Should you be doing facial exercises? Proponents believe they may help your facial muscles regain or retain a more youthful and healthy appearance. Read on to learn more about what it means to exercise your face, the potential benefits to doing so, plus some sample movements you can try.
How Facial Exercises Can Work
Facial exercises are repeated movements or specific expressions meant to stimulate and strengthen the muscles in your face. It is believed that this may help stave off the visible effects of the loss of elasticity and other signs of facial aging.1
Aside from fortifying the integrity of your facial muscles, these exercises, also commonly referred to as face or facial yoga, are also said to help support blood circulation. This, in turn, may help enhance skin health on the cellular level, contributing to a more youthful and glowing look.2
What Are The Potential Benefits Of Facial Exercises?
Small studies and anecdotal evidence support the idea that face yoga or a facial exercise regimen might have a positive outcome on facial appearance. Some potential benefits include:
- Firmer-looking skin, with increased fullness in the cheek muscles to support a younger-looking appearance.
- A rejuvenated feeling in the skin, due to improved muscle tone.3
- A more relaxed visage due to tension released from the facial muscles (which may also lead to a less-pronounced appearance of wrinkles).
- A glowing and fresh-looking face due to optimal blood flow to the facial area.4
As the landmark study on this subject is quite small, it is important to discuss with your dermatologist beforehand if trying facial exercises could exacerbate any existing skin conditions you might have. You can also ask your doctor how a simple facial exercise program, like the one outlined below, can work in tandem with your other anti-aging skincare strategies.
Facial Exercises To Try
Facial exercises often involve moving your facial muscles in repeated motions or into different facial expressions. Here are some you can try if you’re curious.
Note that you should stop and consult with your doctor if you feel any discomfort while performing any of these movements.
Extra fat or the effects of gravity can cause drooping and loss of definition in the jaw area. These exercises target the small muscles underneath the chin, as well as the ones surrounding your mouth.
- Attach your tongue to the roof of your mouth, behind your teeth.
- Add tension by pressing or applying pressure to the roof of your mouth using your tongue.
- Hum for an extended period to activate the muscles and feel your mouth area vibrate. Repeat 15 times for 3 sets.
- After, open your mouth wide, making an exaggerated ‘O’ while saying the vowel sound.
- Immediately pull your mouth back while saying an exaggerated ‘E’ vowel sound. Repeat 15 times for 3 sets.5
To stimulate and strengthen the front neck muscles and define your jawline further:
- Close your mouth and jut your lower jaw out.
- Your lower lip will come forward. Exaggerate the movement slightly by lifting your lower lip (a bit like you’re making a sad or pouting face).
- Feel the stretch beneath your chin and in the jaw area. Hold for 15 seconds before relaxing and repeating for 3 sets of 15 repetitions.6
This move is similar to the one done by the participants in the original study on the effects of exercises on the face. It targets the cheek muscles and contributes to tightening the area, resulting in a more taut and lifted look.
- Open your mouth wide, and cover your front teeth with your upper lip.
- Smile and feel your cheek muscles lift. Gently place an index finger on top of each cheek. Relax your face.
- Smile once more to lift the cheeks up. You should feel tension in the cheek muscle underneath your fingers as you do so.
- Repeat this movement 10 times, holding the upward lift for 20 seconds on your last repetition.7
This exercise targets the area around your eyes and eyebrows, potentially giving the soft and thin skin there (that is often prone to sagging) a boost.
- Gently place the three middle fingers of each hand in the patch of skin underneath your eyebrows. Push your eyebrows up.
- While looking straight ahead, use your forehead muscles to counteract your fingertips and push your eyebrows down. Hold this for 10 seconds.
- On the 7-second mark, close your eyes while keeping your eyebrows anchored in place. Repeat this exercise three times.8
This helps counter the loss of elasticity and sagging that is often visible in the chin area of mature skin.
- Place two fingers behind the chin, in the fleshy area right under where your tongue would be.
- Push your tongue up against the roof of your mouth. You should naturally feel the muscles around your fingers tighten and contract.
- Hold for a beat, then relax. Repeat 10 times.9
How Often Should You Be Doing Facial Exercises To See Results?
Many experts note that a facial muscle exercise program alone isn’t enough when it comes to anti-aging. But, coupling your facial exercises with a good skin care regimen might help amplify your efforts.10
In any case, it’s best to work with a facial exercise instructor who can properly guide you on the most effective movements and exercises to help you achieve maximum results.
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