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The Runner’s Paradox: Understanding Facial Fat Loss, Aging, and How Sofwave Can Help

Many of our clinic patients, like myself, are fitness enthusiasts; health really is our true wealth.

Running is a beloved exercise for many, offering cardiovascular benefits, weight management, and a great mood boost. However, avid runners may notice an unexpected side effect: changes in facial appearance, often referred to as “runner’s face.” This phenomenon involves the loss of facial fat and the development of sagging skin, particularly of the lower face, jawline and neck, making one look older than their chronological years. While this might seem like an unavoidable consequence of staying fit, there are innovative solutions to address these concerns, such as Sofwave, a cutting-edge skin tightening treatment. In this article, we delve into why runners experience facial fat loss and sagging, and how treatments such as Sofwave can help with skin lifting and tightening.

The Runner’s Face Explained:

Loss of Facial Fat

Facial fat is essential for a youthful appearance. It provides volume and a smooth contour to the skin. However, intensive cardiovascular exercise like long-distance running can lead to a reduction in overall body fat, including facial fat. When you run, your body burns calories, often using fat stores for energy. This process can thin out the face, particularly in the cheeks and under-eye areas, leading to a more hollowed appearance.

Repetitive Impact and Collagen Breakdown

Running involves repetitive motion and impact, which can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin. These fibres are crucial for maintaining skin’s elasticity and firmness. As they degrade, the skin loses its ability to bounce back, resulting in sagging and the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dehydration and Environmental Exposure

Runners are often exposed to environmental factors such as sun, wind, and pollution, which can further contribute to skin damage. Dehydration from sweating can also lead to a loss of skin moisture and elasticity, exacerbating the aging process.

Natural Ageing: The Silent Partner

In addition to the effects of running, natural aging processes also contribute to changes in facial appearance:

  • Collagen and Elastin Depletion: Production slows down with age, reducing skin resilience.
  • Bone Resorption: Facial bones gradually lose density, offering less support to the skin.
  • Volume Loss: Reduction in muscle mass and skin thickness further contributes to a gaunt look.
  • Gravity: Over time, gravity pulls on the skin, exacerbating sagging.

These changes are part of the natural aging process and affect everyone, not just runners. However, the combination of rigorous exercise and ageing can have a synergistic effect, accelerating these visible signs.

The Impact of Facial Aging

Understanding the broader context of facial aging can help runners and non-runners alike recognize the importance of maintaining skin health. As we age, the skin undergoes several changes:

  • Decreased collagen production: Collagen provides structure and elasticity to the skin. As its production decreases with age, skin becomes thinner and less resilient; wound healing is delayed.
  • Loss of subcutaneous fat: Superficial and deep fat pads under the skin provide volume and a youthful contour. With age, this fat diminishes, which can lead to hollowing of the cheeks and under eye area, prominence of the “nose-to-mouth” lines (nasolabial folds) and tissue laxity around the jaw, below the chin, and neck.
  • Bone density loss: The bones of the face lose density over time, reducing structural support and leading to sagging skin.
  • Dermal thinning: The dermal layer of the skin thins with age, making it more susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Gravity: Continual gravitational pull causes the skin to sag, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and jawline.

These natural aging processes are compounded by lifestyle factors such as sun exposure, smoking, excessive alcohol intake and diet, which can accelerate these signs.

Sofwave: A Revolutionary Solution

For those concerned about the aesthetic effects of running and aging, Sofwave offers a non-invasive solution to restore a youthful appearance. Here’s why Sofwave is an excellent option for runners and fitness enthusiasts alike:

What is Sofwave?

Sofwave is an innovative skin rejuvenation technology that utilizes Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam Technology (SUPERB™). This technology precisely targets and treats the mid-dermal layer of the skin, stimulating the production of new collagen, which tightens and firms the skin naturally.

How Does Sofwave Work?

Sofwave delivers ultrasound energy to the mid-dermal tissue, generating controlled thermal injury. This thermal effect triggers the body’s natural healing response, promoting the production of new collagen and elastin fibers. As a result, the skin gradually tightens and lifts, reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.

Key Benefits of Sofwave for Runners

  • Non-invasive: No needles or incisions, making the procedure comfortable and low-risk.
  • Minimal downtime: You can resume your regular activities, including running, immediately after treatment.
  • Quick sessions: Each session takes about 30-45 minutes, perfect for fitting into a busy schedule.
  • Natural-looking results: The gradual collagen production leads to subtle, yet noticeable improvements.
  • Suitable for all skin types: Effective on various skin tones and types, addressing multiple aging concerns.

The Patient Experience

At Self London, we pride ourselves on offering the highest standard of care with our Sofwave treatments. Our lead skin and laser therapist will guide you through the process, ensuring that each treatment is tailored to your specific needs. From the initial consultation to post-treatment care, our expert team is dedicated to helping you achieve your desired results.

Why Choose Sofwave at Self London?

Expertise and Experience

Our team of dermatologists and skincare specialists are extensively trained in medical and cosmetic dermatology as well as lifestyle (we have a dietitian, psychologist and personal trainer in our team) ensuring optimal results. With a personalised approach to each patient, we tailor treatments to address your unique skin concerns.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Self London boasts state-of-the-art facilities equipped with the best energy-based devices on the market. Our clinic provides a comfortable and welcoming environment where you can receive effective and efficient treatments.

Comprehensive Skincare Solutions

In addition to Sofwave, we offer a wide range of dermatological services and skincare treatments. Whether you’re looking for acne solutions, scar treatments, or general skincare advice, our team is here to help you achieve and maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sofwave

How Many Sofwave Treatments Will I Need?

The number of treatments varies depending on your skin condition and desired outcomes. Many patients see significant improvements after just one session which may need to be repeated annually for maintenance (as with each year, we still continue to age).

What Can I Expect During a Sofwave Treatment?

A cooling gel is applied to the target area to enhance comfort and energy transmission. The handpiece then delivers ultrasound energy to the skin, creating a warming sensation. The entire process takes approximately 30-45 minutes.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Sofwave is known for its safety profile, with minimal side effects such as redness, swelling, and slight tenderness, which typically resolve within a few hours.

When Will I See Results?

Initial improvements can be noticed within a few weeks, with continued enhancements over the next three to six months as collagen production increases.

Is Sofwave Suitable for Everyone?

Sofwave is suitable for most individuals seeking non-invasive skin tightening and rejuvenation. A consultation with our dermatologists will determine if Sofwave is right for you.

How Does Sofwave Compare to Other Skin Tightening Treatments?

Sofwave offers several advantages over other skin tightening treatments. Unlike some procedures that require multiple sessions and significant downtime, Sofwave provides noticeable results with minimal discomfort and recovery time. Additionally, its advanced ultrasound technology allows for precise energy delivery, ensuring consistent and effective treatment outcomes. Compared to surgical options, Sofwave is a safer and less invasive alternative with natural-looking results.

Can Sofwave Be Combined with Other Treatments?

Yes, Sofwave can be combined with other aesthetic treatments to enhance your overall results. Many patients choose to pair Sofwave with treatments such as dermal fillers, Botox, polynucleotides, broadband light (BBL), or Halo laser to address multiple skin concerns simultaneously. During your consultation, our dermatologists will discuss the best combination of treatments to achieve your desired outcomes and whether these are deemed necessary.

Embrace Your Best Self

Running and fitness should enhance your life, but if you have concerns about the predictable appearance changes which may occur with endurance sport, Sofwave can help with this. Self London is committed to helping you achieve your best life, combining the latest technology with expert-led care. We are here to inspire skin confidence regardless of age, colour, or preferred choice of exercise!