You’ve probably already heard about facial exercises or facial yoga but do facial exercises really work or are they just some crazy fad that many people have fallen for? I actually have a serious interest in this topic because if they’re anywhere near as effective as some people claim they are, then I for one would like to know more about them.
They’re not even a new concept, in fact, the likes of facial yoga have been around for many centuries but it’s only really taken off in the last decade due to its celebrity following. With the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston singing its praises, you can certainly understand why. Even Meghan Markle is said to part take in facial exercises to maintain her sculpted look but here’s the million dollar question, do they actually work?
What Do The Experts Think
Well, it’s a seriously debated topic and opinions vary widely from yes, they do work to no, they’re utter nonsense and could actually make wrinkles and sagging skin worse. Those who question their effectiveness say that wrinkles are partly caused by repetitive facial movements so purposely doing these types of movements will do nothing more than make the issue even worse.
Those that disagree with this say that there are certain ways to do these exercises in a way that doesn’t crease up skin but still tone and lift the muscles leading to firmer, less wrinkled skin. There are also those who have practiced these facial exercises religiously for many years and swear by them and have tons of before and after photos to back it up (although you could always argue that some cosmetic procedure or photoshop aided the after shot).
The Lack Of Research
The biggest problem is that there’s been very little research into their effectiveness and any research that has taken place has been on such a small scale that it’s hard to really come to any clear conclusion. However, the small amount of research that has been done has had promising results although again much more is needed before an accurate conclusion can be made.
There’s also the issue of how long it takes to see results. We’re not exactly the most patient of species and if we don’t see results quick enough, we do have a tendency to give up rather quickly and say “well that didn’t work”. Facial exercise is said to be just like that of bodily exercise in that you need to do it for several months before you start seeing any kind of significant improvement.
Be Careful Of Which Exercises You Try
If you do decide to try them then one thing that most parties agree on is that most movements that involve pulling, stretching or scrunching up the face or areas of the face excessively are probably best avoided. Exercises that require you to do these types of movements excessively are probably not going to do you any favors and are more than likely to cause existing lines and sagging to worsen and cause further lines and sagging to appear in the process.
Unfortunately, facial exercises have become such a popular trend to the point where the internet is now full of them and many of them are a little questionable to say the least. I ‘ve seen several online that tell you to squint your eyes excessively for so many seconds or purse your lips excessively and hold for however many seconds and I can totally understand why these may not be the best method.
The Facial Flex Is A Good Example
Some time ago, I wrote about Facial Flex which is a small facial exercise gadget that originally started out as a medical rehabilitation device for damaged facial muscles. It was so effective that it’s now ended up as an anti-aging device in the skincare world but (and it’s a big but) if it’s used incorrectly, it can cause fine lines and wrinkles above the upper lip.
This particular device is placed in the mouth and the objective is to open and close the mouth repeatedly and the tension of the device exercises the facial muscles in the process. However, if the skin isn’t keep taught and is allowed to crease up repeatedly (the skin above the upper lip in particular) then the user can end up with permanent fine lines and wrinkles above the lip hence why I can completely believe that certain facial exercises could cause more damage than good.
So What Kind Of Facial Exercises Should You Look For
You should be looking for facial exercises that do not pull, stretch, tug or crease up the skin. Instead, you should look for exercises that use gentle movements that limit these types of actions. You also shouldn’t overdo it as less really is more when it comes to facial exercises and doing too much too excessively could end up giving you the opposite effect.
Despite the fact that I used the term gentle above, facial exercises and facial yoga are actually pretty hard to do because you have to pull all sorts of faces without causing any skin to wrinkle or crease in the process and that in its own right is pretty difficult. I know because I’ve tried a few and it takes a serious amount of concentration to do them correctly. However, with a bit of practice, most people can get the hang of it pretty quickly.
Find Your Most Relaxed Resting Face
Another approach is to find your relaxed resting face and try to maintain it as much as possible. This actually made me giggle slightly not because I didn’t believe it because it actually makes a lot of sense since wrinkles are partly caused by repetitive movements like frowning. It was more because I have three young children aged 8 and under running around the house and the idea of maintaining a relaxed resting face for more than a few minutes at a time is pretty much an impossibility for me all in itself.
My actual response to this approach was “yeah right, not in my house”, but anyway, the idea is to sit in front of a mirror and take a few deep breaths until you feel totally relaxed and your face looks totally relaxed too. Next, you should take note of how your face looks and feels and try to maintain this as much as you can. Apparently, with enough practice, you can get exceptionally good at it and this practice is said to be pretty effective at preventing expression type wrinkles and fine lines.
Let’s Test This Out
I actually like the idea of facial exercise and personally think that if it’s done correctly it could have positive effects because I have tried some eyebrow/eyelid lift exercises in the past which I found to be really effective (don’t hate me non-believers). In fact, I liked the idea so much that I’ve invested in an entire facial exercise program which I’m currently using and monitoring the results (yes my husband thinks I’m a sucker and I’ve since been banned from using the credit card :Þ).
But in all seriousness, I’ll be monitoring the results over the next few months to test how effective these exercises can be, so watch this space for the outcome. What about you? Are you a believer or non-believer? If you’ve had any experience with facial exercise/yoga, I’d love to hear all about it so please free to share your stories in the comments below.