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The rise of the ‘Young-Old’ Face

The Rise of the ‘Young-Old’ Face

Strolling through the city or sipping coffee at your go-to café, it’s hard not to notice a growing trend among people in their 20s and early 30s. More and more, faces seem unnaturally altered – filled in ways that disrupt natural harmony and age rather than rejuvenate. This phenomenon prompts a reflection on the current beauty ideals. Are we pushing the boundaries of cosmetic enhancements too far?

Too much of a good thing..?

It’s becoming increasingly common to encounter someone in their 20s who looks like they’re battling the clock in reverse. It is a sad irony that the quest for youthfulness results in an aged appearance. The trend of overly filled and frozen faces has birthed the peculiar ‘Young-Old Face’ look – where young individuals prematurely seem to have fast-forwarded through time, not in a charming, aged-like-fine-wine way. The ‘Young-Old Face’ phenomenon, characterised by over-enhanced lips, inflated high-cheeks, an almost sculpted angularity to jawlines, and faces with noticeably odd lack of expression – stresses a shift. This image was once sought after as a hallmark of affluence and trendsetting on social media, increasingly serves as a cautionary tale. The nuanced art of cosmetic subtlety is being overshadowed by a prevailing belief that more is invariably better, prompting us to question the actual costs of such beauty pursuits.

A Tale as old as Time

Overfilling the face with dermal enhancements, particularly when done excessively or at a young age, can significantly affect facial appearance and ageing progression. In our 20s, we’re all enjoying that glow, with features like plump cheeks and well-defined jawlines naturally on our side. It’s tempting to enhance these features, aiming for those high cheekbones or fuller lips while we still shake off the last bits of our youthful ‘puppy fat.’

As we transition into our late 20s to early 30s and natural signs of aging emerge, the impact of overfilled features becomes more pronounced. Excessive enhancements, especially in areas like the cheeks or under the eyes, can create unwanted puffiness, drawing attention to bags and creating hollows that distort our natural beauty. Similarly, the overuse of wrinkle-relaxing treatments to completely immobilise facial expressions strips away the vibrancy and natural movements fundamental to our lively appearance. The result? An early introduction to sagging and drooping that ages us beyond our years. And what follows is often a loop of seeking more dermal enhancing treatments to correct new issues that weren’t there before.

This brings us to a pivotal consideration: while these treatments enhance our inherent features, restraint is crucial, particularly in our formative years. An overzealous approach in our 20s or early 30s may inadvertently lead us down a path that accentuates aging, rather than defying it.

For Beauty or Likes? The Age of Social Media Validation

Social media’s influence complicates this dilemma. It transforms beauty pursuit into a chase for digital approval. The desire for ‘likes’ and social validation has propelled a trend towards more drastic and often premature cosmetic interventions. Platforms awash with images of the ‘Young-Old Face’ not only normalise but glorify extreme aesthetic alterations, encouraging a cycle where each cosmetic enhancement is aimed at garnering online acclaim. However, the rush of social media recognition lasts for a short time, leaving behind lasting changes that can prematurely age one’s appearance. 

The line between personal enhancement and the quest for external validation blurs in this digital era. It prompts us to reflect on the actual cost of conforming to fleeting trends for online admiration, building a ‘following’, helping ‘create a brand’ or for selfless promotion. As we navigate the balance between enhancing our natural beauty and the influence of social media, it becomes imperative to question. ‘At what point does pursuing an idealised image compromise our genuine selves?’.

It’s more than just skin deep…

There are significant ties between social media influence and the psychological battle of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD is a condition where you can’t stop thinking about a part of your appearance as flawed. You constantly want to alter it and become fixated on the issue – even if others barely notice. And this idealised image fuelled by social media? It can amplify those feelings with the over-enhanced features may even be a sign of it. The outcome rarely matches the dream for those caught in the cycle of seeking perfection through procedures. Instead of feeling better, they might feel more paranoid about their perceived flaws, fuelling a never-ending quest for the next fix.

It’s also important to note that this obsession isn’t just a client issue. BDD is prevalent among practitioners in the game, too. So, how do you make sure you’re making choices that truly make you feel good about yourself?

Finding the right Practioner

Seek out a practitioner who isn’t solely focused on what you believe you want but is deeply invested in what will authentically enhance your features. During your consultation, expect discussions about the desired aesthetics and your anatomy, the natural aging process, and how the proposed treatments will age with you. The goal here is to avoid any moves that push you into looking ‘overdone’ or, even more counterintuitively, older. They should aim to accentuate your best attributes, steering clear of making you a replica of fleeting beauty fads. An adept practitioner will adopt a holistic approach, considering your overall skincare and exploring alternative treatments like Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and collagen-boosting treatments like skin needling rather than solely focusing on injectables. 

A tip worth considering: Observe your practitioner. If they exhibit the ‘Young-Old Face’ appearance, looking more aged due to their cosmetic choices, this could indicate their preference for more pronounced alterations. Your objective is to uncover a refreshed version of yourself, not to become an emblem of cosmetic exaggeration.

The C Word – 

The bottom line? Fillers certainly have their place in accentuating our natural features, but the magic word here is restraint, especially during our youthful years. Diving too deeply in our 20s or 30s might unwittingly guide us down a more ageing path than age-defying. This is why the role of a practitioner who values the art of subtlety and the balance between enhancement and natural beauty becomes critical. Do not be influenced by fleeting trends and the quest for social media acclaim. Always remember to prioritise being the best version of yourself. Embrace enhancements that elevate your inherent beauty, ensuring you remain authentic to who you are. 

–  C x 
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