Facial Muscles and Facial tone: Improvement of a SAD Facial Appearance

Facial muscles and tone can determine and effect how we look, our appearance, and how we are perceived. It is also a factor after cosmetic facial surgery, facelifts, and neck lifts. It is important to understand how facial muscles and tone relate to how we look and to results after cosmetic surgery. As we age, facial muscles and tissues relax and descend. It is very much like the hanging or dropping of breasts and other parts of our body. These muscles can be tightened at surgery to make us look younger, more rejuvenated, and attractive. The muscle tightening involves work on the SMAS to achieve this result. Contraction and activation of the facial muscles is necessary to prevent or to improve SAD facial appearances. A face without facial tone or muscle contraction is sometimes called “resting bitch face,” which is a slang term. This concept is reviewed in this educational writing. It was done at the request of a patient from Philadelphia, PA. Similarities are also seen with the stomach muscles and the muscles of posture. This is reviewed in another writing, covering this topic. 



The SAD Face:


When the face is completely relaxed and there is no facial tone, the mouth can turn down and the face can descend, giving an unattractive and sad looking appearance. A slang term calls this “resting bitch face.” The term comes from how you can unintentionally appear like you are angry, annoyed, or irritated. This happens particularly when the individual is relaxed and resting, and not expressing any particular emotion. No muscle contraction of the face is occurring.




Facelift Surgery:


Facial cosmetic surgery such as a facelift and a neck lift can help minimize and significantly improve a SAD facial appearance by working on the muscles in the face. The anatomy of these muscles will be discussed now. The main muscles tightened with a face lift or neck lift are the SMAS. This stands for the subcutaneous musculoapeurotic system. How I tighten this with a facelift can be reviewed in my educational writing by linking now. My specialized facelift is called the LAVVNDR LIFT. This word is an anacronym and is described in detail in my educational writing on this topic. I believe this SMAS tightening is critical to give the best rejuvenation and long lasting results. It is extremely important for the best and most advanced facelift, in my opinion. Other muscles in the face are deeper muscles, such as the zygomatic major and zygomatic minor. These muscles enable us to smile. They are not tightened at surgery and are distinct from the SMAS.


Tightened SMAS muscles will elevate the jowls and improve the corners of the mouth and jaw line. But aging still happens in the zygomatic muscles, other muscles of the face, and other facial tissues. Relaxation of these muscles and tissues can lead to an unattractive appearance and sagging. I am going to review what occurs, and what we can do to improve it.


As I have described, the slang term called “resting bitch face” is an expression that describes the SAD and turned down look of the face in older people, when the face is completely relaxed. This occurs when the muscles are completely relaxed. It’s a form of bad posture. It is almost like a form of bad “facial” posture. Like bad posture of the back and stomach that leads to a slouched and unattractive body. A relaxed posture of the face can make us look old and tired.



Muscle Contraction:


Contraction of the facial muscles lead to elevation of the corners of the mouth by contraction of the zygomatic muscles. It elevates the jowls and improves the cheeks. It makes us look happier and more attractive. When the face is completely relaxed, it looks the opposite. Fashion models will learn to contract these muscles to different degrees to look their best, when they aren’t smiling and/or for photo shoots.


As I have described, during a facelift, these muscles are tightened. They give a more healthy, young, and attractive face. The muscles tightened are called the SMAS. But the muscles need to be activated or contracted to get the best benefit. If they are flaccid and have no stimulation by your brain and nerves, they will relax and descend. The facelift will make you look younger, without any contraction, compared to a person not having a facelift. But the activation of the muscles of facial animation will make us look more attractive and not sad or down. If there is no contraction of the muscles, the face can look sad or older. The activation doesn’t have to be a 5 out of 5 with a full face smile and 100% muscle contraction. Often just a small amount of activation, like 1 out of 5 or 2 out of 5 will turn the corners of the mouth up a bit to look healthy and attractive. It is all the contraction necessary to prevent “resting bitch face.”



The concept that muscles need to be activated to actually work the best is also important for tummy tuck surgery and for posture. The abdominal muscles are tightened with an abdominoplasty. This leads to improved results and a flatter stomach. But if the person doesn’t tighten these muscles, they will go flaccid and not work. If the stomach muscles are flaccid, the stomach will pooch out and look less attractive. Also the buttock muscles or Gluteus Maximus must be contracted to give a good posture and to straighten the back. The simultaneous contraction of the stomach and buttock muscles is an essential aspect of standing up and standing tall. The importance of this muscle activation is similar to what was just reviewed for the facial anatomy. For those interested in more information on the tummy tuck, posture, and the muscles, please link to another educational writing now.




As we age, facial tissues descend and relax. They can lead to a SAD appearance that is sometimes called “resting bitch face.” Muscle activation in the face will elevate these tissues and give a happier and more attractive look. Cosmetic surgery like a facelift will tighten these muscles to give a similar more youthful and normal facial appearance. Muscular activation of the face is important to look younger and more healthy.