Is there a way to slow down aging without expensive and invasive procedures?
According to facial exercise practitioners, there is – and it’s called face yoga. Facial exercise is the daily practice of stretching the muscles in your face. Designed to combat aging, these exercises can help smooth lines, lift the skin around the eyes, tone cheeks and tighten necks.
The end result is a more elastic, clear, and healthy face. But does it really work? We go over how face yoga works and share some exercises for more youthful skin. If you’re short on time, feel free to skip ahead to our visual below!
How Face Yoga Works
Face yoga works by stimulating muscles in your face, many of which lie dormant and become weaker as you age. By strengthening the muscles and engaging them in resistance training, you can help your body increase circulation to the skin, allowing it to regenerate skin cells and become tighter, counteracting those visible signs of aging.
Facial yoga also focuses on relieving tension in the face, which experiences strains you form different facial expressions throughout the day. Engaging the muscles helps to keep the face rejuvenated and relaxed. While it’s not meant to replace anti-aging methods like sun protection, face yoga could help tone your overall features regardless of age.
Youth-Promoting Facial Exercises
Now that you understand how face yoga works, here are some quick and easy exercises you can add to your morning routine to start achieving that youthful definition.
1. Forehead Smoother
This exercise uses acupressure to remove tension at key points in your forehead. With consistent practice, this relaxing movement will help prevent wrinkles and smooth any persistent forehead lines.
- Make two fists and place them on your forehead.
- Apply pressure using your middle and index finger knuckles.
- Maintain pressure as you slowly slide your fists to either side.
- End at your temples, gently applying more pressure.
- Repeat four times.
2. Jaw Stretch
By tightening your jawline with this neck firming exercise, you can prevent fine lines, trim up any unwanted fat in the jaw, and firm up a selfie’s biggest enemy – the double chin.
- Pucker your lips to one side until you feel a stretch in your cheek.
- Turn your head to that side and lift up at a 45 degrees angle.
- Hold for 3 seconds to feel the stretch in your neck.
- Repeat once, and then switch to the other side.
3. Manual Face Lift
While smiling a lot is a good thing, it can also leave you with smile lines. This all-over exercise helps to smooth your nasolabial folds (smile lines) and promote circulation in your face to get that youthful, healthy complexion.
Alternative to: face fillers, mid-face lifts
- Place both palms on your temples.
- Push your palms up and back to lift the sides of your face.
- Make an “O” shape with your mouth and drop your jaw.
- Hold for 5 seconds and repeat two more times.
4. Cheek Plumper
Round cheeks are a trademark of a youthful, “baby-like” face. Work the muscles in your cheeks upward and push against the natural gravity of your skin to give them a more lifted and plumper appearance.
- Close your lips tightly.
- Suck your cheeks in, forming “fish lips” with your mouth.
- Hold this position for up to 10 seconds.
- Repeat 5 times.
5. Temple Lift
Droopy eyelids are another common sign of aging. By lifting your temples on a regular basis, you can help smooth out any sagging skin and folds near your eyes.
- Lift one arm up over your head, placing fingertips on your temples.
- Position your ring finger on the corner of the eyebrow.
- Press down to lift and then drop your head towards your shoulder.
- Hold this pose for a few seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
6. All-Over Face Firmer
This advanced yoga exercise effectively engages your entire face. It has the effect of toning, defining, and activating both cheeks and lower regions of the face. As you stretch, you should feel a slight burning in the corners of your mouth and cheeks — the type of burn you get from a good workout.
- Form an “O” with your mouth and fold your lips over your teeth.
- Smile with the corners of your mouth.
- Place your fingers on your cheeks and apply firm pressure.
- Close your eyes and pull your chin away from your face.
- Hold for 20 seconds, and then repeat three times.
7. Eye Firmer
By “stretching” your eyes and applying pressure to the areas around it, you can help fill out the lines that come from the dreaded crow’s feet. This exercise can also give you a morning wake-up call by smoothing eye bags and calming puffy eyes.
- Form a “V” with your fingers and place them on your eyebrows.
- Apply pressure and then, without tilting your head, look up to the ceiling.
- Raise your lower eyelids to form a squint.
- Relax, then repeat six more times.
- Finish by squeezing your eyes shut for 10 seconds.
8. Giraffe Neck
Since the skin around it is thinner, your neck is one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Stretching the platysma muscle in your neck on a daily basis can help firm up the natural looseness of the décolletage and even smooth your jawline and mouth area.
- Place your fingertips on your collar bones.
- Tilt your head backward and tightly pucker your lips.
- As your head is tilted back, jut out your lower lip and place your fingers on your collarbone.
- Bring your head back to the chest and repeat two more times.
- Hold for four deep breaths.
Does Face Yoga Really Work for Anti-Aging?
There is evidence that shows that face yoga can work for anti-aging. A study conducted by Northwestern Medicine showed that a 30-minute daily facial exercise maintained for over 20 weeks could make middle-aged women look up to three years younger. The participants reported measurably fuller cheeks and firmer skin.
But like any form of exercise, you will need to commit to the regiment to effectively strengthen those muscles. For best results at home, experts suggest doing face yoga up to six days a week for around 30 minutes a day.
Since it doesn’t require any equipment, face yoga is a low-cost, non-invasive, and simple way to achieve skin-perfecting results. To supplement your anti-aging exercises, select a perfume or cologne that can give you a fresh, radiant, and youthful aura.