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The Controversy Around “Runner’s Face” – What Dr. Imber Has to Say

World-renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Gerald Imber, is warning people of the effects long-distance running can have on their body and appearance. In a TikTok video that went viral, he revealed that running can cause a person to age faster and may even give them a “gaunt and old” look.[0]

Dr. Imber said that running can be an effective form of exercise, as long as it is done in moderation.[1] He noted that running a little bit every day or a few miles a few times a week is fine, but anything more than that is too much. He recommends no-impact or low-impact exercise as the best way to get your exercise.[1]

The plastic surgeon also warned about the effects running has on the body, saying that in addition to the gaunt and old face, it can cause damage to the knees, ankles, and back. He added that the “repetitive beating” of running can cause damage to the face.[0]

However, there are a number of benefits to running, and Dr. Imber reiterated that there is nothing wrong with enjoying a run from time to time. Others who commented on the video agreed, saying that running keeps them sane and sober.[2]

But this phenomenon known as “runner’s face” has been debated in the running community. While some claim that the impact of running has caused the skin on their face to sag, others such as Dr. Charlotte Woodward of River Aesthetics say that the motion of running, combined with other factors such as sun damage, can age the face.

Dr. Kiya Movassaghi also said that ‘runner’s face’ is caused by a loss of volume and skin elasticity due to the decrease of collagen and elastin production as we age.[3] He added that UV ray exposure can speed this process up.[3]

The doctor’s controversial take on running has been viewed 1.8 million times and has received more than 4,000 comments.[2] Despite the warnings, there are still fans of running who defend the activity, saying that it makes them feel great despite the potential of an aged look.

0. “Surgeon Reveals The Exercise That Makes You Age Faster And May Cause A “Gaunt, Old Face”” Evie Magazine, 2 Mar. 2023,

1. “Plastic Surgeon Warns 1 Type of Exercise Ages Your Face Faster” TODAY, 6 Mar. 2023,

2. “I’m a plastic surgeon and your favourite hobby could be ageing you faster – here’s what to do instead…” The Sun, 2 Mar. 2023,

3. “I’m a plastic surgeon and the worst exercise for ageing will give you a gaunt, old face” Express, 6 Mar. 2023,

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