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Aging is a process.  It starts gradually and doesn’t really bother us at first….I don’t want to look twenty…..I want to age gracefully….I’ve earned these lines!   But somehow the changes in one’s appearance creep up slowly and then start to accelerate and one day you look in the mirror and wonder what on earth happened to the real you, why do you look tired/sad/angry?  Why does your skin look dull and uneven-toned and where did all those wrinkles and crinkles come from?  

I know, I know…celebrate your age, not everyone gets there.  I know…beauty comes from within and your outward appearance isn’t important.  Happiness makes one beautiful, being in love makes one beautiful, helping others makes one beautiful.  But it’s hard to feel beautiful when you look in the mirror after a good night’s rest and you see tired/sad/angry/dissatisfied.  

The aging process is well-documented and unfortunately, the changes that occur do indeed make us look all of the above, even when we are happy and content.  

So, what happens as we age that makes us look miserable?

Our bones and our teeth start to slowly resorb and we lose some of the underlying support to our tissue.  Eye sockets enlarge and the chin bone gets smaller. Our noses appear to get wider and larger. 

Our deep fat pads start to disappear and our superficial fat pads start to descend.  Our skin loses elasticity. 

All of these changes lead to a loss of support and our skin starts to sag and wrinkle.  Our eyes start to look hollow and dark circles appear.  Our eyelids start to sag and the axis of the eye starts to slope downwards, making one look sad.  In some patients, the enlargement of the eye socket leads to the eyes sinking inwards and the muscles above the eyebrows over-compensate and pull the eyebrows upwards, leading to a startled appearance.  

Jowls start to form, the mouth corners start to descend, we lose definition along the jawline, and our chin muscle becomes over-active, creating an orange peel appearance.  The triangle of youth inverts and becomes a triangle of age.

A good analogy is to think of the face as a table with a tablecloth pulled tightly over it without any creases.  If that table (our bone and fat pads) starts to decrease in size, the overlying tablecloth (soft tissue and skin) starts to wrinkle and crease.  

How can we stop these changes?

Unfortunately, we can’t.  But there are many procedures that can mitigate some of these changes.  Soft tissue fillers are used to volumize and “replace” bone and fat pads, increasing the size of the table and “stretching” out the tablecloth.  We can use them to support eyelids, lift brows, elevate sagging cheeks and jowls, redefine jawlines, smooth out chins, fill under-eye hollows and recreate the triangle of youth.  Various treatments are used to tighten soft tissue, build collagen and improve skin elasticity, and remove pigmentation and create a more even skin tone and texture.

A combination of injectables and skin treatments can make one look less tired, sad, angry or dissatisfied.  Most patients don’t want to look younger, they want to look good for their age.  A soft, natural and refreshed look is the goal of aesthetic treatments and looking good improves a person’s self-confidence and feeling of self worth which has positive knock-on effects in every aspect of life.

Natasha Chapman

Dr. Natasha Chapman is an Aesthetic Medical Practitioner with over 16 years of experience in the aesthetics industry. She is passionate about what she does and regularly attends advanced training courses to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the aesthetics world.