, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 397-402

A New Paradigm for the Aging Asian Face

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Abstract

Traditionally, Asians have been thought to age more gracefully than Caucasians. The resistance to aging in the Asian patient was credited to the thicker dermis of Asian skin that contains greater collagen and the darker pigment that protects against photoaging. Although these statements are true, the authors propose a new paradigm that explains how the illusion of Asian youthfulness may be understood. The “baby model” purports that the Asian face has many attributes similar to an infant, including a wider and rounder face, higher eyebrow, fuller upper lid, lower nasal bridge, flatter midface, apparently more protuberant lips, and more receded chin. These commonalities between the infant and the Asian compel the viewer to perceive the Asian face as more youthful. However, the Asian face is subjected to a greater amount of gravitational force due to weaker skeletal support, heavier soft tissue, larger amount of malar fat, thicker skin, and a weaker chin. Facial rejuvenative surgery should always be cognizant of the propensity of the Asian skin to unfavorable healing, need for greater tissue suspension, and more conspicuous temporal alopecia. Asian aesthetics that differ and converge with Western ideals are reviewed so that the Western surgeon in particular can comprehend the Asian conception of youthful beauty.