Subcutaneous Fat for Plump and Youthful Face

In the previous post, we have discussed the essence of subcutaneous fat and visceral fat formations in the body (Body Fat: Visceral & Subcutaneous FatWith this post I wanted to cover the importance of maintaining healthy level of subcutaneous fat in order to look youthful even at the time of maturity.

Subcutaneous fat is a protective layer of fat that is located right under the epidermis and dermis:




 –         Very thin layer of the skin

–         Most of the skin cells in epidermis are dead





–         Contains new skin cells that will eventually travel to epidermis

–         Collagen (provides strength to the skin)

–         Contain elastin (provides elasticity to the skin)

–         Contains extrafibrillar matrix, an extracellular gel-like substance primarily composed of glycosaminoglycans (most notably hyaluronan)


Subcutaneous tissue (fat)



–         Contains fat

–         Contains blood vessels on route to dermis and lymphatic vessels on route from dermis

–         Flat, fine sheets of muscles called panniculus carnosus

–         Fibrous bands anchoring  the skin to deep fascia





When we think about ageing of facial skin, we typically refer to wrinkles and superficial changes in texture and coloration of the skin. That said, subcutaneous fat can have a dramatic effect on your appearance and contribute more than you might imagine to the way ageing impacts your skin, particularly in the areas of face and neck.

It is best to think of muscles and subcutaneous fat as a foundation of the house. While the foundation is standing strong, we rarely give it due notice or importance. However, as soon as the foundation malfunctions, it is noticeable at all angles. Similarly, changes in the muscles and subcutaneous fat are prominent and apparent.

If you pay attention, it is easy to notice that younger people have full facial features with rounded cheeks, sharp jawlines and well defined areas around the mouth, eyelids, and nose. Their face is full and plump. With age or upon drastic overall weight loss, the amount of subcutaneous fat in the face decreases which means that overlying areas have less support and start to droop and sag. Also, as we age, not only the amount of subcutaneous fat decreases but the underlying bones and muscles lose volume as well.

Now, if you consider the information on the anatomy of facial volume loss, ageing by skin type and ethnic aspects of skin ageing, you might come to realise just faulty the promises of cosmetic beauty companies are and how important it is to maintain facial muscle tone and healthy level of subcutaneous fat in the body and face.

Losing subcutaneous fat in the face is very easy. When people engage in harsh diets or crush work –out routines, they often lose subcutaneous fat in the face. Fairly often I see people with well toner and young looking figure but very old and seemingly dried out face. If you like concepts to be whole, their implementation cannot be patchy. Beauty is no different.

Re-gaining subcutaneous fat in the face is a challenging and long process. It involves healthy lifestyle and dietary choices. Toning facial muscles by doing the exercises will help to reinforce the foundation and tighten the skin. In time, I will make separate series of posts regarding nutrition and facial exercises.

An “easier” but less sustainable alternative to correction of facial volume loss is to use fillers. Fillers that are used for volume replacements usually contain hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite and natural fat. They are often used in conjunction with other cosmetic treatments in order to soften fine lines, improve texture and tone of the skin, etc. I can see the niche market for volume replacement fillers; however, I hope it will be many years before I find myself exploring this particular option.


Thanks for reading,

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