Sagging skin is something that we will all have to face sooner or later. Moreover, we have our old friend gravity to thank for those droopy cheeks and jiggly jowls. It’s often said that we can’t fight gravity, and while that is unfortunately true, we can mitigate some of its effects and improve the appearance of sagging cheeks without going under the surgeon’s knife.
Home remedies can’t turn the clock back and give you the skin that you had as a youthful 20-year-old, but they can certainly bring about some significant changes.
- 1 What Causes Sagging Cheeks?
- 2 Genetics
- 3 Weight Changes
- 4 Too Much Sun Exposure
- 5 Smoking
- 6 Stress And Depression
- 7 What Doesn’t Cause Sagging Skin?
- 8 Running
- 9 Sleeping On Your Front
- 10 Collagen And Elastin
- 11 Elastin also helps to keep skin smooth.
- 12 Facial Exercises To Firm Up Sagging Skin
- 13 Facial Massage To Boost Oxygen To The Facial Muscles
- 14 Eat A Diet With A Rich Source Of Easily Utilized Protein
- 15 Use A Retinol Cream To Increase Collagen Production
- 16 Use Vitamin C Serum To Increase Elastin Production
- 17 Boost Your Telomeres With Good Nutrition
- 18 Apply A Cool Firming Face Mask
- 19 Use A Cinnamon Deep Conditioning Skin Treatment
What Causes Sagging Cheeks?
Some people age well, retaining firm skin well into their 60’s. Others don’t even make it to their 40’s before sagging skin becomes apparent.
A good predictor of your future skin health is to look at your parents, especially your mother. If they retained firm skin well into middle age, then you probably will too. If they looked old before their time, then you need to take care to avoid as much skin damage as possible.
Our weight fluctuates all of the time. For some women that fluctuation can occur every month, with as much as 4 or 5 pounds of additional water weight stretching the skin over and over again for 40 years. While most of the monthly bloat settles around the abdomen, some of it is apparent in a little facial puffiness. That stretching takes its toll on skin condition. Over time, the elasticity of the skin is compromised by this relentless stretching.
These effects are made worse by more significant weight changes. While the skin has more resilience during our younger years and can snap back after weight loss, skin loses that ability as we age, and while healthy weight loss is a worthy goal, it can leave older skin loose and saggy.
Pregnancy later in life can also lead to loose skin, primarily if there was weight gain over and above a reasonable amount.
Older people also tend to eventually lose the fat padding in their faces which leaves loose skin behind.
Also, the ultimate insult is that loose skin can make your face look fat even when you’ve lost weight. Sometimes you can’t win.
Too Much Sun Exposure
You already know that too much sun exposure can cause lines and wrinkles, but did you know that it can also contribute to sagging skin?
UV rays from the natural sun, or tanning beds, break down the collagen in the skin and result in loss of firmness.
Smoking takes a terrible toll on your body. From heart and lung diseases to cancer, to tooth discoloration and loss, wrinkles and yellowed skin. It also causes cheeks to droop as smoking speeds up the aging process of the skin and leads to reduced collagen and elastin production.
Stress And Depression
Stress is another problem which takes a heavy toll on your skin. People under heavy and prolonged stress can easily look 20 years older than they are. Aside from the gray hair and deep lines, one of the biggest changes that stress brings to your face is slack skin and loss of condition. We know why this happens. Chronic stress and depression directly affect the length of your telomeres and telomeres are responsible for the rate at which you age. More on telomeres later!
What Doesn’t Cause Sagging Skin?
It’s a common myth that running causes the skin to sag. People think that as skin bounces up and down while you run, the continual impacts cause the fibers of the skin to stretch. There is no truth to that whatsoever.
Michael Edwards, MD, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says that you can’t jostle around enough to damage the collagen in your skin.
However, you should protect your skin from the sun while you’re out running, as that will cause skin sagging.
Sleeping On Your Front
While your sleeping position can contribute to the formation of skin creases and wrinkles, sleeping on your stomach has no connection with sagging cheeks.
When you’re younger, your skin has enough elasticity to bounce back from lines caused by your pillow. This doesn’t happen as quickly when you age. So even though front sleeping won’t make your skin sag, you might want to alter your sleeping position to prevent any more visible aging to your face.
The best sleep position for younger looking skin, according to Dr. Edwards, is sleeping on your back.
To help you prevent sleep induced lines and wrinkles you can buy specially designed ‘sleep wrinkle pillows,’ which have a cradle for your head to stop you from easily rolling over, as well as ‘steps’ which prevent your face coming into contact with the pillow.
Collagen And Elastin
Collagen and elastin determine the firmness and suppleness of our skin. Elastin is a protein and its fibers act like rubber bands or coils within the skin’s connective tissue and allow it to ping back to its original shape after stretching or contracting.
Elastin also helps to keep skin smooth.
Collagen is another protein, and it gives skin its underlying structure and strength. The word collagen derives from a Greek word which means glue – kolla.
Both collagen and elastin production decline with age.
Facial Exercises To Firm Up Sagging Skin
There are exercises that you can do to firm up sagging cheeks. And they work well. Just like you can tone up other muscles in your body, you can tone up your cheek muscles. But there is a catch. All of the extra flexings of the muscles in your face can cause more lines, or deeper wrinkles, so you need to use the right wrinkle-busting treatments on your face to protect your skin from the effects of these exercises. Let’s look at the exercises first and then we’ll find out which natural products you can use to fight wrinkle formation.
Exercise one – Stand in front of a mirror and make a very exaggerated smile. Only move your mouth, don’t involve your forehead muscles. Hold the smile for about ten seconds, then rest. Repeat the movement 5 times.
Exercise two – Fill your cheeks full of air. Puff the skin out as far as you can without it feeling painful. Then move the air from one side of your mouth to the other. Do this three times then relax. Repeat the movement five more times.
Exercise three – Form your open mouth into an ‘O’ shape. Then make a broad smile, but keep your lips over your teeth. Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat 6 times.
Exercise four – Form the open mouth ‘O’ again. Tilt your head back very slightly, then move your jaw up and down to open and close your mouth. You’ll feel this exercise in your upper jaw if you’re doing it correctly. Repeat 4 more times.
To protect your skin from new or deeper wrinkles apply jojoba oil, castor oil, and frankincense oil before you do the exercises.
Use 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil mixed with 1 teaspoon of castor oil and 4 drops of frankincense essential oil.
Facial Massage To Boost Oxygen To The Facial Muscles
Massaging your cheeks will boost blood flow to your cheeks and encourage the removal of toxins from your skin. Both of these actions are important for good muscle tone and for rejuvenating sagging skin.
The best way to massage your cheeks is with a handheld rechargeable vibrating massager. Prices vary, but as long as the massager doesn’t pull at your skin, even lower priced one will work well. Amazon sells a good selection of massagers.
To massage manually, lubricate your skin with a few drops of light oil, like sunflower oil. Then spread your fingers slightly and place them along the undersides of your cheekbones. Use firm circular motions to massage clockwise, then reverse and massage anti-clockwise. Next place three fingers onto your cheek area, between your nose and your cheekbones. Massage clockwise and anti-clockwise. Keep moving between the two areas for about 5 minutes.
Eat A Diet With A Rich Source Of Easily Utilized Protein
Collagen and Elastin are both proteins. Your body produces over 100,000 different proteins, and it makes all of those different molecules from various combinations of 20 amino acids. Your body can synthesize some of these amino acids, but the rest must be obtained from the protein in your diet. And there is a big difference in the quality of different sources of dietary protein.
Some food sources – notably vegetable sources of protein – are incomplete proteins, meaning that they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce for itself. Animal products are complete sources of protein and contain all of the essential amino acids necessary for protein production in your body.
The very highest quality protein that you can obtain from natural food sources comes from eggs. By eating high-quality protein, with a complete complement of amino acids, you will give your body the building blocks that it needs to produce as much elastin and collagen as it can.
Use A Retinol Cream To Increase Collagen Production
Over-the-counter retinol serums and creams can increase collagen production in your skin and help to firm up sagging cheeks. Retinol treatments come in varying strengths. Lower retinol products contain 0.01% retinol, while professional grade products contain 1% retinol. To address sagging skin the 1% strength is the better option, but you can choose a lower concentration and see how it performs.
Use Vitamin C Serum To Increase Elastin Production
Vitamin C serum is superb for wrinkles and overall skin condition, and it can also boost collagen production and tighten skin You can make a DIY Vitamin C serum at home, which is just as effective as high priced retail products.
Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. You’ll find plenty of people online telling you that vitamin C must come from rosehips and other excellent sounding sources, but this isn’t necessary. Nobel prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling, who spent a lifetime investigating vitamin C, was emphatic in his opinion that there was no chemical difference between natural ascorbic acid (orange juice, rose hips) and the synthetic ascorbic acid derived from corn.
Clinical trials have proved that this is the case. So, you can be confident in ignoring exaggerated claims about the superiority of costly sources of vitamin C and opt for sensibly priced ascorbic acid instead.
To make a serum you can use ascorbic acid and water, or you can add a little glycerin to make it last longer, it’s entirely up to you.
- 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid
- 1 tablespoon distilled water
- 1 teaspoon of distilled water and 2 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin
- A dark colored container to prevent oxidation of the serum
Dissolve the ascorbic acid powder in 1 tablespoon of the water. That’s it. This serum will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
If using glycerine, dissolve the Vitamin C in 1 teaspoon of water, then stir in the glycerin and store. This one will last a month or more.
Apply the serum twice a day to clean, moisturized skin.
You can also take ascorbic acid as a supplement to help from the inside. People’s tolerance for vitamin C varies, with large does having a laxative effect if you aren’t used to them. Most people are okay with 500mg, to begin with, and you can increase this amount over time.
Doses should be divided over the day because vitamin C that isn’t used right away by the body is excreted.
Boost Your Telomeres With Good Nutrition
A telomere is the sequence of DNA at the end of each chromosome. Every time that a cell replicates and divides, the telomere loses some of its length. Over time the telomere is entirely used up, and the cell can no longer divide and replicate. This contributes to disease within the body, cell death, and the aging process.
If we could hang onto our telomeres, we would have a real fountain of youth.
As you age, your telomeres shorten, but the rate at which this happens isn’t fixed!
Pure nutritional supplements can slow down the rate at which your telomeres shorten and even reverse the shortening process. The longer your telomeres remain, the ‘younger’ your body and your skin will be.
Research has shown that women who took a good quality multivitamin supplement on a regular basis had 5% longer telomeres than those who didn’t supplement. A study on folic acid levels found that those with higher levels of folate had longer telomeres than those with lower levels of folate.
Magnesium and vitamin E are both required in healthy amounts for telomere health, as well as for good general well-being. The best forms of supplemental magnesium are magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate, and magnesium glycinate.
Vitamin E is a tricky thing to supplement, and the tocotrienol form of vitamin E is considered to be vastly superior to the alpha-tocopherol form. Tocotrienol vitamin E is, therefore, a more expensive form of the supplement. The research that has been carried out on vitamin E and telomere length used the tocotrienol form and found that this form did indeed lengthen telomeres in human fibroblast cells. Fibroblast cells are responsible for collagen and elastin production.
Vitamin C has been shown to slow the loss of telomeres in endothelial cells, and to boost the activity of the telomerase enzyme which lengthens telomeres.
A good vitamin supplement, combined with quality protein and plenty of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, along with a proper intake of vitamin C and magnesium and vitamin E will support the health of your telomeres and help you to remain youthful for longer.
Apply A Cool Firming Face Mask
Use aloe vera gel and peppermint essential oil to firm skin and improve circulation.
Use the very best gel which is fresh aloe vera gel straight from the plant.
Cut off a section of leaf and remove the gel. To do this, first trim of the sides off the leaf, then carefully slice off the top and bottom of the leaf material.
Place the block of gel into a bowl and use a spoon to break it up. Place the gel in the fridge for one hour. Then add 4 drops of peppermint essential oil and massage the gel into your cheeks. Leave for 20 minutes and then rinse off with cool water. Pat skin dry and moisturize.
Use A Cinnamon Deep Conditioning Skin Treatment
Research has shown that cinnamon can promote higher collagen levels within the skin.
Using cinnamon topically as well as a supplement, helps your skin to produce collagen from the outside and the inside at the same time, giving your skin an extra boost
Choose a good quality cinnamon supplement and take the recommended dose each day.
To make a cinnamon skin conditioning treatment you will need:
- Castor oil
- Sunflower oil
- Cinnamon Leaf essential oil – You must use the leaf oil and not the bark oil. Cinnamon bark oil should never be used on skin!
Mix 1 teaspoon of castor oil, with 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and 6 drops of cinnamon essential oil. Massage into your cheeks with small firm circular motions.
Let it soak in for 30 minutes then wash face in warm water with a mild soap. Pat skin dry and moisturize.
To permit the best penetration possible, you should exfoliate your face before using the cinnamon oil. You can use an oatmeal scrub or a sugar scrub for this purpose.
Also, there you have it. If you adopt these skin care techniques, you should begin to see real improvement in the appearance of your sagging cheeks. So if you take the correct nutrients to keep your telomeres in good shape, you will have perfect health to go with your lovely firm skin!
Updated: September 8, 2018 by Dr. Kimberly Langdon M.D. All medical facts and points stated on this page are correct as of this date. Please be aware that new content and additional references were added in this last update. All the content and media has been uploaded by Lily Greene our webmaster, who is also in charge of page design.