3 Ways You Can Make Sagging Cheeks Look Plumped Up

Plump cheeks are indicative of youthfulness (think of infants!). As we lose our baby fat, however, many of us also lose fullness in our cheeks — which can, in turn, make us look older than we feel. While a carefully-applied highlighter can certainly illuminate and, well, highlight your cheekbones, it can only go so far. If you’re lacking in the facial structure department — or you have watched your once-plump cheeks deflate with age — you’ll have to start from the ground up. According to Colorado-based board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Manish Shah, “[Plumping] the cheeks in an anatomically correct manner can improve harmony in the face.” Thankfully, you have options: read on for three ways to tune up your cheeks.

[Editor’s note: Every individual’s results may vary! Consult with your licensed provider before trying any new treatments or regimens.]

Facial Exercise

Recently, a new host of “gyms” have popped up, none of which have an elliptical in sight: that’s because they’re for your face! The practice of facial exercise hones in on the simple concept that our facial muscles, like any other muscles in our bodies, can be trained, strengthened, and visibly plumped.

Group exercise classes (like the ones at Facegym) lead you through a series of facial expressions, often focusing on the cheek muscles. Alternatively, you can find a variety of online videos that lead you through similar exercises at home. While the treatment is completely natural (and relatively cost-effective compared to anything you’d do at a derm’s office), it requires time, diligence, and patience to see noticeable results.  


In addition to muscle laxity, another reason our cheeks sag is due to age-related collagen loss. When performed by a professional, microneedling — a treatment that uses needles to poke tiny holes into the skin — has been proven to spur collagen production by triggering the body’s natural response to injury. (More collagen in the cheek area should translate to a plumper-looking face.)

While devotees and derms alike swear by the treatment, it can take several months for the collagen to generate and show up in the desired area. Additionally, you may need multiple treatments to achieve your ideal result. Learn more about microneedling here.

Injectable Filler

Another solution to lackluster cheeks comes in a syringe. Hyaluronic acid-based injectable fillers are substances that can instantly add volume to the cheeks. Moreover, Dr. Shah shares that many patients can be candidates for this treatment. Plus, from an aesthetic standpoint, “filler can be used in a holistic, targeted way to reshape the cheeks [of the individual patient].” In other words, a trained injector can assess precisely where to place the filler, thereby achieving optimal results. Want to chat about injectable cheek filler? Our trained aesthetic specialists are here to help! 

[Editor’s note: Injectable fillers are temporary treatments that help volume to certain areas of the face. Like any medical treatment, they have potential risks and side effects, so talk to a licensed provider in your area to see if they are right for you.]