Ozempic is an injectable medication predominantly used for managing type 2 diabetes and increasingly for weight loss. Celebrated for its effective role in promoting weight loss in overweight or obese individuals, Ozempic’s usage has surged espcially with increasing numbers of celebrities openly admitting to its use. This has led to its use even amongst people who would not be classed as obese. However, as a side effect of this dramatic weight loss, is a change in facial appearance often called “Ozempic face”. This refers to the changes in face volume and potential premature aging triggered by rapid and large amounts of weight loss. Despite the name, it is not just limited to Ozempic and can be caused by any weight loss injections or rapid massive weight loss in general. In this post, we unravel the effects of Ozempic and other weight loss injections on your skin and face. We also offer key insights on why these changes occur and discuss what you can do to avoid and treat Ozempic face aging.
What is Ozempic Face and How Does it Happen?
Before we dive into the specifics of ‘Ozempic face,’ let’s examine how Ozempic and other weight loss injections impact your skin. Semaglutides, like Wegovy and Ozempic as well as liraglutides like Saxenda, help you lose weight by altering your body’s insulin and glucagon responses hence affecting your glucose storage and metabolism. They also work by curbing your appetite and slowing digestion. These mechanisms of action can result in significant weight loss. However, substantial and rapid weight loss can also lead to several changes in your skin and facial appearance.
The most common skin-related effects of using Ozempic and other weight loss injections on the skin include dryness and laxity. As your body loses weight rapidly, it can impact your skin’s moisture levels hence leading to dry and flaky skin. Your skin might also lose or reduce its ability to produce collagen and elastin. This gives rise to skin ageing which manifests as thinner, wrinkled and less pliable skin. Other potential skin-related side effects may include break-outs, rashes and irritation.
Additionally, when you lose a significant amount of weight, you will also lose fat from the face and your facial fat pads shrink. These fat pads normally provide support and volume. They also give the face a more youthful appearance. When these pads shrink due to weight loss, they cause face volume loss which gives a gaunt or hollow appearance. When combined to other skin changes, your skin may appear looser and start to sag. As such, lines and wrinkles become more noticeable. This is particularly true for those with naturally thin faces where excessive face volume loss becomes even more stark.
The term Ozempic face specifically refers to the combination of changes seen in the facial structure and skin appearance following significant weight loss due to the use of weight loss injections. These changes typically include loss of facial volume, sagging skin and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Taken together these changes give a gaunt looking wrinkled face. Unfortunately, this may then make you look older and less healthy.
Is Ozempic Face Unique to Ozempic?
The phenomenon of ‘Ozempic face’ is not unique to Ozempic alone. In fact this is a misleading term as these facial and skin changes can occur with any substantial weight loss. It can be caused by Ozempic or any other injections. It can actually occur with any rapid weight loss method. The term Ozempic face has gained popularity and stuck purely due to the widespread use of Ozempic and media coverage. It’s crucial to understand that any significant weight loss no matter what the cause can result in similar changes to your face and skin.
How Can You Prevent or Treat Ozempic Face?
The easiest way to avoid Ozempic face aging is to use a more gradual weight loss method such as lifestyle modifications. However, this is not possible for everyone. For example, you have been unsuccessful with this type of approach in the past or rapid weight loss might be needed for your health. As such, you and your doctor may decide that weight loss injections or other rapid weight loss methods like surgery may be the best approach. In this case, whilst it may be challenging to prevent Ozempic face but there are a few ways to reduce it or treat it.
How to Avoid Ozempic face
For a start, you can reduce the risk of getting Ozempic face aging by using a lower dose of weight loss injection. This reduces the speed of weight loss slightly and may then limit the extent of the face volume loss. If this doesn’t work or is not an option, then you can address the signs of Ozempic face aging directly.
Skincare Treatments for Ozempic Face Aging
To tackle the skin ageing changes, you can try active and prescription anti-ageing skincare. Retinoids like Tretinoin smooth the surface of the skin to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. They also stimulate you skin cells to produce more collagen and elastin which will make your skin plumper and more elastic. Humectants like hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid hydrate the skin and a good emoliating moisturiser will seal in this hydration to tackle any skin dryness or flaking.
Injectable & Professional Skin Treatments
With regards to the volume loss, you may need to consider treatments like hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. These temporary injections replace lost facial volume and hence reduce the hollowing associated with Ozempic face. Injectable skin boosters like Profhilo and skin tightening treatments like RF microneedling and traditional microneedling can also improve the tightness and elasticity of the skin similar to Tretinoin. However, they will not restore face volume.
Whilst Ozempic and other weight loss injections can very effectively promote weight loss, it’s crucial to be aware of their potential side-effects and risks. This includes changes to the appearance of your skin and face. Understanding this can help you better anticipate and manage these changes. Start by discussing with your doctor the best weight loss options for you and how you can avoid facial changes. If rapid weight loss is not avoidable then seek advice from a dermatologist or aesthetic doctor on potential treatments for Ozempic face aging.
If you’re interested in prescription-strength skincare treatments for skin ageing and other skin concerns, check out our online skin clinic. Book a consultation with one of our doctors and take your first step towards better skin.