Face reading, the practice of analyzing physiognomy to discern qualities about an individual based on shapes and sizes of facial features and how they all fit together, places careful attention to the chin and jaw line. It is believed that the stronger and more defined these two features are, the stronger and more defined the character (and likelihood of becoming successful). Whether or not there is any truth to it, there is still generally an aesthetic appreciation for a finely sculpted southern border to the face. Yet even those who are born with these attributes may not appreciate them forever. As time settles in on our faces, so do its marks. And the chin is not exempt. Neck wattle, bags, sunken cheeks, jowls, a weak chin…choose your gripe. You may think the only effective way to treat these signs of aging is surgery, and prior to 1981 that was true. Not only are the number of injectable products increasing, but doctors are getting creative in the ways they use them.
chYnjection, an injectable procedure invented by Dr. Yan Trokel, a cosmetic surgeon, sculpts a sharper, more defined jawline and reduces wattle by adding volume to the face rather than subtracting skin. “As we age, we lose volume, which gives the appearance of sagging skin,” Dr. Trokel explained. “With chYnjection, I renew that volume, which in turn stretches and lifts the skin to enhance the look of a firmer, more youthful and defined jawline.” The goal of the procedure is to return the face to the classic “Y” shape with high cheekbones and a narrow, shapely neck.
In his offices in New York and Miami, Dr. Trokel performs his chYnjections by injecting hyaluronic acid under the muscles of the face. He said this placement enables him to create a more natural look. According to the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety, hyaluronic acid is considered, along with collagen, a “temporary filler,” and was approved for cosmetic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003. “Hyaluronic acid is found naturally throughout the human body, most concentrated in the eyes and joints,” Dr. Trokel said. “It is eventually absorbed into the body, but the results of one of my treatments can last up to two years.”
Local anesthetic is used to prepare the four “ports”—one above the jawline near each ear and one on each side of the chin—that are created where Dr. Trokel injects the solution using his specially created instrument. It is a very long, thin, flexible, needle-like tool, “but the tip is blunt, so there is really no bruising.”
During and after the injections, which he promises are completely painless, he molds and sculpts the chin and jawline by hand to create the desired effect based on the individual’s facial structure. “This procedure is not only for anti-aging results, but it can be a solution for anyone with a weak chin or jawline, or someone who has lost a lot of weight. The advantages of the chYnjection procedure over surgery are many—there are no scars, no downtime at all and the results are immediate.” But the benefits last far beyond the 30 to 40 minute procedure. “The results can last up to two years,” he added, “but I usually advise, depending on the patient, that a touchup is a good idea after about a year.”
Whenever a new procedure is touted in the “vanity business,” it will have its detractors. Dr. Trokel declined to respond to those who have written in online forums that this is just a gimmick and said to Pulse: “I feel the results speak for themselves.” Indeed, his website shows not only before and after photos and videos of the immediate, and remarkable, results of chYnjections, it shows patients looking great after a year or more.
While this procedure is for anyone “from 20 to 80,” those with active autoimmune diseases or active infections are not candidates and pregnant women should wait until after delivery.
No face or body is perfect. Except maybe those Photoshopped models in magazines. But until the day comes when we can Photoshop ourselves instead of our photos, it’s not surprising that consumers, especially those dealing with signs of aging, are looking for alternatives. Accordingly, options for helping us achieve a more youthful appearance continue to evolve. Some are far less drastic, less expensive and less invasive than surgery. Still, contenders should do their homework on any procedure before, well, taking it on the chin.