Anatomy of the Aging Face | How the Face Ages Naturally
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Home / Addressing Face Concerns and Facial Aging / Anatomy of the Aging Face | How the Face Ages Naturally

Facial aging1 is a natural and unavoidable part of life that affects us all. As time passes, our face changes with age and that can impact our appearance and self-confidence. How our faces age, as well as specific areas that may show signs of aging more prominently, are influenced by a combination of genetics and lifestyle choices.

Understanding the anatomy of the aging face is crucial in determining the most effective approaches for facial rejuvenation. In NYC, Dr. Sam Rizk, with his extensive knowledge and expertise in facial anatomy, recognizes the intricate interplay between the skin, underlying muscles, fat distribution, and bone structure. This understanding allows him to develop customized treatment plans that address each patient’s unique concerns and achieve natural-looking results.

How the Face Ages

Although each of us is unique, there are predictable changes that occur in the aging face. These changes are influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, environmental and lifestyle factors such as sun exposure, smoking, activity level, and overall health. While the exact timing and extent of these changes can vary among individuals, most people begin to notice the initial signs of facial aging in their mid-to-late 30s.

How the Face Ages structure schema


Genetics plays a significant role in determining how the face changes with age. Certain individuals may be genetically predisposed to show signs of aging earlier, or more prominently in specific areas. These genetic factors can influence the overall structure and characteristics of our facial features, such as the thickness and elasticity of our skin, the underlying bone structure, and the distribution of fat deposits. Understanding these genetic predispositions can help both patients and surgeons develop realistic expectations and personalized treatment plans.

Lifestyle and Environment

Lifestyle choices and environmental factors also contribute to the aging process. Factors such as sun exposure, smoking, stress, diet, and skincare habits impact the health and appearance of our skin, creating an old face. For example, excessive sun exposure can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin, wrinkles2, and age spots. Similarly, smoking can impair blood flow to the skin, depriving it of essential nutrients and oxygen and accelerating the formation of wrinkles.

Common Effects of How the Face Changes With Age:

Losing Structural Support

One of the primary factors contributing to facial aging is the loss of bone density3 and structural support. Over the years, the delicate framework of connective tissue and muscles that support the facial features weakens and stretches, primarily due to the effects of gravity and the repetitive movements of the facial muscles. As a result, you may begin to notice sagging skin, drooping cheeks, a turkey neck, or the formation of jowls. These changes can significantly impact the facial appearance and contribute to an overall tired or aged look. If you notice signs of reduced structural support, such as facial sagging or jowls, it may be time to consider a facelift procedure as a potential solution.

Losing Skin Quality

Another aspect of the aging face process involves the deterioration of skin quality. As we age, our skin gradually loses its elasticity, firmness, and smoothness. This results in the formation of lines, wrinkles, and skin discolorations, making the surface of the skin appear older and less vibrant. Factors such as sun exposure and smoking can accelerate the aging process, as they damage the skin’s blood supply, leading to a dull, ash-like texture. To maintain youthful and healthy skin, it is essential to prioritize sun protection, proper hydration, and a healthy lifestyle. While these measures can help slow down the aging process to some extent, they may not be sufficient to reverse significant signs of aging. In such cases, a facelift procedure can effectively address loose skin and underlying muscle by lifting and tightening from below the muscle, resulting in a natural, youthful, and rejuvenated appearance without the appearance of a stretched or pulled look.

Understanding how the face ages is key to developing strategies for preventing and addressing signs of aging. As a recognized specialist and master sculptor in facial and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Rizk utilizes advanced surgical techniques to provide tailored approaches to facial rejuvenation, ensuring natural-looking results that enhance your unique facial features.

Reducing the Signs of Aging

While maintaining overall health and wellness is crucial for combating facial aging, there are specific surgical solutions available to effectively address or minimize the signs of aging. Dr. Rizk specializes in advanced facelift techniques that provide natural-looking results without a stretched or ‘overdone’ appearance- offering three main types of facelift procedures: the facelift, the deep plane facelift, and the mini facelift.


A facelift is a comprehensive surgical procedure designed to rejuvenate the face and neck. It involves tightening the underlying muscles, removing excess skin, and repositioning facial fat to restore a more youthful contour. A facelift rejuvenates an ‘old face’ and addresses multiple signs of aging, including sagging skin, jowls, and neck laxity. It offers long-lasting results and is suitable for patients with more advanced signs of facial aging.

Deep Plane Facelift

The deep plane facelift is a sophisticated technique that focuses on meticulously repositioning and lifting the muscles of the face and neck. By accessing a deeper plane beneath the muscles, this procedure provides enhanced lifting and tightening effects. The deep plane facelift technique addresses deep nasolabial folds, jowls, and sagging neck muscles. Its advantage lies in expedited recovery due to reduced bruising and swelling compared to traditional approaches.

Mini Facelift

The mini facelift is a less invasive option suitable for patients with mild to moderate signs of aging. This procedure involves smaller incisions and focuses on rejuvenating specific areas, such as the lower face and neck. The mini facelift offers a quicker recovery time. It can provide a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance with natural-looking results – ideal for those younger people who wish to improve their look but aren’t ready for a full facelift, as well as older people in their 70s or 80s who would prefer a shorter operating time and quicker recovery.

Choose Dr. Rizk for Facial Rejuvenation & Renewed Confidence

Understanding the aging process of how the face ages is crucial for making informed decisions about facial rejuvenation. While there are various preventive measures to maintain youthful skin, advanced facelift procedures like the deep plane facelift offer effective solutions for reversing the signs of aging. Dr. Rizk specializes in these advanced techniques and can help you achieve a natural, youthful appearance tailored to your unique facial features. Take the first step toward a more rejuvenated you by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Rizk today.

Dr Rizk In The Media

Certificate Rhinoplasty- Dr. Samieh Rizk 2021

Certificate Rhinoplasty- Dr. Samieh Rizk 2021

Tatler Magazine

Connolly Best Doctor

US Weekly Magazine

Dr. Rizk featured in Town & Country Magazine as one of the masters of the subtle lift and tweak that will turn back time

Voted by peers to New York Magazine's 2013 Top Doctors

Voted by peers to New York Magazine’s 2013 Top Doctors


1 National Library of Medicine – The Facial Aging Process From the “Inside Out”. Available:

2 Mayo Clinic – Wrinkles. Available:

3 National Library of Medicine – Changes in the Facial Skeleton With Aging: Implications and Clinical Applications in Facial Rejuvenation. Available:

Sam Rizk, MD

By Dr. Sam S. Rizk, M.D., FACS.

Dr. Rizk is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty surgery and a recognized expert on the latest advances in facial plastic surgery techniques. He performs a range of facial plastic surgeries at his New York practice.

Learn more about Dr. Rizk | Dr. Rizk's Google Scholar

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