscuring their natural beauty.
  • Thinning tissues at the lower eyelid may expose the lids’ natural fat pads, emphasizing the tear troughs and creating “bags under the eyes.”

The Mid-Face:

  • The pads of fat that give the cheeks a youthful, prominent appearance tend to slide downward over time, replacing your formerly attractive “high cheekbone” look with a more gaunt, poorly defined shape.
  • With age the tip of the nose actually drops a bit, compromising facial harmony and reversing the “pert” look that we tend to see as youthful and attractive.

The Lower Face:

  • Deep creases (nasolabial folds) form from the corners of the nostrils to the outer edges of the mouth, giving the mid-face a “puppet-like” appearance and causing the the skin along the jawbone to become slack and “jowly.”
  • Loose, sagging skin appears at the chin and neck, sometimes resulting in the “turkey gobbler” neck that many find objectionable. Others find that their neck appears to look cord-like in appearance as the platysma muscles protrude and give the neck a stretched, aging look.
  • The mouth also begins to droop downward, creating a tense, unhappy appearance even when your mood is positive.
  • In some cases, new fatty pouches will develop around the mouth, or the tissues of the entire lower face and neck will thicken and sag even on slimmer faces, obscuring the smooth underlying contours of the chin, jaw line, and neck. Back to Top

For a personal evaluation of the characteristics of your face, request a complimentary consultation online with Dr. Cooper today. Or you can call his office at (561) 741-9000 to schedule your appointment.