Mini Facelifts: The Key to Getting Rid of Jowls Without Surgery

Face jowls are pockets of sagging skin that form along the jawline. Jowls give the jawline a less defined look and can significantly age your face. They are one of the most common—yet also one of the least desired—signs of aging.

The good news is that there are ways to reduce and even eliminate jowls.

One popular approach is the classic facelift, but it involves general anesthesia and a two-week recovery process. It’s a complex surgical procedure, and not everyone is ready for that—especially if they’re just beginning to see signs of jowl formation.

That’s why many people opt for nonsurgical and minimally invasive procedures to remove their jowls.

Here’s an overview of the most popular ways to remove jowls without a surgical procedure and lengthy recovery times.

Understanding the Causes of Jowls

While nobody wants jowls, they are a natural part of aging. As you get older, your skin gradually loses its elasticity and collagen, two components that keep your skin looking youthful and plump. As the collagen and elastin deplete, the skin sags. The resulting loose skin is often most prominent in the jowls since it creates a rounder and less defined jawline.

Another age-related cause of jowls is fat redistribution. When you’re young, the facial fat deposits are evenly spread across your face. But as you age, the fat deposits slowly move down toward your chin and jawline, further emphasizing the jowls.

Lifestyle choices and habits can also cause jowl formation or worsen them. For example, excessive drinking, smoking and sun exposure can increase your risk for jowls. Likewise, overusing jaw and mouth muscles (like regularly frowning) can also contribute to jowls as you age.

Mini Facelifts

One of the most popular alternatives to the classic facelift is the mini facelift in Burbank, CA.

Yes, the mini facelift is technically still a surgical procedure, but it’s much less invasive and typically occurs right in your plastic surgeon’s office. Patients typically receive local anesthesia rather than general anesthesia and a breathing tube.

A mini facelift also targets a much smaller area of the face compared to a traditional facelift. It specifically lifts and smooths skin along the cheeks, jaws, and neck.

Since the mini facelift focuses only on the bottom portion of your face, the incisions are much shorter—which means they’re also less noticeable and heal quicker. A mini facelift’s overall recovery time is much shorter than a classic facelift because there’s less tissue manipulation.

One of the most effective mini facelift techniques is the SMAS, which tightens the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) on the cheek and jaw. Much of the elastin loss that causes jowls occurs in the SMAS tissue, which is why a SMAS mini facelift can be extremely effective.

Reasons to Consider the Mini Facelift to Eliminate Jowls

Traditional surgery is a major procedure and can carry significant risks—especially involving general anesthesia in older patients. Besides the risks, some people just may not want to experience general anesthesia for a surgery that’s not absolutely necessary.

That’s what makes the mini facelift so popular. It gives you many of the same benefits of the traditional facelift without the complex procedure, lengthy healing time, and added risks of general anesthesia.

Keep in mind, though, that the mini facelift isn’t for everyone. Since it involves minimal tissue manipulation, it can only address early signs of aging. If you have very pronounced jowls and sagging skin across your entire face, your surgeon may recommend a traditional facelift for complete rejuvenation.

Lifestyle Changes to Combat Jowls

A mini facelift can help you achieve those dramatic results you want, but it’s not the only option. One simple, nonsurgical approach to combat jowl formation is adjusting your lifestyle to promote healthy skin.

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is your diet and water consumption. Ensure you eat a diet full of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals to help reduce skin dryness and even wrinkles. Staying hydrated is equally important since it helps improve your skin’s elasticity.

Another consideration is getting regular exercise. Keeping active not only keeps you feeling young but also promotes blood flow to your skin.

You should also take excellent care of your skin. Make sure to always wear sunscreen or protective clothing when outside, and maintain a regular skincare routine. What products you use depends on your skin type. But in general, you can look for anti-aging creams and moisturizers.

Nonsurgical Treatment Options for Jowls

Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a consistent skincare routine, you can also opt for nonsurgical treatment options. Like the mini facelift, these treatments are non-invasive and can be done in your plastic surgeon’s office. However, they likely won’t give as long-lasting or dramatic results as a mini or full facelift.

One treatment option is laser skin resurfacing. It uses laser energy to remove the outermost layers of the skin, which creates a controlled (and extremely minor) skin injury. This prompts the body to produce collagen and new cells, which tightens your jowls and rejuvenates your skin.

mini faceliftAnother popular treatment is dermal fillers, which can help improve skin laxity along the jowls. There are several different types of dermal fillers, so talk to an experienced plastic surgeon to see which one is right for you.

Similar to dermal fillers, Botox is an injectable treatment. It helps relax the facial muscles and reduce wrinkles, especially those caused by facial expressions. While commonly used on the forehead and around the eyes, Botox can also help with neck muscle bands.

A final nonsurgical treatment option is the liquid facelift, which uses injectables to achieve results similar to a traditional facelift. It can help reduce jowls and smooth out folds around your cheeks and mouth. An experienced mini facelift surgeon in Burbank, CA will examine your facial anatomy and determine where to place the dermal fillers for the best results.

Facial Exercises and Massage Techniques

We mentioned above that overusing certain facial muscles can create jowls. But you can help combat that with target facial exercises and massages.

For example, facial yoga exercises can help tone your muscles and tighten your skin. You can even do specific exercises to target the jowls and tone any sagging skin along the jawline.

Adding facial massages to your exercises can help you achieve optimal results, as they help keep your skin firm and smooth. While you can incorporate facial massages into your daily skincare routine, you should also consider dermal fillers and other less invasive cosmetic facial treatments.

Skincare Products and Ingredients to Consider

As you develop the ideal skincare routine to reduce facial jowls, look for these key anti-aging ingredients:

  • Retinoids and vitamin C: These products help stimulate collagen production, reduce age spots, and restore more youthful skin color.
  • Peptides: This ingredient promotes elastin and collagen production, which gives you firmer skin.
  • Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic acid helps keep your face hydrated, which, as mentioned above, improves skin elasticity.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants help remove free radicals, which result from environmental stressors and cause typical signs of aging. This results in skin that looks and feels healthier.

Maintaining Results and Preventing Jowls

No matter which approach you choose, you must incorporate a consistent routine to maintain those results. If you opt for nonsurgical treatments, this would mean getting regular injectables or laser skin resurfacing. Even if you choose a more natural approach, like facial yoga and skincare routines, you must be consistent with them.

The mini facelift is the only option with long-lasting effects (several years). Still, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle to achieve optimal results. Remember to stay hydrated and protect your skin from excessive sun exposure. And if you smoke or drink, consider cutting back to optimize your skin’s health and elasticity.


Jowls are an unwanted part of aging, but you have several options to reduce or eliminate them without surgery. You can pursue treatment options like dermal fillers or begin an at-home approach like facial massages.

Yet for lasting and more dramatic results, consider a mini facelift in Burbank, CA. It’s less invasive than a full facelift, and you can return to work within a week.

Remember to consult with a skincare professional or a plastic surgeon first to discuss any health risks. And remember, consistency is key. Whether you choose a mini facelift or nonsurgical treatment, you still want to implement lifestyle changes and a healthy skincare routine for optimal results.