Our faces are some of the most distinct and individual aspects of our appearance. From the shape of our eyes to the curve of our hairlines to our distinctive jawlines, we're almost always recognized first by our faces.
There are times, however, when we notice that our appearance has slowly started to change. Whether these changes are initiated on purpose or whether they're a natural result of aging, it’s something we all go through at some stage in our lives. One of those shifts often happens along the line of our cheeks. As time goes by, we may notice that we're developing sunken cheeks. This article will discuss what causes sunken cheeks and how to manage them.
What are sunken cheeks?
Sunken cheeks, called depressed cheeks or hollow cheeks, occur when the area between your cheekbones and your jawline begins to dip inward, or sink. They are technically defined as a "lack or loss of the soft tissues between the zygomata and mandible."
While the natural shape of your cheek is largely predetermined by your fundamental bone structure, only a certain percentage of sunken cheeks come about due to the inherent shape of someone's face. Others develop over time as the result of a range of different factors, some of which are genetic.
Causes of sunken cheeks
Unlike other aspects of your appearance, the basic shape of your cheeks is something largely beyond your control.
“Sunken cheeks occur when you don't have a lot of tissue (flesh) between your zygoma (the bony arch of your cheek under your eye) and your mandible (your lower jawbone). Both women and men can have them.” (Healthline)
In some cases, sunken cheeks are considered attractive. In other cases, they could be a cause for concern.
While the reasons why some people start developing sunken cheeks can be complex, if you're just noticing that your cheeks are starting to take on a hollowed-out look, it could simply be because you're starting to show signs of age.
This is a natural process.
“Several factors cause faces to deflate as they age. The skeletal structure thins, so the cheekbones actually recede and get smaller. The medial fat pad, which gives young cheeks their pleasing plumpness, thins out and moves down, tugged by gravity's relentless toll. And collagen production slows, so skin is no longer as thick and firm as it once was.” (NYT)
In addition to aging, sunken cheeks can be attributed to some of the following factors:
- Illness: Conditions such as vascular EDS, lipoatrophy and tuberculosis can lead to sunken cheeks.
- Diet: Malnutrition and dehydration can sometimes cause a hollowed-out appearance.
- Personal habits: Heavy tobacco use or extreme exercise could be a root cause of sunken cheeks.
- Environment: Harsh weather conditions can cause your face to lose some of its natural elasticity and your cheeks to sink.
Not all instances of sunken cheeks are necessarily negative, however.
How to get sunken cheeks
As indicated, some people desire sunken cheeks because they consider them to be attractive. Celebrities often have what’s called a “diamond-shaped” face, which is characterized by high cheekbones tapering down to a narrow chin.
If you're hoping to develop hollow cheeks, there are still a few steps you can take to move toward your ideal. The basic steps might be simpler than you think.
- Pay attention to diet and exercise: Losing weight and getting fit can decrease the amount of fat in your face and thereby change its appearance, making it more likely that you could develop a more hollow-cheeked look, should you desire.
- Try facial exercises: Facial exercises, or face yoga, is a free, low-risk step that you can try to change the shape of your cheeks.
- Contour your face with makeup: Makeup contouring tricks can produce amazing results in highlighting your natural beauty and producing a temporary sunken look.
While none of these methods for getting sunken cheeks are absolutely foolproof, you may find that one or a combination of these methods produces the results you're hoping to achieve.
How to get rid of sunken cheeks
Maybe you're not looking to develop sunken cheeks. Perhaps, instead, you have noticed them developing over time, and you're now looking for a way to reduce their effects and get rid of them entirely.
If that's the case, there are a few options that may help you get rid of sunken cheeks:
- Consider your lifestyle: Think about whether there are any choices you're making, or environmental factors within your control, that are contributing to your sunken cheeks.
- Adjust your diet: Increasing the quality of your nutrition can make a huge difference in combating the effects of sunken cheeks.
- Stop smoking: Though the process isn't easy, quitting smoking can have a positive effect on both your appearance and your general health.
- Hydrate: Staying hydrated not only makes you feel better, but it also contributes to a fresh and youthful appearance, including helping your face look less hollow.
- Consult a specialist: Doctors who specialize in these issues often have practical suggestions and special treatments ready to recommend, and they will work with you to find the best option.
Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons stay in business because people are looking for quick fixes to problems like hollow cheeks.
A final note on sunken cheeks
While some people will favor collagen treatments, plastic surgery and other drastic measures in order to change the shape of their faces, others may prefer simpler, less invasive measures.
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To hear about how Jawzrsize can help with sunken cheeks, or to chat about anything else, please contact us.