I had planned on doing my monthly, ‘you found my blog by searching for what’ post today but when I was looking through the searches yesterday, there was one term that came up over and over, ‘runner’s face’.
I’m not sure how these people found my blog searching for ‘runner’s face’ because I’ve never actually written about this before but based on the amount of searches my little blog alone has gotten, this is obviously a topic many of you are looking for information on. In light of this, let me tell you what I know and what I think about ‘runner’s face’.
A few years ago a New Jersey cosmetic surgeon Brian S. Glatt, MD sent out a press release that basically said some runners, men and women, ages 30 and over, burn off so much fat beneath the layers of skin that their faces become skeletor-esque looking. He coined it as ‘Runner’s Face’. He says the marked loss of fatty tissue results in a loss of volume which leads to a prominent appearance of the bones, accelerated development of skin laxity and deepening of wrinkles. Though you may look like a 20-year old from the neck down, he says your face will easily give your age away. Of course, he suggest botox and fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm Ultra and Radiesse as a fix.
And then there is Dr. Julius Few, owner of the Few Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Chicago and New York City who says we should reconsider running because, “The constant up-and-down force may loosen facial ligaments and cause sagging and drooping in the cheeks, jaw, and jowls, elliptical devices or exercising in a pool or on a bicycle are good substitutions.”
Now, let’s be honest, we’ve all seen the runners with the gaunt faces, runners with leathery faces and some with a combination of both. How much of that is actually due to long distance running or extreme exercise, and how much of that is due to diet and lack of sunscreen?
I’m going with the later. I am in no way an expert but I’m not buying into the fact that running is going to cause my face to sag, I’m just not. I wear tons of sunscreen and I moisturize daily, my diet is relatively healthy and I do not have any sagging in my face yet and I’ve been running for many years. I also believe that genetics plays a big part in the aging process as well.
I’m a little concerned that the term might actually steer people away from running and I think that’s a shame. I’d rather be healthy and fit and feel like a million bucks than sit on my sofa worrying about whether or not my face is going to sag. I have bigger things to worry about, like whether or not I’m going to PR in my next race, or how I’m going to feel after running my first Ultra.
What do you think?
Do you believe that Runner’s Face is real or a myth?
Would you stop running if you thought your face would age prematurely?