Want to look younger? Exercise your face

written by Meena Azzollini

woman puckering her lips

Credit:123RF

Atleast 20 to 30 minutes of exercise  is usually recommended to keep our body fit and healthy.

There are exercises for our muscular development, strength, bone health, cardio health and more.

But what about our face?

As our face ages, we lose elasticity of our skin and the fat pads between the muscles and the skin become thinner. These fat pads give much of the shape to our face and as the fat pads get thinner – our face tends to look like it is sagging.

The dermatologists found that the upper and lower cheek were fuller, and this was significantly enhanced by the exercises.

Along with this, we often suffer from facial damage caused by sun damage and exposure to other elements, prompting us to seek expensive cosmetic or anti-ageing treatments.

But now scientists have found evidence that facial exercise improves facial appearance and can reduce visible signs of ageing.

Based on the premise that if muscles become bigger and firmer, it fills the skin better adding shape to the face and making it appear full – thus exercising facial muscles results in more muscle volume which counteracts against the effects of age-related fat thinning and skin loosening.

For this study, 27 healthy female participants aged 40 to 65 years old with mild photodamage and slight facial atrophy and an interest in facial exercises were recruited.

The participants attended two live 90-minute face-to-face muscle-resistant training sessions by a certified facial exercise instructor.

The participants continued to do these exercises at Home for 20 weeks.

For the first eight weeks, they performed the exercises daily for 30 minutes. From week 9 to week 20 they did these exercises every other day for 30 minutes.

The participants learnt 32 distinct facial exercises such as squeezing and puckering, the Happy Cheek Sculpting and the Cheek Lifter, and performed each one for one minute.

Out of all the participants, only 16 performed all the exercises for the allocated duration.

Two blinded dermatologists compared and assessed standardised photos taken before the exercise to photos taken after the facial exercise.

They assessed the photos by using a standardized facial ageing scale -Merz-Carruthers Facial Aging Photoscales.

The dermatologists rated 19 separate features across three points in time – at the beginning, at eight weeks and at week 20.

They also rated each participant’s age at the same time points.

Lastly, they asked the participants what they felt about their facial features.

The dermatologists found that the upper and lower cheek were fuller, and this was significantly enhanced by the exercises. They estimated the average age of the participants at 50.8 years in the beginning. This dropped to 49.6 years at eight weeks and was rated at 48.1 years at 20 weeks.

This indicated an age gap of approximate three years in a matter of 20 weeks, which suggests that a 30 minutes daily facial exercise sustained over a period of 20 weeks enhances the facial muscles resulting in fuller cheeks and a younger appearance.

This was backed by the participants who were highly satisfied with the results and they noticed an improvement in all the facial areas that were rated.

So for younger looking facial features, try exercising your face for at least 30 minutes everyday.

Source: JAMA Dermatology


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Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!