A recent study in the journal JAMA Dermatology showed Face Yoga can make women look up to 3 years younger than they are. With science confirming the benefits of regular facial exercise are real, it’s time to unpack why Face Yoga works, and how you can start seeing results fast.
“Does Face Yoga work?”
That’s the question you’re asking right now, and to answer it we need to understand the science of your skin. Facial muscles, like any muscle, can be exercised to promote growth. With regular attention, you can grow the volume of your cheeks or lips for gorgeous, radiant features that demand attention. As your face becomes thinner with age – leading to dropping features and wrinkles – these natural plumping and volume-based exercises can also help to promote a natural facelift. Still, it’s hard to believe you can look younger by exercising from the comfort of your own couch, so we’ll unpack the science of facial exercises and show you just how effective this innovative wellness trend can be.
Do Facial Exercises Work?
That’s the million-dollar question. In a culture of “quick fixes” and fad beauty secrets, it’s natural to be skeptical about anything that claims to make you look younger or reverse the signs of aging. If you’re on the fence (and we don’t blame you) it helps to know that peer-reviewed scientific studies have confirmed Face Yoga, in the form of regular facial exercises, has been shown to slash years off your face with the right program (scroll to the bottom for that program). Put simply, Face Yoga exercises act as localized lymphatic drainage massages and workouts in one. On the one hand, stimulating muscle groups helps to stimulate your lymphatic system. This is your body’s way of removing unhealthy toxins and flushing your skin with healthy nutrients and improved blood flow. As your skin becomes hydrated and healthy, contours on the outer layer of your face are smoothed, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. At the same time, working out the 57 muscles of your face and neck has the same effect as going to the gym to work out your arms or legs. Only, instead of adding bulk, the small muscles of your face and neck become more toned, which stretches your outer layer of skin and further reduces wrinkles, creases and lines. So not only do facial exercises work, they offer multiple benefits in one.
What Does Science Say About Facial Exercises?
Face Yoga has exploded into the public consciousness thanks to beauty influencers like Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who swear by the face-changing benefits of facial exercises. As more and more attention is directed towards Face Yoga, it’s likely more research will be conducted, though science has already shown regular Face Yoga to be effective. A study through Northwestern University in 2018 centered on a group of women undertaking a 20-week routine of facial exercises. This routine involved 30 minutes of practice a day for the first 8 weeks of the study. Followed by 30 minutes a day every other day.
And the results were astounding. The participating women, aged between 40 and 65, were viewed as looking three years younger once the study finished – based on impartial dermatologists who gauged their age based on appearance. As a peer-reviewed and credible academic study, it’s clear that Face Yoga works, but let’s unpack why it’s so effective.
Right now there are 57 muscles in your face and neck, working in unison to help you show expressions of joy, sorrow, frustration, and practically any other emotion you need to emote. These muscles are supported by an extracellular skin matrix made up of the crucial fibers – collagen and elastin. It’s these fibers that are responsible for your skin’s tautness and firm shape, but unfortunately, these crucial factors decrease with each passing year. In fact, every year past 30 leads to a 1% to 2% drop in collagen. Naturally, with fewer fibers to hold your skin in shape, that skin becomes loose and wrinkles develop. At the same time, your body loses the puppy fat it had in your earlier years (if you’ve ever looked at old photos and seen your chubby cheeks you’ll have seen this puppy fat developing). While fat is often demonized, this fat provides volume and shape to your face. As you age, both fat deposits under the skin and the surrounding muscle tissue become weaker. This leads to facial features that become asymmetrical or feature that look “sunken” into your face.
What Causes Skin to Age and Sage?
- Hormone changes
- Exposure to harmful UV rays
- Depletion of collagen, elastin, and fat
- Repetitive facial expressions and movement
- Weakening of ligaments holding muscles in place
Absolutely. When you’re in your teens or twenties you don’t need to worry about muscle tone because your metabolism and physiological make-up take care of the job for you. But as the years pass your face isn’t able to keep its muscle tone without a little assistance – and that’s where Face Yoga comes in. There’s no need to be of a certain age, shape, or background to benefit from regular facial exercise.
Across 20 to 30 minutes each day of regular practice (consistency is key), Face Yoga helps to restore firmness to the crucial muscles in your face and neck that hold your features in place. At the same time, facial exercises stimulate lymphatic drainage which removes toxins and brings nutrients to your skin for a healthier, glowing complexion. It’s not rocket science, but it is body science. And your personal, customized Face Yoga program is waiting below.