A considerable amount of fat in our cheeks can help us look younger and the general idea is that volume in the face = a younger look. However, there is also such a thing as chubby cheeks that border on looking chipmunk-esque.
You may also feel self-conscious as chubbier cheeks may signify weight gain. Although most individuals lose their chubby cheeks as they age, some are genetically predisposed to having chubbier cheeks that are harder to get rid of. In this article, we’ve lined up some methods to help reduce your chubby cheeks:
Although you can’t spot-reduce, exercising regularly can help us lose weight even in our cheeks. You could also try facial exercises to improve muscle strength and tone facial muscles, creating a slimmer appearance.
Cardio exercises are physical activities that increase your heart rate and are one of the most effective methods for weight loss. Several studies have shown that regular cardio helps increase fat loss over time - aim to get about 150 minutes a week in.
Your drinking habits are crucial for your health and can be particularly important if you’re looking to lose facial fat. Studies have shown that regular water consumption can keep you full and enhance weight loss.
Aside from being an appetite suppressant, water is needed to metabolise fat or carbohydrates in a process called lipolysis. During a process called hydrolysis, water molecules interact with fats to create glycerol and fatty acids.
As the saying goes: “whatever you eat in secret, shows up in public”, face included. Try steering clear of cookies, crackers and pasta because empty carbohydrates are common culprits to weight gain and fat storage. They have little to no nutrients and fibre, and are often heavily processed.
You should also consider reducing your sodium intake by avoiding salty foods as it can lead to fluid retention, ergo swelling and puffiness. Instead, you should increase your fibre intake (yes, vegetables!) as it can help keep you full longer and is good for your gut.
Sleep deprivation can lead to an increase in cortisol, which is a stress hormone. It can indirectly lead to an increased appetite, altered metabolism, and hence, increased fat storage. Adopting a regular sleep cycle can help you shed extra pounds, and lead to successful weight loss maintenance.
If you’ve exhausted all options and still struggle with chubby cheeks, you can consider buccal fat removal, also known as cheek reduction surgery.
Buccal fat removal is a permanent procedure that involves surgically removing the buccal fat pad, a naturally-occurring pad of fat around the cheek hollow. This is done through an incision inside the mouth, between the gums and cheeks, so there won’t be any scarring on the face. This creates a slimmer and more contoured V-shaped face.
The procedure takes about 30 - 60 minutes and you’ll be put under light IV sedation. Although it may take several weeks to a month to see the full results, you’ll be able to return to work after 2 to 3 days! Remember to follow all post-procedure instructions given to you by your doctor, such as taking your antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication.
While the idea of a slimmer face is attractive to many, not everyone is a great candidate for buccal fat removal. Sometimes, a proper diet and frequent exercise may suffice!
However, chubby cheeks may be caused by genetic predisposition. If you find that you've exhausted all options even with a low body fat percentage, cheek reduction surgery may be for you.
There is also a lot of aftercare required, so it’s important to be able to keep to a routine to prevent post-surgical complications.
Buccal fat removal is considered a permanent procedure as the buccal fat does not grow back even with weight gain; what you put on is subcutaneous fat, which is the more superficial fat under the skin.
If you’re considering buccal fat removal, do come in for a consultation and Dr Samuel Ho would be able to advise you on whether this surgery is right for you, or suitable alternatives to consider.