What Is Face Yoga
First things first: Face yoga doesnt involve the usual shavasana or Downward-Facing Dog poses youre familiar with from your yoga practice. Yoga is just a catchy way to say facial exercises that move the muscles on your face into certain positions kind of like yoga for your body. The idea is that performing these exercises will keep your face looking toned and young, lifting areas that are sagging and drooping, and trimming years from your visage.
The aim is to create a moment of self-care where you improve blood circulation for a healthy glow and reduce stress and tension in your face, says Elsa Jungman, PhD, a scientist, microbiome expert, and proponent of facial yoga based in San Francisco.
Most people hold tension in their faces, whether through facial expressions or too much time in front of a screen. All these daily activities cause patterns in how we use our face and the specific muscles we recruit, Dr. Jungman says. This is why we want to focus more on releasing and softening our faces to let go of these patterns and any held facial tension.
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Does Face Yoga Work To Make You Look Younger Dermatology Studies Reveal The Surprising Answer
Karyn RepinskiMar 16, 2021Updated on Apr 7, 2021
Science says it can help turn back the clock. Just dont expect the same youthening results youd get from a doctor.
Yoga can work wonders on your body, strengthening muscles and increasing flexibility. So its not too much of a leap to imagine that it can transform your face too. Thats the promise of face yoga, which is often billed as a natural, noninvasive wayno needles, no surgery, no painto beat the aging process.
Despite the name, face yoga isnt yoga in the traditional sensetheres no focus on breathing and no need for a mat or props. Instead, it involves a series of resistance-oriented facial exercises designed to reduce signs of aging. Associating the exercises with yoga seems to have been a wise move, however: just as the popularity of the ancient practice has exploded in modern times, so too has face yoga. Theres a slew of YouTube channels devoted to it as well as books, DVDs, and apps. Private and group sessions are also available. Danielle Collins, who developed The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method, currently has more than 700 teachers in 50 different countries, and many of her YouTube videos have well over a million views. Fumiko Takatsu, the creator of the Face Yoga Method, has written six books on the topic, one of which became a national best seller in Japan.
For Removing Neck Tension And Boosting Lymphatic Drainage
Tilt back your head and keep your fingers on top of the neck. With gentle pressure, glide your fingers towards the collarbone and press onto them for 6-8 seconds. Release your fingers and repeat the process for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
You can also do a clockwise and anticlockwise neck roll warm-up to stimulate the neck muscles. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and spine straight when doing this exercise.
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So What Do The Experts Say About Face Yoga
The alteration in facial appearance as we age is the result of changes in both the skin itself and the underlying tissues, says Snehal Amin, MD, co-founder of MDCS Dermatology in New York and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Weill-Cornell Medical College. As you get older, you will see looser skin laxity and sun damage on the surface, along with the loss of fat and muscle in the underlying tissues, Dr. Amin explains.
So is he saying face yoga could work? In theory, better muscle tone of the cheeks could mean less sagging, he says.
But in practice, this isnt quite clear. A 2018 study published in JAMA Dermatology attempted to give a scientific answer. Researchers gave 27 men and women a face yoga programa 90-minute regimen of 32 exercises, to be done four times a week for two months. Likely thanks in part to the extreme time commitment, only 16 subjects finished the trial. Those who stuck with it all eight weeks reported a small improvement in facial appearance.
Did the other subjects drop out because they didnt see an improvement? The study used a small sample and no control group, so critics might say its challenging to draw any real-world conclusions.
So What Exactly Is Face Yoga
Gary Sikorski, the founder of Happy Face Yoga, says that face yoga is a natural way to tone your facial muscles, reduce sagging and wrinkles, and improve your overall complexion.1
Put simply, face yoga is a series of exercises and stretches that target your face, designed to strengthen and tone the muscles around your face and neck. We have 57 muscles in our face and scalp, so theres a lot of work that can be done!
Face yoga is related to some traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, both of which also use massage, stretches, and microneedling to relieve pressure and reduce blemishes.
The main goal of face yoga is to tone and tighten sagging skin, wake up some underused facial muscles, and improve blood flow for a healthier complexion.
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Whats The Verdict On Face Yoga
So, does face yoga offer all some promise it does? Well, the jury is still out. Some think it helps others arent convinced. While these exercises probably wont replace a facelift, they may help overall face muscle tone. More research is needed in this area before face yoga becomes more popular among dermatologists and other healthcare professionals.
Why The Exercises May Actually Change How You Look
One concern about the exercises was that they might actually create more wrinkles, frown lines and crow’s feet than they were getting rid of, says the studys lead author Murad Alam, MD, Vice Chair and Chief of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern Medicines Feinberg School of Medicine. But this didnt happen in any of the participants, he tells NBC News BETTER.
The muscle growth is enough to add more definition to the cheeks and counteract the drooping and sliding of the skin and fat tissue in the face, making it look younger.
The opposite happened. And the most marked area of improvement for the women in this study was fuller cheeks. Thats because the muscles youre working grow in size . And that muscle growth is enough to add more definition to the cheeks and counteract the drooping and sliding of the skin and fat tissue in the face, making it look younger, Alam explains. Its like blowing up a deflated beachball.
The exercises work because theyre based on the same principles as resistance training, Sikorski adds. In most cases that force of resistance your face muscles are working against comes from your fingers, so you actually strengthen and tone those muscles.
Youll know youre doing it right because your face muscles will feel it, he adds similar to that muscle burn you feel after doing a particularly taxing workout for your abs.
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Avoiding The Dreaded Double Chin
Many of the exercises in face yoga focus on tightening and strengthening the muscles around the jaw and under the chin, which specifically helps to lift any loose skin under there and improve the appearance of your jawline. Anything that helps us say goodbye to turkey neck is worth a try in our books!
Press Into The Muscle And Gently Move Apart
Youll still use the index and middle fingers in the second technique. Gently press the two fingers into the muscle, then move them away from each other. This movement releases any tightness between the eyebrows. Also, this subtle, gentle face yoga move relieves you of any tension that you might be holding onto in the muscle.
Hold this position around ten seconds, then repeat the whole movement, gently moving the fingers in separate directions. Only release the position once you feel this muscle engaging. Try to get deep into that muscle and work proactively on releasing tension.
This Face Yoga movement for your forehead minimises the appearance of horizontal stress lines on your forehead.
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Touted Benefits Of Face Yoga
Facial yoga is said to help counter those effects. According to two popular programs, Happy Face Yoga and Face Yoga Method, face yoga helps to:
- Release tension, which can minimize the appearance of stress lines
- Strengthen and tone facial muscles to ultimately widen eyes, raise cheeks, and firm up the jawline
- Increase circulation and blood flow to the skin, which makes the skin glow
- Counter the effects of gravity
- Reduce the appearance of scars
Some dermatologists say theres some truth to these claims. The goal of face yoga is to increase the blood and oxygen supply to your skin, which improves the life of the cell, says Deborah Longwill, DO, a board-certified dermatologist at Miami Center for Dermatology in Florida and cofounder of Doctor’s Daughter Skincare. This leads to glowing and rejuvenated skin.
Lucy Chen, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with Riverchase Dermatology in Miami, also says you could reduce visible signs of aging by toning the muscles through specific facial exercise training.
You shouldnt expect drastic changes, though. The JAMA Dermatology study authors noted that their participant sample was small and the results were modest. And keep in mind that face exercises wont alter the texture of your skin, according to Harvard Health, though moving and stretching scarred skin through face yoga can lessen the appearance of scars.
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What Is Facial Yoga Experts Say It Really Can Make You Look Younger
If you want to get toned, defined Michelle Obama arms, you might try pushups and planks. For six-pack abs, add some bicycle crunches to your gym circuit. So it makes sense that if you want to define and tone the contours of your face, youre going to need to work those muscles, too, right?
Exactly, says Gary Sikorski, founder of Happy Face Yoga, a program designed to stimulate and work out the 57 muscles that hold up our face, neck and scalp.
Youre strengthening your muscles and moving them back into place, Sikorski tells NBC News BETTER about the face workout. So the skin naturally follows and starts to smooth.
It may sound like a futile time-suck for people with way too much time on their hands , but dermatologists at Northwestern University recently published a study that shows Sikorskis facial exercise program might work.
The data suggest the exercises do help the face look younger . But following the program will cost you a chunk of time out of your schedule, that is. The women in the study spent 30 minutes daily for eight weeks, and 30 minutes every other day for 12 weeks after that, doing the exercises.
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Treatment For Forehead Wrinkles
The Forehead Lift is a great exercise to promote circulation in your face for a better complexion. It also lifts the forehead, minimizes and smoothes out frown lines.
Here is how to do the exercise step by step:
For even more exercises for the forehead area click the button below to download your FREE Routine!
Facial Exercise To Soften Wrinkles #4 The Assisted Cheek Lift
The right smile can make you look younger in a flash, but wrinkles around your cheeks can make it hard to flash your pearly whites. Thankfully, strong smiling muscles can help prevent and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, making this Face Yoga pose a winner.
Studies have found that training the muscles used in smiles actually helps boost the strength of facial muscles and increase confidence. So the more you smile, the better youll feel and the more your cheeks will glow.
Heres how to give your cheeks a good workout:
- Youll need your hands to help with this facial exercise, so make sure theyre clean
- Pinch your cheeks on either side of your mouth, in the area your smile lines typically form
- Smile as wide as you possibly can until you feel gentle resistance from the muscles of your cheeks
- Create gentle resistance against your smile, pulling your cheeks back down so that your hands are providing force one way, and the muscles of your cheek are providing force in the other direction
Repetitions:Repeat this facial exercise 5 to 10 times
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Facial Exercise For Frown Lines Around The Mouth
With your mouth closed pull the upper and lower lips in slightly but dont purse the too much keep the mouth relaxed
Blow air inside your mouth so it fills the area surrounding your mouth dont puff the cheeks with air
Hold for a count of five
Repeat 10 times
Facial exercises are an easy way to improve the appearance of frown lines that occur between the brows or around the mouth.
No More Frown Lines Best Facial Exercise To Prevent Frown Lines
Squinting, crying, concentrating, being mad our eyebrows are very busy throughout the day. Loosening up the eyebrow muscles is one of the quickest ways to reduce and prevent frown lines. This exercise shows you how to loosen up the eyebrow muscles by pulling them out and then relaxing. The best time to do this exercise is before going to bed. You do not want to go to bed with frown lines on your face!
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Lets Explore How Face Yoga Really Works
The trick is to create resistance and opposite resistance using our facial muscles. One muscle pushes one way, and the other muscle connected to the first one pushes the other way. The key is to make sure there are NO WRINKLES on your skin no matter what exercise youre doing.
If you see wrinkles on your face during the exercise, that means youre either doing it wrong or you chose the improper exercise, to begin with. A lot of free workouts you find on the internet are counter-effective because theyre training one part of the face, but creating new wrinkles on other areas at the same time.
In our online face workout program we use our hands to keep skin and muscles in place. The pressure and extra weight they provide make muscles work harder and prevent forming additional wrinkles. If you are older and there is excess skin on your face, you can still see some lines while doing the exercise. In this case, you have to adjust the pose and smooth them out by using your fingers and hands.
In our basic online face yoga program, thats precisely how we structured our workouts. Every exercise is extremely potent because it follows a specific sequence of steps that engage the desired muscle group. For maximal resistance & opposite resistance, every single exercise should be done slowly and conscientiously.
So how can you make sure face yoga WILL NOT cause wrinkles on your face?
Does Face Yoga Cause Wrinkles
So while face yoga may not really help, it probably cant hurt to try it right? Well, not so fast with those puffed-up cheeks. Could face yoga actually expedite the visible effects of aging?
Face yoga does have the potential to increase the development of wrinkles as you exaggerate and repeat some movements, says Dr. Amin. Also something to consider is what look you prefer. In general, the more you use a muscle, the larger it gets, says Dr. Amin. Some people like a slimmer appearance to the jawline, overusing the masseter muscle in the jaw can actually make it look bigger or bulkier.
In fact, he suggests, this is the whole reason why Botox injections work to reduce wrinkles and make the face look younger. The botulinum toxin temporarily paralyzes the muscles in your face so they move less.
Face yoga could do the opposite.
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How Long Does It Take For Face Yoga To Work
A lot of people who practice face yoga claim that they have seen the benefits of it within a month! This sounds exciting, but remember that according to the study we discussed earlier, it might take up to eight weeks. However, this really is no time at all when we are wanting to look younger and get rid of wrinkles.
Transform Sagging Skin With The Taut Intense Transformation Program
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