None of us is immortal–science hasn’t figured that out just yet. As the years go by, our bodies become more vulnerable due to the gradual accumulation of molecular and cellular damage. Our physical and mental capacity reduces until our bodies cannot recover from illness or support life.
But before that happens, between age-related incapacitation and the bliss of youth, ageing happens. It is not linear, nor is it consistent–and we cannot rigidly tie certain outcomes to the number of years spent on this earth. However, on a biological level, the more revolutions you witness, the looser things get, the more brittle our structures become and the harder we have to work to remain objectively attractive.
One of the most visible signs of ageing is a receded, droopy jawline. You can wear hats to cover baldness, sunglasses to hide sunken eyes and crow's feet, scarves to hide a turkey neck, full coverage clothes to hide wrinkles, but there is not much you can do to conceal an aged jawline.
Many factors contribute to a loss of jawline definition, but age features prominently on that list. The passing of time affects the organs that work together to give your jawline region definition, and we’ll look at that and see what measures one can take to remediate those effects.
What Makes Up the Jawline || How Does Age Affect These Organs?
Your jawline profile does not occur in a vacuum. There are many features involved, and they each play a unique role in giving your jawline fit form. We’ll look at 5 of the major features.
In particular, we have the muscles that form the mandibular angle, i.e., the masseter, which runs from the rear end of the cheek from the temporal bone to the lower jaw on both sides. It closes the jaw when biting or clenching your teeth. The other one is the platysma, a thin superficial muscle that covers the anterior surface of the neck from the mandible to the collar bone.
Over time, the muscle fibres reduce in size and number. Lost muscle is replaced slower, which results in a loss of muscle mass. In addition, lost muscle mass leads to a progressive increase in fat mass, which can alter the structure of the jaw. This is why it’s not surprising to see photos of your round-chinned grandpa looking chiselled in his younger photos.
Even with the most defined jaw bone, you need healthy skin for it to pop. As we age, the outer skin layer thins while the underlying fat layers shrink. The immediate effect of thinning skin is that the skin becomes more susceptible to damage and injury.
Alternatively, the loss of subcutaneous support (fat between skin and muscles) means that there are fewer sebaceous glands producing less oil, which results in dryness. Dry skin is more prone to ageing effects like wrinkles. The pigment-containing melanocytes also decrease, which increases susceptibility to sun damage. The droopy, saggy, sun-damaged effects of aged skin are prominently visible on the chin area and the jawline.
This is a framework of cells that work in tandem to connect, support, and cover surrounding structures. Collagen is a protein that exists within connective tissue, providing volume and structural support. Elastin is another protein that can be attributed to elastic recoil, i.e., the skin's ability to bounce back. These proteins weaken with age due to exposure to UV rays, poor nutrition and lifestyle habits. With time, their production decreases, which is why older people have visibly more fragile and less elastic skin. These effects are very prominent on the chin and around the neck.
Bone is living tissue whose density is subject to the effects of ageing. Age factors that affect bone mass include hormonal changes such as menopause in women, reduced physical activity and loss of calcium and other minerals. The jawbone is not immune to loss of bone mass, and its onset usually reduces the size of the bottom half of your face.
Fat Deposits Under the Chin
It’s no secret that older people have slower metabolisms, which makes it harder to lose weight. Besides that, reduced physical capacity could mean that they are less active, also leading to higher retention of body fat. Excess weight tends to settle around the chin as what we call submental fat or a double chin. Older people can also develop a double chin from an excess of loose skin around the chin area. A double chin can completely obscure the jaw. And in the event part of the jaw is still partly visible, it’s overshadowed by the more rounded neck and chin region.
How Can You Mitigate the Effects of Ageing on Your Jawline?
Despite nature taking its course, all is not completely lost. There are plenty of steps you can take to mitigate and remedy the effects of ageing on your jawline. Our list will focus away from invasive procedures and instead focus on simple steps that can be adopted by anyone, anywhere.
Exercise and Physical Activity
The body needs to be in constant movement in order to strengthen the muscles. Exercise also boosts your energy and helps you burn excess calories that would otherwise lead to a weight increase. Alternate between aerobic exercises and strength training to get the best results for your body.
When specifically dealing with jawlines, we also have exercises that target that specific area for a more toned appearance. These exercises include mewing, neck curl-ups, chin-ups, fish face, clench and release, etc. There are plenty of online tutorials and guides that can help you undertake them efficiently.
You can also incorporate a dedicated jawline exerciser to really step it up a notch. The Chisell Toolbox is a discovery set with workout devices in three levels of toughness. Start your jawline exercises by chewing on the lower intensity device and work your way up as you get acclimatised and begin to experience results.
Adopt a Healthy Nutrition Plan
There’s no better way to approach bodily problems than from the inside out. Ensure that you’re eating fresh fruit and vegetables for healthy skin. Incorporate plenty of calcium in your diet for strong bones, e.g., from milk, nuts, foods fortified with flour etc. Fatty fish like mackerel and herring are good for both courses.
An adult male should be taking about 16 glasses of water a day, while an adult female should be doing no less than 11. Water is important as it keeps our organs functioning optimally, including the skin, muscles, and tissue. Besides that, water keeps us energised enough to undertake physical activity, which is a factor for weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight can keep fat off unwanted areas like your chin and face. Sufficient water intake also aids in nutrient delivery to the body cells.
This refers to an audit of the poor habits we adopt that lead to early signs of ageing. This could include smoking and drinking, which quickly deteriorate the health of your skin. It can also mean a lack of sufficient sleep, which denies your body the rest time it needs to repair and rebuild worn-out cells. Again, it can also include the things we put into our bodies in terms of diet and nutrition.
Get a Proper Skin Care Routine
Consult a dermatologist on what should be included in your skincare routine. Many people start using anti-ageing creams before they actually need them, leading to either dependence or resistance. Also, there are so many products that claim to do so many things. Schedule an appointment and get to know what actually works for you. This could help delay the signs of ageing or reverse the early signs and give you a nice jawline for as long as your biology agrees.
You don’t have to spend your life’s savings on surgery, when chasing a youthful appearance. There are simple, efficient practices that one can adopt to elevate the chances of retaining definition in the jawline. Also, understanding the changes that occur within your body are a step closer to identifying what you need to do to delay the early signs of ageing. Hopefully, the tips gave you some insight on what you need to do to stay in ship shape–at least on your jawline.