Many people desire hollow cheeks because they find they look attractive. Hollow cheeks refer to the sunken appearance of having little fat in the area between your cheekbones and jawbone.

The shape of your cheeks is largely determined by your bone structure and the amount of fat in your cheeks.

Your bone structure is largely genetically determined, but you may be able to decrease the amount of fat in your cheeks. The best way to do this is by lowering your overall body fat percentage through dieting and exercise.

Some people naturally have more hollow-looking cheeks and thinner faces than others.

If you don’t have defined cheekbones, you may not be able to achieve the look you want without surgery. A cheaper way to make your face appear different is by using makeup to contour your face.

Keep in mind that there’s no health advantage to having hollowed cheeks, and many people think plumper cheeks are beautiful.

People with hollow cheeks usually have a small amount of fat in their face and an overall low body fat. They also often have a well-defined jaw and cheeks.

You can’t change the shape of your bones without surgery, but you may be able to decrease the amount of fat in your face.

Some people naturally have less fat in their face than others, since genetics play a role in fat distribution. However, people with a lower body fat percentage also tend to have less fat in their face.

A 2017 study examined facial shape differences in Central European women with a body mass index (BMI) between 17 and 35. The researchers found women with a higher BMI tended to have wider and rounder facial outlines.

Another study has found that body weight can be reliably guessed from pictures of adult faces.

There’s no way to specifically target fat in your face without surgery. The best way to decrease facial fat is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Many types of diet can help you lose weight as long as you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning.

Other healthy habits that may help you reduce fat include:

It’s worth noting that even if you lower your body fat, you may not notice a significant hollowing of your face, especially if you already have a relatively low body fat percentage.

The fat pads inside your cheeks are known as your buccal fat pads. It’s possible to surgically remove fat from these pads in a procedure known as buccal fat removal.

This surgery isn’t typically performed on people who already have a thin or narrow face. Many people lose fat in their faces as they age, so removing fat could lead to a gaunt or excessively thin appearance later in life.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the best candidates for buccal fat removal are people who:

  • are physically healthy and keep a stable weight
  • have realistic expectations
  • don’t smoke
  • are bothered by excessive fat in their cheeks

Prices can vary widely between clinics, but this surgery typically costs between $2,000 and $5,000 in the United States. Because it’s a cosmetic surgery, your insurance is unlikely to cover it.

Other procedures

It’s also possible to get implants in your cheeks or jaw to make them more pronounced.

These surgeries can also get quite expensive. The average price of cheek implants in 2019 was $2,986. Implants are also unlikely to be covered by insurance.

A much cheaper alternative to surgery is using makeup to contour your cheeks. There are many video tutorials available online.

Many websites claim that cheek exercises may help you hollow out your cheeks. However, there’s no evidence that these exercises are effective.

Often, these facial exercises are supposed to work by helping you burn fat in your face. But “spot reduction,” or the idea that you can lose fat by working out muscles in that area, is a myth. When you burn calories by exercising, your body burns fats from all parts of your body.

If you’re currently overweight or obese, adopting healthy exercise and diet habits to lower your body fat percentage may help you improve your overall health.

Excessively dieting or exercising for the purpose of trying to achieve hollow cheeks can be dangerous if you lose too much weight, especially if you’re already a healthy weight or underweight.

The shape of your cheeks is largely determined by the amount of fat in your cheeks as well as the shape of your jaw and cheekbones.

You can’t change the shape of your bones without surgery, but you can lose fat through exercise and dieting.

Buccal fat reduction surgery or cheek implants may help you achieve hollow cheeks, but these surgeries can be quite expensive. A cheaper option is using makeup to contour your cheeks.