Does Bodybuilding Change Your Face?

People engage in bodybuilding for different reasons. Some do it for better self-confidence and self-image, some do it as a hobby while others go for professional competitions.

No matter what your reasons for bodybuilding are, there will be certain changes in the body as you progress. Our faces are like the first interface to the world. It is the first thing somebody looks at when they see us.

Simply put, yes. Bodybuilding does change your face. For most people, you will notice a face that is way more toned, attractive, sharp (especially the jawline), and you’ll have a much bigger smile. Additionally, any facial hair you may have will look a lot better too.

Needless to say, having an attractive face is a welcome change. But, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to the changes bodybuilding can bring about to the face. In this piece, let us try to learn more about it, does bodybuilding change your face? Keep reading to learn more. 

Does bodybuilding change your face? We're going to take a look at body fat %, muscle, etc to show the facial feature differences.
Does bodybuilding change your face? We’re going to take a look at body fat %, muscle, etc to show the facial feature differences.

Face Structure Explained

The face is a unique aspect of each individual. It is the most anterior part of the head, and is highly personal to each of us. Our identities are closely tied to our faces.

Our faces:

  • Help us express our emotions
  • Help us communicate
  • Help us see things
  • Help us ingest food
  • Allow us to smell and breathe

As we can see, our faces are highly rich in function and important for us. Let us look at the different parts of the face.

The face is anatomically divided into three sections:

  • Upper face: this part extends from the hairline to just under the lower eyelid. This part contains the forehead, the eyes and the temporal region.
  • Middle face: it extends from the lower eyelid to just above the upper lip. It is also known as the central part of the face. It includes the nose, cheeks and ears. 
  • Lower face: it starts at the upper lip and ends with the chin. It houses the only movable bone of our jaw, the mandible. It contains the lips, chin and jaws. 

Factors Affecting Face Structure

Although there is a multitude of factors that affect how our face looks, ranging from DNA to climate, here we will only look at the factors that are most relevant to our query. 

Facial Bones

The facial skeleton forms the basis on which our face structure is built. The face contains fourteen bones. Each of us has slightly differentiated bones which leads to our different faces. The bones join together to create our unique faces. 

Facial Muscles

Our faces consist of striated muscles. It’s how we smile and laugh. They are under our voluntary control. The facial nerve supplies nervous connection to the facial muscles. The muscles are a group of twenty that collectively affect our face shape. The stronger and bigger these muscles are, the more prominent our face is. 

Facial Fat

Like many other places in the body, the face is also used as a fat accumulation site. The body stores some of the fat in the cheeks and near the jaws. This leads to chubby cheeks and a less prominent jawline. Reduction in facial fat leads to a well toned face.

Body Fat and Face Shape

Body fat percentage is an essential measure of how toned our body is. The lesser the value the better it is, of course, there are lower limits. It so happens that body fat also directly affects how our face looks. 

According to several tests and studies conducted by the School of Psychology & Neuroscience, the University of St Andrews, and the University of Glasgow, body composition involving fat and muscle directly influences male facial masculinity and attractiveness.

One of the tests revealed that cutting down on fat makes the facial structure more likeable, the same test also shows that an increase in muscular mass also improves the facial structure. In fact, change in muscular components has a greater effect on the overall likeability of face structure.

This can be used to conclude bodybuilding indeed changes your face structure.

Note that it does not change the structure of your bones.

Instead, bodybuilding will cut down the fat on your face and improve the muscular profile, leading to a much more toned and well-built face. 

Consider this image of face transformation. What we are seeing here is a cut down of overall body fat. Which leads to fat reduction in the face. We are seeing a 25% vs 5% body fat reduction. Bodybuilding allows for this change by way of fat reduction and muscular enhancement. 

Another study conducted on female participants reveals similar results. This means that body fat reduction has similar effects on both males and females. Cutting down that fat will lead to a much more toned and well-defined facial shape. 

What Changes To Expect

It is important to know what changes you can expect to see in your facial structure as you work out.

  • The first and foremost change will be moving from a thicker, chubbier profile to a thinner and lower profile.
  • You can also expect the forehead to become more pronounced. Also, the cheekbones and the jaw should become more prominent than before. If you have significant facial fat, you should start seeing a thinner chin soon.

Over time, the muscles grow and give a well-defined look.

What Changes Not To Expect

It is also equally important to know what changes you are not likely to see. Many people think that bodybuilding can completely change how you look. That is not completely true.

Bodybuilding cannot change the overall bone structure. It is important to realize that your bones will stay the same general shape. In certain cases there might be bone growth and thickening, but that is a rare condition and not all that common. 


Coming back to the titular question, does bodybuilding change your face? It does.

Bodybuilding puts your body through a process of fat reduction and muscular enhancement.

This has its effects on facial morphology as well. The face becomes well defined, bones protrude and give off a masculine look.

Bodybuilding can actually do very well for people that want a toned and ‘attractive face’ as the face starts to look much better with regular workouts.

Leave a Reply