I’d gotten used to the fact of aging skin – and have dozens of tools in my arsenal to combat it – but now I learn that wrinkles are caused by aging bones too. Oh, it’s too much!
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center analyzed scans of facial bones of young people, ages 20 to 40; middle aged people, ages 41 to 64; and older people, 65 and up and found that bone structure changes as people age.
Now for the specifics: As we age, our eye sockets become wider and longer, the length of our eyebrows, nose and upper jawbone become shorter and the length and height of our lower jaw shrinks.
Adding insult to injury, while the change in eye socket size occurs at the same rate in men and women, women experience the other skeletal changes between young and middle age while men – yeah, you anticipated what I’m going to write – experience these changes later, usually between middle and older age.
What do these changes mean to the appearance of your face? Well, large eye sockets, coupled with a decrease in eyebrow angle could result in forehead wrinkles, crow’s feet and drooping eyelids.
Some cosmetic surgeons combat skeletal aging with the use of implants but these can shift and look obvious. That’s why many cosmetic surgeons resort to fat injections to treat skeletal aging. Fat injections may last for years, feel more natural than other fillers on the market and may result in a more youthful glow than other options.
And here’s why a holistic approach to aging is your best bet … It’s known that genetics plays a prominent role in the manner and speed at which bones age, but tooth loss significantly speeds up the process. When you lose teeth, you lose facial volume; the skin around the mouth becomes lax and you look older. If that isn’t reason enough to brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly, I don’t know what is. Plus, some dentists now use Botox for dental as well as cosmetic applications. Dr. Nick Mobilia, Elite Dental Arts, NYC, is doing amazing work with Botox. Read about it here.
The potentially good news … it’s possible that bone-retaining medications, used to control osteoporosis, might prevent facial bone aging. But, (isn’t there always a but?) much more research needs to be done before that determination can be made.
And read about what some cosmetics companies are doing to combat aging skin: