Facial aging is a natural process and halting this is beyond us. However, there are ways to improve telltale signs of aging and even delay their appearance. Yes, you heard right! Harvard Health reported on a new study published in JAMA Dermatology found that routine facial exercises showed promising results and may slow the unrelenting tide of time.
In addition to external factors such as skin type, sun exposure, facial movement, and routine skin care, changes in facial skin such as sagging and wrinkles are caused by loss of fat and soft tissue or muscle. The researchers assessed whether facial exercise could address the loss of fat and soft tissue and improve skin appearance.
The main objectives of the study were to:
- Determine the association of a facial muscle exercise program with the appearance of the face and neck
- Measure participant satisfaction with facial appearance before and after completion of the exercise program
The researchers enrolled 27 women between the ages of 40 and 65 to perform 30-minute facial exercises every day for eight weeks, and then continue every other day for a total of 20 weeks. Following this, the participants’ before and after photos were reviewed by dermatologists who did not know the participants. The dermatologists:
- Reported an improvement in cheek fullness
- Estimated the age of the participants at 51 years of age at the start of the program and 48 at the end of the 20-week study.
All the participants themselves felt that their facial appearance had improved at the end of the study.
Your face has over 50 diverse muscles which might be rarely used. Regular facial muscles exercises promote the circulation of blood to the different areas of the face, replenishing the oxygen supply in the muscles and the skin, which in turn, results in a bright complexion and beautiful healthy glow.
Here are five anti-aging facial exercises that experts recommend:
- The V: Press both middle fingers together at the inner corner of the eyebrows. Then, apply pressure to the outer corners of the eyebrows using the index fingers. Look to the ceiling, and raise the lower eyelids upwards to make a strong squint, and then relax. Repeat this activity six times and finish by squeezing eyes shut tightly for 10 seconds. This facial exercise may help with drooping eyelids, crow’s feet, eye bags and puffiness and serve as a great alternative to Botox and eye surgery.
- The Smile Smoother: This exercise start by hiding your teeth with the lips to make an ‘O’ shape with the mouth and then smiling widely while keeping the teeth hidden. Repeat six times. Next, hold the smile shape while placing one index finger on the chin. Then start to move the jaw up and down as the head tilts gently back. Relax and repeat twice more. Being an excellent alternative for lower face lift and fillers, this exercise is good for cheek lines and sagging skin.
- Smooth the brow: Place both hands on the forehead facing inwards and spread all of the fingers out between the eyebrows and hairline. Gently sweep the fingers outwards across the forehead, applying light pressure to tighten the skin. Relax and repeat 10 times. This exercise is good for horizontal forehead lines.
- Flirty eyes: An alternative for eyebrow lift, this facial exercise is good for deep eye hollows and drooping eye brows. Start by placing an index finger under each eye, pointing towards the nose and hide the teeth and tease the top lip and bottom lip away from each other at the mouth. Flutter the upper eyelids while gazing at the ceiling for 30 seconds.
- The giraffe: Looking straight ahead, place the finger tips at the bottom of the neck and lightly stroke the skin downwards with the head tilted back. This facial exercise is good for correcting lines and loose skin on the neck.
Facial exercises are free and almost certainly not harmful. However, they could be too time-consuming, and might not work for some people. Fortunately, there are various minimally-invasive cosmetic surgery treatments that can address facial aesthetic concerns safely and effectively, and help take years off your face. Using broad-spectrum, SPF 30 or higher sunscreen daily can protect the skin from harmful UV rays.