Have you ever noticed the difference between the left and right sides of your face, such as the height of the corners of your mouth, when you look at the screen during an online meeting or a photo taken by someone else at random? We spoke to Dr. Akiko Imaizumi, director of Imaizumi Skin Clinic, about the causes and countermeasures for the imbalance between the left and right sides of the face.
Supervision: Dr. Akiko Imaizumi (Director of Imaizumi Skin Clinic, Seisenkai Medical Corporation)
What causes the face to become asymmetrical?
There are two main causes of facial asymmetry.
The first cause of an asymmetrical face is lifestyle. If you are not using your facial muscles equally on both sides, the height of the corners of your mouth may be different between the left and right sides, or your mouth may appear crooked.
A typical lifestyle habit that causes left-right disparity is chewing habits. Chewing only on one side when eating can cause facial distortion and left-right disparity.
In addition, you need to be careful about the position you sleep in, as it can also lead to differences in the left and right sides of your face. Sleeping on the same side every day puts pressure on the sides of your face, causing distortion.
In order to effectively use your facial muscles, you need to consciously train them in your daily life.
The second cause of facial asymmetry is aging. Facial bones, muscle tissue, and subcutaneous fat atrophy and relax with age, causing sagging and wrinkles.
Bone serves as a “foundation” and supports muscles, subcutaneous fat, and skin (dermis and epidermis), but as bones atrophy, they are no longer able to adequately support each layer. The layers, which are no longer supported by bones, sag due to gravity, causing the face to become asymmetrical.
Sagging also occurs when subcutaneous fat moves downward from its original position (ptosis).
For example, sagging around the face and mouth is caused by the movement of subcutaneous fat around the forehead, temples, under the eyes, and cheeks.
Atrophy and relaxation of tissues and movement of subcutaneous fat due to aging appear asymmetrically, resulting in left-right differences in the face.
What are the benefits of having a symmetrical face?
The advantage of having a symmetrical face is that it is easier to make a good impression on others. “Symmetry is beautiful” has been engraved in our brains since we were newborn babies. If your face is symmetrical, it will give you a clean and beautiful impression.
However, facial features that are too symmetrical may give off an unnatural image. Perfect left-right symmetry does not exist in nature, so it gives a sense of discomfort. Therefore, it is important to remember that just because it is asymmetrical, it does not mean that it is not beautiful, but that there is a certain charm that comes from being unbalanced and asymmetrical.
However, it is true that the more asymmetrical parts there are, the more unnatural it looks.
For example, if you have a single mole around your mouth, it won’t look too strange, but if the angle of your eyebrows is extremely different between the left and right sides, or if only one side of the corner of your mouth is drooped, it will make you look uncomfortable.
A small difference between the left and right sides of one part may not be a concern, but if there are differences between the left and right sides of multiple parts, it gives an unnatural impression when viewed as a whole face.
Let’s check the distortion of the face!
To check whether your face is symmetrical, it is important to check your current facial distortion.
You can check for distortion by having someone take a photo of your face with a smartphone and drawing grid lines using a photo editing app.
We recommend having someone else take a photo of your face so that your facial expressions look natural. When you take a selfie, even if you try to look cute, the opening of your eyes and the height of the corners of your mouth may be different from usual.
Once you have drawn grid lines on your photo, check the parts of your face that move the most, such as the area around your eyes, eyebrows, and corners of your mouth. The more frequently the parts are moved, the more distortion and left/right differences tend to occur.
What you can do to improve facial distortion
Various methods have been introduced to make the face symmetrical, including face reduction, cosmetic acupuncture, and facial muscle training. We asked Dr. Imaizumi for his opinion on whether it can actually be expected to be effective.
Small face correction, cosmetic acupuncture, facial muscle training
Facial correction, cosmetic needles, and facial muscle training are effective ways to make your face symmetrical if you can continue to do so.
The face becomes asymmetrical because the left and right facial muscles are not used equally. If you think of face reduction and cosmetic acupuncture as something that helps you use your facial muscles effectively, then they are the right options. However, there is no point if you don’t continue.
However, if you stop facial muscle training midway through, there is a risk of sagging your face, so it is recommended that you incorporate it into your daily routine.
Review of lifestyle habits
Changing your lifestyle habits to make your face more symmetrical is effective if you can continue to do so over the long term.
For example, improving your habits such as chewing habits and sleeping posture can help eliminate facial distortions.
However, there is no immediate effect on improving lifestyle habits, and it requires steady efforts in daily life.
Makeup is not a fundamental solution to making your face symmetrical, but it is effective.
For example, if there is a difference in height between the left and right corners of the mouth, you can adjust the lip line by hiding it with concealer or by drawing a larger line with a lip pencil. Also, even if there is a difference in the height of the eyebrows, it is possible to make them closer to each other evenly by adjusting the way you draw them.
If you are someone who can take the time to do your makeup every day, one way to make your face look symmetrical is to devise ways to apply your makeup.
Cosmetic medicine is also effective in making your face more symmetrical.
It takes a lot of time and patience to correct facial distortions through self-care once they have occurred.
Some people may think that plastic surgery (a procedure that uses a scalpel) is necessary to correct facial distortions, but cosmetic treatment that does not use a scalpel (no cutting) can also reduce the difference between the left and right sides of the face. It is possible to.
What is the treatment to correct the difference between the left and right sides of the face?
Treatment methods to correct the left-right difference in the face without using a scalpel include injection treatment, high-frequency treatment such as Thermage, ultrasound treatment such as HIFU, and thread lift (treatment using thread) treatment.
*Includes treatments not approved in Japan, but does not recommend them.
In recent years, injection treatment is increasingly being chosen. The appeal of this procedure is that there is little pain and downtime (the time it takes to return to your pre-procedure lifestyle), and that you can correct distortions while taking advantage of your facial personality.
If you have the following problems, you may want to consider injection treatment.
・Feeling a difference between the left and right sides of your face
・Conspicuous moss and hollows on your cheeks
・Concerned about sagging facial lines
・Concerned about deep wrinkles such as wrinkles around the eyes and nasolabial folds
・Want to correct the shape of your lips, etc.
If you are interested in specific treatments, please see the article below.
・For details on botulinum injection (injection treatment
・For details on hyaluronic acid injection (injection treatment
・For details on thread lift treatment (thread treatment
・For details on HIFU/high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment (ultrasound irradiation treatment
If you are worried about facial distortion, please consult your doctor first.
If you want to make your face more symmetrical, it is important to find a doctor who can suggest treatments that take advantage of your facial features and entrust him with a series of treatments (sequence treatments).
If you change the doctor for each part, such as your nose at clinic A and your mouth at clinic B, instead of getting closer to the face you want, you will get further and further away, and you will wonder, “Which area should I treat next?” And I get lost.
After deciding on a doctor you can trust and agreeing on your goals, such as “to make you look younger” or “to make you look more feminine,” you should proceed with the treatment.
aesthetic medicineIt can be said to be a way to love yourself, just like going to the beauty salon or the gym. When you look at your face in the mirror while getting ready in the morning, if you feel beautiful even without makeup, you should be able to spend your day feeling happy. Why not feel free to visit a beauty clinic to improve your level of happiness?
Akiko Imaizumi: A successful face, an unsuccessful face, the ultimate facial beauty technique that will dramatically improve your life. Sunrise Publishing, 2022