Restoring youth in the male face

With the likes of George Clooney and Sean Connery on side, it certainly seems the mantel of ageing sits a little more comfortably on men than on women. The smooth, dewy, homogenised complexions that females strive for are not so coveted by their male counterparts, and it seems society expects and appreciates a touch of ruggedness on ageing men.

Sydney facial plastic surgeon Dr William Mooney explains the male face calls for a radically different approach to anti- ageing than the female face. ‘It’s a big mistake to use the female template facial rejuvenation on the male face,’ he says. ‘Dynamic wrinkles help characterise a male’s face, so facial treatments should preserve this character, while still granting an anti-ageing effect.

‘Also, male skin is very different to female skin. It is usually more damaged, thicker in texture, and males will have different skin concerns,’ he adds. ‘Throughout their lives, generally speaking, men spend more time outdoors, they are less likely to be careful with protecting their skin and when I ask them what their skincare regime consists of, their usual response is “soap”.’

Understanding that most men will not commit to a skincare routine that is too time consuming, Dr Mooney is taking skincare back to basics with his male patients. He recommends using an in-shower cleanser, a moisturiser after shaving and a daily sunscreen.

Alongside skincare, there are several surgical and non- surgical methods for facial rejuvenation that can be tailored to male patients.

Light therapies

Dr Mooney explains one of the most subtle but potent signs of ageing in male patients is the age spots and wrinkles around the temples. He uses laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments to counter the appearance of these wrinkles.

‘Laser treatment can also be used to counter redness, unevenness and blocked pores, which are common concerns in male patients,’ he says. ‘For the best results, we often intersperse light treatments with facial treatments such as the enzyme facial peel.’

Injectables

Anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers can rejuvenate the aging face and counter the visible signs of ageing.

‘I use less and less anti-wrinkle injections in men,’ Dr Mooney explains. ‘Lines help characterise a male’s face, so we want to avoid the frozen look. I often use subtle filler, instead of anti-wrinkle injections, to correct crow’s feet in men. A cross hatching filler pattern will grant a subtle, natural-looking and longer-lasting effect.’

Threading

Ageing often deteriorates volume and causes skin laxity in the mid face, generating a tired, gaunt appearance. While facelifting can be effective in countering this process, Dr Mooney says thread lifting can be a viable alternative to facelift surgery.

‘Thread lifting can build volume in the face, and help redefine the facial contours,’ he says. ‘Men lose volume in their mid-face but are often reluctant to undergo face lifting surgery; they want to avoid that tight, overdone look. Thread lifting – sometimes combined with eyelid surgery – can have a significant, though subtle, anti-ageing result without the downtime associated with a full face lift.’

Between injectables, thread lifting and jaw augmentation, there are several options for facial rejuvenation in male patients. An extensive consultation process is needed with each patient to ensure the best treatment method is established.

Dr Mooney says many men aren’t aware of the number of options available for facial rejuvenation, but are typically open to fresh possibilities. ‘While female patients are generally more educated coming into consultation, male patients are very open minded and appreciate non-invasive options that will generate effective, though natural-looking, anti-ageing results.’

A masculine nose and jaw

According to Dr Mooney, the size and shape of the nose can be a common concern in male patients. Oftentimes, he explains, it is the size of the jaw and not the nose which is putting the face out of proportion.

‘A weak jaw can make the nose look bigger, and can detract from the male aesthetic,’ Dr Mooney explains. ‘I will sometimes use deep dermal filers or a surgical augmentation to strengthen the jawline, and bring the face into more masculine proportions. After this, some patients no longer feel the need for rhinoplasty.’

In those cases where rhinoplasty is needed, Dr Mooney explains nose surgery can have a significant anti-ageing effect.

‘Rhinoplasty is one of the most popular male procedures,’ he says. ‘Both functional and aesthetic concerns can be addressed through surgery, and the procedure can really impact quality of life – it helps boost self-confidence, assists in breathing and this, in turn, helps with sleeping. All these factors can contribute to an anti-ageing effect.’

View Dr Mooney’s before and after rhinoplasty gallery.