Just like the rest of your body, your face has muscles, And, just as with the rest of your body, you can exercise those muscles. Facial exercises can be a holistic alternative to fillers and laser treatments. Studies show that exercising your facial muscles can slow some of the visible signs of aging, help relieve tension, and tone your facial muscles.
Try performing facial exercises three to five times per week for 10‒20 minutes each night. While you won’t see results immediately, you may start to notice firmer skin and fewer visible wrinkles in a couple of weeks.
Benefits of Facial Exercises
Just like traditional exercises, like weight lifting, cardio, or yoga, facial exercises can be highly therapeutic. The endorphins you release during exercise help reduce stress and improve mood. The appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging may lower your confidence, even though growing older is a completely natural and beautiful process. By tightening the skin, facial exercises can help slow down and even improve outward signs of aging. Facial exercises can also be a great alternative to expensive, and potentially risky, traditional fillers and cosmetic procedures.
Other benefits of facial exercises include:
- Improved blood circulation
- Less tension in the face and neck
- More tone and definition
- Reduced scar tissue buildup
If you’re interested in tightening the skin on your face, check out these six facial exercises.
The Top Six Facial Exercises
1. Brow Raises
Sagging skin around your brows can make your eyes appear smaller and give you an angry or exasperated expression.
- Make two fists, then extend your index and middle fingers.
- Place your fingertips above the tail of your eyebrows and gently push the skin down.
- Lift your brows up and down, pushing against your skin with your fingertips.
- Repeat this up-and-down motion 10 times.
2. Neck Stretching
When you have tension in your neck, it shows on your face! Your face may look drawn and tired, and the skin around your jawbone may not be as firm. Stretching and massaging your neck can help relieve tension and keep you looking younger.
- Tilt your head gently toward one shoulder.
- With the hand on the same side you’re stretching toward, gently pull your head closer to your shoulder, to deepen the stretch.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
3. Lifting Cheekbones
High cheekbones are often regarded as traditionally beautiful and desirable. While you can’t change your bone shape, you can help tone the muscles and skin around your cheekbones. This results in a lifted, sculpted look.
- Make two fists, then extend your index and middle fingers.
- Place your fingers over each cheekbone.
- Gently lift the skin until taut, opening your mouth to form an elongated O; you should feel resistance in your cheek muscles.
- Hold this position for five seconds.
- Repeat this motion 10 times.
4. Crow’s-Feet Exercise
Crow’s-feet are lines that can form at the outer corners of your eyes as you age. They’re very common, as the skin around your eyes is extremely fine.
- Place your thumbs just above the outside corners of your eyes, close to your temples.
- Without moving your head, look up while pressing your thumbs in toward your eyes.
- Flutter (open and close very quickly) your eyelids for five seconds.
- Remove your thumbs from your face, then begin the exercise again.
- Repeat this three times.
5. Jowl Tightening
The skin along our jaws – sometimes referred to as jowls – begin to sag as we get older. Constantly looking down at our phones may contribute to that! This stretch can help pull the skin tighter against your jaw, resulting in a more toned look.
- Lift your chin upward, forming a tight line between your chin and clavicle (but don’t hyperextend your neck).
- Turn your head to the right, looking upward and jutting out your jaw.
- Hold this position for five seconds, then slowly release and return to starting position.
- Repeat this stretch on the opposite side, then twice more, alternating sides.
6. Vowel Sounds
This exercise helps strengthen the muscles around your mouth and on the sides of your lips.
- Using exaggerated movements, make a long O sound without showing your teeth.
- Then make a long E sound without showing your teeth.
- Make sure to open your mouth wide.
- Repeat each sound five times.
Getting the Most Out of Facial Exercises
Like with any exercise regimen, consistency is key. You probably won’t see immediate results – but don’t give up! You don’t need to perform the exercises every night, but three to five times per week should result in tighter, firmer skin.
Implement Skin Care
Skin care is incredibly important, especially as we age. Doing these facial exercises in conjunction with proper skin care can help multiply the results. Vitamin E oil, retinol/retinoids, and collagen have all shown to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Making sure you’re using SPF every day can also help prevent sun-damage-related skin concerns.
Eat Right, Keep Hydrated, and Move Your Body
Your skin is a reflection of how your body feels from the inside out – so make sure to treat your body well! Whole fruits and vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates keep your body fueled and nourished. Getting enough water and keeping yourself hydrated can also help your skin stay plump and keep it from drying out. Moving your body and getting regular exercise helps tone your face: As you lose weight and gain muscle, it’s reflected in the fat composition around your face and neck.
The Bottom Line
While appearance is an important aspect of both physical and mental well-being, it’s not everything. Whole person wellness is about the balance between your physical health and the non-health parts of you. IIN calls these your primary food (everything not on your plate), and they include relationships, career, spirituality, and how you care for yourself.
Although facial exercises can be very helpful in maintaining the neck and facial muscles and keeping the jawline sharper, they aren’t a fix-all. In order to look and feel healthy, you’ll also need to practice good eating habits and exercise regularly.