‘Ozempic Face’: The Popular Weight Loss Drug Is Dramatically Changing Peoples’ Appearances

By: David Donovan | Last updated: Jul 01, 2024

Everybody’s discussing Ozempic. Celebrities, the ultra-wealthy, and some members of the general public have made the medication for type 2 diabetes the most popular weight loss option.

However, it has become abundantly clear that the drug’s main component, semaglutide, is causing what many people refer to as “Ozempic Face,” in which a person’s skin loses its elasticity and begins to look years younger in a matter of months.

What Is Ozempic?

Ozempic was made to treat type 2 diabetes by making people’s levels of the hormone called incretins higher. Incretins help the body make insulin when it’s needed and reduce how much glucose the liver makes.

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Ozpemic is made with semaglutide, which also makes the brain believe that the stomach is full even though it isn’t. Consequently, it functions well as a weight reduction drug.


Ozempic and Wegovy Recommendations

Although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has endorsed Ozpemic to treat type 2 diabetes, it has not endorsed the medication as a solution for weight reduction. Recommending a patient without type 2 diabetes Ozempic is in fact unlawful, yet it still occurs.

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Be that as it may, while everybody knows the name Ozpempic, what many individuals are really taking is Wegovy. The chemical composition of Wegovy and Ozempic is nearly identical, and it was developed and approved specifically for use in obese patients.

Negative Effects of Ozempic

Despite the FDA’s approval of these two medications, they should not be taken lightly. Using either Ozpemic or Wegovy in the wrong way can be very bad for your health.

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As per Ozempic, the most well-known side effects are “nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting,” however numerous people who have taken the drug have had far more damaging outcomes than stomach aches.

Drug Misuse

The semaglutide in both Ozempic and Wegovy can and frequently does cause severe changes in the intestine and digestion, making their misuse extremely risky.

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Pancreatitis, inability to absorb nutrients, and, in some instances, gastric, colon, or intestinal cancer are all possible outcomes of these changes.

No Perscription

Furthermore, certain individuals have determined that they are so anxious to get fitter rapidly that they will buy either Ozempic or Wegovy on the black market on the off chance that they can’t get the medicine from their doctor.

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Unsplash user Steven Cornfield

On the web, there are undeniably fewer guidelines, and an individual might be getting a weakened or even totally different medication than they assumed they were buying.


Risk Factor

Despite the fact that no one should attempt to buy such a dangerous medication online, those who do receive a prescription for the right medication from their doctor still run the risk of experiencing a number of undesirable side effects.

a man holding his stomach with his hands wearing a blue t-shirt

Unsplash user Towfiqu barbhuiya

One of these is what is being referred to as “Ozempic Face.” Even though Ozempic Face isn’t technically fatal or dangerous, it is an unwanted side effect.


What Is Ozempic Face?

When a person who is taking Ozempic or Wegovy for weight loss begins to experience facial sagging or premature aging, they have Ozempic Face.

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X user BSFcharity

Dr. Adil Sheraz, an expert dermatologist at the British Skin Foundation, stated: “The face has a layer of fat that essentially stretches the skin. Ozempic results in rapid weight loss and does so very effectively. This, of course, will lead to rapid loss of subcutaneous (under the skin) facial fat.”


Skin Shrinking

Dr. Sheraz proceeded, “The overlying skin however will not be able to shrink at the same rate, resulting in a sagging, droopy and wrinkled appearance.”

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Unsplash user Siora Photography

In essence, loose, sallow skin can make a person appear to have aged several years or even decades in just a few months or weeks. Contingent upon an individual’s facial flexibility, this incidental effect can influence some more than others, however, it is incredibly normal.


Common Occurrence

Since the drug became a popular weight loss tool, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, a New York dermatologist, told the New York Times that he sees Ozempic Face “every day.”

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Unsplash user Sam Moghadam Khamseh

Dr. Frank elaborated “A 50-year-old patient will come in, and suddenly, she’s super-skinny and needs filler, which she never needed before. I look at her and say: ‘How long have you been on Ozempic?’ And I’m right 100 per cent of the time.”


Celebrities on Ozempic

According to a shocking Gallup survey, nearly 15.5 million Americans have used injectable weight loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy.

Façade of the Gallup, Inc. headquarters building in Washington D.C.

Gallup, Inc.

Ozempic Face is clearly a real side effect of taking the drug to lose weight, and people like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Osbourne, her mother Sharon, Jessica Simpson, and Scott Disick have all experienced it.


Poor Solution

Despite the fact that Ozempic and Wegovy will positively assist somebody with getting in shape, the advantages stop there. 

pregnant woman touching her belly and carrying a digital bathroom scale

Unsplash user Volodymyr Hryshchenko

The medications are known to cause malfunctions inside the digestion tracts and might prompt deadly illnesses like pancreatitis and cancer

As if that weren’t bad enough, once a person stops taking the medication, they will gain back two-thirds of the weight they lost, and for many, their Ozempic Face will never be the same again.


How Does Ozempic Work?

According to UC Davis, Ozempic tricks your brain by mimicking a naturally occurring hormone found in the body. When taking Ozempic, your digestion slows and the rise in hormone levels tells your brain that you feel full.

A person covers the stomach with their hands while wearing blue denim pants.

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Experts compare the effect of taking Ozempic to bariatric surgery which reduces the size of your stomach to achieve a similar “full-feeling” effect so you eat less.


Weight Loss Outcomes

In 2022, a study was conducted by Jama Network that examined the effectiveness and outcomes for patients who used semaglutide treatments to manage being overweight or obese.

An empty plate of food that says weight loss.

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The study followed a cohort of 175 patients in the overweight or obese category and set up a random trial in a clinical setting to gauge its effectiveness.


Study Objective

The study, titled” Weight Loss Outcomes Associated With Semaglutide Treatment for Patients With Overweight or Obesity,” set out to determine weight loss outcomes for patients, noting no such specific study had been done before this point.

A person holds a tape measure in their hand.

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“No retrospective cohort study has assessed the effectiveness of semaglutide at doses used in randomized clinical trials to treat obesity (ie, 1.7 and 2.4 mg),” said the study.


Exposure Protocol

Data was collected from participants in the study between January 1 2021 and March 15, 2022 who were subjected to “weekly 1.7-mg or 2.4-mg semaglutide subcutaneous injections for 3 to 6 months.”

A tape measure is wrapped around a fork held in the air.

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Patients were selected if they had a body mass index of 27 or more and were excluded if they had a medical history of bariatric procedures, or had other health history that could affect the results.


Study Findings

The study looked at two different timelines on weight loss for study participants. On average, the study patients had a total body weight loss of 5.9% at 3 months and 10.9% at 6 months. 

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However, the study does note that these results are not indicative of long-term weight loss and notes that “Studies with longer periods of follow-up are needed to evaluate prolonged weight loss outcomes.”


Ozempic Butt

Another phenomenon among users of Ozempic is called “Ozempic butt.” Much like Ozempic face, the butt version involves a look of sagging skin related to the use of semaglutide.

Someone's back is turned and they are wearing pink pants and a rainbow flag.

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“My dad said, ‘You don’t have a butt anymore,’” said Jess Loren a digital-tech CEO to the New York Post. “I try on bathing suits and I’ve got ‘ghost *ss,’ or what people online call ‘Ozempic butt.’”


Hating the Look

Users of Ozempic are sometimes unhappy with the results on their body, even if they are successful in getting the weight off that they wanted.

A woman works out on a matt while wearing orange pants.

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“I hate my Ozempic butt,” said Genz Z mom Alexus Brookshire who lost 102 pounds since starting Ozempic. “It does not look awful in a bathing suit, but I would love to improve it by getting in the gym.”


Treating Ozempic Saggy Skin

Although Ozemic can cause unattractive-looking sagging skin on the face and butt of a user, people are not necessarily stuck with the look. 

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Human skin has a natural elasticity, if someone is able to maintain a stable weight for an extended period of time, skin can correct itself somewhat to a person’s new shape.


Avoid Losing Weight Too Quickly

The speed of weight loss for people who take Ozemic is one of the reasons for the unattractive stretching of skin. Health experts recommend that people who want to lose weight do so slowly and with purpose.

A frowning face on a plate against a pink background.

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“Typically, when patients lose weight, it happens gradually, which allows the skin to contract and shrink slowly along with the weight loss,” says Phillip Kadaj, MD, a medical expert with JustAnswer.


Not Much Time

Kadaj warns that because Ozempic weight loss can happen over a much faster time period, it moves too fast for your skin to adjust to.

A woman chasing a rabbit inside a clock.

Source: EPTrilhas/Wikimedia

“This can give the face an appearance of having aged,” said Kadaj about Ozempic creating the appearance of sagging and wrinkles through extra skin.


Weight Loss Recommendation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommendations for someone wanting to undergo a weight loss journey.

A sign for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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For people looking for a healthy weight loss plan, the CDC recommends only losing one or two pounds per week at the most, saying that people who lose at this rate are more likely to keep the weight off than those who go faster than this.


Ozempic Can Be Faster

Depending on how much you initially weigh, Ozempic might contribute to your body weight loss faster than what the CDC recommends, especially if someone adds other weight-loss efforts into the mix.

Three needles with colored liquid inside on a blue surface.

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“Clinical trials showed that the average person taking Ozempic lost roughly 5% of their body weight by 20 weeks,” says hypertension specialist Raoul Manalac. ”For a 220-pound person, that’s about half a pound per week.”


Praise By Celebrities

Some famous celebrities have come out in support of Ozempic. In December, former TV host Oprah Winfrey revealed that she had been using the medication as a “maintenance tool” and extolled its virtues.

Oprah Winfrey smiling wearing a pink top.

Source: INTX/Wikimedia Commons

“The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift,” said Winfrey to People Magazine.


Criticism of Oprah

Critics of the Winfrey interview felt that she had a financial motive in promoting the product.

Oprah Winfrey smiles at the camera during a red-carpet event

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“Oprah has a financial incentive with Ozempic,” said fitness instructor Jillian Michaels. “Oprah, I believe, is one of the biggest shareholders of WeightWatchers, and WeightWatchers is now in the Ozempic business.”


Amy Schumer

Last June, comedian Amy Schumer confirmed in a chat with Andy Cohen that she had previously tried the drug but had to quit even after seeing some promising results.

Amy Schumer looks to the side at an event in 2015.

Source: Anna Hanks/Wikimedia

Schumer experienced side effects that made her feel sick and left her unable to play with her son. She admitted she had to try because “everyone and their mom is going to try it.”


Tracy Morgan

In August last year, actor Tracey Morgan revealed his weight loss progress was due to Ozempic.

Tracy Morgan lays his hand against his hands while staring to his right.

Source: David Shankbone/Wikimedia

“No, that’s Ozempic. That’s how this weight got lost,” Morgan said in response to Hoda Kotb suggesting he had been working on his body and health. “I went and got a prescription and I got Ozempic and I ain’t letting it go!”


Sharon Osbourne

Last year in November, Sharon Osbourne discussed her recent weight loss, which she attributed to Ozempic.

Sharon Osbourne smiles in a picture from 2012.

Source: Eva Rinadli/Wikimedia

“I lost 42 pounds now and it’s just enough,” Osbourne said during an episode of Piers Morgan’s podcast. “I didn’t actually want to go this thin, but it just happened and I’ll probably put it all on again soon.”


Heather Gay

In November of last year, “Real Housewives” star Heather Gay told People magazine that she had been “on the Ozempic Train” for a long time.

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“I haven’t had massive results, but enough for people to notice, which is great,” said Gay.


Handing Out Ozempic

Chelsea Handler in 2023 in a podcast appearance said that her anti-aging doctor “just hands (Ozempic) out to anybody.” 

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“I didn’t even know I was on it. If you ever want to drop 5 pounds, this is good,” Handler said. Handler felt that the side effects made it not right for her and she eventually stopped using it.


Similar Drugs

While Ozempic has been making headlines and getting attention for its praise and use by celebrities, there are other drugs on the market that accomplish a similar effect.

White pills on a blue surface.

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Another popular weight loss drug marketed for obesity is approved in the US under the name Zepbound. Also, because there is no generic version of Ozempic, some have taken to making copycat drugs that change the formulation of the semaglutide.


Whoopi Goldberg

American actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg in an interview with Kelly Clarkson told her that she had lost the weight of “almost two people” since starting Mounjaro, a medication that is approved for treating diabetes.

Screenshot of Whoopi Goldberg speaking on “The View”

Source: @TheView/YouTube

“I’m doing that wonderful shot that works for folks who need some help and it’s been really good for me,” said Goldberg.


Kelly Clarkson’s Weight Loss

During the interview with Whoopi Goldberg, Kelly Clarkson revealed that she had been taking a weight loss drug, but not Ozempic.

A spoonful of sugar that has spilled onto the table.

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“Everyone thinks it’s Ozempic — it’s not. It’s something else,” Clarkson said. “But it’s something that aids in helping break down the sugar. Obviously, my body doesn’t do it right.”


Elon Musk

In 2022, Elon Musk responded to a question on X from user Eva McMilian who asked him “What’s your secret? You look awesome, fit, ripped & healthy. Lifting weights? Eating healthy?”

Elon Musk sits in a chair against a dark background with one leg crossed.

Source: Trevor Cokley/Wikimedia

In response, Musk replied his weight loss was due to fasting as well as the weight loss drug Wegovy. His tweet ended up going viral and helped propel these trendy weight loss drugs into the public eye.


Cheap Alternative

A recent trend on TikTok that has generated headlines is a cheaper alternative called “Rice-Zempic.”

A bowl of white rice on a table.

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This homemade drink has ignited a weight loss trend on social media because Ozempic typically costs $935 per month. However, this new drink made by combining rice, water, and lime juice is much cheaper by comparison. It’s unclear if there is any scientific backing to the beverage’s weight-loss claims.