Buccal fat or excess cheek fat can be cute when you are a kid, but when they stay with you through your adult years, they are likely to add to your ageing woes. Now only do they give your face a pear-shaped, bottom heavy appearance, they can exacerbate the formation of jowls and sagging skin. That’s why a the first key to a youthful face is a slim V-shape contour and the absence of ‘chipmunk cheeks’.
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Here are some tried and tested ways to slim down your face:
BOTOX FACIAL SLIMMING
Injection of botulinum (a muscle relaxant) into the masseter or jaw muscles can slim the sides of the lower face. While it does not reduce the cheek fat, by reducing the size of the jaw muscles, you are able to slim the sides of the face near the jawline.
Pros: This is a very simple, painless procedure which takes less than 10 minutes under skilled hands.
Cons: It takes about a month to see full facial slimming results. It does not get rid of the buccal fat but slims down the jawline at the sides of the face.
Watch out for: Generic or unapproved brands of botulinum.
Who is this suitable for: People with square jaws or teeth grinding will benefit from this procedure.
Not all facial thread lifts will lift skin as well as shape the lower face at the same time. The Infinity V-lift however is specifically designed to do just that — lift the sagging skin as well as shape the bulging lower face where the buccal fat lies so you have a sharper V-shape face.
Pros: You can get facial skin lifting that can last from 1-2 years on top of a more V-shaped face. If you have mild to moderate buccal fullness, this lifting procedure will smoothen and lift the area for you. Procedure takes about an hour and is non-surgical.
Cons: You may feel mild soreness of the treated area for a few days after and you need to be careful not to chew on hard foods for the next few days. You can however return to work, exercise and other normal activities.
Watch out for: Not all Threadlifts are made to slim the face. Some merely lift the skin etc.
Who is this suitable for: People who has some but not excessive buccal fullness as well as moderate skin sagging.
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This is a safe cosmetic surgical procedure, according to plastic surgeon Dr Tan Ying Chien who sees about 2-3 cases per week.
Pros: This quick surgery takes about an hour and can remove excess buccal fat. Incision is done from inside the mouth so no visible scar is seen.
Cons: This is a pure fat removal treatment and there is no skin lifting involved. Older skins may want to consider a skin lifting procedure after.
Watch out for: Buccal fat extraction, like all surgery, has risks and complications. These risks include a chance of nerve damage, numbness in the cheeks or lower face, skin puckering, unwanted depressions in the cheeks and infection. Always chose an experienced surgeon to minimize these risks, advises Dr Tan.
Who is this suitable for: Young patients with full round faces and taut skin.
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