Do facial exercises work?

There has been much interest in face exercises lately as men and women of any age want to preserve the youthful appearance of their faces. Evidence shows that face exercises actually work – there are many face yoga teachers who prove that very good results can be achieved. This is true for people even in their 40s and 50s.

However, to understand better how and why face exercises work, let’s take a look at the causes and consequences of aging.

The Aging Face

Aging affects all three areas of the face: the skin, the muscles and the bones.

Due to decreased hormone production, there is less collagen and oil produced in the skin, which makes the skin drier and more prone to wrinkling. Moreover, the skin gets thinner and the blood circulation decreases, providing it with fewer nutrients and moisture.

To maintain a youthful appearance of the skin, make sure to moisturize it well, especially when exposed to the Sun. Dry skin is much more prone to sun damage.

Aging also affects face muscles. Different references state that there are from 60 to 100 muscles in your face – no matter the number, there are a lot of them. With age, these muscles start to weaken and their grip on the bones starts loosening. This translates into a loss of facial volume and sagging.

Finally, let’s take a look at what happens to our bones as we age. Our bones get weaker and lose their volume – the bones literally start disappearing.

Below is a table of all the consequences of aging for the face.

AreaResult of AgEingReason
Skinwrinklingloss of collagen
skin thinningfewer stem cells
dryingskin produces less oil
because of diminished
hormone production
a decrease in blood flowthe skin is less passable
Saggingfacial fat loss and descendfat cells get smaller and move downwards
facial bone thinningloss of bones due to hormonal changes
facial muscles reduce in size,
strength and tone 
muscles are not used enough
facial muscles sagligaments that hold the muscles in place weaken
Facial linestense musclespermanently tightened mimic muscles due to overwork
Table 1: The face is affected by skin, muscle and bone issues due to aging.

Although the description above seems quite gloomy, there is still a lot that you can do to stay and feel younger. The Chinese say that the face is a hologram, and we have more power over how we look than we may think.

First of all, we need to make sure that more nutrients come to our skin through increased blood flow, as this will improve the condition of our skin.

Secondly, we need to keep our bone density by burdening the bones more. It is scientifically proven that straining the bones will keep them stronger. That is why regular exercise is recommended in old age.

Finally, we need to use facial muscles in order for them to get stronger. The everyday facial expressions are not enough as they only work the same muscles constantly. We need to engage all muscles of the face.

Benefits of Facial Exercises

Facial exercises are almost a perfect match for solving our aging problems.

Facial exercises:

  • Increase the blood flow to the face, improving the condition of our skin,
  • Preserve the bone volume (exercises that exert pressure on the bones), and
  • Make our muscles stronger by making them work hard.

While doing the exercises, you don’t have to think about which aspect of aging you are improving since almost every exercise addresses all the three issues at once.

However, there is another component that needs to be included for a comprehensive natural facelift – and that is relaxing the mimic muscles that are too tense in order to diminish facial lines.

And here we have our recipe for an effective and non-invasive facelift!

By now, you have probably become eager to try face exercises yourself. For this reason, I have prepared a set of basic facial exercises for you to embark on a journey to a natural facelift

Basic Face Exercises – the Secret to a Natural Facelift

Face exercises are easy to do and can be done almost everywhere, however, there are some basic rules that you need to observe. Below are the three rules of face exercises: finding, resistance, and relaxation.

Finding

Before you start your practice, you have to know which muscle you will be working on. Consult a drawing that shows all the face muscles, then find the muscle on your face. The drawing below shows all the major muscles of the face.

face muscles, face yoga
There are over 60 muscles in our face.

At the beginning, practice in front of a mirror to make sure you are using the right muscle and not contracting the other muscles.

Resistance

Providing resistance to a working muscle limits blood flow to the muscle. As soon as the resistance is let go, increased blood and oxygen flow enter the muscle, building the muscle up.

Relaxation

Each muscle needs to be relaxed after exercise. Otherwise, the tension and tightness might interfere with the blood flow, giving you a poor result.

Basic Tips for Facial Exercises

  1. Always make sure your face is relaxed before exercise.
  2. Apply some face cream or oil on the face prior to exercises to avoid any stretching of the skin.
  3. Warm up the muscles before you exercise them.
  4. Monitor your movements in the mirror. You will find that at the beginning, it will be hard to localize that particular muscle you are working on and will tighten muscles that you are not targeting.
  5. Never pull the skin. When using resistance, the muscle should move, not the skin.
  6. Stop if you feel any pain. You are probably using the wrong muscle. However, you should feel burn in the right muscle.
  7. When exercising muscles that mirror each other, make sure that you are doing the exercise equally on both sides – facial symmetry is the key to beauty.
  8. Exercise every day – being consistent every day, even if you do only an exercise or two, will bring you much further than doing a lot from time to time.
  9. Take the time for each exercise – it is better to do a few exercises properly than ten half-heartedly.
  10. Relax between the exercises. Breaks should be of the same length as the exercises.
  11. Focus on your breathing, do not hold your breath. Breathing with your stomach will give you the fastest results.
  12. After the exercise session, take time for a cool-down.

How does the warm-up look like?

You are basically warming up the upper part of your body. 

Make ten circular motions with the whole arm, rotating from the shoulder sockets. Then move the arms backwards. Repeat three to five times each way. This will loosen up your throat and shoulder area, increasing the blood flow to the face.

What do you do for the cooling-down?

Repeat the warm-up procedure. Then slump forwards, your head should be almost touching the knees. Breathe in and out deeply.

This will stimulate the lymph flow, draining all the toxins that were released during the exercise from your face.

The exercises below cover all the major areas of the face. Spend a minute on each exercise.

Forehead

Works on the frontalis muscle. Helps reduce and prevent horizontal frown lines.

  1. Lay your hands on top of each other on your forehead with the fingertips pointing inward and press firmly. 
  2. Now raise the muscle up towards your scalp against the pressure of your hands. At the same time, keep looking down to really feel the stretch.
  3. Hold for five seconds, then rest. During the rest, close your eyes and look cross-eyed.
face execises for forehead, face yoga for forehead, face muscles, face yoga, facial exercises
Press into the forehead with force.

Repeat four times.

Eyes

Works on the eye ring muscle. Helps to raise droopy eyelids and lessen the crow’s feet.

  1. Close your eyes.
  2. With your eyes still shut, tighten them, screwing them up and directing the pupils inward, cross-eyed. Hold for a few seconds. 
  3. Then open your eyes as wide as possible and immediately stare at a fixed point.
  4. Blink rapidly and repeatedly 10-15 times, then gently close your eyes again. 
  5. Wait until the pupils feel as if they have returned to normal.
Open and close your eyes with force.

Nose

Works on the musculus vasalis, the main muscle in the nose. Helps to prevent enlargement of the nose (which grows with age) by firming the muscle and keeping it flexible.

With your index finger, push the tip of your nose up then pull it down between your thumb and index finger. Repeat 4-5 times.

face execises for nose, face yoga for nose, face muscles, face yoga, facial exercises
This exercise helps make your nose smaller.

Mouth and Chin

Works on the lower quadratic lip muscle that moves the bottom lip and on the small triangular chin muscle. Helps to prevent the corners of the mouth and the chin drooping and to raise emerging jowls. Also improves the contour and tone of the lips.

  1. Open your lips while keeping your upper and lower teeth together. Pull the corners of your mouth sideways so that the bottom row of teeth becomes visible.
  2. Press your index fingers into the two corners of your mouth and, using the muscles, pull the corners down against the resistance of your fingers.
  3. Open your mouth slightly and lightly shake your head to loosen tension around your chin.
face execises for mouth, face yoga for mouth, face muscles, face yoga, facial exercises
Create resistance with your fingers to work the mouth muscles.

Neck

Works on the four main muscles that run down the neck. Helps to firm up the throat and lift the breast tissue, while increasing circulation to the whole face.

  1. Tip your head back and jut out your bottom jaw. Push your chin forward so that the lower teeth overlap the upper ones, and feel your neck muscles extend fully. Breathe the remaining air out of your chest.
  2. Turn your head alternately to the right and left, attempting to look over each shoulder. Hold the neck between your thumb and fingers, then move your head from side to side again.
  3. Let your head droop forwards and nod gently backwards and forwards then from right to left several times.
face execises for neck, face yoga for neck, face muscles, face yoga, facial exercises
Stretch your neck to erase any lines.

Make these exercises your daily routine and notice how your face is going to change. After working the major muscles of the face for some time, you will then add more targeted exercises for specific parts of your face to obtain even better results. 

Here is my video on the described facial exercises.

Happy exercising!

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