When we examine the “why” behind much of our facial aging, which has become somewhat of a national obsession in our culture of anti-aging, much of what we hear is the same recycled reasons.
Things like sun damage, cell damage from age and bad habits like smoking, diet and lifestyle habits are often the pegged culprit behind the aging of the face.
While these variables certainly do contribute to how our faces age and how FAST they age, there are other lesser-known and less talked about reasons that our faces begin to get the “older look”. Can you do anything about them? Well, some of these phenomena are unavoidable, especially the first one we’ll talk about.
However, with common sense lifestyle choices and some other strategies that we’ll talk about below that aren’t your everyday prescriptions for aging, you can definitely slow these processes and in some cases even help reverse them if they’ve already started or progressed.
Your facial bone structure actually breaks down over time
The bones that underly the muscles and ligaments that create the basis for how your facial features are structured actually begin to break down and wear away with age. This can mean our cheek bones become less defined, and many of the other bones also wear down that are supporting the structure that creates the “canvass” of our skin that stretches over our face, much like the canvass that stretches over a frame.
One thing you can do to help keep all of the bones in your body strong is to make sure you are getting enough calcium through diet (not through supplementation, which can be limited in effectiveness and in some cases even counterproductive to your overall health), and also get plenty of vitamin D.
These two nutrients of course work hand in hand to support bone health and help to prevent degeneration of this hard substance that supports the entire weight of our body, and also happens to play a large part in the integrity of facial structure.
The underflying facial muscles begin to deteriorate and lose their tone
Another closely related issue to the bone wearing that we just talked about is the strength and resilience of the facial muscles which support the skin and fatty layers immediately below the skin. Just as with the muscles supporting and defining the rest of our body, we enjoy a lot of natural firmness and strength in these muscles with youth.
This tone and firmness begins to wane with age, and just as we would work out to keep the tone, definition and functionality of our other muscles, we must also “work out” our facial muscles. There are some great exercises you can find free instructions to online that will help with all of the most common facial age-related complaints.
These include exercises for nasolabial folds which are the lines that “connect” the outer corners of your mouth to either side of your nose, forehead and laugh lines, crows feet, and even the lips.
Exercising these facial muscles helps to keep the underlying foundation strong, firm and lifted. This will not only help with the deep lines and depressions that form, but it will also help keep the skin taut and lifted, and will help fight the inevitable sag that comes with time and gravity.
Your collagen and elastin production begins to slow down – and fast
Our bodies make a lot of collagen up until about the age of 25. It starts to drop off right around this age, sometimes earlier and sometimes later for other people. This is about the time that many people might start to notice some visible signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles that start to not go away when the expression that formed them is no longer being made.