What to Know About Ozempic Face & How To Fix It

In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ozempic as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in adults. 

Ozempic is a type of GLP-1 receptor agonist, more specifically, semaglutide. 

Ozempic can help to reduce blood sugar by promoting the secretion of insulin. 

Some of Ozempic’s side effects include reducing hunger and promoting fullness by slowing stomach emptying. 

By feeling full for longer, someone on Ozempic will consume fewer calories. 

This is also why people on Ozempic tend to experience rapid weight loss. 

Most of the time, this drastic weight loss is more prominent in the face. 

The drastic, global facial fat loss is also colloquially called “Ozempic face.” 

Read on to learn more about Ozempic face and how to avoid it. 

What is Ozempic face?

Ozempic face is a term used to describe a type of facial weight loss from the use of Ozempic. Someone with an Ozempic face may be described as having a saggy, gaunt, or hollow-looking face. 

This is because their face had lost the fatty tissues or facial fat which used to cushion and stretch the skin overlying them. 

Someone with Ozempic face may notice:

  • Sagging or drooping of facial skin
  • Lax or loose skin, or skin that is easy to pinch 
  • Hollow temples
  • Sunken cheeks
  • Tear trough deformities or a deep indentation between the eye and nose
  • Wrinkles and lines
  • More prominent nasolabial folds and jowls 

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How Ozempic changes the face

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a baby’s face ever so healthy looking and succulent, it is because of their facial fat, specifically buccal fat. 

Think of a succulent and juicy plum as opposed to a dried and wrinkled prune. That is how your facial fat makes your skin look younger and healthier. 

Facial fat pads function as a protective feature of the face and contribute to elasticity and facial aesthetics.

Hitting the sweet spot between an aging face, where most of the fat pads have shrunken, and excess facial fat can give rise to a healthier-looking face

When there is enough facial fat, the skin overlying it stretches over them, giving your face a taut appearance. 

These facial fat pads can shrink when rapid weight loss occurs, such as that caused by Ozempic. 

When the fat that cushions and stretches the skin around the face are no longer there, it can lead to skin changes like looseness and gauntness. 

Not only does rapid weight loss cause facial volume loss, but it also reduces the elasticity of the skin. 

It does this by affecting the collagen and elastin in the skin. Reduced skin elasticity may accentuate wrinkles and lines of the face. Having a degree of facial fat can help us age better and have fewer wrinkles. 

Combine these factors and rapid weight loss can cause accelerated aging of the face, making your face look gaunt and saggy. 

It is important to remember that accelerated aging of the face is not directly due to the action of Ozempic, but rather a side effect of the rapid and drastic weight loss due to the medication. 

Recently, Ozempic has gained popularity as a weight loss drug. However, it is not approved as a weight loss medication. 

How to get rid of Ozempic face

Below, we share natural remedies and medical treatments that can help get rid of Ozempic face.

Natural remedies

With Ozempic face, accelerated aging is caused by rapid weight loss in the face. Other factors that may add to this acceleration are exposure to sunlight, smoking, poor diet, and stress. 

The following natural remedies can help to reduce wrinkles and hydrate the skin:

  • Applying at least an SPF30 sunscreen when you go out in the sun.
  • Reducing direct sun exposure by using umbrellas, long-sleeved clothes, and hats.
  • Applying aloe vera gel and cream rich in vitamin A-derived retinoids, collagen, and antioxidants.
  • Using essential oils suspended mixed with carrier oils.
  • Eating food rich in minerals like zinc and selenium, such as oatmeal, spinach, beans, and almonds. 
  • Massaging your face by applying firm pressure with your fingers to the sides of your face and rubbing them in circular motions.
  • Consuming food to promote skin health, such as artichokes, avocadoes, chia seeds, egg whites, oatmeal, salmon, sardines, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.

Considerations before trying

While some of these foods and topical creams may help to improve skin health, it is important to check with your doctor, especially if you have an underlying health condition such as diabetes or any skin condition. 

You do not want to mess up your glucose control by eating too much or develop a skin reaction when applying just any cream or essential oils. 

Always research the brand of cream or essential oil to make sure it is of good quality before applying them. You can also do a patch test before using the cream or essential oil. 

A patch test is done by following these 3 simple steps:

  • Applying a small amount to the inside of your wrist and wait 24 hours
  • After 24 hours, observe the area for any itching, burning, stinging, or redness 
  • Avoid using it if you experience any signs of itching, burning, stinging, or redness 

A patch test is useful in avoiding a more severe allergic or hypersensitivity reaction caused by a topical product such as lotions, moisturizers, or other makeup products. 

Medical treatments 

The medical approach to treating Ozempic face is a multimodal one. These treatments target specific issues, aiming to restore the different effects of accelerated aging of the face caused by Ozempic.

Dermal and temple fillersReverse deflated parts of the face, such as sunken cheeks and hollow temples.
Face thread liftsPhysically lift loose skin around the cheeks and jawline.
Injectable moisturizersTighten skin and reduce wrinkles by promoting collagen and elastin formation in the skin.
Fractional CO2Reduces wrinkles in the skin by increasing collagen in the skin. 

To reverse sunken and hollow cheeks and temples, dermal and temple fillers can be used to reverse deflated parts of your face without causing an overfilled face. 

To restore loose and saggy skin, face thread lifts can help by physically lifting the loose skin around the cheeks and jawline. 

It employs the use of dissolvable sutures to hold the skin around the area in place, hence causing a better facial contour. Dissolvable sutures are specially made to break down and be absorbed by the body.  

Another method to restore loose and saggy skin is by using injectable moisturizer, which promotes collagen and elastin formation in the skin, hence giving it a firmer look. 

To reduce wrinkles in the skin, treatments such as fractional carbon dioxide (CO2) laser can help to increase the collagen levels in the skin, giving it a more youthful and rejuvenated look. Some may prefer injectable moisturizers to hydrate the skin and smoothen fine lines in the skin.

How to avoid Ozempic face

If you need Ozempic to treat your type 2 diabetes, but the drastic effect on your facial aesthetics is a cause for concern, you should discuss the following options with your doctor:

Undoubtedly, the cost of correcting or reversing the facial effects of Ozempic is expensive. Hence, the pros and cons of Ozempic should be properly discussed with your doctor. 

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Is Ozempic approved as a weight-loss drug?

No. Ozempic is only approved to treat type 2 diabetes in adults.

Some people take Ozempic without diabetes to lose weight. This is called an “off-label” use. 

This has caused a surge in demand for the off-label use of Ozempic, hence causing a limited supply to patients with diabetes who need Ozempic.

If you are using Ozempic as an off-label drug to lose weight, you should discuss other weight loss alternatives with a healthcare provider. 

You should aim for a healthy and gradual weight loss, ideally shedding 1 to 2 pounds per week, or 4 to 8 pounds per month. 

It is also important to know that using Ozempic alone to lose weight does not work long term, as many people will regain the weight once they stop taking them. 

Drastic fluctuations in weight, or weight cycling, have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. 

Drastic weight loss can also increase the risk of gallstones, gout, hormonal imbalance, muscle mass loss, and decreased bone density. 

Other weight-loss strategies

Do not use Ozempic without a prescription from your doctor. You should consult your doctor to find out about other weight loss methods, including:

  • Exercising for at least 30 minutes daily, especially engaging in anaerobic exercises, which promotes fat loss, fitness, and reduced insulin resistance. 
  • Increase fiber intake by consuming more nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain products such as cereals, barley, rye, and oats.
  • Switching from sugary or sweetened drinks to plain water or lemon-infused water.
  • Replacing refined carbohydrates like white rice, pasta, and bread with whole-grain versions.
  • Ensuring you get good and adequate sleep.
  • Eating food that promotes beneficial or good gut bacteria, such as yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, miso, and sauerkraut. 
  • Managing your stress levels by exercising, taking frequent breaks, meditating, doing yoga, performing breathing exercises or relaxation techniques

You can ask your healthcare provider to help you to optimize your weight loss. Sometimes, excessive weight gain can be caused by an underlying condition such as hypothyroidism, polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS), anxiety, depression, or as a side effect of certain medications. 

Your healthcare provider can perform some tests on you to rule out any underlying conditions and treat them. 

Managing any underlying health condition is useful in your weight loss journey as a whole. 

They might even prescribe you medications that the FDA has approved to help you lose weight. 

They will also monitor your health for any unwanted side effects of these medications, thereby making them safer. 

If you use Ozempic to treat your diabetes and you are affected by Ozempic face, you should not stop taking Ozempic on your own or abruptly. 

Stopping Ozempic on your own may cause your blood sugar levels to spike and may be harmful to your health. You should always consult a healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medications. 


While Ozempic is an effective medication to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus in some people, it can cause accelerated aging of the face through rapid weight loss. 

An Ozempic face looks saggy, loose, hollow, and droopy because of the global facial fat loss caused by Ozempic. 

Ozempic faces can be a cause for concern because it affects facial aesthetics. There are several natural ways to reduce the effects of Ozempic face, such as adequate sun protection, hydration, and eating food that promotes skin health. 

Medical treatments for Ozempic face include dermal and temple fillers, face thread lifts, injectable moisturizers, and fractional CO2 therapy. 

If you are taking Ozempic to treat your diabetes and you have any concerns about how Ozempic is affecting your looks, you should discuss alternatives with your healthcare provider. 

You should not stop using Ozempic abruptly. Ozempic is not approved by the FDA as a weight-loss drug. 

If you are overweight or obese, you should consult your healthcare provider for ways to lose weight. Treating underlying health conditions can help you manage your weight.

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  2. Chamberlin, S. and W. Dabbs, Semaglutide (ozempic) for type 2 diabetes mellitus. American Family Physician, 2019. 100(2): p. 116-117.
  3. Tay, J.Q., Ozempic face: A new challenge for facial plastic surgeons. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, 2023. 81: p. 97-98.
  4. Boutcher, S.H., High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. Journal of obesity, 2011. 2011.
  5. Xiao, Q., et al., A large prospective investigation of sleep duration, weight change, and obesity in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study cohort. American journal of epidemiology, 2013. 178(11): p. 1600-1610.
  6. Zou, H., et al., Body-weight fluctuation was associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in endocrinology, 2019: p. 728.

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