Breaking Down How Your Face Ages After 30

We all want to put our best face forward and in order to do that, we need to understand what factors contribute to the aging face. With this information we can plan better on how to combat these changes. Starting at about 30-years-old, our faces begin to experience natural anatomical changes that contribute to fat pad loss, collagen loss and bone resorption. The good news is these changes are predictable and we can keep them at bay pretty effectively.

The aging face can cause us to look “sad” or “angry” or other emotions that we don’t intend to portray. Many of the patients I see on a regular basis often complain that people tell them they look sad when they aren’t sad or that they’re frowning when they’re not really frowning. Often, this is the result of natural facial aging, and it creates a disconnect with how you look and how you feel, bringing you further away from your authentic self.

But understanding what is happening to your face is the key to finding regenerative medicine and aesthetic solutions that you’ll be happy with.

With that in mind, these are the three major facial changes that contribute to facial aging after age 30: 

  1. Fat Pad Separation

As babies, we are born with a plethora of fat to protect us against our environments. Specifically, we all have fat pads on our faces. Some are superficial, some are deep, and some do interesting things as we get older. For example, fat pads (which give us a nice youthful appearance when we are young) separate and fall as we age, contributing to creases, folds, hollowing, and heaviness in the face where we don’t necessarily want it. Furthermore, some of the fat pads grow as we get older in areas where we do not want additional volume, like the jowls. 

  1. Bone Resorption

As we get older, our bones undergo natural changes as well. Bone resorption occurs when the bones in your face slowly disintegrate and retract, losing mass and creating less surface area for your skin to cover. Think of a tablecloth on a table. As the table gets smaller, more of the cloth hangs loosely off the sides. The most common areas where we see this bone resorption is the chin, the jaw, the orbit (eye sockets), and the bone above the lips. Eyes are a very common concern among my patients. As we age, the bones that create a cradle for our eyes begin to resorb, retract and even change from a circle into an elliptical shape that can give a sunken-in appearance. Similarly, the lower face is often a top concern of my patients for this same reason. The bones around the mouth and jaw begin to retract and resorb contributing to lines around the mouth, marionette lines, and loss of a defined jawline. 

  1. Collagen Loss

In addition to the natural causes of aging listed above, we also lose collagen as we age. Collagen is what gives our skin a supple, soft, hydrated and firm look when we are younger. Starting at 30-years-old, we begin to slowly lose collagen, causing the skin to become thin, crepey, and wrinkled. That is why we focus many of our treatment plans on restoring collagen to try and combat the collagen we are losing as we age. 

Fortunately, we have several solutions to help combat each of the above:

  1. Fat Pad Separation: 
  • Hyaluronic Acid fillers: this is a synthetic version of a compound naturally found in your body called hyaluronic acid. Essentially, what we are doing with these treatments are targeted fat pad replacements. They are very effective and give great results. However, they are not permanent, lasting approximately 12 months on average. 
  1. Bone Loss: 
  • Sculptra aesthetic is a biostimulatory molecule known as PLLA (poly-L-Lactic acid) that promotes your body’s own collagen production and stimulates fibroblast activity. Sculptra can be used deep down onto bone to help lessen the resorption of bone and stimulate bone production. This is an amazing product to start in your thirties to combat both bone loss and collagen loss. 
  1. Collagen loss:
  • We want to do everything we can to add more and more collagen to our “collagen bank accounts” to help us age gracefully over time. A great way to do this is with Morpheus8. Morpheus8 is a radiofrequency microneedling device that stimulates your body’s own collagen production over time. It is an amazing treatment (similar to Sculptra) to start when you are in your thirties to become a collagen billionaire. This machine has been made popular by many celebrities who swear by the results. I can attest, this machine does not disappoint. 
  • Sculptra aesthetic is a biostimulatory molecule known as PLLA (poly-L-Lactic acid) and promotes your body’s own collagen production. Sculptra can be used in the dermis to stimulate your body’s own collagen production over the course of 18-24 months. This product lasts a long time and results are very gradual. So people will know you look better over time, but they won’t quite know what you did. This is an amazing product to start in your thirties to combat both bone loss and collagen loss. 

If you’d like more information on any of these modalities, you can request a consultation with me here.


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