If you see a lady on the street doing strange facial movements while waiting at the bust stop or driving her car, don’t worry: it’s not because she has a tic or she is upset with you. Most probably she is doing her daily facial exercises; an easy, low-cost, non-toxic way for a more youthful and radiant complexion.
Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of ageing – Dr Murad Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine dermatologist said – The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face.
Our face has over 40 different muscles and unlike most of the rest of the body, a lot of these facial muscles are rarely used. By doing regular facial exercises, we improve the circulation of blood to the different areas of the face while replenishing the oxygen supply in the muscles and the skin.
The Best Facial Workouts
Only 30 minutes a day of facial exercises, or at least a few times a week, results in a younger appearance with fuller and firmer upper and lower cheeks. Here are the most popular workouts:
The Cheek Lifter
Open mouth and form O, position upper lip over teeth, smile to lift cheek muscles up, put fingers lightly on the top part of the cheek, release check muscles to lower them and lift back up. Repeat by lowering and lifting the cheeks. (Happy Face Yoga)
The Eye-Firming Cheek Plumper
Place both hands horizontally just below your lower lash line and on top of your cheekbones. Index fingers should be under your lashes, while your little fingers are just under cheekbones. Press your hands on the surface of the skin to hold muscles in place. Squint your eyes while squeezing cheeks up toward eyes—like making a squishy sour face. Hold for five counts and repeat three to five times. (FaceLove)
The Flirty Eyes
Place an index finger under each eye, pointing towards the nose. Hide the teeth and tease the top lip and bottom lip away from each other at the mouth. Flutter the upper eyelids while gazing at the ceiling for 30 seconds. (Danielle Collins)
Smoothing Smile Lines
Tackle smile lines by breaking down the tension in the muscle from the inside out by using the tongue. Starting up by the nose, stick your tongue inside your mouth and make a tiny circle on the labial line. Do five circles clockwise and counterclockwise on each side to smooth smile lines. (Koko Hayashi)
Alternatively, Go To The Gym!
From warm-up to cardio, sculpting to cool down, London based FaceGym method combines muscle manipulation techniques with hi-tech tools to lift, sculpt, tone and tighten such as a mini yoga ball to stretch the face, a radio frequency device to fight puffiness or a derma roller to boost collagen and smooth fine lines. The ultimate goal is to stimulate the facial muscles and restore the skin’s elasticity, as well as improve lymphatic drainage, circulation, and promote collagen production.
Focusing on the health and strength of your facial muscles as part of your self care routine will pay dividends when it comes to the appearance of key focus areas like the jawline, forehead and eye area – FaceGym founder Inge Theron said- Much like glute clenches while you’re waiting in line, or squats while you’re on the phone, any time you can fit facial exercises into your day is great. Try doing it morning or evening as part of your skincare routine, that way you get the added benefits of really working products into the skin too.
Costing between $70 for the 30-minute signature facial and $275 for more expensive facials that include radio-frequency, treatments are probably a bit on the pricey side for most of us but Face Gym must be doing something right as it now has six treatment salons in London and plans on opening another in LA soon.
Does Facial Exercises Really Work?
As Healthline.com reports: “Generally speaking, exercising muscles burns calories, which can mean weight loss. However, we don’t decide where in the body those calories come from. So, while facial exercises may strengthen your muscles, if what you’re after are slimmer cheeks, rhythmic smiling alone won’t get you there. The only healthy, nonsurgical way to reduce facial fat is overall weight loss achieved through diet and exercise. In fact, working out your facial muscles can have undesirable effects, such as making you appear older”.