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Facial yoga – how it works and when to try it

Meghan Markle, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Kate Moss all swear by face yoga, the practice of intentionally exercising and toning your facial muscles. While facial yoga may be all the rage in Hollywood, does it work? Those who use this practice say it can improve your complexion, reduce the signs of aging, and strengthen your facial features. Read on to learn more about facial yoga, its benefits, and a few face yoga exercises to try out at home.

What is facial yoga?

Facial yoga, also known as face yoga, is a type of exercise that isolates and tones the muscles in your face. There are 43 muscles in the face, most of which we don’t think about unless they’re sore. You naturally move your move every day when you’re smiling, talking, and squinting, but, just like full-body yoga, the key to facial yoga is intention. You are choosing to focus on specific muscles, isolating them to strengthen and tone them. The same principle applies to your face.

A young woman smiling at herself in the mirror
Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Why should you try it?

Facial yoga has a few benefits, mostly to your appearance. Exercising your facial muscles can boost blood circulation, creating a healthy and vibrant complexion. Increased blood flow can also increase your skin’s collagen production, which helps your skin look firm and tight. Collagen can also delay the onset of wrinkles and fine lines and may even reduce existing signs of facial aging. This type of exercise also improves the muscles in the face, which get weaker with age, contributing to jowls.

It may seem counterintuitive given that moving your face can actually contribute to wrinkle development. However, by intentionally strengthening the commonly used facial muscles, you can boost blood circulation and tighten the area. You won’t be causing any new wrinkles to form because you completing targeted movements.

Facial yoga exercises

Ready to give it a try? Here are a few simple facial yoga exercises you can use to get started.

Warmup: Increase blood circulation

To begin, drop your jaw like you’re yawning. Without moving your head or forehead, gaze toward the ceiling and hold this position for ten seconds. Relax your muscles, then repeat the process twice.

Cheek lifter: Strengthen cheeks and increase upper lip definition

Open your mouth in an “O” and fold your upper lip over your teeth. Next, smile to lift your cheek muscles and push them as high as you can. Gently place your index fingers on the top of your cheeks right under your eyes, then relax your cheeks into their original position. This is one cheek lifter. Do ten cheek lifters and hold the last one for 20 seconds to finish one set.
Repeat for a total of three sets.

Forehead smoother: Reduce forehead lines and lift eyebrows

Place your middle and index fingers along your forehead at your hairline. Press your whole fingers down on your scalp and slowly slide your fingers down toward your eyebrows. At the same time, flex your eyebrows upward so your fingers are met with a band of pressure across your forehead. Hold this pose for ten seconds before releasing, repeat three times, and hold the last one for 20 seconds. Repeat the entire sequence one more time.

Jaw and neck firmer: Tone cheeks, strengthen the jaw, and reduce chin wrinkles

First, open your mouth while making an “ah” noise. Fold your lower lip and the corners of your lips into your mouth and hold it tight. Next, extend your lower jaw forward, then scoop it upward very slowly as you close your mouth; pull your chin up an inch every time you scoop and tilt your head backward. Open and close your jaw ten times, and, on the final one, keep your chin extended and hold it for 20 seconds. Your chin should be pointed up toward the ceiling. Relax, then repeat this sequence three times.

Lower eyelid firmer: Strengthen eyelids and reduce under-eye bags

Place your middle fingers by the inner corners of your eyes on your upper nose, and put your index fingers on the outside corners of your eyes by your temples. Squint your lower eyelids while trying to keep your upper eyelids open wide. Do this ten times and hold the final squint for 20 seconds. Repeat the process once more.

Mouth strengthener: Make lips fuller

Begin by placing your index fingers on the corners of your mouth. Smile wide, and ensure both corners of your mouth are level.
Curl your tongue up slightly and take five seconds to move it to one side of the mouth and then the other. Repeat this movement twice.

For those who are concerned about fine lines and signs of aging on their faces, facial yoga can provide a cost-effective solution. While this practice is relatively new, many swear that doing these simple exercises every day can help you retain your youthful appearance for years to come.

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