4 Ways to Fake a Firmer Jawline
From non-invasive to in-office procedures, this is how one writer finally achieved a more chiseled look.
Unlike Angelina Jolie, Robert Pattinson, or Harry Styles, I was not blessed with a super-sculpted jawline. It didn’t bother me in high school or college, but the older I got, the more I became aware of the general lack of definition in that area and the more I wanted to do something about it. Cut to a fateful morning a few months back, when I awoke to find a puffy, bloated complexion staring back at me (I had indulged in sodium-rich appetizers and one too many glasses of wine the night before), and I knew the time had come to find a solution to create—or at least fake—a firmer jaw.
While I’m not against invasive techniques, such as face-lifts, I’m typically more interested in non-invasive or less invasive options, so I set out to test the most popular ones on the market right now and figure out which of them would make a significant difference in the appearance of my sagging jawline. So please, join me on my quest for a jawline that could cut glass.
Facial massage seemed like the natural first step, since it’s free, it’s quick, and it’s fairly easy if you have the motions down. I, for one, have been practicing an indulgent facial massage every night before going to bed. It might make more sense to incorporate it into my evening routine, because it de-puffs and boosts blood flow, but I’m not a morning person, and I can’t be trusted to stick to an in-depth skin-care routine, much less get out of bed, before 8:00 AM, so nighttime it was.
“Light lymphatic massage will help to de-puff and keep the face from retaining extra fluid, which can help with long-term stretching of the skin, which adds to loss of elasticity,” explains Cynthia Franco, a Beverly Hills facialist and body worker. She recommends using both quick and slow upward strokes to “energize and improve tone,” as well as light pressure applied to the bones of the face to help “keep connective tissues adhering to the bone rather than falling off, as it does with age.”
Before giving yourself a lymphatic facial massage, cleanse your skin from all impurities, because you don’t want to be rubbing dirt and makeup around your skin. Franco recommends Epicuren 3-in-1 Cleansing Oil. Once you’ve cleansed and toned, reach for a face oil, which will reduce friction between your hands and your skin. Franco uses Jacquie Aiche Gypsy Glow Face Serum, because it’s lightweight, gemstone-infused, and it doesn’t need to be washed off post-massage. “I then use my Yamuna Face Rolling Ball to apply pressure to all bones of the face. Not only is this an instant lift, but [it lasts for a long time] as well. When you apply all these methods, you feel the muscles in your face rejuvenated and lifted for a few days. So doing this a few times a week is noticeable.”
I found the effect of facial massage to be extremely subtle, yet still noticeable, especially in instances where my face felt puffy and full of fluid from any aforementioned wine and/or sodium. Cycling through the routine and products resulted in slightly better definition of my bone structure as a whole, including my jawline. However, I wasn’t satisfied yet. I wanted to see what else could affect the appearance of my jawline on a more dramatic level.
Gua sha is extremely popular these days, but it has ancient origins. It’s a centuries-old practice that stems from traditional Chinese medicine and involves scraping a stone tool across the skin in order to move energy or qi. When used on the face, it relieves tension and promotes lymphatic drainage. Franco even keeps one in her freezer to help de-puff even further.
Just like with facial massage, start with clean skin. Prep it with a mist first (Franco uses IS Clinical Copper Firming Mist), and a plant-based oil. Then, swipe the tool across the face and neck with the flat side against the skin. Per Franco’s recommendation, I used light-to-medium pressure and slow strokes, starting at my neck. “Start upward on neck muscles to help relax them.” Work from your clavicle to your jaw bone. As you arrive at your jaw bone, you can “use a bit of pressure to stimulate bone and collagen synthesis.” After swiping five times and wiggling the gua sha tool back and forth on the bone, I moved it to the area between my jawline and my cheekbone, swiping from the mouth outward toward the ear and applying slight pressure on the bone.
Maybe it’s because the gua sha tool allowed me to exert concentrated pressure, or maybe the cool stone de-puffed my skin, but I felt like the results were more noticeable with this method compared with facial massage. They were still extremely subtle, yet noticeable, nonetheless.
Here’s where I saw super-noticeable results, fast. I’ve been using my NuFACE Trinity Facial Toning Device for a while now, and I love the way that it sculpts my jawline even after just one use (not to mention lifts my cheekbones and brows, too). It’s all thanks to the way microcurrent targets the actual muscles in the face, lifting and toning them through low-level electric current. Take it from NuFACE co-founder and CEO Tera Peterson: “Microcurrent is a low-level current that goes in and stimulates down to the muscles, so think about it truly as fitness for your face. The more you do it, the better results you’re going to get.
“As this positive and negative current goes in and stimulates the muscles, not only is it toning the muscles, but it’s toning all of the layers of the skin above it. It’s increasing collagen and elastin and reducing lines and wrinkles. It’s truly a full-face workout.”
I apply the Gel Primer (which is a necessary conductor to allow the microcurrent to penetrate all the way to the muscles) and glide the device from the middle of my neck outward. Then I move it under my jawbone and hold it, pulsing lightly to concentrate the microcurrent on those muscles. Finally, I glide the device up my face from my chin to my ear. Work through an entire side of your face if you really want to see the results—the lift and contour is noticeably different. While I can see results after a single use, if I use my NuFACE device consistently, about three times per week for ten minutes, I notice that my jawline looks sculpted, longer.
I did make an appointment to receive facial injections, but sadly, I had to cancel due to social distancing (disappointing, yet critical). So while I don’t have personal experience to share (yet), I do have some expert advice from Beverly Hills dermatologist Stuart Kaplan: “First, it’s important to evaluate the patient to see what is causing the ‘unsharp’ jawline,” he says. “For example, is it due to sagging skin, loss of bone (which happens as we age), or enlarged masseter jaw muscles? If it is due to sagging skin, there is some lifting that can be achieved by re-volumizing the cheekbones and cheek hollows, which lift the face back into what I call the ‘Diamond Contour.’ If it is due to bone loss, I can redefine the jawline with a variety of fillers. If it is due to enlarged masseter jaw muscles (from years of clenching teeth, TMJ, etc.), Botox is absolutely incredible for resculpting the jawline. I can literally transform a squared jawline into an oval-shaped lower face.”
At the end of the day, there’s no rule when it comes to injections, especially because it’s not just the skin that causes sagging. “As we age, it is not just skin that loses its volume and elasticity (which is a loss of hyaluronic acid, collagen, and elastin), but we also lose fat and bone mass. This is most apparent in the face, where you will see flattened or lowered cheekbones and hollows at the temples. “Remember, everyone’s face is unique, and there is not one treatment that works for everyone,” Kaplan says. “In most cases, I do a combination of filler on the cheekbones and Botox injections along the jaw to achieve the desired ‘Diamond Contour’ shape.
Aside from these treatments, ensure you’re preventing future damage by using the proper topical products, the first of which is sunscreen. Franco insists that sunscreen and limited sun exposure are critical. “If you want to have long-term elasticity of your skin, it’s important to keep damage from happening,” she says.
Pair your daily sunscreen with products that contain peptides (the amino-acid chains that make up proteins like collagen and elastin), which Kaplan explains, “can absolutely make a difference in skin tightening and firming, and as a result, lift the skin.” Kaplan’s Cellular Rejuvenating Complex is packed with peptides, along with protective antioxidants and hydrating hyaluronic acid. “Look for products with multiple anti-aging ingredients so your skin receives simultaneous benefits,” he says. “There is no one magic ingredient for skin sagging. I believe it is a combination of ingredients that provide[s] the best synergistic results.”
Shop the story:
Silk Radiance 3-in-1 Cleansing Oil$65Buy
Gypsy Glow Face Serum$75Buy
Save Your Face Kit$70Buy
Copper Firming Mist$35Buy
Gua Sha Beauty Tool$20Buy
Hydrating Leave-on Gel Primer$14Buy
Trinity Facial Toning Device$325Buy
Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 PA+++$65Buy
Cellular Rejuvenating Concentrate Serum$135Buy
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