It’s no surprise that in order to keep your body toned, sculpted, and strong, you’d start a workout routine. But when it comes to keeping your face in great shape, is face yoga really the right move? Science says… maybe.
What is face yoga, exactly?
Before we dive into what facial yoga does, it’s important to understand facial anatomy. Underneath the top layers of facial skin lies an intricate matrix of muscles responsible for expressions and, of course, chewing. In between those muscles are fat pads, which give a youthful plumpness to your face. Remember the cheeks from your teen years? Yeah, those. In your 30s and beyond, however, skin loses elasticity, muscle tone weakens, and facial fat pads around your eyes and jaw not only thin out, but also head south—the perfect storm for an older, tired, saggy appearance. Because muscles and fat are so subdermal, solutions tend to be more invasive—lasers, fillers, or a facelift. Or, you could hit the (face) gym.
What does face exercise do?
Facial exercise, face fitness, face yoga - whatever you call it, is exactly what it sounds like: intentionally and strategically massaging your face with your hands or a device, like the Rejuvenate & Restore Beauty Tool, or moving through a series of surprisingly therapeutic expressions. Just like a workout for your body (but far less intense than lunges), face exercise is meant to activate and build muscles so they get stronger. The results, advocates say, are twofold: Strong face muscles impart a taut, contoured look to your appearance, and they can also help hold the fat pads in place. Cheekbones have entered the chat.
A free facelift? Seems too good to be true!
Yes and no, according to the results of a 2018 study. Sixteen women ages 40-65 years old with mild to moderate facial sagging attended facial exercise training sessions with a certified instructor, and then performed 30 minutes of exercises daily for 8 weeks, and 30 minutes every other day from weeks 9-20. Afterward, a panel of dermatologists noted a significant improvement in upper and lower cheek fullness and deemed participants to be 3 years younger than their actual age. The women were pleased with the outcome, too, noting improvement in 18 of 20 of their facial features.
While this is enough to raise an eyebrow—the non-face yoga kind—keep in mind two factors: the study was small, and the lack of a control group weakens the evidence that facial exercise was the real reason behind the womens’ more youthful look.
Doesn’t moving your face cause wrinkles?
It’s the million—or rather, several hundred—dollar question. If you’re thinking face yoga could undo your Botox or even lead to more lines, you wouldn’t be wrong. Dermatologists caution against frowning, furrowing your eyebrows, squinting, big toothy grins, or any other exaggerated, line-etching movements. Some methods can also overstretch the skin, accelerating the loss of elasticity.
Ready to be a face yogi? Do it the right way.
If you’re intrigued by the anti-aging effects of face exercise, here are 3 moves to try, in a rotation for 30 minutes total:
- The Cheek Lifter: Open your mouth and form an ‘O’, positioning your upper lip over teeth. Smile to lift your cheek muscles up, and place your fingers lightly on the top part of your cheek. Release cheek muscles to lower them, then lift back up. Repeat lowering and lifting for one minute.
- The Neck and Jaw Toner: Gently turn your head to one side and lift up your chin. Bring your tongue up in the direction of your nose. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side and alternate sides several times. Finish by tilting the head back and placing your tongue on the roof of the mouth–you should feel a tightening sensation under your chin. Hold for 30 seconds.
- The Cheekbone Sculpter: Smile without showing your teeth, purse lips together, and force cheek muscles up. Place your fingers on the corners of the mouth and slide them up to the top of the cheeks, holding for 20 seconds
After your face yoga routine, clean your skin and apply Neolastin skincare products that nurture and tone your skin with NUFLEX™ technology, helping to boost your post-workout results. A three-step system, like Your Beautiful Skin Trio works best since it includes a firming eye cream, antioxidant-rich serum and hydrating moisturizer.
The bottom line? Don’t skip workouts.
What face yoga lacks in price (it’s free!), it makes up for in time commitment. Consistency is key, so carve out time to “work out” daily for best results—and the potential to look 3 years younger.