7 min read
12 Jan

We labor over our bodies in the gym, flexing and lifting and tensing to muscles to keep them firm and strong. Should our faces be any different? Believers in facial exercise—sometimes referred to as face yoga—believe that stimulating and building the muscles in the face can help maintain contours and elasticity, and even make us look years younger. 

Face yoga is a subtle combination of facial exercises, Hatha yoga postures, acupressure, massage and breathing techniques, aimed at relaxing facial features and toning up muscles. When practiced regularly, it helps to prevent and slow down the appearance of the signs of aging.

 But does it really work?

What Is Face Yoga aka Facial Exercise?

Essentially, it’s exactly what it sounds like: making repetitive motions and exaggerated expressions in order to activate and build muscles. Consider it resistance training for the face—by strengthening the matrix that holds everything up, sagging around the jaw and eyes might be less likely over time. Facial aging is caused by a loss of elasticity, as well as by the gradual displacement of fat pads between muscle and skin, which tend to slide downward over time. The idea behind doing exercises is that by building up the muscle, the fat pads will be more prone to stay in place, making the face appear fuller and more youthful.

We exercise our face every time we make expressions, and most people overuse certain muscles which ends up weakening the opposing muscles. When you frown often enough to create a crease, you're overusing those muscles and weakening the muscles that lift and smile, because you’re using those muscles less. Another rule is that muscles can only pull in one direction. So for every muscle pulling down, there's an opposite/paired muscle that pulls up. Researchers aren’t sure if face yoga actually helps. There are theories that facial muscles could aid in keeping fat deposits in place longer, but nothing has been proven by science just yet. It also won’t likely affect any existing wrinkles or sagging skin. 


The Benefits Of Face Yoga

It should be noted, though, that there isn’t much research about facial yoga or facial exercises. You shouldn’t expect drastic changes, though, and keep in mind that face exercises won’t alter the texture of your skin, though moving and stretching scarred skin through face yoga can lessen the appearance of scars. Face Yoga is believed to give the below minor changes and positive outcome as mentioned below:

A more radiant complexion

Face yoga exercises stimulate microcirculation and bring more oxygen to cells. This makes the complexion look more balanced, even and radiant. The breathing exercises help you to better manage your emotions, so your face looks calm and serene, and your eyes and features look softer. 

Softened wrinkles and plumped skin

With age, natural collagen levels decrease. As a result, the skin starts to sag and loses tone, and wrinkles become more pronounced. The advantage of face yoga exercises is that they don't just stimulate muscles; they also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. By practicing face yoga regularly, you'll tone up your skin, visibly reduce the depth of wrinkles, and make your face look smoother and less tired. 

A way to de-stress

When you perform face yoga exercises, you'll probably find that you feel more relaxed! These exercises are good for both the body and mind, as they relax facial muscles while acting on the nervous system, reducing stress. 

7 Face Yoga Exercises To Try At Home

It is recommended to do face exercises every day 5 to 10 minutes each day to start, eventually working your way up to 15 to 20 minutes per day as part of your skin-care routine and self-care practice. 

#1 The Cheek Lifter 

Open your mouth and form an O. Position your upper lip over your teeth and smile to lift cheek muscles up. Place your index fingers lightly on top of your cheek muscles, directly under your eyes. Release cheek muscles to lower them. Then smile again, thinking about pushing the muscles up toward your eyes. Repeat by lowering and lifting the cheeks 10 times. On the 10th time, hold your muscles up as high as you can and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat three times.

#2 Happy Cheeks Sculpting

 Smile without showing your teeth and roll your lips out as if trying to show as much lip as possible. Try to smile with the corners of your mouth so you feel a slight burn in the corners of your mouth. Press your index fingers into the corners of your mouth and slide the fingers up to your cheekbones as you press into the muscle. Lift the muscle up to the cheekbones, toward the corners of your eyes. When you get to the top of your cheekbones, hold for 20 seconds and feel the muscles tightening in your cheeks. Keep smiling with the corners of your mouth as you do this. Repeat three times.

#3The Eyebrow Lifter

Press three fingertips under each of your eyebrows to force your eyes open. Smile as you try to lower your eyebrows against your fingers. Hold. Then close your eyes and roll your eyeballs toward the top of your head. Hold for 20 seconds and keep smiling. Release and repeat three times.

#4 Jaw & Neck Firmer

Open your mouth and make an “aah” sound. Fold your lower lip and the corners of your lips into your mouth and hold tightly as you extend your lower jaw forward. Using your lower jaw, scoop up slowly as you close your mouth, pulling your chin up about 1 inch each time you scoop and tilting your head backward. Open and close your lower jaw 10 times. On the 10th scoop, your chin should be pointing to the ceiling. Hold this position for 20 seconds and think about the sides of your face lifting. Repeat three times.

#5 Temple Developer

Press your fingertips into your temples as you close your jaw, clenching your teeth together and tilting your chin up. Clench your teeth and concentrate on the temple region, thinking about trying to move your ears backward. Hold for 10 seconds, then clench your back teeth down and hold for 10 seconds. Your temple muscles should flex with each clench. Relax and then repeat three times. 

#6 Hot Towel & Oil

Gently press your face with warm tap water, and use a facial oil on your fingertips to massage the muscles. I pretty much just approximated massages I’d experiences with spa facials. Upward and outward is a good method.

#7 The Joker

Press on the nasolabial folds (the lines on either side of your mouth) with your middle and index fingers, then smile without wrinkling your eyes. Smile 50 times, then hold for 50 seconds.

6 Gravity-fighting Facial Exercises To Try At Home

There are around fifty muscles in the face, but they don't get a workout every day! This means that they may lose tone prematurely – and there is a direct correlation between this loss of tone and skin aging. You can help your face to defy gravity by practicing the following exercises every day for five minutes.

#1 Smooth forehead lines

To soften and smooth forehead lines, begin by placing your palms on the top of your forehead. Breathe in deeply and push the skin of your forehead upward. Continue to hold the skin in this position as you breathe out and look down as far as possible. Repeat ten times.

#2 Reduce frown lines between the eyes

These vertical frown lines are formed by repeated contractions of the muscles between the eyebrows. To soften them, begin by stretching the eyebrows with deep smoothing movements, starting from the middle of the face (where the frown lines are) and working outward. Repeat ten times. Next, apply even pressure with the palm of your hand on the frown lines, while breathing in and out deeply. Repeat this exercise five times.

#3 Make your eyes look more open, and smooth crow's-feet

To smooth the eye area, place three fingers (index, middle and ring) on your temples, then pull your skin back, applying moderate pressure, for five seconds. For an even firmer "grip," place your thumbs below your jawbone. Repeat this exercise five times.

#4 Reduce nasolabial folds and firm the cheeks

Also known as "smile lines," nasolabial folds are expression lines that go from the sides of the nose down to the corners of the lips. This exercise helps to smooth these lines while also working on the cheeks, for a firming effect. Fill your cheeks with air and hold the position for five seconds. Then transfer the air from one cheek to the other, holding it for five seconds each time. To work on smile lines, move the air to the upper mouth and puff out your upper lip, then puff out your lower lip. Repeat this exercise five times, holding each position for five seconds. To avoid puckering the lips during this exercise (you don't want to create new wrinkles!), you can place one finger on your mouth to hold it still.

#5 Plump the lips

The lips also lose volume with age: they gradually become thinner, and their outline becomes less defined. This exercise will strengthen the muscles around the mouth and help plump the lips. Breathe in and tilt your head slightly backward, making sure the position is comfortable. Breathe out, blowing about ten exaggerated "big kisses" up into the air. Extra benefit: this exercise is also good for the cheeks and jawline. 

#6 Redefine facial contours

A loss of firmness and definition around the jawline is one of the first signs of aging. This simple exercise provides a natural way to redefine and tone facial contours. Cup your chin in your hands so your hands are clasping your jawline, all the way up to the ears. Breathe in, then tilt your head forward so that you're exerting pressure while resisting with the hands (you could place your elbows on a table to make this movement easier). Hold the position for five seconds while breathing out. Repeat five times. In addition to your daily face yoga exercises, don't forget to use a skincare routine that's tailored to your skin's needs. To help you choose the most suitable products, you can take our online skin diagnosis. You'll get answers in just 3 minutes! 

The Bottom Line

A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair, so it’s important to pay attention to your scalp. If you notice any itching, redness, flakiness, irritation, pain, or excessive hair loss and these symptoms bother you, see a dermatologist. They can help determine if there is an underlying health problem or if you should change your hair care routine. You can also support a healthy scalp through everyday habits. This includes using gentle products and being kind to your hair. Don’t wash your hair every day, if you can. When you do wash it, gently massage your scalp rather than rubbing it. A diet rich in vegetables and fruit also supports a healthy scalp. Taking a fish oil supplement and probiotic may also be beneficial.