Do you miss those plump, teenage cheeks that seemed to defy gravity back in the day? Looking back they certainly deserved way more credit than you gave them, but isn’t that always the way? After all, it’s human nature to concentrate on the stuff you dislike, rather than all the fabulous things you don’t even realise you’re blessed with.
It’s an absolute privilege to get older, but your body ages and that can be a bitter pill to swallow. Your skin, for example, not only loses fat but the production of important proteins like collagen and elastin also slows down. In fact, after the age of 20, research shows you start to lose around 1 percent of collagen every year.
And this can dramatically affect the look of your skin. Collagen is extremely important for your skin’s strength and structure because it acts like the framework that holds everything else together. And the most obvious area to show visible signs of collagen loss as you get older? Your cheeks.
So, what can you do to lessen the blow of cheeks that don’t look as plump and youthful as they once did? Well, anything that upsets collagen production is a big no-no, so it’s prudent to stress less, sleep more, not smoke, eat plenty of antioxidants, and apply broad-spectrum sun protection every morning.
But you know all of that, so here are a few other skincare tricks to have up your sleeve…
1. Apply Retinol Every Day
As anti-ageing ingredients go, it doesn’t get much better than retinol. It’s literally the one thing the whole beauty industry can agree on. And it’s not just the gold standard for wrinkles, but helps improve all visible signs of skin ageing – including sagging cheeks.
Retinol works by communicating with certain genes in your skin to accelerate the production of collagen and elastin, outmanoeuvre free radicals, repair connective tissue and stimulate cell turnover. This may sound too good to be true for one simple ingredient, but it’s been proven by decades of research to be the real deal. It really is almost unbeatable at fighting off fine lines, wrinkles, breakouts, dark spots and sagging skin.
If you’re not already applying a retinol treatment, try our Pre-Eminent Beauty Serum. This lightweight serum contains an effective, but gentle retinol derivative called retinyl palmitate which causes much less irritation than pure retinol. Introduce it slowly into your routine at first – maybe two or three times a week – then build up to daily use to help keep your skin firm and lifted.
2. Try A Daily Massage
Regular massage helps increase blood flow which draws nutrients and oxygen to your skin. It simultaneously draws toxins away to reduce damage and keep your skin healthy. Some experts believe it can also stimulate collagen and elastin production which is great for keeping your cheeks lifted and your entire complexion more youthful-looking.
If time is limited, try incorporating a facial massage into your morning cleansing routine while you wash your face with Crystal Cleanser. However, for a more pampering treat and to nourish and moisturise your skin as you massage (gotta love that!), we highly recommend our Organic Age-Defying Facial Oil.
Apply a few drops of oil to clean skin, then use the pads of your fingers to work it all over your face. For a full facial massage, move in circular motions, working from your forehead down to your neck.
Then, pay extra attention to your cheeks. Lightly pinch the skin with your thumbs and two fingers, starting either side of your nose, then working across each cheek towards your temples. Repeat two or three times to help boost blood flow and brighten up your skin.
Another trick for reducing jowls is to work your knuckles up from the corners of your mouth to the cheeks, then out towards your ears. Repeat this a few times but take care not to apply too much pressure or create friction as this will drag your skin and could cause irritation.
3. Boost Your Skin With Marine Collagen
If firmer, tighter skin is your goal in general, it makes perfect sense to help replace lost collagen with topical collagen and collagen-boosting peptides. And we can totally help with that thanks to our Imperial Moisturiser which contains silk peptide protein and marine collagen.
Marine collagen is extracted from either seaweed or the skin of fish (ours is from the former, you’ll be pleased to hear) and it’s extremely compatible with the skin. Granted, it doesn’t magically get absorbed by your skin, up your collagen levels and give you an instantly plumper, firmer complexion – if only!
However, marine collagen has been proven to help reduce fine lines, increase elasticity and reduce moisture loss. All excellent news for the condition of your skin. And those flagging cheeks, of course…
4. Do A 2-Minute Morning Workout
Facial exercises are awesome for strengthening the muscles in your face. And the stronger your facial muscles are, the tighter and firmer your skin will look as a result. To help plump up your cheeks, try the following exercises every day.
Suck in your cheeks, purse your lips, then smile as hard as you can while keeping your lips pursed and your eyes relaxed. Hold for 10 seconds, relax, then repeat three times.
The Big O
This is similar to the above, but instead of sucking in your cheeks, create an ‘O’ shape with your lips as if you’re about to whistle. Again, smile hard, hold for 10 seconds, relax and repeat three times.
Finally, smile as hard as you can with your mouth closed. Then wrinkle your nose, hold for 10 seconds, relax and repeat. Try this one 10 times if you can.
If you perform these exercises every day, studies show you could start to see plumper cheeks in as little as three weeks.
5. Cheat With Subtle Make-Up
For an immediate, albeit temporary cheek lift, you can’t beat a bit of clever, but subtle make-up. Firstly, blend a little bronzer under your cheekbones. Choose a slightly cool tone that’s not much darker than your natural skin colour and avoid anything too shimmery. A cool, matte finish will look far more natural.
You could also try a touch of highlighter or light-reflecting colour on the apples of your cheeks to give the impression of plump, high cheekbones (our Natural Organic Lip Glosses are great for this!). Highlighting the high planes of your face, while creating shade in lower areas is a fabulous way to direct light to the areas you want to define. This helps contour your entire face to create a more sculpted, lifted look.
And finally? SMILE! Smiling instantly lifts your cheekbones, brightens your eyes and reduces the appearance of jowls. More importantly, it releases neurotransmitters like serotonin into your body to boost your health, mood and wellbeing. And what can be better than that?