Holy Jowl! Are Smart Phones Making Our Faces Sag?

It happened to me again last weekend.  I whipped out my iPhone to take a picture of my son when I saw a dour, double chinned, jowly creature  staring back at me.  It took my brain a minute to process that what I was seeing was ME.  I had hit the reverse camera function and realized this is probably how small children see me all the time.

I’m not alone.  Apparently, technology is causing us to freak about what we look on Face Time, Skype and Facebook to name a few.  Worse, it’s been suggested that all this time looking down at your smart phone might cause our jowls and chin to sag prematurely and get — iPhone Face.  

This has led to a 71% increase in chin implants (affectionally known as chinplants) according to the ASPS.

“The chin and jawline are among the first areas to show signs of aging. People are considering chin augmentation as a way to restore their youthful look just like a facelift or eyelid surgery,” said ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth, MD. “We also know that as more people see themselves on video chat technology, they may notice that their jawline is not as sharp as they want it to be. Chin implants can make a dramatic difference.”

Are we sure about this?  It’s not like boobs where you can just point and say “bigger”.    In fact, there’s something close to a Plastic Surgery dance off in Daily Beauty.com, where Dr. Samuel Lam helps keep it real and points out they’re not for everyone.

…I think they are way overused for the aging face, and I do not believe they help substantially except in appropriate cases. In the aging face, the principal problem is not bone loss but fat and soft tissue loss.

If your chin-jowly area is still high on your beauty pain scale (between 7-10), you should know that chinplants aren’t your only option. Fillers and tightening treatments can work wonders, but only your board certified plastic surgeon will know for sure.

Doctor’s aside, here are a few things you can do right away to look great on tech and prevent getting an iPhone Face.

  • Get Lit.  Natural light is king, but make sure it’s directly on your face so it doesn’t create shadows.  Avoid florescent light, you’ll look like you have the flu.  If you’re really obsessed, Skype during the Golden Hours between 4 & 7PM.  Bonus: it’s cocktail time!
  • Look Up.  A downward angle is always unflattering.  Make sure your smart phone or computer screen is slightly above eye level.
  • Face Yoga.  A few easy moves that feel terrific.   Just don’t let anyone catch you.
    • Avert your eyes – revitalize your eyes by looking away from your tech screen every 20 minutes for 15 seconds.
    • Should shrug– lift your shoulders up to ears and back down 15 times.
    • Kiss the sky – hands straight at your side, tilt your head back slightly (not parallel to the ceiling), pucker up and blow a kiss to the sky.  Hold for 10 seconds.  Rinse and repeat 5 times.
    • Lickity split – stick the tongue out as far as it will go and say “ahhh”.  Hold for 60 seconds while trying to keep the rest of the face relaxed.

Meanwhile, it’s Friday so chin up!