Here we explain why more and more health-conscious men and women are turning to facial aesthetics to make sure their face reflects the hard work they are putting into their body
We all know that unhealthy lifestyles, stress, sunbathing, and even spending too much time in front blue-light emitting devices (yes that’s right your mobile phone and laptop), can accelerate ageing, but did you know that some otherwise healthy habits, such as working out at the gym or going running, could also be taking their toll on your looks?
Exercise has untold benefits in terms of combating stress, keeping off weight, building and toning muscle and improving overall health, however, there are a few downsides that could mean when you look in the mirror, your face doesn’t match your body – namely wrinkles and acne.
The very reason we work out in the first place is not just for our health but also to look and feel good about ourselves, but if your gym routine and healthy lifestyle is not translating to your face, you could be one of the many men or women suffering from “gym face”.
By far the biggest culprit is continuous high impact training which can lead to loss of volume and sagging of the skin and is often referred to as “runner’s face”. “As we age, we may be keen to lose our middle-aged spread, however, losing fat in our faces makes us look older”, says Dr Harry Singh, award winning facial aesthetician. “It’s the difference between a raisin and a grape – one is plump and smooth, the other is dried up and wrinkly. It’s the same with our faces. As we age, we lose hyaluronic acid, the molecule responsible for binding and retaining water, and, as a result, we start to wrinkle. Exercise and fat loss in the face can exacerbate the effects of this.”
Feeling the strain
If you are into weightlifting or doing exercise that is physically challenging, then it may be the facial expressions you pull while doing this that are causing more pronounced wrinkles. Wrinkles can be both “static” and “dynamic” in nature and it’s the “dynamic” ones that are caused by our facial movements (think smile lines, laughter lines, smoker’s lines, frown lines).“Excessively straining during gym sessions could be making your brow more furrowed”, says Dr Singh.
If you are breaking a sweat during your workouts, then that can also lead to acne on both the face and body. Sweat flushes out impurities from your body but hot sweaty skin – and the towel you use to mop your brow – can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Add to this the fact that your sweat glands can become blocked, and you have the perfect recipe for acne.
So, what’s the answer?
You could just stop working out but there are far too many documented benefits of regular exercise to sacrifice that. This is one of the reasons why, in recent years, more and more men and women have been embracing facial aesthetics treatments as a way to enhance their appearance and bring their face and body in alignment.
Spotlight on men
Having aesthetic enhancements is no longer a taboo for men, or something to be embarrassed about.
“When I first started out in 2002 only around 2% of my clients were male. Now it’s closer to 20% and I’ve seen most of that rise in the last five years”, says Dr Singh. “It’s much more acceptable now for men to have ‘tweakments’ and I think social media sites like Instagram and the popularity of selfies have played a huge part.”
The number of men getting Botox injections has rocketed globally, leading media outlets to coin the term “Brotox”.
“Men have a different anatomical structure to women”, says Dr Singh. “So, while many women want to accentuate the arch of their brow and have a completely wrinkle-free, smooth forehead, for my male patients it’s usually not the same.
“When treating men, we usually focus on maintaining masculinity while softening deep brow furrows or frown lines and crow’s feet, which can make you look more angry and tired. Men have straighter brows, so the practitioner needs to know how much product to use and where to put it to get the desired result.”
And it doesn’t just help with ‘gym face’. Botox can also be used to combat excessive sweating, known as hyperhidrosis, another bonus for any gym-goers.
It’s not just addressing the signs of ageing that is motivating men to get a little extra help. Jawline contouring is set to be one of the biggest trends of 2020 and men are leading the way. “A chiselled or more defined jaw has always been associated with an attractive male face and dermal fillers are now being used to achieve this by helping to define and sharpen the lines of the jaw”, says Dr Singh. “This is one of the most popular procedures with men in my clinic and no amount of diet or exercise will give you that chiselled/sharp jawline unless you were born with it.”
If injectables are not for you but you still want to take care of your appearance, then you may be one of the many image-conscious men contributing to the explosive growth of the male skincare market. Analyst Future Market Insights recently revealed that the market for men’s skincare products hit $10 billion (£7.45bn) at the end of 2019, with double-digit growth forecasted through to 2029. Moisturisers, facial scrubs, sunscreens, cleansers and face washes were among those generating the most sales. The demand for serums was also on the rise. “Looking after your skin, protecting it from the sun, especially if you work out outdoors, and making sure you wash and clean it after exercise can all help prevent and combat the signs of ageing and acne” says Dr Singh.
Finding a practitioner
Understanding the differences between male and female facial composition is key for injectable treatments so make sure first and foremost, that you go to a medical practitioner – a doctor, dentist or nurse who is registered with a professional body (the GMC, GDC, NMC). “Ask to see any before and after pictures or testimonials they have from male clients if there are none on their website or ask how many male patients they treat,” advises Dr Singh. “Don’t be tempted by cut price deals and offers. These are medical treatments so putting yourself in the right hands is the best thing you can do to ensure safe and natural looking results.”
If you would like to discuss what is possible for you, please call Aesthetics Life on 01438 300111 for a free consultation.