Why slack facial muscles age us, how to keep them toned and even hone our facial features.
Loss of tone in muscles of the face is what ages most, not wrinkles. However the cosmetic industry focuses on wrinkles because they want to sell anti-wrinkle creams. Not that there´s anything wrong with using those, it´s just that they only touch the tip of the problem. Gravity does its thing with muscles and fat. Skin is connected to muscles, and if muscles sag, the skin will too. Often younger people have crows feet or hooded eyes but still look young, while elder people without them still look aged. Also, latest research shows that our skulls grow all our life: that also causes flabby face muscles if we don´t train them !
On a similar vein, women worry about plumpness of the lips, but actually it´s the lengthening of the labial ledge that gives an aged appearance. That´s why silicone injections in the lips often don´t help, they just make the problem worse.
How to maintain facial muscle tone:
We have more than 90 muscles in the face and it´s possible to exercise most of them. This also boosts circulation, which means more oxygen for the skin and better removal of toxins ! I´ve discovered facial exercising by reading this and this, it´s an interesting forum thread whether facial exercises work.
Quick and Dirty: Yoga´s Lion Pose
This oldie from Yoga tones the entire face in less than a minute or two every day. Makes you feel more awake, too. It doesn´t focus on specific parts of the face, though.
How to: open your mouth, stick out your tongue and open your eyes wide. Now strain all your facial muscles, every single one of them, and hold as long as you can. Repeat 3-5 times daily. Video demonstration here.
For extra effect, jump up and simultaneously clench your hands and strain each and every muscle of your body. It´s a great way to release strain ! It will take time till you actually learn to use all of your muscles, vaginal and toe muscles included !
An interesting opposite yet complementary technique is the Hard Face.
Full Facial Exercise Programs
There are different exercises for every part of the face. Some smooth away ridges, some correct muscles tone, others can change features a bit: widen or narrow the face, shorten the nose or open up the eyes. Yes, I´m sure the one with the nose works since I´ve know someone who successfully (and unintentionally) flattened their nose by a kind of reversed version of this exercise (ok, they habitually flattened it with the fingertip).
Here is a page with a list of free facial exercises ! You can also poke around on Youtube, there are a couple of videos there. There are many methods out there, the full programs that I´m aware of are Ageless If We Dare, Cynthia Rowland Facial Magic, Carole Maggio´s Facercise and FlexEffect., but I´ve seen many more on Amazon. Read the user´s comparisons on this thread to decide which you want to try. And of course Youtube often has teasers.
Carole Maggio demonstrates her Facercise
Do facial exercises cause wrinkles ?
Wrinkles are caused by years of constantly repeated facial expressions, like many many times each day. I´d say that a couple of minutes of facial exercises does more good than harm. If looks are anything to go by, I prefer Carole Maggio´s look to the typical Botoxed expression.
But I don´t have the time !
After you´ve toned your facial muscles and got rid of your jowls, you can skip the full programme and do just a maintenance routine. Besides, some of these exercises can be done while watching TV, in the shower or while surfing the Internet. Carole Maggio adapted hers to do while driving. Different programmes ask for between 5 to 30 minutes a day, in the beginning.
What ? Spots and pimples ?
Apparently some people break out within the first few days of face exercises. That´s normal and will go away in a couple of days. The reason for the breakouts is that the skin is stimulated to produce it´s natural oils, and need a couple of days to re-balance itself.
Have you ever tried facial exercises ? What did you think of them ?
Photo by nikki.jane