When people think of chubby cheeks, the image of cute babies often pops into their minds. Full, rounded cheeks are a sign of vigour and youth.
However, if you have excess fat in your cheeks, it can make your face look too round or too full.
Fortunately, there are plenty of surgical and non-surgical ways to get rid of face fat.
Dr Michael Kernohan is a specialist plastic surgeon performing facial procedures in Sydney, Australia. He offers patients tailored facial rejuvenation procedures that reduce chubby cheeks and create a slimmer face.
CLICK to Download Dr Michael Kernohan Facial Rejuvenation Guide
What Makes The Cheeks Chubby?
Your cheeks are the part of your face that extends from below the eyes to right above the jawline. They consist of many muscles, glands, buccal fat pads, and other facial tissue and play a role in eating, talking, and making facial expressions.
The buccal fat pad is located beneath the cheekbone, between the facial muscles, and gives your cheeks their contour and fullness. Moreover, your facial muscles and cheekbones can also affect how full your face looks.
Some people are born with naturally full cheeks, while others have slimmer facial appearances. The size and contours of your cheeks can also change throughout different stages of your life.
When you gain weight, fat can build up in your cheeks, adding volume to your face. However, some people may have full, rounded cheeks, although they’re skinny.
Here are some reasons that can explain why you have chubby cheeks:
● Weight gain: the fat pads in your cheeks can gain volume and become bigger after gaining weight. Excess face fat can make your cheeks look rounded and full
● Genetics: people accumulate fat in different areas of the body. Your genes can determine which part of your body stores the most fat. Some people are genetically predisposed to having fat deposits in their faces more than anywhere else in their bodies. Others may be born with naturally thick buccal fat pads in the cheeks. That can explain why your face looks chubby but not the rest of your body
Additionally, having large cheek muscles and cheekbones can contribute to how chubby your face looks.
Natural Ways To Slim Chubby Cheeks
Below are some of the best tips on how to lose chubby cheeks naturally and make your face look slimmer.
Do more cardio
Often, excess body fat can build up in your cheeks, making your face look round and chubby.
Cardio, aerobics, and any other exercise that increase your heart rate are great ways to lose weight in your face and the rest of your body.
Walking, jogging, swimming, biking, or dancing on a regular basis can promote facial fat loss and help slim down your face.
Do facial exercises
Facial exercises that target the cheeks can be effective in helping you tone your facial muscles and giving you a slimmer face.
The most popular exercises for reducing chubby cheeks include the following:
● Fish face: pucker up your lips, then suck in the inside of your cheeks into your mouth to create a fish face. Hold this position for several seconds, then release it. Repeat this exercise around 20 times a day
● Face puff: keep your mouth closed and puff out your cheeks. Pass the air inside your mouth from side to side as if you’re using mouthwash. Do this for several seconds at a time, relax, then repeat
● The X and O: say the letters X and O back to back around 20 times while stretching your face as much as possible with each letter. That can help you work your cheek muscles and create a slimmer-looking face
● Smile and hold: smiling helps you exercise your facial muscles. Smile wide and hold for several seconds while clenching your teeth. Then relax your face and repeat.
You can perform face exercises daily while getting dressed or taking a shower. These exercises may help you build muscle tone in the face and improve your facial appearance.
Staying hydrated is crucial, especially if you’re trying to lose facial fat. Drinking water between meals can keep you full and help you lose weight.
Moreover, not drinking enough water leads to water retention, which can cause your cheeks to bloat and look puffy.
Drink more water and stay hydrated to enhance weight loss and prevent bloating and swelling in your face.
Cut back on alcohol
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increases water retention, bloating, and fat build-up. It can increase your appetite and contribute to weight gain, including in the face.
Avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol if you want to lose cheek fat.
Avoid refined carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates, such as sugars, pizza doughs, pasta, and crackers, are heavily processed foods that lack beneficial nutrients.
Refined carbs affect your blood sugar levels and can contribute to overeating and weight gain.
Replacing refined carbohydrates with whole-grain foods can help you lose facial fat.
Reduce your sodium intake
Consuming too much salt (the primary source of sodium in most people’s diets) can lead to water retention and bloating. As a result, your face and cheeks will look puffy and swollen.
Processed foods, such as cereal, canned food, savoury snacks, and processed meat, are rich in salt, sugar, and oil.
Reduce your sodium intake and cut back on processed food to decrease water retention and reduce puffy and bloated cheeks.
Although losing weight can help you reduce excess fat in your cheeks, you cannot specifically target fat stored in your face. Hence, you may lose weight and still have full cheeks. The only way to directly target the fat deposits in your face to make the cheeks smaller is by getting plastic surgery.
Plastic Surgery For Chubby Cheeks
Different facial procedures can help your cheeks look thinner even if you can’t or don’t want to lose body weight.
1. Liposuction for chubby cheeks
Cheek liposuction can be done for people who want thinner cheeks but are unable to lose facial fat with diet and exercise alone. It permanently removes fat cells from your face.
It usually takes around 30 minutes to one hour and is performed as an outpatient procedure – you can usually return home to recover shortly after the procedure.
During liposuction, you might receive local or general anaesthesia.
Dr Kernohan makes small incisions on each side of your face around your cheek area. He then inserts a small metal tube (cannula) through the incisions to suck out fat from your cheeks.
Cheek liposuction can reduce chubby cheeks and give you a slimmer face contour. Nevertheless, this procedure can only remove a limited amount of fat from the face and is more suitable for people with good skin elasticity.
2. Buccal fat removal surgery for chubby cheeks
Dr Michael Kernohan regularly performs buccal fat removal surgery for people with heavy cheeks who desire a slimmer face appearance.
Buccal fat removal, also known as buccal lipectomy or cheek reduction surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that involves surgically removing buccal fat pads in your cheeks.
It takes around 30-45 minutes and can be performed under local anaesthesia.
During your cheek reduction surgery:
- Dr Kernohan makes a small incision inside the mouth in the cheek area on each side of your mouth
- Then, he carefully accesses the buccal fat pad inside your cheek
- Depending on your cheekbones and facial anatomy, he may remove the entire fat bad or only part of it. Alternatively, Dr Kernohan can reposition the buccal fat into other areas of your face that have lost volume instead of removing it. That helps create a natural look in the face while reducing the contour of the cheek buccal fat. Dr Kernohan changes the shape of your cheeks in a way that keeps them in balance with the rest of your facial features
- Finally, the incisions are closed with absorbable sutures
Buccal fat removal can reduce full, rounded cheeks. Because the incisions are made inside the mouth, you won’t have any visible scars after buccal fat reduction surgery.
Should I Get Buccal Fat Removal Or Liposuction For My Chubby Cheeks?
Buccal fat removal and liposuction are similar; they both involve removing fat from the cheeks to give the face a slimmer appearance.
Buccal fat surgery allows your surgeon to reach and remove the buccal fat pad, which is located under the facial muscles and nerves and cannot be accessed by liposuction. It can also remove a larger amount of fat from your face.
On the other hand, liposuction requires smaller incisions and is less invasive than buccal fat reduction surgery.
Keep in mind that as you grow older, your cheeks start to deflate and lose volume. That should be taken into account while planning your cheek reduction procedure.
Dr Michael Kernohan routinely performs facial procedures. During your consultation, he will assess your face and unique cheek anatomy to decide the best approach to change your facial contours.
FAQs about Chubby Cheeks
Does liposuction remove fat from the face?
- Facial liposuction is a very common procedure. It can change the appearance of the face by removing excess fat. Your surgeon makes small incisions and uses a thin tube to permanently remove fat cells from the cheeks, chin, and neck. However, liposuction is only suitable for people with elastic skin.
Why is my face getting fat and not my body?
- Different people accumulate fat in different areas of the body. Your genes play a role in where your body stores most of its fat. Some people are genetically predisposed to having fat deposits build up in their cheeks instead of anywhere else. That’s why when you gain weight, your face might start getting fuller but not the rest of your body.
Why are my cheeks chubby, but I’m skinny?
- If you’re slim and still have chubby cheeks and a rounded face, then you probably have large buccal fat pads. A buccal fat pad is an area of fat in the cheeks between the facial muscles right below the cheekbones. The volume of this fat pad remains consistent throughout your life and is not affected much by weight changes or weight loss.
What are some foods that make the face fat?
- There aren’t certain foods that can add fat specifically to your face. However, foods that increase your total body fat, such as refined carbohydrates, can contribute to weight gain in the face. Additionally, foods rich in sodium (salty food) and alcohol can cause water retention and bloating, which make your face appear swollen or puffy.
Further Reading about Facial Surgery
- Dr Kernohan’s Facelift Surgery Page
- Dr Kernohan’s Blog about Recovery after Facelift
- Dr Kernohan’s Blog about Ageing Face
Medical References about Chubby Cheeks
- Anatomy, Head and Neck, Cheeks – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- Buccal Fat Pad Reduction – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- Buccal fat pad removal to improve facial aesthetics: an established technique? – PMC
- Liposuction – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- Facial sculpting: Comprehensive approach for aesthetic correction of round face – PMC
- The Buccal Fat Pad: A Case Report and Retrospective Case Series – PMC