If you’ve never questioned the benefits of regularly exercising your body to keep fit and stay toned, then the idea of doing facial exercises shouldn’t sound as crazy as it does. After all, your face has over 50 different muscles, most of which rarely get used.
In short: if you run, devotedly practice vinyasa, lift weights, or take a HIIT class, all in the name of feeling good and improving your body, your face could use a workout, too. Ever heard about Face Yoga?
The Face Yoga trend
Although facial exercise is actually a centuries old practice, yoga teachers have popularised the trend. You might have heard of studios dedicating entire sessions to the practice, or even come across Fumiko Takatsu, founder of the Face Yoga Method channel on YouTube.
Undoubtedly, its biggest appeal seems to be the almost instant and very visible anti-ageing results. Some small-scale studies have shown that regularly exercising the muscles in your face visibly reduces lines and wrinkles, literally shedding years off your appearance – so much so that some have compared it to having a face-lift.
Face yoga: Why it doing facial exercises makes sense
There’s no reason that your facial muscles behave any differently than, let’s say, your biceps. Your facial muscles help determine the contour of your face. When exercised regularly, muscles that you probably don’t regularly use are being worked and will ensure they remain firm.
As you tone and sculpt your muscles, you improve bone density and muscle mass, preventing sagging and boosting collagen production. It’s fair to say that when it comes to finding a completely all-natural method of anti-ageing, this one’s pretty darn effective and ticks all the right boxes.
There’s no catch?
Regarding the anti-ageing debate around face yoga, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there, but research has backed it up. Still, studies have been small and large scale ones need to be carried out to truly validate the results.
In the meantime, you might not want to ditch your skin care products and routines, but you should certainly think about adding facial exercises to your repertoire – after all, there’s very little downside to performing them.
Plus, there are other benefits…
It’s not just about anti-ageing. Giving your face a workout has other equally wonderful benefits. For example, it increases blood circulation, supplying your skin cells with nutrients that help cell regeneration. This helps maintain that healthy glow. It also releases tension and can give you an endorphin boost, just like regular exercise.
Face yoga: How do you do it?
You can find videos on YouTube that teach you basic movements or ones that have full 30 minute routines; alternatively, you can find a local expert or studio that specialises in the practice – some even offer facials based on the fundamentals of facial exercises.
There are various types of movements that target different muscles in the face, but there are three that are popular and familiar movements. Try the exercises below, contracting your muscles by holding and releasing the expression repeatedly for 30-45 seconds:
- Push your lips out as if you’re going to blow a kiss
- Widen your eyes and lift your forehead in surprise
- Make a fish face, return to normal