Several studies have suggested that beauty can be defined by some innate characteristics that go beyond race and skin color. For instance, scientists have found that high facial symmetry (or the balance between the right and left side of the face), waist-to-hip ratio of 0.70 and babyish features among females, clear skin, and lustrous hair are found to be physically attractive by most people regardless of their economic, social, and racial background.
It is important to note that the intrinsic purpose of facial plastic surgery is not to create an “ideal” shape (since there is no such thing lest people would all look homogenous) but rather to improve the balance and harmony of the face.
Meanwhile, there are ways to alter or at least improve the shape of the face, including jaw reduction, facial implants (chin, jaw, and cheek implants), cheekbone reduction, dermal fillers, and fat transfer.
People with an almost absent chin, weak jaw, or sunken cheek are best served with facial implants that are supposed to last a lifetime. Usually, they are made of silastic or hard silicone material that is compatible with human tissue, thus the risk of allergic reaction is fairly small.
Chin and jaw implants are particularly popular among men with recessed chin and weak jaw, which almost disappears from the neck, since the features make them look effeminate.
By contrast, female patients tend to ask for cheek implants to correct the deflated-looking cheek area caused by aging, or to achieve the much-coveted patrician look.
Meanwhile, injectable dermal fillers such as hyaluronic acid and fat transfer may be a better option if a patient only needs “minute” improvement or do not want to undergo facial implant surgery which involves a longer downtime.
While some patients need “augmentation” to achieve their goals, others want “reduction” for a more balanced feature.
Jaw reduction requires cutting off a small portion of the mandible, while chin reduction involves shaving off some of the bone in the area. In the US, these procedures are not as popular as in many Asian countries in which a small ant-shaped face has become the epitome of female beauty.
While most US board-certified plastic surgeons would agree that jaw and chin reductions are only reserved for extreme cases of facial asymmetry, in South Korea, China, and Japan, the procedures are gaining popularity despite the higher risk of nerve damage, permanent numbness, and functional problems.
Cheek reduction is also becoming a popular procedure in some Asian countries where a V-shaped face is much preferred over a rounded face.