In between the plethora of ways we – mere mortals – tend to address in the quest of optimal beauty, there lies an often neglected zone; facial exercising.. No matter what good you do to your skin, whether it’s quenching it with hyaluronic acid for moisturizing, drenching it with retinol and glycolic acids for rejuvenation or saturate it with the finest of serums, today I am here to remind you that just as you hit the gym to lift and sculpt your body your facial muscles are craving similar attention..
Facial exercises have for long been linked to yoga.. 18 years ago back in New York when I suddenly became a yoga enthusiast, I used to look forward to the end of the session where facial exercises were involved.. Part of releasing life’s tensions was relaxing the facial muscles like the jaw, brow, and forehead, little did I know that doing so further resulted in counteracting wrinkle-causing grimacing we do on a daily basis… Bottom line; working out your facial muscles defies the skin sagging caused by gravity..
To up the ante even more, a number of celebrities frequently undergo muscle triggering facials and are absolute believers of the process.. Meghan Markle, Ashley Graham, Cindy Crawford and Natalie Portman are a few to mention..
So What Are Facial Exercises?
Think of facial exercises as a targeted, small-scale lymphatic drainage massage. Massaging your facial muscles will immediately start working your lymphatic system, which keeps your body clear of toxins and fluids, and improves contours by removing tension and stress in the muscle. Providing the blood with essential nutrients and oxygen into the skin and muscle tissue it nourishes and improves cell renewal. The result? Improved skin tone and texture, refining pores, clearing out congestion, and diminish breakouts.
No one else is in charge other than yourself, moving your own muscles, really exercising them, and when I say working them out I am referring to post exercise soreness and muscles growing in size to fill out the face..
The 7 Most Effective Facial Workouts
Each exercise is like interval training: You do each movement for 20 seconds and repeat three times for a minute total.
1 || The Cheek Lifter
Lift your cheeks back to where they are supposed to be by opening your mouth to form a long “O”, fold your upper lip over your front teeth, smile again, place your index fingers lightly on the top part of your cheek directly right under your eyes and right on top of the cheek muscle.. Relax the cheek muscles allowing them to return to their original relaxed position. After that smile again with the corners of your mouth lift those cheek muscles back up. Visualize pushing the muscles up towards your eyes as you smile. By now, you have completed one ‘push up’. Do 10 of them. On the 10th push up, hold your cheek muscles up as high as you can while you imagine that your cheeks are moving up from your face towards the ceiling. Take your index fingers and move them an inch away from your face and then move the fingers up over the scalp area hold for 20 seconds while looking up towards your fingers. Release then relax.. Repeat this exercise 3 times..
2 || The Eyebrow Lifter
Smile then press three fingertips of each hand under your eyebrows to force your eyes open.. Smile while trying to frown your eyebrows down against your fingers. Hold and breathe deeply. Now close your upper eyelids down tightly and roll your eyeballs up toward the top of your head. Hold tight for 20 seconds. Release and relax. Repeat this exercise 3 times.
3 || The Happy Cheeks Sculpting
Smile without showing any teeth, while rolling your lips outward as if you were trying to show as much lip as possible. Try to smile with the corners of your mouth as you force all your cheek muscles up. A slight burn in the corners of your mouth might occur. Place your index fingers at the corners of your mouth, just above the mouth corners, pressing firmly. Now slowly slide your index fingers up to your cheekbones, pressing deeply into the muscle. Maintain that firm pressure then use your fingertips to lift those strands of muscle up and over the cheekbones, towards the corners of your eyes. When you get to the top of your cheekbones, stop and press tightly holding the muscles in place. Hold for 20 seconds. You should feel the muscles tightening in your cheeks. Be careful not to slide your fingers up too far, past your eyes, as you will Lose the grip on those thin strands of muscle. For added pressure, and to help hold the grip in place, press your middle fingers on top of your index fingers. Keep long, deep breathing. Keep smiling with the corners of your mouth. Relax and repeat this exercise 2 more times..
4 || The Scooping Jaw & Neck Firmer
Smile, open your mouth and make a. ‘Ahh’ sound. Fold your lower lip and the corners of your lips into your mouth and hold them tightly. Extend your lower jaw forward. Using your lower jaw only, scoop up very slowly as you close your mouth. Pull your chin up about an inch each time you scoop, tilting your head backwards. Open and close your lower jaw for 10 reps. On the final rep, your chin should be pointed toward the ceiling. Keep the chin extended and hold this position tightly for 20 seconds, while visualizing the sides of your face lifting. Repeat this sequence 3 times.
5 || The Temple Developer
Smile, place your fingers together at your temples. Press lightly on the temples while you close your jaw, clenching your teeth together and moving your chin up. Clench your teeth together, putting tension in the muscle as if you were trying to make your ears move backwards, as you concentrate and visualize the temple region. Hold your teeth tightly clenched for 10 seconds. Next, clench down on your back teeth for a count of 10, feeling your Tempolialis muscle flexing with each clench. Relax. Repeat this exercise 3 times..
6 || The Lower Eyelid Firmer
Place your index finger under your eyebrows so you can feel the brow bone. While holding firmly, close your eyes slowly. You should feel a gentle pull from the eyebrow through to the eyelid. Now squeeze the eyelids more tightly together to create a stronger pull. Hold for a count of five. Relax your eyes. Repeat this exercise 5 times..
7 || The Upper Eyelid Firmer
Smile, place your fingers in the same position as the Lower Eyelid Firmer. Now close (squeeze) your eyes tightly together. Roll your eyeballs up toward the ceiling. You should feel your upper eyelid stretching as you continue to look up with your eyes squeezed tightly together. Gold tightly for 30 seconds. Remember to keep smiling. Do this exercise 2 times.
To wrap things up beautifully here’s another reason for you to add yet another category to your new year’s resolution list; science just confirmed that doing these facial exercises regularly can actually make you look as much as three years younger! Remember though, consistency is key…
Cheers to that…!