Proud Winner of Best Clinic UK at the 2024
Laurel Wreath for AwardsAesthetics Medicine AwardsLaurel Wreath for Awards

Articles

Chubby Cheeks: How to Get a Slimmer Face

Chubby cheeks is a colloquialism that primarily describes the build up of excess fat in the buccal fat pads in your face. This can result in your cheeks looking fatter and is a condition that can be corrected mainly by lifestyle changes such as weight loss, but also corrective fat removal surgery.

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Date: 21st February 2024

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 21st February 2024

What Are Chubby Cheeks?

Cheeks are the part of our face that extends from underneath our eyes to the bottom of our jaw. They are composed of multiple components including muscles for eating and smiling, as well as the buccal fat pad.

Chubby cheeks occur when the fat inside the buccal pads increase to the point that your facial appearance looks full and rounded in the cheek area.

Anyone can be prone to chubby cheeks regardless of underlying body weight, however fat cheeks do correlate among those with higher body weights.  

What Causes Chubby Cheeks?

Chubby cheeks can be caused either by genetics, weight gain, or your underlying facial anatomy, with fat gain being the primary cause, followed by genetics and facial anatomy. However, you could be affected by a combination of the factors too.

Genetics

Fat cheeks can be the result of genetics. You may simply have a genetic pre-disposition to store more fat in your face and buccal fat pads. Additionally, many people are simply born with a naturally larger or thicker buccal fat pads. This fat storage isn’t always evenly distributed either – you may have larger buccal fat pads but have a slim body.

Weight Gain

While genetics plays a role, weight gain is another main contributor to fat cheeks. If you gain weight, that extra fat can be distributed around your body including your buccal fat pads which will ultimately make your cheeks appear chubbier. Specifically, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption, and a lack of hydration are detrimental factors and negative lifestyle choices that can cause fat cheeks.

Facial Anatomy

Everyone has a different facial anatomy and this can give the appearance of fatter cheeks. Some people have larger cheekbones which makes the lower face look larger in comparison to the upper face. Similarly, some people have more developed and stronger facial muscles which can give the appearance of chubby cheeks even if their buccal fat pads are of a normal size. 

Can Lifestyle Changes Get Rid of Chubby Cheeks?

Lifestyle changes can make a huge difference to chubby cheeks and should be your first line of defence before considering surgical treatments since one of the primary causes of chubby cheeks is excess of fat meaning that weight control is especially important. 

If you want to lose chubby cheeks, the following lifestyle changes will help: 

A lack of exercise can cause a build-up of fat, including your cheeks. Cardio is the best form of exercise to do including walking, hiking, or jogging. Also consider high-cardio activities like cycling, swimming, dancing, or sports like tennis, badminton, and squash. 

Several targeted facial exercises repeated regularly can help get rid of a chubby face including the face puff (puff your cheeks out and pass the air back and forth), smile and hold (pull a massive smile, hold it, and relax), and fish face (With your mouth closed, suck your cheeks in and hold it to look like a goldfish).

If you become dehydrated parts of your body including your cheeks can become bloated and puffy. Make sure that you drink the daily recommended amount of water (6-8 full cups per day).

An excess of alcohol can cause chubby cheeks via a build up of fat and increased water retention. Consider cutting back your daily or weekly intake.

Keeping a balanced diet with the right combination of nutrients and minerals can help control your weight and reduce chubby cheeks. Cut down on foods with refined carbs such as biscuits, pasta, and sugars while increasing your intake of whole-grain foods and fibre.

Sodium, or more particularly, salt, in excess can cause puffy cheeks. Look at your diet and try to reduce processed foods and “ready meals” that are notorious for high salt content. Also try to reduce salt in your cooking.


What Are the Best Non Surgical Treatments for Getting a Slimmer Face?

When looking at how to get a slimmer face, non-invasive treatments have a limited impact.

Procedures like CoolSculpting, Ultherapy, and Dermal Fillers can make a difference, but are only able to target the condition indirectly.

This is because non-invasive treatments typically work by adding volume, tightening skin, and removing old layers of skin. This contouring and sculpting effect can help reduce chubby cheeks, but doesn’t directly address the underlying issue of excess fat in the buccal fat pads and facial fullness. 

What Are the Best Surgical Treatments for Getting a Slimmer Face?

The most effective way to get rid of chubby cheeks surgically is either buccal fat removal or liposuction.

Buccal Fat Removal

When looking at how to slim your face where lifestyle changes have had a limited effect, buccal fat removal is considered the best option. This procedure is also called cheek contouring or a buccal lipectomy and involves completely removing the buccal fat pads from your cheeks.

During the procedure, local anaesthetic is used and small incisions are made on the inside of your mouth. The surgeon then removes part or all of the buccal fat pads inside your cheeks depending on the desired results, and the incisions are stitched together.

This treatment has the benefit of directly targeting the buccal fat pads which a primary cause of chubby cheeks. No visible external scarring is left either, and there is no need for general anaesthetic.

Liposuction

If you want a quicker recovery time, liposuction could be the quickest way to lose face fat. This effective form of chubby cheeks reduction typically takes between 30 minutes to one hour, and either local or general anaesthetic can be used depending on your individual case and preference.

During the procedure, small incisions on either side of your face are made. Into this, a cannula is inserted through which the excess fat from your cheeks is then removed.

The benefits of liposuction are the quicker recovery times and the fact that it’s a minimally invasive surgery with no need to enter your mouth. However, less fat can be safely removed compared to buccal fat removal, and the process doesn’t directly target the buccal fat pads. 


Considerations for Surgical Treatments

Both buccal fat removal and liposuction are viable options to get rid of chubby cheeks – a consultation with an experienced surgeon will provide insight and help you find the best option for your condition.

Underlying this, lifestyle changes remain the first step, however. Oftentimes chubby cheeks can be eliminated by improving your diet, controlling your weight, and leading a healthier lifestyle with the right balance of foods and hydration. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Chubby cheeks can be a result of genetics, weight gain, or an underlying stronger facial structure. The primary cause of a fat face is excess fat in the buccal fat pads.

You may have a genetic pre-disposition to chubby cheeks even though you have a slim body. Also, some people are born with thicker buccal fat pads in their cheeks while the rest of their bodies are slim.


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

"Fuller cheeks can affect individuals of any weight and it is often hard to shift this excess weight through diet and exercise alone. Having introduced Liposuction to the UK 40 years ago, it is very exciting to see how it has developed to address specific concerns like chubby cheeks. Our surgeons can use Liposuction to remove stubborn fat from the cheeks resulting in a slimmer face. Cadogan Clinic is dedicated to offering the best in new sugical technology and giving patients the opportunity to achieve the best results possible to restore their confidence and quality of life."
Mr. Bryan Mayou

Treatments mentioned in this article



Trustpilot

Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Medicine Awards

Clinic of the Year

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Medicine Awards

London Region’s Clinic of the Year

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2024

Aesthetics Awards

Best Clinic London

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2023

Aesthetic Awards

Highly Commended Best Clinic in London

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

Aesthetics Awards

Highly Commended

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2021

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2020

My Face My Body

Best Clinic Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards
Laurel Wreath for Awards

2019

My Face My Body

Winner

Laurel Wreath for Awards

0207 901 8500

Get in touch Sign Up