Beauty

How to Get Rid of a Double Chin

A double chin is one of the most stubborn aesthetic concerns, especially in the age of Zoom, selfies and tech neck. “How to get rid of a double chin” is certainly a common Google search these days, so we asked experts what the best solutions are to perform a double chin disappearing act. Whether you’re ready to commit to an invasive procedure like a facelift, prefer to start with a no downtime in-office energy treatment, or even see what’s possible at home, we have all the options on how to lose face fat or at least slim the jawline appearance.


What is a double chin?

“When you look at your chin, and you have a second one directly behind it—you are, in fact, seeing double. That is a double chin,” says Santa Monica, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD. She explains that a double chin is often composed of three things: lax muscles, small pockets of fat and excess or loose tissue. “The dreaded double chin can often be visible from either the front and/or side view and certainly when looking down at your phone in ‘selfie view.’”

What causes a double chin?

Contrary to popular belief, there are actually a handful of reasons someone might have a double chin. New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD finds that double chins are most commonly caused by age-related sagging of the tissue in the lower face and neck. 

On the other hand, “Some people have a double chin genetically, whereby they develop a natural pocket of fat or larger layer of fatty tissue throughout the submentum area,” says Dr. Shamban. “For some, the development of the submental fullness does relate to weight gain or changes over time,” but that’s not the only catalyst.

“General aging and even posture and neck position are contributory factors, particularly in the ‘tech neck era’ in which we are always looking at devices,” says Dr. Shamban. Additionally, New York dermatologist Orit Markowitz, MD says sagging skin “caused by genetics, stress, excessive chewing, or teeth grinding can also lead to the appearance of a double chin.”

What are treatments for a double chin?

When looking to address a double chin, you’ll need to treat all three underlying factors—muscle, fat and skin, says Dr. Shamban. “We are looking at treating deep, medium and superficial layers of the submental area. Working on all three in tandem to diminish the under chin bulge, we can create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance,” she explains.

Emface

“To address the muscle, we use Emface, specifically their newest ‘chinstrap’ applicator for the submentum area,” says Dr. Shamban. “Emface is the latest FDA-approved technology combining high electromagnetic muscle stimulation with radio frequency.”

CoolSculpting

To tackle the pockets of fat, Dr. Shamban tends to turn to CoolSculpting, specifically the Cool Mini applicator designed specifically for smaller areas. “CoolSculpting freezes the fat into small molecules that burst into tiny particles,” she explains. Dr. Vasyukevich also suggests that CoolSculpting may reduce the fat under the chin and help with tightening.

Kybella

Another option to cancel out the pockets of fat in a double chin is an injection of Kybella, which is specifically designed for the double chin, says Dr. Vasyukevich. “Kybella contains an enzyme to break down stubborn adipose tissue that is then absorbed through the body and eliminated,” says Dr. Shamban.

Other injectables

While Kybella is the main injectable to turn to for double chin woes, Dr. Shamban says experts can use other injectables to camouflage the appearance of the double chin. “Using neuromodulators or fillers, we can smooth the area or build the chin projection and jawline,” she says. As we age, we lose bone mass, [about 30 percent] which creates less structure and more visible laxity in the lower face. Adding some more structure at the mentum/mentum protuberance [the lowest point of the mandibular symphysis] as well as the jaw through the mandible midline area, it is possible to draw attention away from the double chin area or make it less visible.”

Ultrasound technology

For skin tightening in the double chin area, Dr. Shamban often uses ultrasound technology like Sofwave or Ultherapy. Dr. Markowitz also says in-office skin tightening, “with bulk ultrasound energy-based devices—the newest of these being Sofwave,” is a good option for the double chin.

RF Microneedling

If skin texture needs to be addressed further, Dr. Shamban says RF microneedling, like Vivace or Morpheus 8 can be employed.

Thread lift

Dr. Vasyukevich says a double chin can be temporarily reduced by using threads to lift the sagging tissue.

Liposuction or neck/facelift

According to Dr. Vasyukevich, “Neck liposuction, facelifts and neck lifts are by far the most effective procedures to reduce the appearance of double chin.”

At-home double chin solutions

Dr. Shamban notes that many of the touted topicals and TikTok tricks are somewhat wishful thinking. Dr. Vasyukevich goes so far as to say, “To the best of my knowledge, there are no effective home remedies that would produce long-term reduction of the appearance of a double chin.”

However, “there are some home tools or topical treatments that can help support the in-office treatments and work to maintain the benefits and effects of the procedures.” She calls them “secondary players rather than the first-line solutions.”

Ozempic

Dr. Markowitx says Ozempic can be a possible solution if the patient’s double chin is caused by excess weight. However, “once patients lose weight, it becomes very dependent on age and bone health because sagging skin can still exist, especially if one’s dental health is not up to par,” she warns.

Face taping

A social media trend, some say face taping is the unsung hero of combating a double chin, but the experts aren’t so sure. “Face taping can potentially pull to trick the eye, but the potential damage and irritation to the skin is really not worth it,” says Dr. Shamban.

Topicals

Dr. Shamban notes that there are a handful of topical creams that can be supportive of in-office treatments. She recommends Revision Nectifirm ($106), which “includes a range of five peptides and biotechnological blends targeting the unique skin for neck, jeck, jawline and submentum.”

She also likes Restorsea Repairing Neck and Decolletage Treatment ($160). It “has a unique blend of ceramides, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sea algae, roe, lactobacillus ferment and other actives that also help smooth and tighten the area around the neck, jaw and chin.”

Vitamins

Depending on the cause of your double chin, there are some supplements that may help. Vitamins targeting bruxism can be part of the solution, says Dr. Markowitz. She also recommends taking vitamins like “l-theanine and magnesium to help with stress and stop biting your nails or excessively chewing gum,” if that’s where your double chin issues stem from.

At-home energy devices

“Home devices and tools that have energy sources to mimic the office treatments can have a cumulative benefit over time. Consider it like your ‘maintenance program,’” says Dr. Shambam. She recommends her new device, CARA ($350), which engages energy-based therapies to enhance office protocols and skin care. “This can be used daily on the lower face, neck and jeck area to rejuvenate and experience benefits of skin radiance and improved facial contours as well as smoother skin texture.”

Sculpting makeup

“One of the best tricks I use to hide a double chin is using a sculpting product on the chin,” says celebrity makeup artist Ermahn Ospina. “The sculpting product should be at least two shades darker than the foundation you’re using for the rest of your face. This product is specifically used to create the illusion of a more chiseled bone structure.”

To create the effect, “Start by feeling your jawbone line with your fingertips, then apply the sculpting product on the edge of your jawline, following the line from ear to ear, then blend by extending it underneath your chin towards your neck.” If you need some sculpting tools, Ospina says he’s currently loving Patrick Ta Beauty Major Sculpt Crème Contour & Powder Bronzer Duo  ($40) and Charlotte Tilbury The Hollywood Contour Duo ($76).

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