Do Face Exercises Actually Work?

Do Face Exercises actually work? Face Yoga Benefits - Nutrova

Make a fish face and suck your cheeks in to get rid of the double chin; smile and force your eyes open to exercise your muscles – sounds familiar? With social media swamped with ideas to address the adult urge to age charmingly, statements like these have gained traction. Popularly named face yoga, face exercises have been in vogue globally owing to celebrities, influencers, and some skin experts endorsing them as part of their skincare regime. Add to it the pandemic, where people were keen to pick up fun trends while working from home, this routine has been further amplified.

One of the reasons for all the buzz around facial exercises is because it claims to reduce face fat (including a double chin), lift and tone the skin while exhibiting anti-ageing effects. But does science support these claims? Let’s try and find out! 

How do face exercises really work?

Do Face Exercises actually work? Face Yoga Benefits - Nutrova

Like every other muscle in our body, our face muscles also get stronger and slightly bigger when exercised. These bigger, stronger muscles provide firmness and volume, helping the face look fuller. Again, like all other forms of exercise, it has been observed that consistency is important for these results [1].

There also seems to be a link between facial exercises and an anti-ageing effect on facial skin. Sagging skin and other age-related changes are partially caused by the effect of gravity. The former President of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr Suzanne Olbricht, states that face yoga’s ability to reduce lines and sagging skin could be because toned muscles after exercise keep fat cells under our skin (which make our skin look plump) in place, preventing them from sliding down and sagging.

Moreover, the muscular activity obtained from exercising the face could potentially promote the production of two types of proteins in our facial skin - collagen and elastin – which give our skin structure and flexibility respectively. However, research still needs to demonstrate this in well-controlled studies [2].

Do Face Exercises actually work? Face Yoga Benefits - Nutrova

An interesting study of women who performed facial exercise consistently for 20 weeks (30 minutes a day for the first eight weeks and every alternate day for the next 12 weeks), found that their skin visibly looked two years younger when reviewed by a dermatologist [3]. These exercises can be done by everyone and could potentially counterbalance the ageing effect and also enhance muscle function. Additionally, a face workout can create significant volume changes around the upper lip, jawline, and cheeks, making our face appear younger [4].

But there is a potential downside. Experts are of the same opinion that many signs of facial ageing like crow’s-feet, laugh lines, folds, and forehead wrinkles — result from repetitive facial muscle activity like frowning or smiling over time. So while facial exercises definitely do show promising results, excessive manipulation or massage of the skin results in overuse and fatigue of muscles which can also be caused by these facial exercises when they aren’t performed the right way [5]. As with all other forms of exercise, moderation and doing them correctly seems to be the middle ground.

Should you be doing face exercises?

Do Face Exercises actually work? Face Yoga Benefits - Nutrova

While more research needs to be done, face exercises (or face yoga) definitely show a positive impact. These exercises seem to enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, causing the face to become firmer, more toned, and slow down the effects of gravity and time. Besides, they’re practically free and require a few minutes a day, so there isn’t much harm in trying them out.

We hope this blog could expand your understanding of face yoga and sort of reach a consensus to the debate. In case of further queries, we’d be glad to address them in the comments section below!


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