How Does Double Chin Form

There are many treatments and therapies to choose from to deal with sagging skin or extra fat along the jawline such as double chin (here are a few examples). The exact cause of your double chin matters! Your treatment is less likely effective if it doesn’t target the underlying cause of the problem. So, it’s important to understand how your double chin forms.

Each case varies, so does the treatment. Double chin can be attributed by more than one factor. But in general, it is usually focused on whether the problem is caused by excess fat deposits or/and loose, sagging skin.

Being obese /overweight

When it comes to a slimmer profile, your attention probably is your belly, thighs, or derriere. But one of the first areas where a change of your body’s weight shows up is on your face, including the chin.

Being overweight and obese can imperil your overall health. Besides increased risk of numerous health conditions (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, and much more), more excess weight you gain will also cause negative reaction to your skin appearance.

Obesity makes double chin more likely. A lot of excess fat must be stored in the body somewhere. And your chin is one of common locations where the excess fatty tissue can go. Over time, fat weighs down the skin under the cheeks and chin. As a result, you would have a heavier appearance. The accumulation of fatty tissue may cause a wrinkle that creates a second, lower chin (double chin).

If the underlying cause is a lot of excess fat under the chin and you’re being obese, losing weight is a must to help ease the problem. As your body’s weight return to normal, this would leave you looking gaunt.

The body mass index (BMI) is one of common parameters to determine your healthy weight. In general, normal BMI that represents healthy weight is between 18.5 and 24.9! Overweight people usually have a BMI that ranges from 25 to 29.9. Higher than 29.9 is categorized in various stages of obesity.

Besides BMI, a few factors probably are also taken into account. These include your height, muscles weight (athletic ability), and even sometimes your ethnicity also have an effect to define the category of your excess weight and obesity.

If you do concern about the role of your weight in affecting the appearance of your face and chin, a BMI of 24 (men) or 19 (women) is probably your best answer to have the most attractive appearance, according to one study [1].

But your excess weight is not the only one to blame. Other factors can also play a role to cause loose skin and excess fat along the jawline. Even though with healthy BMI, some people may still have double chin in various ‘mild’ stages.

Wrinkles and sagging skin with age

Aging changes can affect cranny and nook of your body including the skin. Your skin will naturally look and feel different with age. Each passing birthday (especially in 30s), it starts to change and more susceptible to wrinkles and sagging. The bad news skin aging on face, including the chin, is probably most at the forefront.

Sagging skin would make double chin more likely. If that causes the problem, surgery may be required to treat your second, lower chin.

The skin consists of many layers, but can be categorized into 3 main layers and each layer has connective tissue of collagen fiber for flexibility & strength [2]:

  1. Epidermis, the outer layer of the skin containing pigment, proteins, and skin cells.
  2. Dermis, the middle layer of the skin containing hair follicles, oil glands, blood vessels, and nerves. It plays a role to support the nutrient supply for epidermis.
  3. Subcutaneous layer, the inner part after dermis. It contains blood vessels, sweet glands, and fat.

Epidermis thins as you age, even though if the amount of your cell layers remains stable (unchanged). The connective tissues of the skin may also change with age, reducing the strength and elasticity of the skin. As a result the skin tends to lose its ability to bounce back, making the skin easier to sag.

A number of factors can make changes of skin aging appear more quickly. The most common one probably is sun exposure. So it’s always worth a try to wear hat, protective clothing, and SPF for your outdoor activities.

Losing muscles

Although not as common, a double chin is a consequence of losing muscle in a few cases. Muscles play a role to help support the chin. Without healthy and strong muscles, your chin is relatively weaker and the skin is easier to become looser. As a result, the chin could become flabby.

Your posture may also have an effect. In general a good posture has to do with strong muscles. On the other hand, you’re likely to have weaker muscles including those around your neck and chin if you have a bad posture [3].

In case when muscle weakness is to blame, double chin exercise may be your best bet. With properly strengthening and stretching, the strength of your jaw and facial muscles would improve so would your second-lower chin.

Double chin exercises range from stretching jaw, lip, and chin to rolling the neck and even chewing gum. See more these exercises here!


Now you understand that there are a number of factors that contribute to changes of your skin. Another factor that plays a role is genetics.

Whether or not you’re obese, for example, you may have genetic factor that predisposes you to develop a double chin. If you have a family history of the problem (especially first degree relatives like parent or siblings with a history of double chin), you’re at higher chance to develop the same condition.

That’s because your genetics may factor into the distribution of your fat (where it’s stored)! In general, the body doesn’t store fat equally in all areas. Certain areas are likely to store more fat than other areas. And genetically, some people probably are likely to send and store fat in the chin.

A double chin that has to do with genetics is not always easy to treat. Sometimes surgery is required, see a specialist or a cosmetic surgeon for more guidance!

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