We’ve all seen images of people who have achieved dramatic weight loss (usually through surgery), but are then left with pounds of loose, sagging skin – which most opt to have surgically removed. But what about facial skin? How does it respond to weight loss?
The amount of weight lost makes a big difference
Obviously, weight gain itself is different for everyone. Some gain it around the middle, some gain it mainly through the hips and thighs – and some seem to gain all over. And anytime we gain weight, it shows in our face. Sure, the gain may not be as dramatic in our faces, but it’s there. Think of how many men and women you see who are carrying extra weight… Most of them also look a bit “rounder” in the face.
But we don’t gain nearly as much weight in our face as we can (and often do) in the rest of our body, so the effects of weight loss on facial skin is not as dramatic – at least not typically.
Skin is designed to be resilient
We can see that skin is resilient. It’s what allows a pregnant woman’s belly to grow during pregnancy, then “shrink” back within a few months, depending on how quickly she loses the baby weight. The same with men: oftentimes, men go from having a “beer belly” to having flat abs, with little to no indication that the skin was ever stretched out.
The skin on our face is resilient as well. And since our faces and necks don’t typically fill in with as much extra weight as the rest of our bodies, the stretching is less dramatic. But, make no mistake, weight loss will affect the skin on your face.
Often, someone carrying a little extra weight will actually have a younger-looking face. That extra weight serves to “fill in” some of the areas that may start to sag or wrinkle as we get older. After losing weight, those lines and wrinkles will probably be more noticeable.
Clearly the best way to keep your skin healthy and resilient is to eat properly, get adequate rest, and avoid damaging environmental factors such as the sun and smoking. But avoiding extreme weight fluctuations will also keep your skin looking healthy. Even small weight gains and losses can have an effect on the resiliency of your skin.
If you have already lost weight and are noticing that your skin doesn’t seem as “plumped up” as it was, there are several things you can do to help:
- Stay hydrated. Skin looks healthier when it’s properly hydrated.
- Introduce “good fats” into your diet. Essential Fatty Acids, especially Omega-3’s can go a long way toward making skin look younger and healthier.
- Remember that maintaining a healthy body weight is important, even if your facial skin seems to “age” a bit. Focus on the good that you’ve done for your body and overall health. And, if you are really concerned about the condition of your skin, it’s a good idea to consult with a dermatologist.