Senior woman with sagging jowl area

I hadn’t heard about the “beauty triangle” until just recently. Turns out, it is a useful concept that gives a simple visual reference of how the face changes due to loss of volume. When we are young, the volume in our face is evenly distributed. The triangle of beauty is characterized by high cheekbones and a lean, well-defined jawline. This triangle becomes inverted as we age and gravity takes a toll. The result is a loss of volume, sagging eyelids, less defined cheeks, a wide and lax jawline, and a down pointing mouth.

The inversion of the beauty triangle doesn’t come about in a uniform way, and at any given time, we may be more concerned about the jowls than the eyelids, or vice versa. Stumbling upon the beauty triangle made me think again about solutions. In the past, I have put together my five best for sagging skin, but this time, I want to target each area individually. A generation of new anti-aging treatments is fighting back against gravity to redefine the different facial contours with ingredients like peptides and proteins. Happily, things are looking up!

Give your eyes a lift

New firming eye creams are making use of recent innovations in peptides. A great example is E’shee Alpha Omega Gene Therapy Eye Cream ($284 in the shop), featuring trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2. Known as TT2, this peptide can reduce sagging and slacking, as well as improve firmness and elasticity. It works by inhibiting elastase (an enzyme that attacks structural proteins) and reducing progerin (a protein responsible for cell death) production.

Your Best face Correct ($150 in the shop) gets serious about sagging lids with an ingredient called Uplevity, another new(ish) peptide that works by inducing the expression of fibulin 5 and lysyl oxidase-like 1. The latter is a gene that catalyzes the first step in the formation of crosslinks in collagen and elastin. Fibrulin 5 is an extracellular matrix protein. Translation from the technical: Firmer skin.

LIFTLAB Lift + Firm ($90 in the shop) uses a unique ingredient, a fish plasma protein (Cell Protection Protein) that prevents cells from dying. There are also some helpful peptides. Tripeptide-1 mimics the relationship of the growth factors involved in the healing process and synthesis of collagen. Acetyl tetrapeptide-11, which is supposed to boost the synthesis of syndecan-1, contributes to cell proliferation, cell migration and cell-matrix interactions.

Plump up your cheeks

There’s the obvious correlation between lack of volume and loss of collagen, so we are always looking for reliable ways to encourage collagen production. One of the proven approaches is with copper peptides. Go full throttle with a highly-focused copper peptide serum, like Deciem NIOD Copper Amino Isolate 5% ($200 in the shop). This potent potion (at a 5 percent concentration) uses a separate vial of peptides and sodium hyaluronate to activate the copper — both unique and impressive. A copper complex is also one of the key ingredients in Benir Beauty BV-9 Platinum Provectus Super Serum ($195 in the shop). In addition, there’s collagen-boosting Matrixyl 3000 and other peptides for reducing wrinkles.

The reference to gravity in Rejuvel 3D Microgravity Cell Renewal Cream ($149 in the shop) refers to their technique for processing stem cells from green tea plants. This deceptively simple formula is, as one member of the Truth In Aging community put it, “a gravity-defying staple.” In addition to the “3-D” cells, you will also find collagen-boosting Matrixyl 3000.

Growth factors are also helpful at boosting collagen. A complex formula is ReLuma Skin Illuminating Serum ($145 in the shop), which boasts a blend of 387 human growth factors, along with matrix proteins. TGF-B is thought to be the most important, because its signals are recognized by the majority of cells. TGF-B expression is also induced during wound healing and studies show that it can increase collagen and fibronectin.

Tighten sagging jowls

This is a tough one and the heavy gone has to be LED and ultrasound. The results of the independent clinical trials for Truth Vitality Lux Renew ($279 in the shop) speak for themselves: The expert evaluation for skin firmness was that 79.3 percent of 60 subjects showed improvement and the instrumental evaluation found 100 percent improvement. It is the best thing for firming sagging jowls that I have found.

A jowl lifting serum of my choice would be Your Best Face Control ($160 in the shop). It sports a tripeptide called Syn-Hycan to stimulate hyaluronan synthesis, which lifts sagging skin, and tripeptide Relistase to boost collagen 1 synthesis and restore firmness. Potent peptide Matrixyl 3000 works to combat free radicals while it mimics the appearance of broken down collagen, causing your skin to react by producing more collagen, as well as elastin.

Firm crepey neck skin

Tetrapeptide targets skin elasticity for tighter looking skin and this is key ingredient in Dr Dennis Gross Firming Peptide Milk ($65 in the shop). But as the neck can be particularly dry, I like that it has natural ingredients such as coconut, cucumber, arnica and watermelon for thirsty skin. I also like to pair this with the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic & Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel ($88 in the shop) two to three times a week to boost the plumping effect. It really makes a difference. An interesting ingredient is the botanical extract rehmannia glutinosa root, which is credited with regulating the growth factor, TGF-beta1, as well as type IV collagen.

Encourage elastin with Deciem NIOD Neck Elasticity Catalyst ($70 in the shop). It has a tetrapeptide that supports key protein syntheses for functional elastin and cellular cohesion, while leontopodic acid (plant extract) helps restore the mitochondrial network of fibroblasts and strengthen elastic fiber.

SimySkin's Intensive Ultra Lift Neck Serum Phase II 45+ ($85 in the shop) has peptides and botanical extracts for long term action, plus instant gratification is provided by skin tightening pullulan. I also like the Dawn Lorraine Acai & DMAE Firming Serum ($67 in the shop) for the neck. It has brightening ingredients for the often discolored neck area as well as firming DMAE.