With more than 60 different muscles, the face works hard to produce expressions countless times throughout the day. It’s no wonder that frown lines, crow’s feet, and laugh lines begin to emerge over time: after years, the same expressions we make over and over again eventually leave their telltale signs behind.
While many individuals turn to modern cosmetic procedures to address fine lines and wrinkles, others prefer to first explore natural or minimally invasive solutions to rejuvenate the skin. One method that has emerged recently is facial yoga. It may sound like a hoax, but hear us out. This simple, all-natural technique is backed by scientific research.
What is Facial Yoga?
Facial yoga is the practice of performing facial exercises to achieve a more youthful appearance. Movements for lifting the cheeks and eyebrows, sculpting the jawline and neck, and firming up the eyelid area and temples can be implemented to minimize the appearance of wrinkles in these trouble zones. And, when practiced for 30 minutes a day, the exercises unveiled noticeable improvements in participants involved in a Northwestern Medicine study. In fact, they are considered to be a powerful non-drug alternative to Botox for addressing saggy skin.
How Does It Work?
The signs of aging are caused by several factors. As mentioned above, lines can become etched into the skin after years of frowns, smiles, and laughter. Yet, there’s another agent that exacerbates aging which can’t fight: gravity. As the face ages, the skin loses its elasticity, and fat pads between the muscle and skin wear out. As a result, the face may take on a drawn-out appearance.
To combat the issue, dermatologists are recommending performing targeted facial exercises, which strengthen the facial muscles. In building up these key areas, the face actually becomes firmer and more toned, much like that of a younger individual.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect?
The Northwestern study included women 40 to 65 years old who continued the exercises over the course of 20 weeks. In total, 32 exercises were performed for roughly a minute each. The exercises were developed by Gary Sikorski, the force behind the Happy Face Yoga program, and the study’s co-author. Pictures were taken at specific intervals during the study, and participants were asked to describe their satisfaction with the results.
According to Northwestern, participants reported being “highly satisfied” and specifically cited improvements in the upper cheek region. Estimated ages were decreased over the course of the study as well, and as an average, participants saw a nearly three-year decrease in age appearance.
While results may vary from one person to the next, it certainly couldn’t hurt to give facial yoga a try. If you’re interested in testing out some of the moves yourself, you can find links to guides for six of the exercises used in the study at the bottom of the Northwestern article here.