Creating a More Feminine Face
What characteristics define an attractive female face versus an attractive male face? There are several facial features that enhance femininity with one of these being that a feminine face is characterized by a heart shape or inverted triangle; this means the lower face is narrower than the upper and the jaw is tapered. This is in contrast to the square jawline that characterizes a masculine face. Some women have a more squared jawline due to their inherent bone structure, but some of this appearance is from enlargement of a muscle called the masseter. The masseter is one of the muscles in our face that allows for clenching of teeth and chewing of food. It is located on the lower aspect of the face along the jawline and you can feel this muscle contract when you clench your teeth. In women this muscle can be enlarged from clenching and grinding teeth at night, excessive gum chewing, or from hereditary and/or ethnic influences; for instance, women of Asian decent tend have a more round or square face, partially due to enlargement of the masseter.
Although many people are aware that Botox and other neuromodulators are frequently used to treat wrinkles in the forehead, the elevens and around the eyes, one of the less well known areas of treatment is for the masseter muscle. By injecting a neuromodulator, such as BOTOX®, Dysport® or Xeomin®, into this muscle the muscle is unable to contract as forcefully when chewing or clenching and becomes smaller over the ensuing weeks. Even those who have a larger masseter due to genetics also experience a reduction in the size of the masseter. The overall effect is a tapering in the appearance of the jawline and the creation of a more feminine face. In addition, for those who clench or grind their teeth at night, they will experience the added benefit of a decrease in this activity and enhanced oral health; clenching and grinding teeth causes gum recession and tooth sensitivity. At your next appointment ask about whether you would be a good candidate for enhancing and feminizing the shape of your face!