What are jowls?
Jowls are the loose and fleshy areas of skin beneath the jawline which simply don’t exist when we are young, but which have a habit of creeping up on us with the years.
Why have I developed jowls?
Only because it is one of Mother Nature’s little gifts to us, that she dispenses over the years. As we get older, our skin becomes less firm, and so it has a tendency to sag. If we have a heavy face, with a decent amount of fat left in it (something we tend to lose with age), then gravity and the weight of the face helps to drag everything downwards. The same slackening is happening in the skin in our necks, and the result is that fat tends to slump under our jawlines and collect there, and it bulges forwards because the skin isn’t strong enough to retain it. It’s entirely natural, but it doesn’t make for a pretty picture.
Will losing weight get rid of my jowls?
This is a tricky issue. If you lose enough weight, it is bound to show up in your face as well as on your body. The trouble is, the results are unpredictable, and because of the way the fat pads in the lower face tend to slide south with age and gather unhelpfully beneath the chin, it is likely that your mid-face (where a bit more fat is helpful for padding out your facial contours; none of us likes to look gaunt) will start to show your weight loss before your jowls do. Even if you do lose weight evenly, there is no guarantee that your skin has sufficient elasticity to tighten up underneath the chin as you slim down, which could leave you with empty, sagging skin where the jowls used to be.
If your skin is still pretty elastic and your fat pads haven’t sagged down too much, you should see positive results just from losing weight.
How can I tighten loose skin under the chin without surgery?
There are several tweakments that you can try to tighten the skin on the neck without resorting to surgery. The key ones to know about are:
Injectable moisture treatments
These treatments are mostly about hydrating the skin from the inside—so they are not the first thing you would think of for tightening loose skin. There are several brands of these treatments and they all encourage ‘bioremodelling’ of the skin. This means the skin will regenerate itself and produce more of its own collagen and elastin, and become stronger, smoother and a little tighter, too.
Focussed ultrasound treatment
The power of focussed ultrasound treatments lies in their ability to send pulses of energy into the lower layers of the skin, to stimulate the growth of new collagen from well below the surface.
Another tweakment that works by causing light damage to the subdermal layers, prompting a bout of collagen remodelling from within, is radiofrequency. Radiofrequency works by heating up the skin to the point—above 40°C—where the collagen becomes damaged. This damage shrinks the existing collagen, giving a small but immediate tightening effect. Following this, to try and repair itself, the skin produces more collagen, which helps strengthen, smooth and firm up the skin. A course of treatments will give the best results.
Which tweakments can shrink my jowls?
All the tweakments above will help with tightening the skin. If you want to go a notch deeper and look for treatments that can help fatty jowls, you could try a procedure that reduces fat stores under the skin, such as CoolSculpting or Facetite.
CoolSculpting is a fat-freezing treatment which destroys around 27% of the fat in the treated area. It is also proven to tighten the skin, which is helpful.
FaceTite is a treatment based on radiofrequency energy. It melts the fat beneath the skin, which is then extracted via a small cannula, so it is more invasive than most tweakments but can give remarkable results.
If you just have loose skin, you might find high-intensity focussed ultrasound or radiofrequency treatment work better.
What is the best procedure for sagging jowls?
The best procedure for sagging jowls is the one that will work for the particular way in which your jowls have sagged—and you will need a good practitioner to assess your face and discuss with you which treatment is most appropriate.
How much does CACI to tighten my jowls cost?
CACI is a treatment that uses electrical microcurrent to tighten and tone the muscles of the face and neck and it has a well-deserved reputation for being able to work miracles on floppy jowls – as long as you have enough sessions of treatment to re-educate your muscles. (I was told I would need 10-15 sessions.)
Here’s a video of CACI that I did for my Tweak of the Week series, which has loads of useful information:
Can I lift my jowls with toxins?
It might sound unlikely, but yes, you may be able to lift your jowls through carefully placed doses of a wrinkle-relaxing injection, such as toxins. I say ‘may’ because everyone’s jowls are different, and toxins won’t work for everyone.
toxins can help redefine the jawline because it is not so much a wrinkle-relaxing injection as a muscle-relaxing injection. A few well-placed jabs of toxin into muscles that are pulling the lower part of the jaw down, accentuating your jowls, will release these muscles and help redefine the jaw. toxins injections alone won’t totally resculpt your jawline, but they may well help.
Will the Nefertiti lift get rid of my jowls?
The Nefertiti lift is a fancy name for the procedure above, i.e. treating the neck and jawline area with toxins. So yes, depending on what your face and jowls look like to start with, this procedure may help. The aim is to give you a jawline and neck like the ancient Egyptian queen, who was renowned for her beauty. Here’s hoping!
What home devices can I use to tighten my jowls?
There are a number of home-use beauty devices that you can try in order to tighten up your jowls. The two that I think give you the best chance of success are:
- A NuFace facial trainer. This is a device that uses electrical microcurrents to stimulate the muscles beneath the skin. I would go for the NuFACE mini, which delivers the same power as its big sister, the Trinity, unless you particularly want to be able to try the other treatment heads available, in which case go for the bigger one.
- The TriPollar Stop – this device delivers radiofrequency energy into the skin, which heats the skin to the point that the collagen within it contracts (around 41°C). You’ll get a small amount of tightening from that, but the real result comes a couple of months down the line as the skin, shocked by the dose of heat, starts producing new collagen to counteract the damage that it has felt. The device is easy enough to use – the difficult part is that you will need to use it with dedication and put in the required number of sessions every week, and keep going until you start to see results.
What jowl exercises really work?
I’m not someone who has learned, and then practised, this sort of facial exercise and I don’t have jowls to practise on, so I can’t offer you any recommendations from personal experience.
But I know that many people do get great results if they dedicate enough time and energy to face exercises. And compared to the cost of tweakments, jowl exercises are a bargain, so if you have the inclination, they’re worth a try. Look for a regime that you can learn either one-to-one from a teacher, or from videos. These exercises can be tricky in that they involve moving muscles that most of us don’t realise can be moved. That is certainly the case for the platysma muscle beneath the chin, which is the one you want to be working to haul floppy jowls back into line. Look at the websites of these well-known facial exercise experts for instruction and inspiration: Eva Fraser or Face Yoga Expert or Studio Carme.
How to get rid of jowls with make-up?
If you’re going to try hiding your jowls with make-up, good luck! It involves some seriously clever contouring, artfully placing a darker shade of foundation or bronzer beneath the edge of your jaw to create the illusion of the shadow that a stronger jawline casts.
Can it be done? Yes, with a bit of practice—just take your foundation or bronzer and, with a small brush, buff it on just below the edge of your jaw, and under your chin. Bear in mind, though, that while this buffed-on shadow that you have created may look okay in pictures, or if you are facing people head-on, it may not look so good from the side. In fact, it may look as if you have a dark stripe of bronzer smudged under your jaw. Also, don’t do this if you are wearing a shirt or coat with a collar, because if you drop your chin and turn your head sideways, your careful handiwork will start to wipe itself off on that collar.