A “Moon face” is when your face gets puffy and round, usually due to weight gain. The extra fat deposition gives your face a rounded look, like the moon. This can happen due to several factors, including age, menopause, pregnancy, certain medical conditions, and certain medications.
It’s typical for you to think you could have avoided it somehow, but it's not always in your control. For instance, taking anti-inflammatory steroids for an extended period can have undesired side effects. We can also chalk it up to hypothyroidism and other conditions like Cushing's syndrome.
The good news is that Moon Face is not painful or life-threatening. The most it can be is ‘embarrassing’ to have for certain individuals–others are more comfortable and confident with their bodies. No doubt, this condition can dramatically alter your appearance and mess with your psyche.
However, there is a ray of light beyond this dark tunnel. Moon Face is treatable; you can do jawline exercises to reduce its appearance.
The Pathology of Moon Face
Moon face is a medical condition that results in fat build-up around the face and neck. The condition is caused by an excess of the hormone cortisol released by the adrenal gland in response to stress. The excess cortisol encourages the body to store more fat, which leads to the characteristic puffy face and enlarged abdomen seen in moon face.
Moon face is only a side effect and is not harmful, but it can be very problematic for those affected by it.
Fortunately, the moon face is usually just a temporary side effect that will disappear once the underlying cause is addressed.
The following conditions cause or bring an increased risk of moon face:
The primary cause of Moon Face is the long-term use of corticosteroids such as Prednisone. This broad-spectrum drug is hard to avoid. It treats poison ivy rashes, arthritis, lupus, certain cancers, and anything that causes severe swelling in your body.
However, long-term use can cause radical weight gain, mood changes, and moon facies. Other corticosteroids to watch for are dexamethasone, cortisone, and methylprednisolone.
This is when your body produces excess amounts of cortisol hormone. Cushing's syndrome is not a disease but a side effect of stress, certain tumors, and medication that causes pituitary overload. The excessive cortisol levels cause the body to store more fat, particularly in the abdominal and facial areas. As the fat accumulates, it pushes outwards, leading to a rounded facial appearance.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones to regulate metabolism, so when levels are low, it can lead to some symptoms, the most noticeable being weight gain, which can lead to the appearance of a moon face.
Aside from the moon face, you can also battle with joint pain, fatigue, and even depression. However, hypothyroidism is not common as it comes from autoimmune disorders, radiotherapy, or conditions that may cause thyroid gland removal.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Clinical diagnosis of moon face requires tests of urine and blood samples. Here, your doctor investigates abnormal cortisol levels. They may also do CT, or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans to check if the hormone levels are off the charts.
After such tests, your doctor can prescribe the following treatments:
- Treatment of the associated illness
- Lower doses of Prednisone or other anti-inflammatory medications.
- The use of thyroxine supplements
- They can put you on a low salt diet as high sodium levels lead to moon face
NB: Lower your usage of anti-inflammatory steroids only under the guidance of your GP. You can also change your diet and increase physical activity to reduce weight and manage the moon face.
6 Natural Ways to Counter Moon Face
The go-to response for many people would be Botox or cosmetic solutions. However, that may be unwise, as you won’t treat the underlying conditions. So the wise move is to follow your doctor's instructions.
You can also shore up these efforts with the following jawline exercises:
Skipping rope has a similar sensation and effect to running. You don’t need much space and won’t be wiped out as fast as running. Jumping stimulates more movement, sweating, and fat burning around your face.
This helps melt away that moon face and can eliminate an undesired double chin. Skipping rope for 12 weeks can radically transform your body’s composition.
Brow Lift Exercises
Brow lifts or raisers effectively keep your eyebrows where they need to be. If performed regularly, the upper portion of your face won’t droop after you lose the excess face fat after successful medical interventions.
One simple exercise is to put your palms flat on your face and lay your index and middle fingers directly below each eyebrow.
While keeping your eyes open, apply upward and outward pressure to your brows with your fingertips for anywhere from five to ten seconds.
After that, contract the muscles that are located above your eyes and press your brows firmly against your fingers for another five seconds.
Now, repeat this motion ten times and complete six sets. Or do it 60 times to get the desired effect.
This simple facial exercise can help you melt away the fat and reveal those stunning cheekbones.
Start by placing your fingers on each cheek. Press and lift the fat and skin until you feel stiff. Now open your mouth as wide as possible to form an "O" shape.
Hold that pose for 5 seconds or more to heighten resistance in the cheek muscles. Repeat the procedure until you score 10-20 reps.
Moon face and double chin are a tragic combo that can add years to your appearance, making you look older and heavier than you really are. Jawline flexes can help you trim off that fat for a slimmer and younger-looking face.
Start by tilting your head back and looking up at the ceiling.
Next, open your mouth as wide as you can. If you feel the tension in the muscles near your ear, then you’re doing it right.
Hold this position for a few seconds (10 seconds minimum) before relaxing and repeating (15 times will do).
Your neck also accumulates a lot of fat that rolls up beneath your cheeks. Performing some neck rolls can help you target this area like no other workout routine.
Start by bobbing your head up and down to loosen up the muscles. Then roll your head around in a circular motion, making sure to go slowly to avoid injury.
You should hear some clicking sounds as you do this - that's normal and just means that the muscles are getting stretched out.
Not only can neck rolls help reduce fat deposits in this area, but they can also improve your posture. If you find yourself constantly bending your neck down to look at your smartphone or tablet, neck rolls can help alleviate some of that tension.
Chipmunk Cheek Squeeze
This exercise targets the fat stored on your cheeks and under the jaw. It’s simple, and you can do it in public if you don't mind making weird fish or duck faces.
To give your cheeks a good workout, start by tilting your head back and pushing your chin forward.
Next, suck in your cheeks until your mouth looks like a fish puffing out its lips. You should feel a burning sensation in your cheeks as they start to fatigue.
Hold this position for 5 seconds before releasing it and repeating the exercise 10 times.
Use A Dedicated Jawline Exerciser
So, if you're looking to add some definition to your jawline and get rid of a moon face, be sure to give these exercises a try. And don't forget about using a dedicated Jawline exerciser! This will help speed up the process and ensure that you see results in the shortest amount of time possible.
In addition, because they are specifically designed for this purpose, jawline exercisers offer a level of precision that the other exercises simply can't match.