If your once plump and youthful face has started to look thin, bony, and unhealthy – don’t worry, you’re not alone. You’re dealing with something called a gaunt face.
Essentially a loss of facial volume, a gaunt face is a condition a lot of people deal with. Although it’s not a medical diagnosis, having it can be very upsetting and can affect your overall health badly.
Luckily, there are things you can do that can help you bring back those facial features you love!
In this article we’re going to discuss:
- 🤔 What gaunt face is and what causes it
- 🔎 How to recognize this condition and its symptoms
- 💆♀️ Effective exercises and manual ways that help and prevent a gaunt face
- 💉 Medical procedures and treatment options
Let’s get into it!
What Causes the Gaunt Face: Reasons Behind Subcutaneous Fat Loss
There are a few things that can cause a gaunt face. However, the two leading causes are aging and known or underlying illnesses and medical conditions. Below we will discuss them in detail.
It’s a well-known fact that as we age the face loses fat specifically something called subcutaneous fat.
If you’re not familiar, this is a layer of fat beneath your skin that usually gives the face its plumpness and healthy look. However, once you reach a certain age, this fat reserve starts to thin out, causing the bones beneath to be more visible.
Still, not everyone is affected by this loss in the same way. Genetics, lifestyle choices, weight, smoking, and diet are just some of the factors that can make a difference in how severe the change will be.
Illnesses and Conditions that Cause Weight Loss
If you have a gaunt face, but you’re younger, it may be because of a medical condition. Here are a few that can be the culprit.
Conditions like HIV/AIDS, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune diseases are often connected to a gaunt face. In addition, it can also be caused by anorexia and cancer. Things like dehydration, malnutrition, as well as excessive weight loss are a few other examples.
All of these conditions cause a gaunt face in their own way. If you suspect you have any of them, we strongly urge you to visit your doctor.
How Does a Gaunt Face Look: Recognize the Condition
To help you understand and recognize this condition better, we’re going to go over a few symptoms of it. We’ll also go over exactly why this happens.
Instead of plump, full cheeks, a gaunt face has a loss of volume resulting in hollow cheeks. Furthermore, the cheekbones are very prominent and can be easily felt and seen.
Aside from this, a gaunt face also has sunken eyes, often accompanied by dark under-eye circles. The jaw is pretty prominent too and the chin can be very outlined and they can be accompanied by loose skin underneath.
The skin of a gaunt face can be very ashy and dry. To the touch, the face feels boney and lacks elasticity, which causes jowls; sagging skin below the jawline. The skin also seems thinner and there are more wrinkles, especially around the mouth. The face leaves an overall feel and look of unhealthiness.
Diagnosing Gaunt Face: Skinny vs. Gaunt
As we mentioned before, a gaunt face isn’t a medical diagnosis. However, it is still a condition that can affect your life badly. If you’re wondering whether your face is gaunt or just skinny, here are a few differences between the two.
- A gaunt face always gives off a tired, sickly vibe. A skinny face, however, looks fresher, supple, and lively.
- The skin of a gaunt face usually sags downward, while a face that’s just skinny won’t be affected by jowls and lost elasticity.
- The color of a gaunt face can be very ashy and dull. A thinner face will still keep its original complexion and feature a bit of rosiness underneath.
- The jawline of the gaunt face seems disproportionately prominent, with loose skin underneath, while a skinny face has one that’s just outlined.
This last point may confuse people with naturally prominent jaws, so we’d like to explain a bit further.
If you’re wondering is jaw shape hereditary, the answer is yes, however, the inherited prominent jaw will still harmonize with the rest of the face and won’t have the extra loose skin underneath.
The gaunt face jaw looks as if its skin is tightened, yet still pulled downward.
Gaunt Face Treatments: 4 Ways to Bring Cheek Fat Back
There are many different treatment options for a gaunt face. From facial exercise to medical procedures, you can get your facial volume back. Here’s our list of the 5 most popular ways to do this.
Facial exercises are an excellent, at-home option to revitalize a gaunt face. They are also one of the best methods preventing the face sagging and developing a gaunt look!
You can try exercises like the pufferfish press, the cheek squeeze, and the XO, which work toward reintroducing elasticity into the face. Here’s a short overview of each.
- For a pufferfish press, purse your lips tight and puff up your cheeks as much as you can. Then, play around with that trapped air and transfer it from one cheek to the other. You can do this exercise in 30-second sessions.
- The cheek squeeze requires you to stretch the skin on your cheekbones up. Then, with your fingers still in place, shape your mouth into an “O”, until you feel your cheek muscles tighten. Hold for a few seconds, then release and repeat.
- The XO is a fairly simple one, too! To do it, just overpronounce the letters X and O one after the other. You should feel your neck and face muscles activate.
Aside from these, there are lots of other exercises you can do to help your gaunt face. Focus mainly on ones that work on the jaw, cheeks, and neck, as they will help the most. If you’re wondering how effective are the jawline exercises for a gaunt face, we’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you fit them into your routine.
There’s been a lot of talk about mewing lately as well, which is a simple, yet effective exercise to get rid of jowls and saggy face.
- To successfully do a mewing session, press your tongue to the roof your your mouth. Make sure it’s flat against it. Hold for a few seconds then release. Repeat this movement.
A fun fact about mewing is that it’s a technique used by models to make their face thinner and their jaw more prominent. This means that mewing can have both immediate and long-term results.
All of these exercises are pretty simple to do and can be combined with the other methods on this list. You can do them a few times a day to keep gauntness at bay.
Another thing you can try are tools like gua sha, facial rollers, and ice rollers. All of them work toward increasing blood circulation in face area and can make a difference.
Fat grafting, or fat transfer, is a procedure that uses fat from somewhere else on your body and adds it to your face. It’s fairly simple, yet like any other surgery, it comes with risks.
This surgery will require you to be put under general anaesthesia and it will require some time to heal.
The results of fat grafting are permanent, but it takes about 6 months for the transferred fat cells to get optimal blood circulation back.
A dermal, or facial, filler is another surgical procedure that can bring volume back to your face. It’s pretty widespread and doesn’t take much time.
For this procedure, your doctor will inject your skin with a filler made of hyaluronic acid or another compound to smoothen wrinkles and reintroduce plumpness.
The filler will help keep your skin hydrated and revitalize its health, leaving it fresh and supple.
Millions of people get facial fillers every year, so you can be confident in the procedure’s effectiveness and safety. However, it should always be done by a certified professional, so take the time to look into some good options in your area.
Another non-invasive, non-surgical method, nutrition counselling tackles the problem from within.
Based on your medical history and condition, your nutritionist will give you a meal plan, as well as a list of vitamins you can take to increase helpful chemicals in your body.
This, in turn, can help increase your collagen levels, helping your skin look fresher and younger. This healthy eating can also help you lose fat you don’t want, if that’s something you’re looking for, or even put on face and body fat – if that’s what you needwhich is a win in our book!
No matter if your gaunt face is because of weight loss, age, illness, or something else, there is a way to fix it. Even if it is due to genetic predisposition, there are still things you can do to soften its look.
As a farewell, we’d like to add a few more suggestion!
Getting enough protein, using skincare with hyaluronic acid and collagen in it, regular facial toning exercises – these are all important ways you can use to help yourself from home. Limiting sun exposure and using sunscreen are other great methods to prevent having to deal with gauntness at all!
Finally, we’d like to highlight healthy eating as well as proper hydration as key elements to this process. By doing this, even if you lose weight, you’ll still be able to maintain your healthy, happy face at every age!