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What actually happens to your face as it ages?

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For anyone looking in the mirror on a daily basis, the first signs of ageing are on the surface: darker under-eye circles that seem somehow larger than the last time, a pair of lines between your eyebrows, an odd collection of extra skin and fat at the bottom of your jaw. Those outward changes are the result of deeper structural changes in your bones, muscle, and fat, and the seismic moves happening underneath your skin make a big difference in how you age. Here, we outline the four factors of facial ageing.


The four major areas of structural change are bone, muscle, fat, and finally, skin. But before we dive into the woes of ageing, here are the basics of face structure: your outer skin (epidermis) is packed from the inside with the hypodermis (also known as subcutaneous layer), which is where all your subcutaneous fat is found. The hypodermis is what connects to the web of your facial muscles, which in turn link to your bone structure. We’ll explore these elements from inside out, starting with the bone.


Despite their rigidity, bones don’t stay the same as we age—they lose mass, migrate, and cause major changes in our appearance. The process of bone resorption happens all over the body as we age but is most noticeable on the face, this bone loss can lead to narrowing of the temples and retraction of the jawline and mouth. The nose starts to descend and the eye socket widens, this in turn causes the eyes to have a more sunken look and the retraction of the jawline unveils jowls and a ‘double chin’.

Solutions: There are no skeletal approaches to anti-ageing, but there are preventive procedures to avoid sagging, cheek fillers placed directly on top of the cheek bones give structure and lift to a sagging face. Hollows under the eyes can be treated with ‘tear trough’ filler.


The underlying structure of facial muscles is called the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS), and it sits between bone and fat. When bones give way, the muscles follow. The facial muscles and fat pads decrease in volume, while the casing holding them together (the SMAS) loses its elasticity, culminating in a true domino effect.

Solutions: Before this loss of volume takes place, your muscles have the chance to work up lines from repetitive motions. Muscular activity can result in ‘static’ lines due to repeated motion, this is where neurotoxins (commonly referred to as the brand name Botox) play their part, both in preventing and reversing early lines before they set in.


Take a look at a babies face, so round and chubby, full of subcutaneous pockets of fat, as we grow older this fat diminishes and redistributes itself, finding new places to settle as we age, unfortunately this tends not to be high on our cheek bones but drifted downward around our jowls and chin. This movement tends to happen in your forties, and continues steadily as the years pass. The result of this? It looks like your skin is falling and wrinkling (which it is) but the underlying cause is the deflation of fat. Following the path of sagging skin, the perky button nose of your youth starts to turn downward. This is partly due to lack of soft tissue support and also a result of the upper lip retracting downward and the nose following. The top of the nose at the bridge often sinks, causing a horizontal wrinkle, in addition to the vertical lines between the brows.

Solutions: In this case, wrinkles are the primary target, consider wrinkle relaxing treatment (commonly referred to as the Brand name Botox) for the upper third of the face (crows feet, frown and forehead) Cheek fillers will add volume and lift the mid face. The lower face can be treated with dermal fillers to lift and smooth the area from nose to mouth and around the lips and chin.

All the above issues can be addressed by Refined and Radiant Aesthetics and a full anti-ageing plan can be developed.

If you are considering treatment and would like to know more about dermal fillers, tear trough treatment or wrinkle relaxing in Garforth or would like to book a consultation, please contact today!

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