- Exercises for the facial muscles help add more volume to the face and make skin look firmer
- This can be a non-toxic way to look younger, as opposed to other anti-aging treatments
- After 20 weeks of exercise, women look three years younger than their actual age.
Women always yearn to look younger and indulge in anti-aging treatments, which most often do not guarantee positive results. Here is the answer to youthful and younger looking skin - it is simple, pocket-friendly and no side effects.
Facial exercises for about 30 minutes every day or on alternate days for 20 weeks improve the facial appearance of middle-aged women. In a recent study which was done, the women looked younger with fuller upper and lower cheeks. The study is the first scientific evidence to test the premise of facial exercise improving appearance.
‘Facial exercises target the 57 muscles of the face and combat aging problems like wrinkles, skin sagging, baggy eyes and face fat.’
Lead author Dr. Murad Alam said, "Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of aging. The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face became firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face
One main sign of aging is the tendency of the skin to lose elasticity and fat pads between the muscle and the skin become thinner.
The fat pads, fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and give the face much of its shape. But as the skin becomes saggy, the fat pads waste away and slide, causing the face to droop.
"But if muscle underneath becomes bigger, the skin has more stuffing underneath it, and the firmer muscle appears to make the shape of the face more full," said senior study author Emily Poon, an assistant research professor in dermatology at Feinberg. "Muscle growth is increasing the facial volume and counteracting the effects of age-related fat thinning and skin loosening."
Training Sessions For Facial Exercises
The study participants were middle-aged women 40 to 65 years old, and they underwent two sets of 90-minute training sessions from a facial exercise
instructor. The women continued to do these exercises for a total of 20 weeks. The exercises were done daily for the first eight weeks for 30 minutes. From nine to 20 weeks, they did the same exercises every alternate day for 30 minutes.
"Facial exercises that may be beneficial include those that entail puckering and squeezing the cheeks," Alam said. "Many muscles collectively allow movement of the cheeks, and our study showed that building these up makes the upper and lower cheeks look fuller."
Effectiveness of the Facial Exercises
To find out the outcome of the facial exercises, the participants were photographed and were assessed by two blinded dermatologists. By using a standardized facial aging scale, the Merz-Carruthers Facial Aging Photo sales, the dermatologists rated 19 features of the face. The assessment was done at three different time points: at the beginning, at week eight and week 20.
They also rated each participant's age at the beginning, at eight weeks and week 20. Lastly, they asked how happy participants were with the results.
After 20 weeks of exercise, the raters found that:
- Upper cheek and lower cheek fullness were significantly enhanced
- The average patient age decreased over the course of the study, meaning that they seemed younger
- Before the facial exercises, dermatologists had rated the average age of the women as 50.8 years. This average rate fell to 49.6 years at week 8, and to 48.1 years at week 20. This amounts to almost a 3-year decrease in age appearance in 20 weeks!
Most of the participants also reported that were highly satisfied with the results and noticed an improvement on nearly all the facial areas that were rated.
Facial Exercises For A Younger You
These exercises target the facial muscles and have been found to be effective in changing the way you look.
Exercises that Reduce Wrinkles:
For a wrinkle-free forehead, place your palms on your eyelids and then raise the forehead as far back as you can. By using the inside of your fingers like a comb and applying pressure on the forehead, the brow area can be smoothened.
Face Tightening Exercise:
Place index fingers on the cheeks and smile as wide as you can. Use the fingers to push down the cheeks while smiling hard. The exercise makes the cheek muscles stronger and restores shape.
Exercise for Baggy Eyes:
Place the index finger of both hands at the ends of your eyes and place the middle fingers in between the eyebrows to form V shape with your fingers. Look upwards and try to move the lower eyelids higher. Relax the muscles slowly and repeat 6 times.
Make an "O" with your mouth and hide your teeth with your lips. Smile as wide as you can and keep hiding your teeth. Repeat this six times.
Neck Shaping Exercise:
To bring the neck back in shape, position the ends of your fingers at the start of the neck, pull the skin downwards, while tilting the head back. Bring head forward and repeat two more times.
- Murad Alam, Emily Poon, Gary Sikorski , Facial exercises help middle-aged women appear more youthful. JAMA Dermatology (2017).
- Raina D'souza, Ashwini Kini, Henston D'souza, Nitin Shetty and Omkar Shetty. Enhancing Facial Aesthetics with Muscle Retraining Exercises-A Review. J Clin Diagn Res. (2014). doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/9792.4753.