Dr Marcells Asks: Do You Know the 5 Stages of Facial Ageing?
When patients visit my practice in Bondi Junction for a consultation, one of the first questions I ask is their age. This is because age is an important factor in determining the best cosmetic enhancement procedure to achieve long-lasting results with minimal risk and discomfort to the patient.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the five stages of facial ageing to help you understand what’s happening and why.
- Baby Face
- Child Face
- Young Adult Face
- Adult Face
- Ageing Adult Face
You’ve Got the Cutest Little Baby Face
The song “Baby face,” recorded in 1926 by Al Jolson (and co-opted by the Swan Districts Australian Rules Club in the WAFL in 1934) describes the face of a the baby as “cute,” “pretty” and the stuff love is made of.
That’s no accident. Scientists who study the theory of evolutionary biology say that when we come into contact with something we find cute, we experience a protective, non-sexual attraction that is rooted in the need for infants to be cared for by human adults. In other words, the archetypical “baby face” is adorable, and we can’t help but care for the baby it’s attached to, even if it’s a baby animal.
The “baby” period lasts from approximately from one month until the beginning of childhood (See below). During that time, babies exhibit irresistible facial characteristics including:
- A head that is proportionately larger than the face
- A face with soft, rounded curves and edges
- Eyes that are large in proportion to the overall face
- Short, turned-up nose
- Flat eyebrows
- Plump, voluminous cheeks
Dr Marcells Examines the Facial Characteristics of Children
By the age of two, an infant has come to depend less and less on adults and matures into childhood. At the same time, his/her features lose some of the characteristics that made little ones so archetypically attractive when they were younger. For example, the relationship of the eyes to the size of the head becomes more proportional.
In the average child’s face, you will find a mixture of the features of the baby that isthe adult yet to come. Interestingly, this mix is generally considered less attractive than either the babyface or the adult face.
Though they are no longer considered babies, children generally still have “baby fat” throughout the face, which results in the soft, less distinctive features associated with youth. Characteristics that distinguish a child’s face from that of an adult’s include:
- Teeth variously missing or spaced
- Ears that appear oversized
- Nose that appears short and wide, and somewhat small
- Flatter and less well-defined cheeks
Dr George Marcells Shares Characteristics of a Young Adult Face
Baby faces may be the winners in youth, but it’s the period of young adulthood – age 14-24 – when most faces reach their peak of attractiveness. After this period, Mother Nature will no longer do anything to drastically change or improve facial appearance.
In fact, your “facial form” remains quite static for about ten years, with only modest changes visible to the eye.
Help for the Visible Signs of Facial Ageing in Bondi Junction
As you enter your 30’s, however, visible signs of facial ageing become noticeable. These badges of a life well lived reflect the consequences of everything from genetics and sun exposure to poor hydration and an animated way of speaking.
Patients that come to About Face are most eager to address:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Sagging eyelids
- Creased foreheads
- Marionette lines around the mouth
- Enlarged, elongated, and/or bulbous noses
These cosmetic issues, referred to as “the ageing face”are actually the result of several physiologic changes that occur with time:
- Facial collagen becomes less elastic.
- Soft tissue features begin to sag.
- Facial fat is lost, making soft tissues of the face thinner.
- Soft tissues gradually atrophy making facial bones appear more prominent.
It’s my job to determine the cause of the problem in order to determine the best treatment to achieve optimal results in facial rejuvenation. You can read more about how we treat visible signs of facial ageing at my practice in my next blog post.
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Meet Dr Marcells
MBBS (Syd), FRACS (ORL-HNS)
Past President – Australasian Academy of Facial Plastic Surgeons
Dr George Marcells is known for excellence in facial plastic surgery and is considered a true master of rhinoplasty. He performs advanced surgical techniques to restore balance and harmony to the face and can also resolve functional issues such as breathing difficulties.