How To Prevent Jowls As You Age, According To Our Dermatologist

There's no stopping the march of time. Unfortunately, that can come with aging skin. From pesky under-eye sagging to floppy upper arms, our epidermis needs a lot of help staying toned. And while there's nothing wrong with looking your age — mature queens for the win — it's also natural to try and help your skin look your very best. This includes giving a little TLC to the skin along your jawline, which can fall into baggy pouches called jowls.

To learn more about this condition, Gliz spoke exclusively to Dr. Jenny Liu, FAAD, a dermatologist and assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Liu has built an impressive online following providing viral skincare advice via her Instagram and TikTok accounts, so we were eager to hear her take on jowls. First, she clarified the phenomenon, telling Gliz that jowls refer to "the droopy skin on the lower part of the cheek [and] jawline. Some people may be more familiar with the term double-chin. It's like that, but expands to [the] sides of the chin and entire jawline."

Are you envisioning the look? Jowls are actually a relatively common and familiar sight. In fact, almost everyone will develop jowls to some extent as we age, since our skin will gradually thin and lose elasticity. But that doesn't mean we have to lie down and accept our fate. Dr. Liu shared professional advice on how to help prevent and address the development of jowls along the jawline.

Tips for preventing jowls and sagging skin

They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and Dr. Jenny Liu seems to agree. In her exclusive interview with Gliz, Dr. Liu suggested that various skincare and lifestyle factors can help minimize the formation of jowls as we age. First and foremost on Dr. Liu's list was daily sun protection, which is known to fight premature aging. Experts recommend using an SPF of at least 30 — and doing so every day, regardless of season, weather, or your skin tone. Ideally, your sunscreen should provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Dr. Liu also recommended against smoking if you're hoping to prevent droopy jowls. This tracks, as smoking is a known contributor to signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, and pallor. How bad is it? According to "Cigarettes: What the Warning Label Doesn't Tell You," smokers in their 40s are as wrinkled as non-smokers in their 60s. Effectively, smoking can age the skin by decades.

Finally, Dr. Liu told Gliz to prioritize a "good anti-aging skincare routine using products that help lift and firm." In addition to the aforementioned need for sunscreen, she suggested seeking out ingredients like retinol and peptides. Some spa-style treatments might also support your crusade against sagging. As Dr. Liu told us, "I think, to a degree, home LED devices could improve soft lines," as well as "potentially microcurrent and RF" — with RF referring to sound-based radio frequency facial machines.

What to do if you already have jowls

Prevention is all well and good if your skin is still in a bouncy, youthful condition. But what if you're already starting to see jowls? Is there any way to address or mitigate skin that's succumbing to time and gravity? Good skincare and lifestyle habits will surely help, but at this point, you may require a more serious intervention to make a major difference in the appearance of your skin. To streamline the silhouette of your jawline, Dr. Jenny Liu exclusively revealed to Gliz that the most optimal results will come with professional techniques "from tightening lasers to injectables to surgical procedures."

Tightening lasers are non-invasive devices that purportedly use heat to stimulate and contract the collagen in your skin, leading to a more taut complexion. Meanwhile, injectables for jowls typically involve dermal fillers. Instead of tightening loose skin, these fillers add volume to help lift, sharpen, and give your jawline a firmer look. Some fillers may also help stimulate collagen production and hydration, like calcium hydroxylapatite and hyaluronic acid fillers, respectively. As for surgical procedures, mini facelifts like neck lifts — also called platysmaplasties — are immediate but invasive options that remove excess skin for a sleeker jaw.

Which procedure might you need? Dr. Liu admitted that there's no one-size-fits-all solution — rather, the best option will depend on the individual. When in doubt, consult with your dermatologist to evaluate the severity of your jowls and what kind of treatment can best deliver the results you're hoping for.