We all know that injectables can help recreate all the hallmarks of youth: smooth skin, plump lips, full cheeks. But a new trend in cosmetic procedures is targeting a different area: the jawline. A sharp, sleek, and defined jawline is more desirable than ever, and not just with who you’d expect. “A defined jawline is associated with youth, so there has always been an interest in the jawline among middle aged and older patients,” says Dr. Melissa Doft, a plastic surgeon based in New York. “The striking change that has occurred over the past year is the interest in the jawline among younger patients.” And honestly, it makes perfect sense why. “The uptick can be associated with increased zoom conferences and a focus on social media,” Dr. Doft explains. “A defined jaw photographs better.”
So how can you achieve that photogenic jawline? It really depends on what’s having the biggest effect on that area of your face: a small chin, an undefined jaw, prominent muscles, loose skin, or extra fat. Any of these will throw your facial harmony out of whack. “Creating a balance or harmony between facial features is a key element to beauty,” says Dr. Doft. “The best example is a rhinoplasty patient: many patients will present to the office complaining of a large nose, but they often do not realize that they have a weak chin.” Consulting with a practitioner can help you narrow down which one of these factors to target to achieve that facial harmony. Below, both Dr. Doft and Facile provider Xochitl Renteln, PA-C, share their treatment recommendations.
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To address a small chin or undefined jaw: Dermal fillers are the way to go for a non-surgical approach. “Filler is the best option for creating a sharper and more contoured jawline,” says Renteln. “I prefer to use Juvederm Voluma or Restylane Defyne to give structure and support.”
To address prominent muscles: Bigger masseter muscles (you know, the ones you use to chew) can make your face appear boxy, explains Dr. Doft. Botox injections will weaken those muscles and reduce their size, slimming your face and creating a more v-shaped profile. Xochitl Renteln likes to combine injectables for this issue as well. “If someone has large masseters, a combination of masseter Botox and fillers can be used to slim the face and reveal a more defined jawline,” Renteln says.
To address loose skin: For this, Renteln also takes a holistic approach. “Collagen boosting and skin resurfacing treatments such as microneedling and laser in conjunction with injectables can help achieve a tighter and more lifted look,” she explains. For a more permanent solution, you can go with a more invasive neck lift, which will remove excess loose skin as well as fat.
To address excess fat: Extra fat under the chin (aka submental fat) will make the angle between the neck and the jaw obtuse and give poor definition, explains Dr. Doft. Surgical liposuction can reduce the amount of fat in the area. Another thing that might be affecting your jawline are your buccal fat pads, which are found in the lower cheek. Surgically reducing those buccal fat pads can decrease unwanted fullness in the lower part of the face and make your jawline appear more defined.