Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Dr. Ayad Harb, one of the world's leading plastic surgeons
Facial aesthetics, for many, is about striking the right balance between natural beauty and personal desires. It's not just about youthfulness, but also about proportion, balance, and harmony. Every face, with its unique dimensions and features, tells its own story. However, in the realm of aesthetics, some individuals lean towards a more defined, contoured look as opposed to one that's round or soft in appearance.
A round face is characterised by its almost equal width and length. The gentle curve of the cheeks, coupled with a subtly rounded chin, imparts this face shape its distinct softness and fullness. While this facial configuration is inherent and natural to many, the pronounced fullness sometimes makes the facial features appear less sharply defined, especially around the cheekbones and the jawline.
Cultural preferences and individual perceptions play significant roles in how facial shapes are perceived. In many cultures, a round face, with its smooth curves and lack of sharp angles, is seen as a symbol of youth, innocence, and even affluence. Such faces exude a charm that many find endearing and attractive. However, in other cultures, or simply as personal preference, the allure of pronounced cheekbones, a sharper jawline, or more chiselled features might be more desirable.
The modern era, with its beauty trends and global influences, has played a part in shaping beauty standards. For instance, makeup techniques, such as contouring and highlighting, have gained significant traction over recent years. These techniques aim to create optical illusions on the face, emphasising shadows and highlights in a way that mimics the appearance of a more structured face. While makeup techniques can produce stunning temporary transformations, they do not offer permanent or natural solutions.
Furthermore, it's essential to delve deeper into the factors that influence the shape and contour of a face. Genetics undeniably plays a pivotal role. The bone structure we inherit from our ancestors and the way subcutaneous fat distributes itself across our faces is largely out of our control. But it doesn't stop there. Age is another significant factor. As we grow older, the skin loses its elasticity. The redistribution of facial fat, combined with bone resorption, can further soften the contours of the face, giving it a rounder appearance. External factors, such as lifestyle choices and weight fluctuations, also play their roles.
Weight gain, for example, can result in a fuller face with cheeks that appear more prominent.
In the vast spectrum of facial aesthetics, it's crucial to acknowledge that the decision to alter or enhance one's facial contours is deeply personal. While some might be motivated by the desire for a perceived improvement in appearance, others might seek change to gain more self-confidence. However, any aesthetic endeavour should prioritise a natural look, ensuring that the individual retains their unique beauty and identity.
The advancement in aesthetic medicine offers solutions that respect this philosophy. Treatments have evolved to be more sophisticated and tailored to individual needs, ensuring that outcomes are not just beautiful but also authentic to each person's inherent features. In this context, for those seeking a subtle shift from a round face to a more contoured visage, modern treatments can offer promising results, marrying natural beauty with personal aesthetic aspirations.
A naturally round face, one that is as wide as it is long, can often be traced back to one's genes. Such facial structure can be a legacy passed down through generations. Such faces are typically characterised by fuller cheeks, a softer jawline, and a well-rounded chin. These features give the face its inherent youthful appearance and undeniable charm.
However, the same genes that confer these attributes might also mean less-defined cheekbones and a subtler jawline. This roundness, while celebrated in various cultures and art forms as a mark of beauty and innocence, might be a concern for those who yearn for a more contoured look. The broader question of how genes dictate our facial structure remains a topic of fascination for scientists and aestheticians alike. Studies in genetics have shown how certain markers are responsible for specific facial features, and how these genes are passed down, creating a familial resemblance. The genetically predisposed round face is a testament to nature's way of echoing familial traits through generations.
Age is an undeniable factor in the evolution of our facial structure. As time progresses, the once taut and elastic skin starts showing signs of wear. The collagen and elastin, two primary proteins responsible for skin's elasticity, begin to deplete, making the skin less firm.
But the skin's sagging is just one part of the story. The natural loss of subcutaneous fat, its redistribution, and even bone resorption can further accentuate the roundness of the face. As the cheekbones and jawline lose their prominence due to these age-related changes, the face takes on a rounder appearance. The hollows under the eyes might become more pronounced, and the cheeks might lose some of their volume, making the face appear fuller in the lower half.
While ageing is a natural process that everyone undergoes, its impact on facial contours can vary greatly. Factors such as sun exposure, lifestyle choices, and even stress can hasten these changes. It's a complex interplay of intrinsic ageing, which is genetically determined, and extrinsic ageing, which is affected by environmental factors.
Weight gain and its impact on facial structure is an intricate matter. As individuals gain weight, there is an increase in the adipose tissue or fat deposits throughout the body, and the face is no exception. The accumulation of fat, especially in the cheeks and under the jawline, can lead to a rounder, fuller face.
What's captivating is how even a modest weight gain can result in pronounced changes in facial features. The face, being the most visible part of the body, reflects weight changes more immediately and often more noticeable than other parts of the body. For some, weight gain in the face might manifest as fuller cheeks, while for others, it might mean a double chin or a less defined jawline.
However, it's essential to note that weight-related facial roundness isn't just about increased fat deposits. Factors such as water retention due to dietary habits or medications can also contribute to facial fullness. Moreover, where the weight settles on the face is largely determined by genetic factors, making it a unique experience for each individual.
Injuries, surgeries, or medical conditions can sometimes alter the facial structure, leading to increased roundness or diminished contours. Post-surgical swelling is a common phenomenon that can temporarily make the face appear rounder. This swelling is typically a result of the body's natural response to trauma or intervention, leading to fluid accumulation in the facial tissues.
Apart from temporary swelling, scar tissue formation can also influence facial contours. Scars, depending on their location and severity, can sometimes cause puckering or pulling of the skin, leading to changes in the facial structure. Similarly, certain medical conditions or treatments, like steroid medications, can result in facial roundness, commonly referred to as "moon face."
It's crucial to differentiate between temporary and permanent changes. While some post-surgical or injury-related changes might be transient, others, especially those due to scar tissue formation or certain medical treatments, might be longer-lasting. In such cases, consulting with a specialist can provide clarity on potential treatments or interventions.
The field of aesthetic medicine has come a long way, bringing forth innovations that offer individuals opportunities to redefine and enhance their natural beauty. Among these innovations, dermal fillers stand out as one of the most transformative treatments, particularly for those seeking changes in their facial structure and contours.
Dermal fillers, in essence, are gel-like substances that are intricately designed to mimic the natural components of our skin. Most commonly based on hyaluronic acid, a substance that naturally occurs within our skin, these fillers offer a harmonious integration when introduced into the facial tissues. Their primary role is to add volume, but their magic lies in their versatility. Expertly administered, they can modify, redefine, and accentuate facial features, allowing for a more sculpted look.
For individuals with a round face or those who feel that their facial features lack definition, dermal fillers can offer a non-surgical pathway to achieve their desired look. Take the cheeks, for instance. Over time, or simply due to genetic disposition, the cheeks might lack the pronounced elevation that many associate with youth and vitality. Dermal fillers can be introduced into this region, subtly elevating the cheeks, creating the illusion of higher cheekbones, and offering a gentle lift to the face. This not only introduces definition but also imparts a rejuvenated look.
The jawline is another area where dermal fillers showcase their prowess. A sharp, well-defined jawline is often seen as a hallmark of a contoured face. By introducing dermal fillers along the jaw, professionals can sculpt and define this area, moving away from the round appearance and creating a more chiselled look that many desire.
And then there's the chin—a feature that, while often overlooked, plays a critical role in facial harmony. A well-projected chin can bring balance to the face, complementing other features like the nose and the lips. Dermal fillers can be used to enhance the chin's projection or elongation, subtly reshaping it to achieve the desired balance.
What sets dermal fillers apart from more invasive treatments is their immediacy and reversibility. The procedure usually lasts less than an hour, and the results are visible almost instantly. Moreover, the effects of most dermal fillers are temporary, lasting anywhere from 6 to 18 months. This transient nature offers a unique advantage. It allows individuals to experiment, to see if they like the new contours, and decide if they'd like to maintain them, tweak them, or simply return to their original state.
But, like all medical procedures, the success of dermal fillers is contingent on the expertise of the practitioner. Facial anatomy is intricate, and understanding where and how to introduce the fillers is an art in itself. Thus, it becomes paramount to choose a certified professional, one with a deep understanding of both facial anatomy and aesthetic principles. This ensures not only a beautiful outcome but a safe procedure.
In the world of modern aesthetic medicine, dermal fillers exemplify the fusion of science and art. They offer a promise—a promise of change, enhancement, and the ability to meld natural beauty with personal aspirations.