The shape of a person’s face naturally changes over their lifetime because aging can lead to a loss of fat or muscle tone around the face. Face shape can also vary depending on a person’s current body weight and how much muscle they have.
Some people may want to gain weight on their face to give it a rounder, plumper, or fuller appearance.
In this article, we discuss at-home methods that people can try to gain weight on the face, important factors to consider, and medical options.
Will gaining fat or muscle help?
Safely gaining fat or muscle can help create a fuller facial shape.
It is not possible to specifically target the face when gaining extra weight naturally. However, gaining weight overall can help people achieve a fuller facial appearance.
Working out the facial muscles can make them stronger, which may make the face appear fuller.
However, some people use facial exercises to lose weight in their face. These exercises can result in a more defined face rather than a plump or rounded appearance.
Healthful ways to gain weight
Anyone looking to gain weight should ensure that they take a healthful approach. While the basis of gaining weight is to eat more calories than the body burns each day, choosing specific sources of these calories helps a person stay healthy while gaining weight.
Eat nutrient-rich foods that contain healthful fats
Some healthful foods that are naturally high in calories may help a person gain weight and keep their face more plump. There are many different options, but the following are good examples of foods to choose:
- Seeds and nuts. These natural energy sources are high in calories, but they also provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and healthful fatty acids, helping a person gain weight in a healthy way.
- Milk. Milk from animals usually contains more calories per serving than drinks such as plant milks, tea, or juice. It is also rich in fats and contains key nutrients and minerals.
- Fatty fish. Cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, and cod, contain more calories from healthful fats than other types of fish and meat. These fats can also promote skin health, as the skin needs fat cells to keep it looking youthful.
Apply products to the skin
Topical products may hydrate the skin, and long term use may protect the skin cells from aging, resulting in fuller skin that appears healthy.
There are no research studies to confirm that topical products can encourage weight gain on the face, despite some people believing that they are effective. However, the popular methods below are generally safe to try and incur few side effects.
Honey or sugar
Applying honey to the face may benefit the skin.
Honey and sugar are both natural humectants, which means that they pull moisture in from the outside environment and store it in the skin. By doing this, they may give the facial skin a more full appearance.
Honey also contains helpful vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids. As a review article in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology notes, high quality honey also contains helpful antioxidants and has some skin healing properties.
Regularly applying honey to the skin may help provide nutrients to the skin cells and protect them from damage.
Some people claim that applying natural oils to the face may help a person achieve a more youthful look by creating fuller, plumper cheeks.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that applying oil to the face will help a person gain weight on this part of the body. However, as a study in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology notes, fatty acids may fill in the spaces between the outermost layers of skin cells.
Certain oils may be helpful for the skin when a person applies them topically, including:
Each person’s skin will react differently to the various oils. Anyone considering applying oil to their face should test it on one patch of skin first to see whether it causes a reaction or any other issues, such as acne.
Face masks may also bring moisture to the skin, which may be especially helpful for a face that appears thin due to aging.
Many different store-bought masks use special formulations to benefit the skin, often including ingredients such as:
- hyaluronic acid
- mineral oil
However, people who prefer to create their own face masks can try using natural ingredients, such as:
Facial yoga is a type of exercise that may help define features in the face.
Doing regular facial exercises may help add bulk to the facial muscles, which could make the face appear larger.
A 2018 study looked at the effects of facial exercises on the appearance of aging. Women between the ages of 40 and 65 years who did a facial workout routine consisting of 32 exercises for 20 weeks reported improvements in their facial structure. Specifically, their upper and lower cheeks appeared more full.
This study was small, and more studies are necessary to back up these claims. However, this does not stop people from trying practices such as facial yoga to try to fill in their cheeks. They can also try other activities that involve the movement of the face, including chewing gum and doing facial massages.
Are there medical options?
If natural methods to gain weight on the face do not work, some people consider medical options.
People looking to gain weight in the face may opt for fat transfer surgery. This procedure involves surgeons taking fat from another area of the body and injecting it into the face.
Another option is to use dermal fillers. Doctors inject fillers into part of the face, typically the cheeks, to give the face a more plump look.
Some people may also consider cheek augmentation for a more permanent solution. Surgeons will put a solid implant over the cheekbones to emphasize the cheeks.
Of course, surgery always involves risks, so it is essential to discuss the pros and cons with a doctor before making this very personal decision.
Aside from gaining weight overall, there are no surefire ways to gain weight specifically on the face. It may be possible to naturally fill out the face by performing various facial exercises or using topical products.
Some cosmetic treatments may provide a longer term solution for a person who is more self-conscious about their facial appearance.
People can discuss any treatments with a doctor, who should be able to provide advice about the medical options to help the face look fuller.