Imagine a younger, thinner, tattered face with less lines and a radiant complexion. It sounds like a night cream or botox ad, doesn’t it? Actually, that’s exactly what face yoga can do!
Our face ‘s got muscles. So, like all the muscles in our body, they need to exercise. When they’ve got it, it’s toned, strong, supple and elastic. That is the magic of face yoga and face exercises. But, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, face yoga also helps ease stress and tension in the face.
So, how does it work? And, does it really work to make us look younger? Or, slimmer? Or, even make us feel better?
We are going to explore some of the scientific research on face yoga, as well as the Face Yoga Method. We’ve even tried out some quick and easy face yoga exercises and are sharing the best ones with you so you can try them, too.
So, look no further to see what’s behind the face of the newest trend in workouts.
- 1 What is the Face Yoga Method?
- 2 Does it Really Work? Here’s What Experts Say
- 3 What Are the Possible Benefits of Doing Face Yoga Exercises?
- 4 6 Easy Exercises that Work Your Face
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 References
What is the Face Yoga Method?
The Face Yoga Method was created by Fumiko Takatsu after a near-fatal car accident. The accident caused Fumiko’s body, head and face to heal asymmetrically. Fumiko decided to start training her face muscles, just like she trained her body. She noticed she could control the muscles of her face to improve their balance and tone. Furthermore, Fumiko found that it also helped her to regain her skin’s firmness, to look younger, and improve her mental well-being.
Face yoga incorporates exercising the facial muscles in a series of repetitions. Sometimes, the exercises are accompanied by self-massage. Facial yoga causes you to make expressions that are out of the normal range of expression (not unlike traditional yoga poses). Doing them in repetitions helps build our tiny facial muscles to tone and strengthen them.
The Face Yoga Method boasts these claims:
- Helps relax and tone facial muscles
- Increases blood flow to the face
- Provides more oxygen to face muscles
- Reveals a calmer expression
- Healthy, glowing complexion
- Plumper and firmer facial skin
Does it Really Work? Here’s What Experts Say
So, the vital question is: Does face yoga really work? The answer depends on whether you want to look younger, appear slimmer, feel better, de–stress, or regain muscle capacity. And according to some experts, the answer for most is yes.
Some researchers have found that doing facial exercises and moving these muscles cause expression lines. Dr. Gary Goldenberg, a prominent cosmetic surgeon, is dubious about the claims made about facial yoga. Specifically, he says that “wrinkles form in the skin due to repetitive muscle contraction underneath the skin”.
However, proponents of face yoga and facial exercises tell a different story. There are several studies that explore the use of face exercises to tone facials muscles. As such, they help contour and control the face while also appearing younger and slimmer. And, in some studies, facial exercises even help with depression and aid overall well-being.
Fun Fact: A study conducted on middle-aged women showed that 30 minutes of face yoga each day for 20 weeks made them appear three years younger!
Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine dermatologist, conducted the first study on the effects of face yoga. In fact, one of his main worries was that the exercises, with their repetitious expressions, would cause wrinkles. He found the opposite.
According to the study, doing face yoga regularly every other day for 30 minutes can show an improved appearance after just a few months. In particular, the increased blood circulation of exercise to your face will impart the benefit of glowing skin. Then, fuller muscles with less sag could happen. All of this means a younger looking complexion with fewer sags and wrinkles. But consistency is the key.
What Are the Possible Benefits of Doing Face Yoga Exercises?
We all know the value of makeup and contouring, as well as our best angles in a selfie to make us appear more attractive in photos. So, why not take it one step further by exercising a muscle group that is mostly excluded?
All the muscles in our bodies need exercise. So, wherever there’s a droop, there might be a muscle to tone. Here are just a few of the benefits of face yoga.
Many people try facial exercises as a natural anti-aging treatment. Thus, contracting and releasing muscles repeatedly tones muscles, even in our faces. One study showed that a series of facial exercises, including smile therapy, help us regain control over facial muscles.
Another study conducted on middle-aged women showed that 30 minutes of face yoga each day for 20 weeks made them appear three years younger.
There have been no published studies on the effects of face slimming exercises. However, one report stated that regularly exercising your facial muscles can tone the muscles in your face. This, in turn, gives you a slimmer face. And, thousands of videos, blogs, books, and Pinterest stories revel in the value of face slimming exercises.
Improved mental health
According to a 2018 study on elderly people, 12 weeks of facial exercise improved their mental health, facial expression, and tongue muscle power. Elderly people who don’t exercise regularly have been shown to have poorer mental health status than those who do, and exercise helps alleviate this. In particular, this study was for people who may have difficulty with full-body exercises. It found that face yoga was a valuable form of therapy for mental health for elderly patients who can’t participate in a full-body regimen.
Eases facial tension
Facial tension causes tension headaches and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).,, In particular, tension headaches are caused by tension in the muscle, bone or joint, and often, from the neck up. Face yoga is great for treating tension headaches.
Regain facial capacity
One study showed that facial exercises performed for 20-minute sessions, three times a week improved facial muscle function in facial palsy patients after just two weeks. Importantly, the patients also expressed that they felt less depressed.
And, another study conducted on 79 patients with moderate to severe paralysis found that after one year, all of the patients fully regained functional use of their face muscles.
6 Easy Exercises that Work Your Face
1. The Ultimate Face Slimming Exercise
This face yoga pose utilizes all of the face muscles. It helps to lift and tone neck and cheek muscles, and well as sculpt cheekbone and eye area muscles. It also helps relieve stress and tension in the face and forehead in particular. So, this helps to relax the face and brighten the skin tone.
- Sit upright with your spine in an S-curve, either on a chair or on the floor with your legs underneath you and your toes pointing behind you.
- Place your hands on your knees.
- Inhale completely, then forcefully exhale and come into Lion’s pose.
- At the same time as you exhale, open your mouth as wide as possible. Extend your tongue until the tip touches your chin. Open your eyes as wide as possible and look up. Extend your neck up and out. Keeping your hands on your knees, splay your fingers wide.
- Exhale with a loud whisper of “HAAAA” until all of the air is expelled from your abdomen.
- Hold this pose for 5 seconds or as long as possible until you can hold it for 30 seconds.
- Repeat 5-6 times. Try to do several sets of this exercise per day.
2. Face and Neck Rejuvenator
This facial yoga pose helps to exercise and tone your neck muscles, both in front and in back. The puckering motion also helps slim the cheeks, to help you appear slimmer.
- Lean your head all the way back.
- Keep the muscles in the back of your neck engaged.
- Pucker your lips and point them towards the ceiling.
- Extend your lower jaw and stretch it towards the ceiling, then release your lower jaw. Do this 3-5 times.
- Release the position and return your head to its normal upright position.
- Repeat steps 2-5 several times.
- Stretch your neck by doing several head rolls in each direction.
3. Face Fat & Double Chin Reducer
This facial exercise is a tough one! But it helps tone and balance your neck muscles while giving you a longer, leaner neckline. Note: don’t forget to stretch!
- Lay flat on your back on a bed so that your neck hangs off the side.
- Try to keep the muscles at the back of your neck engaged.
- Lower your head over the side of the bed and raise your head so that it’s flush with your body.
- Raise and lower your head off the side of the bed in reps of 5.
- Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions.
- Rest between repetitions.
- After completing the regimen, sit upright and stretch your neck by rolling your neck in both directions several times to release tension.
4. Jawline Sharpener
Sculpted cheekbones and jawline are within reach with this dynamic face exercise. The expansion of the muscles along with the resistance will help your muscles appear to give you a slimmer and more youthful look.
- Fill your mouth with air so that your cheeks puff out completely.
- Using your palms, push against your cheeks as if to expel the air, but don’t expel.
- Use the resistance of your hands to build muscles in your cheeks that will define your cheekbones and jawline.
5. Cheek Brightness Booster
For the smaller, finer muscles in your face, this face yoga exercise gives your whole face a workout. It can bring the glow back into your skin and help carve out your cheekbones in the process.
- Grasp the eraser side of a pencil tightly in your lips.
- Write your name in the air with the pencil.
- Do not move your head as you write your name.
- Do this 5 times, with short breaks in between.
6. Smile therapy
Smile therapy is a great workout to exercise every muscle that you use to smile. And, holding this extreme pose gives your cheek muscles the lactic acid burn of a regular workout, but just for your smile. So, it’s a great way to give your smile a boost, and it also reduces expression lines around the eyes.
- Smile as hard as you can.
- Stretch your eyes wide and raise your eyebrows to release tension in your forehead.
- Look up.
- Hold for ten seconds.
- Repeat several times per set.
After you’ve tried smile therapy, why not try laughter therapy? Not only is it excellent for your health and wellbeing, it’ll put you in a great mood!
While face yoga does not have much research to support claims that it reduces fat or the appearance of wrinkles, there is no shortage of people who attest to it being beneficial in these areas. However, science does uphold its effectiveness in reducing facial tension and encouraging muscle rebound in facial paralysis. So why not try it out for yourself to see if it works? At best, you’ll make your face brighter and more sculpted, and at worst, you’ll get a good belly laugh!