Yes, Your Nose is Bigger: It’s Not Your Imagination

nose grows with age

by Ellen Blake

Looking in the mirror the other day, I noticed my nose seems larger. It’s always been prominent, but is it getting even bigger? Does your nose grow with age?

Do Noses Grow With Age?

The answer to the question, “Do Noses Grow With Age” is yes. Sort of.  I decided to go through some old photos to determine if this appendage was actually smaller in my younger years, or if I was just being overcritical of myself. No, my nose definitely appeared more petite in earlier years – and it seemed to be a different shape too.  I then started to discreetly examine other older people who have been a part of my life for decades. It seemed to me their noses looked larger as well. Was I imagining it? Apparently not. 

How Can My Nose Be Growing?

Bones stop growing sometime after puberty. Muscle and fat cells also stop dividing. But cartilage, the firm plastic-like connective tissue found in many parts of the body, including the nose, is made of collagen and other fibers that break down as we age. In addition, bone recedes with time, so less foundational support exists to hold up the skin and cartilage. The loss of skin elasticity also plays a role in altering the shape of our noses over time. The result is the drooping of various facial features. When our noses start to sag, our cheeks and lips lose volume, which makes everything else look comparatively bigger. Furthermore, the nasal tip may droop due to the weakening of supporting structures, which can also give the appearance of a longer or larger nose. So your nose is not actually growing, but it can look that way.

This phenomenon, often referred to as “nasal aging” or “aging nose” affects people in varying degrees with age. Genetics, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors can all influence the aging process and how it manifests in different individuals.

What Can You Do About the Changes in the Appearance of Your Nose?

Unfortunately, aging – and gravity – are both unavoidable. It’s just one of the many joys of growing older. While you can’t prevent your nose from drooping, you can minimize it. There are several strategies you can consider to help maintain a more youthful appearance and potentially prevent the perception of your nose looking larger as you age. 

Sun Protection

UV rays from the sun can accelerate skin aging, causing a loss of elasticity and collagen. Use sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection and wear hats and sunglasses to shield your face, including your nose, from the sun.

Healthy Lifestyle

A balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate hydration contribute to overall skin health and can slow down the aging process.


Keeping your skin well-hydrated can improve its elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, which may indirectly affect how your nose looks.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to premature aging and sagging.

Facial Exercises

There are certain facial exercises that claim to help tone and tighten facial muscles, including those around the nose. While the evidence supporting their effectiveness is limited, some people find them helpful.

Topical Retinoids

Prescription retinoid creams can help stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture and firmness. They may be useful for some individuals to maintain a more youthful look.

Makeup Techniques

Skillful makeup application can create the illusion of a more balanced and smaller nose. You can use contouring and highlighting techniques to draw attention away from certain areas.

Dermal Fillers

If you are concerned about volume loss in the surrounding tissues of your nose, dermal fillers can be used to restore lost volume and rejuvenate the appearance of the nose. Consult a qualified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for advice.

Consider Rhinoplasty

If concerns about significant changes in your nose’s appearance significantly impact your well-being, you might consider rhinoplasty (nose surgery). This procedure can address structural changes and improve the overall shape of the nose. Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss the details of this surgery, both positive and negative, before making the decision to move forward.

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

Aging is a natural process, and some changes are inevitable. Everyone goes through it. Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Part of the problem is that society places a strong emphasis on youthfulness and physical appearance, leading many of us to feel pressured to conform to certain beauty standards. In addition, the media, including magazines, television, and social media, showcase images of young and seemingly perfect individuals. Constant exposure to such images can create unrealistic expectations for us as we age and foster a sense of inadequacy. Some of us compare ourselves to our younger selves and this constant comparison can lead to dissatisfaction with the present.

So you don’t like that your nose appears larger as the years go by. I get it and feel the same way. But no one is as critical of us as we are of ourselves. Embracing self-compassion, self-acceptance, and focusing on positive aspects of ourselves and aging can help counteract that self-criticism.

Yes, Your Nose May Look Bigger As You Age

In a nutshell, while noses do get bigger with age, they’re not actually still growing. But it is absolutely not your imagination. Changes that accompany aging such as decreasing skin elasticity and loss of collagen can cause your nose to look larger. Try to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle to lessen the impact of the changes that may make your nose appear bigger on your face.

Most importantly, consider the fact that not everyone is lucky enough to continue to age. Sure, there are changes we don’t like, but keep in mind that beauty is subjective and everyone’s appearance is unique and valuable. Accept where you are in life and focus on moving forward with joy.


Some elderly individuals seem to have more prominent noses compared to their younger selves. However, this phenomenon is not due to actual growth but is primarily caused by other factors. Here are some frequently asked questions and corresponding answers to debunk the misconception about noses growing with age:

Is it true that the nose grows with age?

No, noses do not grow larger with age. The appearance of a larger nose in some older individuals is often the result of other age-related changes in the facial structure, such as a loss of skin elasticity and decreased collagen levels.

What causes the appearance of a larger nose in older individuals?

The appearance of a larger nose in some older people generally the result of the weakening of the connective tissues in the skin and the nasal cartilage. This weakening leads to sagging and drooping of the nasal tip and bridge, making the nose appear more prominent.

Can lifestyle choices affect nose size over time?

Lifestyle choices are not known to have a direct impact on the size of the nose. However, certain lifestyle factors, such as excessive sun exposure, smoking, and poor nutrition, can contribute to skin aging and may accentuate the appearance of changes in the nose’s shape.

Is there any way to prevent the nose from appearing larger as we age?

While you cannot prevent the natural aging process, you can take measures to maintain healthy skin and facial appearance. Protecting your skin from the sun, leading a healthy lifestyle, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking can help slow down the aging of facial tissues, including the nose.

Are there any health concerns related to the misconception about noses growing with age?

The misconception itself does not pose any direct health concerns. However, it is essential to understand the true causes of facial changes as we age to make informed decisions about any cosmetic procedures or medical treatments related to the nose or other facial features.

This article is not intended as medical advice. Consult your doctor about your questions and concerns.



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