How to Lose Face Fat (It's Not at All What You Thought)
If spot reduction were possible, many people would immediately target the belly — and there are some ways to tighten up there. Another choice would likely be the face. That’s not surprising, says Chesahna Kindred, M.D., dermatologist and owner of Kindred Hair & Skin Center in Maryland.
“One of the first places you’ll see weight is in your face, so it’s natural to think you can do something to reduce [it] there as well,” she says. “But just as you can’t [selectively] ‘work’ fat from one part of your body, you can’t do that with the face either.”
The good news, Dr. Kindred says, is that efforts to reduce fat overall can affect the face, making it look like you’ve tightened up your face and neck. Here are some key strategies to try.
1. Nourish Yourself
Often, losing fat comes as a result of supporting yourself in multiple ways. That includes eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, staying hydrated, getting social time, and emphasizing recovery and rest. All of these can have an effect on your body on numerous levels, says Dr. Kindred.
Stress, in particular, tends to make you hold onto fat. As your stress hormones like cortisol surge and stay elevated, that causes your body to store fat as protection against threats. Making sure you schedule rest days and maintaining a balanced diet can go a long way toward disabling that fire alarm.
2. Exercise Regularly
Obviously, consistent physical activity can be a calorie burner that helps reduce fat, but it does so much more in terms of boosting your ability to change body composition.
You’ll also be building muscle, and strength training has been linked to reduced fat, especially if you fold dietary changes into the mix.
Exercises that are specific to facial muscles may also offer some improvement. One study found that 30 minutes per day of facial exercises over 20 weeks offered some benefits in upper and lower cheek fullness. But even so, the researchers noted there were many “dropouts” in the research group and the results were modest.
Because of that, if you’re going to put 30 minutes into the effort, you might as well get a full-body workout instead. This can be achieved with one of the many HIIT classes on Openfit Live, for instance.
3. Care for Your Skin
Although spending more time — and making more of an investment — on your skin won’t have an effect on fat, it can be helpful for the look of your face in general, Dr. Kindred says. Also, healthier hydrated skin will be less likely to sag as you lose body fat. That means establishing a consistent skin care routine that includes morning and evening moisturizing, regular sunscreen application, and gentle cleansing and exfoliation.
Lifestyle habits play a big part in nourishing skin as well, she adds, especially maintaining a healthy diet, keeping sugar to a minimum, not smoking, getting quality sleep, and staying active.
Not only will these strategies help with your face and neck, they’ll be a boon to your body and your health overall. So, although you can’t spot reduce, you can take big, positive steps toward improving how you look and feel.