What is Ozempic Face and Can It Be Fixed?

When patients start on GLP-1 drugs for weight loss, fat reduction happens everywhere, including the face. Here’s what you need to know about ‘Ozempic Face,’ the colloquial term for the aged look that can come with a loss of facial fat.

Table of Contents
  • What Is Ozempic Face?
  • What Is Ozempic and How Does It Work?
  • What Causes Ozempic Face?
  • How to Prevent or Fix Ozempic Face
  • More Common Questions About Ozempic Face
  • Learn More About Ozempic and Weight Loss

If you’re taking weight loss medications or considering your options, you’ve likely wondered if you should be worried about the side effects circulating the front pages of news sites and social media. Hot topics like ‘Ozempic Face’ may raise questions about what’s considered normal on these GLP-1 drugs and what treatments are available.

Here’s a full breakdown of the GLP-1 drug side effect known as ‘Ozempic Face’—what it is, what causes it, and the top recommendations for reducing the appearance of facial aging after weight loss.

What Is Ozempic Face?

For anyone undergoing obesity treatments, from GLP-1 medications (such as Ozempic) to bariatric surgery, a drastic loss of fat throughout the body is the desired effect. Fat reduction in the face is bound to occur since there is no way to control exactly where this happens.

The loss of plumpness around the eyes, cheeks, and jaw can create an aged look. ‘Ozempic Face’ was a term that rose in popularity on social media after some GLP-1 patients noticed sagging facial skin, lines, wrinkles, and heaviness around the eyes after drastic weight loss. The phrase was first used on the TODAY show in early 2023 when dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank noted that more middle-aged patients were coming in with gaunt faces after losing weight on obesity medication (1).

Not every patient will experience ‘Ozempic Face’; for those who do, it can be more or less severe depending on several factors, including the rate at which fat loss occurs, the initial BMI prior to starting the medication, age, and genetics. This side effect is more common in patients who started medication at a lower initial BMI or are taking a higher dosage than appropriate. In summary, significant weight loss in a short time may create a gaunt facial appearance for some GLP-1 patients.

What Is Ozempic and How Does It Work?

Ozempic is an FDA-approved medication commonly prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes in adults (2).

The active ingredient in Ozempic is semaglutide, which mimics the body’s glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptors and results in various functions. This includes insulin secretion and appetite suppression to help with weight loss.

Ozempic promotes weight loss
by slowing down the stomach’s natural digestive process of emptying itself after eating a snack or a meal. This allows the person taking the medication to feel fuller for longer so they consume less food throughout the day.

Ozempic can be an extremely effective weight loss tool for:

1) those struggling with obesity (BMI > 30) or 
2) those who struggle with being overweight (BMI > 27) and are facing a serious health condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

What Causes Ozempic Face?

When prescribed by your doctor, semaglutide can be a safe and effective weight loss medication that mimics one of our body’s natural hormones to act as an appetite suppressant (3). However, these weight loss medications are not designed to target specific areas of the body. There is no way to precisely control where we lose weight (sometimes called “spot reduction”). When excess fat is shed rapidly, fat loss occurs both in the body and the face. 

Unfortunately, loss of facial fat tissue in a short amount of time can reduce skin tension and elasticity which can affect the appearance of facial fullness and youthfulness. In some patients, weight loss from Ozempic may lead to a “hollowed-out” appearance, “saggy” or “droopy” skin, lines, or wrinkles (4). This is the phenomenon commonly referred to as “Ozempic Face”.

How to Prevent or Fix Ozempic Face

Strategies to reduce the effects of 'Ozempic Face'

While there is no way to predict who will experience these unwanted facial changes, your provider can provide clarification on how best to prevent or fix this possible side effect.

If your primary goal is to prevent this from happening, your doctor may recommend the following: 

  • Maintain daily weight logs and regular check-ups to ensure your dose allows for weight loss at a healthy rate of about 1-2 pounds per week, according to the CDC’s recommendation and various studies (5, 6). 
  • Eat a diet high in protein to aid in natural collagen production, which is essential for the appearance of healthy skin. Oral supplements or topical collagen may also help reduce the appearance of aging skin as it boosts skin structure and elasticity (7).
  • Topical skincare products with hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and peptides have been shown to help with skin hydration and elasticity which can help plump skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (8,9). 

If your primary goal is to fix unwanted facial changes after weight loss on Ozempic, your doctor may recommend the following:

  • Simply “wait it out” to see if your skin retracts naturally. This is typically expected once you get closer to your goal weight, and fat loss is not as drastic.
  • Explore the possibility of dermal fillers to add back the desired volume or help minimize the appearance of unwanted lines or wrinkles.
  • Meeting with a specialized plastic surgeon to discuss surgical procedures to manage excess skin.

More Common Questions About Ozempic Face

Will Stopping Medication Fix Ozempic Face?

If you are experiencing unwanted facial changes after starting Ozempic, chances are you’ve wondered whether stopping Ozempic will fix this. 

The term ‘Ozempic Face’ is slightly misleading. Rapid weight loss is what leads to changes in appearance, not an adverse reaction to the medication itself.  Patients who stop their medication will likely regain weight. While technically this could help restore facial changes, it would also counteract the overall health benefits of the medication. In most cases, the benefits of continuing Ozempic outweigh the negatives. Consult your provider before making any major decisions regarding Ozempic*. After discussing your concerns with your provider, you may find that simply reducing the dose is helpful, or you may find other methods to combat unwanted facial changes without stopping your weight-loss efforts.

*It is not advisable to stop your medication without consulting with your provider first. Stopping Ozempic may result in changes in appetite, increased food cravings, blood sugar spikes, and weight regain (10). 

Do Other Weight Loss Medications Cause Facial Changes?

All weight loss medications can lead to facial changes, as they all lead to weight loss. When weight loss occurs rapidly from either lifestyle modifications, bariatric surgery, or various weight loss medications, patients can notice skin sagging and other less desired facial changes.

While Ozempic is the most well-publicized for this effect, other weight loss medications that may promote the appearance of facial aging include:

  • Wegovy (Semaglutide) - FDA-approved for weight loss
  • Mounjaro (Tirepatide) - FDA-approved to treat type 2 diabetes

When To See a Doctor About Ozempic Face

Talk to your provider about Ozempic Face if you’re interested in learning more or experiencing severe symptoms. While changes to your facial appearance such as skin sagging or wrinkles can be quite bothersome, they are not necessarily a cause for major concern. If you notice that your weight loss is asymmetric, or that your facial features changing is impacting your mental health, reach out to your physician.  Learn more about important safety information regarding Ozempic here (10).

Learn More About Ozempic and Weight Loss

If you want to learn more about GLP-1 medications or see if you might be eligible for medication-assisted weight loss, our team of medical professionals and obesity medicine experts is here to help.

Mochi Health is a comprehensive obesity medicine practice with access to 1-on-1 provider support from licensed physicians, 24/7 customer support, direct provider messaging, and medications delivered to your door. 
Learn more and see if you’re eligible for our weight loss program today.


  1. Hohman, M. (2023, January 27). Woman details experiencing “ozempic face” after losing 68 pounds on the drug. TODAY.com. https://www.today.com/health/ozempic-face-rcna67737# 
  2. Pella, C. J. (2024, February 13). Ozempic for weight loss: What is Ozempic & How it works: Mochi health. What Is Ozempic & How It Works | Mochi Health. https://www.blogs.joinmochi.com/blogs/ozempic-for-weight-loss 
  3. Rubino, D., Abrahamsson, N., Davies, M., Hesse, D., Greenway, F. L., Jensen, C., Lingvay, I., Mosenzon, O., Rosenstock, J., Rubio, M. A., Rudofsky, G., Tadayon, S., Wadden, T. A., Dicker, D., & STEP 4 Investigators (2021). Effect of Continued Weekly Subcutaneous Semaglutide vs Placebo on Weight Loss Maintenance in Adults With Overweight or Obesity: The STEP 4 Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA, 325(14), 1414–1425. https://doi-org.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/10.1001/jama.2021.3224
  4. Humphrey, C. D., & Lawrence, A. C. (2023). Implications of Ozempic and Other Semaglutide Medications for Facial Plastic Surgeons. Facial plastic surgery : FPS, 39(6), 719–721. https://doi-org.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/10.1055/a-2148-6321
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, June 15). Losing weight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
  6. Weinsier, R. L., Wilson, L. J., & Lee, J. (1995). Medically safe rate of weight loss for the treatment of obesity: a guideline based on risk of gallstone formation. The American journal of medicine, 98(2), 115–117. https://doi-org.offcampus.lib.washington.edu/10.1016/S0002-9343(99)80394-5
  7. Al-Atif H. (2022). Collagen Supplements for Aging and Wrinkles: A Paradigm Shift in the Fields of Dermatology and Cosmetics. Dermatology practical & conceptual, 12(1), e2022018. https://doi.org/10.5826/dpc.1201a18
  8. Juncan AM, Moisă DG, Santini A, Morgovan C, Rus LL, Vonica-Țincu AL, Loghin F. Advantages of Hyaluronic Acid and Its Combination with Other Bioactive Ingredients in Cosmeceuticals. Molecules. 2021 Jul 22;26(15):4429. doi: 10.3390/molecules26154429. PMID: 34361586; PMCID: PMC8347214.
  9. Wilding, J. P. H., Batterham, R. L., Davies, M., Van Gaal, L. F., Kandler, K., Konakli, K., Lingvay, I., McGowan, B. M., Oral, T. K., Rosenstock, J., Wadden, T. A., Wharton, S., Yokote, K., Kushner, R. F., & STEP 1 Study Group (2022). Weight regain and cardiometabolic effects after withdrawal of semaglutide: The STEP 1 trial extension. Diabetes, obesity & metabolism, 24(8), 1553–1564. https://doi.org/10.1111/dom.14725
  10. Ozempic® Side effects: Ozempic® (SEMAGLUTIDE) injection. Ozempic® Side Effects | Ozempic® (semaglutide) injection. (2023, August). https://www.ozempic.com/how-to-take/side-effects.html

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