Dr. Sherrell Aston on What's In a Face at 50?

Whats in a face at 50? This weeks New York Times asks the question of experts including Dr. Sherrell Aston. As time marches on, we see graying of the temples in men (if they still have their hair), loss of facial fat, and sagging of the skin with deepening of the nasolabial folds or laugh lines, and jowls. As the article points out,

The loss of fat in the cheeks is part of a reshaping of the face over time, said Dr. Sherrell J. Aston, the chairman of plastic surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital and a professor at the New York University School of Medicine. Soft tissue slides down over the cheekbone, producing laugh lines and making the cheekbones look a little flatter. The jaw line seems to widen because of the jowls.

“So what’s happened is, if you think of the face as being an upside-down triangle, with the wide portion running cheekbone to cheekbone across the nose, that’s a youthful person, wider over the cheekbones, and narrow across the jaw line,” Dr. Aston said. “When we’re older, it goes in the other direction, wider over the jaw line, and flatter over cheekbones.”

In some people, the outer corners of the eyebrows begin to droop a bit. As a result, Dr. Aston said, “the person will look less alert, less awake almost, certainly less alert and vigorous.”

The article focuses on how former President Obama has aged, albeit gracefully, since his tenure began, no doubt due to father time, a stressful job, and perhaps cigarette smoking. But the former President is not the only powerful figure subject to the pressures of time marching on. As the article mentions, “It’s pretty well known that Wall Street has a lot of very young men in very powerful places, and that many of the middle-aged Wall Street men want to look more youthful and more vigorous, because at 52 or 53 they are concerned about the 35-year-old who is gnawing at their heels,” Dr. Aston said. “We see people in every specialty, whether male or female, saying: ‘I’ve got a lot of young people behind me. I need to stay in the game. I have to look as young as I feel.’ ”

Dr. Sherrell Aston is an internationally known cosmetic plastic surgeon who resides and practices in Manhattan, and has performed thousands of facelifts (many of those on men!). Access the article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/sunday-review/whats-in-a-face-at-50.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&sq=plastic%20surgery&st=cse&scp=2