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What Is "Ozempic Face" and How Do You Treat It?

The drug may have an aging effect, doctors say.

It seems you can hardly read the news without seeing something about Ozempic: Who's on it, whether or not it's effective, and how it could change the future of healthcare. One adjacent topic is Ozempic face—or the aesthetic changes people see in their facial appearance after starting Ozempic and similar weight loss drugs like Wgovy and Mounjaro. If you're wondering: "What is Ozempic face?" you're not alone in your confusion. Keep reading to learn what plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and physicians have to say about the phenomenon, from why it happens and what you can expect to how to remedy it both naturally and with procedures.

RELATED: 7 Worst Ozempic Side Effects Reported by Patients.

What Is Ozempic and How Does It Work?

Ozempic Insulin injection pen or insulin cartridge pen for diabetics.

To put it simply, Ozempic is a weight loss drug that makes you feel full even when you aren't. (Its generic name is semaglutide.) Usually, when you eat, a signal is sent from your gut to your brain to tell it to feel full and stop eating.

"This pathway, called glucagon-like peptide-one (GLP-1), has a receptor molecule in brain cells that responds to this signal," says Spencer Kroll, MD, PhD, author of The Ozempic Diet. "Drugs such as Ozempic and other GLP-1 agents stimulate this receptor."

So, your brain thinks you just ate a meal, even when you didn't. Because of this, Ozempic helps people drop body weight.

According to a recent analysis, prescriptions for Ozempic and similar weight loss medications increased 300 percent between early 2020 and the end of 2023. As more people take it for weight loss—the drugs were previously and still are used to manage diabetes—more side effects emerge. One of them is semaglutide face.

RELATED: Ex-Ozempic Patient Shares the Side Effect That Won't Go Away.

What Is Ozempic Face?

man looking in mirror
Svitlana Hulko / Shutterstock

Ozempic face is a side effect of rapid weight loss, which many people experience when taking Ozempic. Most weight loss occurs in the body but also results in a dramatic reduction of facial fat.

"Many people who take Ozempic to lose weight can notice significant weight loss in less than a year, which is an overall short timeframe for weight loss," says Robert Schwarcz, MD, double-board-certified oculoplastic surgeon in New York City. "This can leave the face looking gaunt or hollow or show excess skin on the face."

That's compared to losing weight more gradually, which "enables the skin to contract more slowly and shrink down," says Schwarcz. When you do that, there are fewer aesthetic side effects.

How long does Ozempic face take to set in?

It typically takes a few weeks to see weight loss results from Ozempic, but that timeframe varies from person to person. However, there are some timelines you can expect.

"The appearance of facial aging, such as sagging skin and wrinkles due to weight loss, can set in as early as a month after starting the medication," says Jimmy Sung, MD, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and medical director of Tribeca Aesthetics in New York City.

Does Ozempic age you?

It's important to note that while fat loss from Ozempic can have an aging effect, the drug itself does not cause any aesthetic changes.

"There is nothing specific about the medicine itself that results in facial distortion or causing someone to look strange," says board-certified family physician Laura Purdy, MD. "There are other changes that occur in the face and body with age, including sagging of the fat pads and loss of bone structure in the face, so it is possible that this also contributes."

Is Ozempic face temporary?

Unfortunately, Sung says no: "The loss of facial volume and the appearance of skin laxity are permanent."

Famous Examples of Ozempic Face: Before and After

A few celebrities have acknowledged their use of Ozempic, including Oprah Winfrey, Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler, and Tracy Morgan. Certain influencers have also said they're on the weight loss medication or have tried it in the past. If you look at before and after photos, you may be able to spot certain symptoms of Ozempic face in their features.

Ozempic Face Side Effects

As far as the face goes, some of the most prominent side effects of Ozempic include droopiness, sagging skin, hollow cheeks, loose skin, wrinkles, and jowling.

"The more common locations for volume loss seen with significant weight loss are around the mouth, the midface, and temples," says Schwarcz. It may look like gravity has taken its toll faster than usual, with features dropping downward.

Of course, these are also typical signs of aging, so the effects may be intensified by the natural aging process.

RELATED: Ozempic Patients Say It "Stops Working" for Weight Loss—How to Prevent That.

How Do You Get Rid of Ozempic Face?

Woman eating a healthy meal in the kitchen.
PeopleImages / iStock

Lose weight at a more moderate pace

The best remedy is prevention—and in this case, that means losing weight more slowly. "Speak to your provider about what the optimal weight loss goal each week is for your overall health and appearance goals," says Schwarcz.

While losing weight quickly may seem like the overall goal, it won't be if it comes with unwelcome aesthetic side effects. You can adjust your dose to suit your goals.

Invest in a skincare routine

Because Ozempic can impact the skin on your face, maintaining a quality skincare routine can help.

"A structured skin care regimen is always important to invest in, but it is extra important to target fine lines and wrinkles and boost hydration when you are dealing with signs of aging," says Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon. "Investing in a super-hydrating hyaluronic acid serum and a form of retinol is recommended."

Quality moisturizer and sunscreen are also non-negotiable.

Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated will help your skincare routine work more effectively.

"Hyaluronic acid is one of the great natural moisturizers, but it requires water intake to maintain hydration balance," says Shafer. "Hyaluronic acid can be topical in skincare products but also injected in products such as Juvederm, which volumizes the skin based on the hydration effect."

He suggests a new form of Juvederm called SKINVIVE, which hydrates without adding volume (Juvederm is commonly used as a facial filler).

Eat plenty of protein

What you eat also comes into play. "Ozempic face presumably occurs from the loss of fat and muscle mass from the face," says Kroll. "Supplementing with protein may counteract this symptom by helping build up muscle." Talk to your doctor about the optimal amount for your needs.

Consider cosmetic enhancements

Microneedling: You'll have to get this done by a practitioner, but it has minimal downtime—usually 24 hours. "In-office microneedling can help address signs of aging by stimulating collagen production to improve the skin's elasticity and tightness," says Dundy. It's considered minimally invasive.

Face or neck lift: While good skincare and diet can help reduce the effects of Ozempic face, it often doesn't cut it. "When skin laxity is moderate to severe, non-invasive treatments are usually not enough," says Shafer. "If you have to take your fingers and push your skin back to achieve the look you are envisioning, then a facelift or other procedures are likely necessary as part of your rejuvenation journey."

Facial filler: These add volume back to the face. "Dermal filler injections can be used alone or in conjunction with surgery to add structural support to the face, such as Juvederm Volux to strengthen and define the jawline and Juvederm Voluma to lift and enhance the cheeks," says Shafer.

RELATED: Certain Foods Trigger Natural Ozempic-Like Weight Loss Effect, Doctor Says.

Will My Face Return to Normal If I Stop Taking Ozempic?

Middle aged woman touching skin on neck, looking at mirror in bedroom at home
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock

Again, probably not. "Mild cases can be temporary, but if a patient lost an extreme amount of weight in a short period of time, the appearance of Ozempic face is not temporary, and professional procedures would be required to achieve a more youthful appearance," says Schwarcz.

"Many patients also do not want to wait to see if their appearance changes for the better and instead come to an oculoplastic surgeon like me to offer them cosmetic treatments and surgical procedures that can address the portions of their appearance they are not happy with," he adds. It depends on your expectations and requirements.


The effects of Ozempic on the face will be different for everyone, depending on how quickly patients lose weight, the treatment plan involved, and other unique features. Once these effects develop, they may be permanent, so be sure to discuss this possible side effect with a doctor. They'll be able to devise a plan to minimize these aesthetic changes. For more health advice, visit Best Life again soon.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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