Help - I Am Young and Want to Look my Age!

I am 20, but people say I look 25 whenever I'm with my boyfriend. I look like his older sister. I am so young and I just want to look my age. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 2

It's a Mixed Blessing

Hi Erika,

I see that you are writing from the Philippines. This may be why you are getting comments that you look older than your boyfriend (who is probably the same age as you.)

Asians in general look much younger than their age, relative to European ethnicities. In general, we have more fat in our faces which makes us look like we still have baby fat in our faces. Interestingly, many Asian women look to make their faces thinner in order to look more "attractive" and less like a "teenager."

My suggestion to you is not to do anything to your face, in regards to facial cosmetic procedures. If your face ages prematurely in the futures, meaning in your 40's, then these options are available to you. But, just as you would not tell a 12 year old girl with baby fat to have liposuction on the face or body, you are too young to start on a course of facial rejuvenations procedures, which will most likely require some upkeep for the rest of your life.

The first thing you may consider is not to wear any makeup. Women who wear make up can be mistaken for someone much older. If you look at teen models, or children's beauty pagents (think Jon-Bennett Ramsey) you can see how make up can make someone who is obviously a child look much older than their age. The second thing that women begin to do as the mature is to pluck their eyebrows. Most pictures of teenage girls reveal that they have not started to pluck their eyebrows. You may not like that look, but the basics of making a woman more attractive involve makeup, eyebrows, and hairstyle. If you have a very sophisticated appearance you will look older than your boyfriend, especially if he only wears jeans and a tee-shirt.

Since age is relative you could probably make him wear a suit or sports jacket, and that might make him look a bit older.

I think these two things would help make you look younger. If you are not wearing makeup or shaping your eyebrows, then there may be another factor which makes you look more mature.

In the Filippino population, there are people who look more Chinese and some who look more Caucasian/Spanish. In general, the more Caucasian features may be considered more attractive in particular the eyelids. Asian eyelids tend to have a very small eyelid crease or no eyelid crease at all (which is rare in your culture.) Deep-set Caucasian eyelids show much more eyelid and may be considered more attractive. This is why many Asians will get "Double Eyelid" Surgery to Westernize, but more importantly show a little more eyelid than they had before. This helps when women are wearing makeup.

If your boyfriend looks more Asian, and you look more Caucasian, you will most likely look more mature than him.

Let's compare Cindy Crawford as a teenager to JonBenet Ramsey as a child beauty queen contestant.

Cindy Crawford did not have the characteristic deep set eyes that she is known for now. She has "puffy" eyelids, and actually does not have much eyelid showing at all. In some ways, JonBenet looks older and more mature in her photos than Cindy does as a teenager. Also note how the lack of eyelid showing is similar to how Asian eyelids naturally occur.

If you have eyelids similar to Jennifer Barrientos, Miss Philippines 2008 representative to the Miss Universe Pagent, then you most likely have very beautiful eyes, although more mature looking.

In comparison, we can look at Sarah Geronimo, a well known Philippines pop star, who is also 20 years old, and she looks more typical Asian/Chinese. She looks younger, although one could argue that Ms. Barriento is more "beautiful."

Most young women seeking facial plastic surgery, look to change their eyelids from "puffy" or as I like to say "full" to a more deep set appearance, by showing more eyelid. This will create a more "mature" appearance, which is helpful for women when wearing eye makeup.

This would be the opposite of what you are looking to achieve.

A bit off the subject, but I think your question was very interesting. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to answer it.

It's a mixed blessing.


Dr. Yang

New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Age is Relative and No Surgery!

Hello Erika,

Based on your age you are very young and without seeing you in person am going to assume that you need very little in terms of procedures or surgeries to help you look "younger".

Most patients your age just need to take care of their skin to enhance and maintain a refreshed and healthy look. Various chemical peels, microdermabrasion and facials can help do that. Also a daily regimen of cleansing, moisturizing and protecting your skin from the sun goes a long way as well.

No smoking, healthy lifestyle / diet and good hydration will protect your skin and help keep it looking younger longer.

At the very most , someone your age may consider fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Artefill, Radiesse,Evolence, etc) if you have deep folds or wrinkles that make you appear older.

Definitely no surgery or facial rejuvenation procedures would be indicated for you. Based on your age alone I think that lasers would be avoided unless for problems with skin like acne, scarring or blood vessels.

Lastly you mentioned your boyfriend - it may be that he is just a very young looking person for his age. Thats is just a matter of genetics and no matter what you do cannot be changed. So please don't look to him or anybody else for comparison - we all need to focus on ourselves and recognize and appreciate our own unique features.

Take care and I wish I was 25 again!

Kamran Jafri, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.