Blame social media and the virtual office for the beauty world’s latest worry: the softening jawline. Discover the jaw procedures people are keen to undergo to achieve an Instagram-ready jaw.
During a WhatsApp call that Debra Reynolds, a Manhattan Marketing Executive, became aware of her softening jawline. “It was all I could see in the mirror,” Ms. Reynolds said. “In meetings I was aware of constantly pushing my chin out like a duck.” It was then that Ms. Reynolds, 47, turned to Matthew White, a Facial Plastic Surgeon, to alleviate the issue.
The surgery, which Dr. White named the Golden Angle Lift, creates the tighter, more defined jawline and lower face that to many are hallmarks of youth and beauty. “The day after surgery, when Dr. White removed the bandages, my jawline looked like Angelina freaking Jolie,” said Ms. Reynolds about her surgery, which she said cost approximately $18,000.
Chalk it up to an uptick in videoconferencing and social media for the new focus amid women on their jawlines, a vital structural feature for men (as an indicator of masculinity) and models (who depend on bone structure to be photogenic).
Based on data gathered by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, in 2017, 55 percent of Facial Plastic Surgeons observed having seen patients expressing a desire to look better in selfies. Selfies also can distort people’s perceptions of their appearance.
“People are seeing more pictures of themselves and becoming more sensitive to how they look,” said Dr. White, Clinical Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery—at NYU Langone Medical Center. “That trend has driven more patients to our office because they are concerned about their jawlines.”
Dr. White indicated that his expertise is on supporting the three key ligaments that characterize a youthful jawline and redraping the connective tissue—in some instances moving fat pads—instead of merely cutting and pulling back the skin. The result is a more natural, sculpted appearance.
“We are learning that the bone structure of the face is more important than we ever knew before,” Dr. White remarked, citing a 2017 study of facial skeletal aging published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.
Dendy Engelman, a Dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor at Albert Einstein Hospital, said that she, too, has observed a surge in the number of in patients seeking a more sculpted jawline.
“It’s a little-known fact that in addition to losing collagen and elastin as we age, we also resorb bone, so the whole scaffolding of the face is actually shrinking overtime,” Dr. Engelman said. “To that end, we see significant jowling and sagging in the lower face as a result.”
Previously, only a Facelift could do what was necessary to really reshape the jawline, Doctors and Aestheticians now have a vast array of treatment options, both surgical and non-invasive, to choose from.
AirSculpt, a procedure invented by Aaron Rollins, a Plastic Surgeon in Los Angeles, is a highly- targeted form of Liposuction. Unlike Liposuction, which removes fat by scraping and suctioning it out, AirSculpt uses a smaller and more precise cannula that works in a superfast corkscrew-like motion to cherry-pick targeted cells.
“It’s a paradigm shift in our ability to contour the jawline because you are literally going to the tissue planes that need to be treated, creating a controlled thermal injury,” Dr. Kolker stated.
The procedure, which costs $7,500 to $10,000 for the jawline, activates the body’s natural healing response, generating more collagen to gradually tighten the treated area. This fall, Dr. Kolker will start offering Embrace RF—that is, FaceTite combined with Morpheus8, a more advanced version of an external radio frequency micro-needling treatment that works on the surface layer of the skin to bolster results.
For the surgically reluctant, Jeannel Astarita, an Aesthetician and Founder of Just Ageless, in the Howard Hotel in SoHo, often recommends Ultherapy, a non-invasive therapy that uses ultrasound delivered through the skin to heat the deep dermis and is said to trigger skin lifting and tightening.
Lauren Abramowitz, a Physician Assistant and Founder of Park Avenue Skin Solutions in TriBeCa, uses a mixture of Kybella® (the fat-melting injection), BOTOX® and soft-tissue fillers to alter a weak jawline into a stronger one. (The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery reports that treatments like Kybella®, most commonly used to reduce fat below the chin, increased 23 percent in 2017).
Those seeking something less invasive have options like a Facial by Mila Moursi, an Aesthetician in Beverly Hills who has been credited with keeping Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston and Jane Fonda camera-ready. At Ms. Moursi’s spa and at Barneys New York, clients can experience her Signature Firming Treatment ($250), which involves manual massage and microcurrents to refine the jawline.
For a temporary fix, there’s always makeup. Elyse Reneau, the global pro artist for Too Faced Cosmetics, demonstrates in a YouTube video how to use Too Faced’s new Super Coverage 4-in-1 concealer ($29) to create the semblance of a sharper jawline.
Her recommendation: “Start behind the ear, draw a line right on your jawline in a shade that’s two to three shades deeper than your natural skin tone, then blend with a wet beauty sponge down the sides of the neck.”
Among all of the options, Gracia Tapia, one of Dr. Rollins’s patients, is happy she invested $5,000 in her jawline procedure. The change in her appearance prompted Ms. Tapia, 39, a Probation Corrections Officer in Riverside, Calif., to begin exercising regularly and to be more mindful of what she eats; she has lost 70 pounds.
“I always used to ask people to ask me before they posted a picture, and now it doesn’t matter,” she said. “I love how I look.”