You love the person you see in the mirror, but sometimes you wish this or that was just a little different. Facial sculpting can turn that fanciful wonderment into a beautiful reality.
What is Facial Sculpting?
Also known as facial contouring, facial sculpting involves one or more elective cosmetic procedures which change the face’s natural shapes and contours. Some procedures require invasive surgery, while others use only injections.
Extensive knowledge and skill are required for facial sculpting. You should only allow a doctor (or other licensed professionals in a medispa setting, as appropriate) to conduct any of these procedures.
Invasive Surgical Contouring
Invasive surgical contouring involves procedures conducted by a doctor or surgeon while you are under either local or general anesthesia. These facial sculpting procedures are commonly referred to as facial cosmetic surgery.
Any healthy adult who wants to improve the outline or contour of certain areas of their face can pursue invasive surgical contouring. Some popular procedures include fat removal and transfer, facial implants, and bone trimming and reduction.
Invasive surgical contouring can be a long-term process. Depending on the procedure, swelling may be present for a month. Full recovery can take three months. Some procedures take up to a year to see the full effects.
Fat transfer involves surgically removing fat from one area of the body and injecting it into another to provide more plumpness. Other names for the procedure are micro-lipo injection, facial fat rejuvenation, and autologous fat grafting.
Skin gradually loses firmness as we age. This is most noticeable on the face and neck, particularly around the eyes, cheeks, and mouth. Major illness and weight loss can also cause loose skin and sagging.
Therefore, fat transfer is often used for the lips, the folds between the nose and mouth, underneath the eyes, and on the cheeks. It can also help correct scars.
First, the doctor makes a small incision in the donation area. They insert a tube to dislodge and collect fat for removal and transfer, which the doctor injects into the target area.
Invasive surgical contouring is also used to address conditions such as a square jaw, receding or protruding chin, protruding cheeks, protruding ears, or an asymmetrical mouth. One of the most common facial bone trimming and reduction surgeries are rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty is surgery on the nose to change its shape or appearance. Sometimes this is done for therapeutic reasons, e.g., to improve breathing. Other times, people do it for purely cosmetic purposes to change the size or shape of the nose.
Bone trimming and reduction surgeries are also common in surgical gender confirmation. Trans women typically use facial sculpting to achieve softer and more feminine contours. Trans men often seek a more chiseled appearance.
Facial implants use specially molded material placed under the skin and/or muscles to enhance or augment the face’s physical structure.
Any area of the face can be augmented, but the most common implant procedures involve the cheeks, chin, and jawline.
- Cheek implants increase cheekbone projection, adding volume to recessed or flat areas of the face.
- Chin implants increase chin size and projection to create proportion with the forehead and mid-face.
- Jaw implants increase facial width and add angles and definition to the lower third of the face.
Non-Surgical Facial Sculpting
Non-surgical facial sculpting involves rejuvenation procedures to contour, correct, or change the shape and look of your face. Most procedures include administering injectable substances, including botox, dermal fillers, and fat reducers.
Individuals usually recover quickly from facial sculpting and contouring procedures and can resume many of their normal activities within a week. The most common side effects are redness, soreness, swelling, and bruising.
Non-surgical facial sculpting should only be performed by professionals, including doctors, nurses, and specially trained aestheticians. Although injectables can produce extraordinary results in the hands of an expert, they can lead to disastrous results when administered incorrectly.
Botox injections lessen or eliminate deep facial lines and furrows by temporarily rendering the underlying muscle incapable of contracting normally. In effect, the muscle is temporarily paralyzed.
For facial contouring purposes, Botox is commonly used to:
- Smooth out furrows on the forehead and between the eyes
- Narrow the jaw’s appearance by relaxing the masseter muscles on each side
- Counteract natural frowns by reversing the muscles on either side of the mouth
Doctors also use Botox to address conditions such as severe underarm sweating, severe neck and shoulder spasms, uncontrollable blinking, misaligned eyes, chronic migraine, and overactive bladder.
The results of botox injections typically last for 3-4 months. With continued injections, there may be some muscular atrophy that allows the results to last longer.
Dermal fillers lift and plump sagging skin and soften or eliminate unwanted wrinkles, age lines, and facial creases. The key ingredient in most fillers is hyaluronic acid, which adds volume and hydration to the skin, and other components designed to stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen.
Dermal fillers can benefit early signs of aging or add additional value to a surgical sculpting procedure. Specific uses include:
- Plumping thin lips
- Softening facial creases and wrinkles
- Improving the appearance of recessed scars
- Enhancing shallow contours
- Decreasing or removing shadows in the lower eyelids
- Reconstructing contour deformities in the face
Some people use dermal fillers to avoid or delay surgical procedures such as a facelift, brow lift, or eye lift. However, dermal fillers are not a substitute for surgery, especially since they are temporary and must be repeated to achieve long-term results.
Kybella(R) is a well-known brand of injectable fat reducer. It is the first and only FDA-approved injectable for improving the appearance of moderate to severe double chins. Some doctors also use it to target other small body fat concentrations such as knees, inner thighs, and around the bra line.
Most Kybella treatments involve two to four injections administered about a month apart. Final results can take up to 12 weeks after the last injection.
CoolSculpting(R) is the best-known brand of fat-freezing technology, another option for lessening a double chin or sagging jowls.
Fat is chilled to 4 degrees Celsius, inducing cell death in an average of 27 percent of the fatty tissue treated. The body then excretes the dead fat cells over several weeks.