You may watch the plastic surgery done by expensive doctors on TV and wonder how soon your tiny crow’s feet or subtly sagging jowls will progress into full-fledged wrinkles or a turkey neck. Since the American Academy of Dermatology confirms that aging of the skin normally begins as early as the mid-20s, this is not too far-fetched of a concern for most anyone. As an alternative, can you avoid the high cost of surgery and use facial exercise to tighten your face? Since there is no evidence to say it works or does not work, you may want to try a few exercises and decide for yourself.
Facial Exercise Controversy
No studies have been done that prove facial workouts produce any benefits. In fact, Skincarephysicians.com says that such repetitive movements may cause grooves to form beneath the surface of the skin. As the skin ages and loses its elasticity, those grooves can become permanently etched on the face.
Still, for centuries, practitioners of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian science, have been using facial exercises, as have the Chinese, to work out the underlying facial muscles and keep skin taut. According to Ayervedic.com, just as exercise increases blood circulation and tones up body muscles, facial exercise does the same for facial muscles. Asian experts claim that, if done properly for a few minutes each day, facial exercise decreases wrinkles as well as prevents aging by keeping the skin muscles in place and tissues maintained.
Face and Eye Area Relaxer
Practice the Lion Face yoga pose, Simhasana, to increase circulation to the face and release tension in your jaw. Take a slow, steady inhale of breath and constrict every muscle in your body. On a slow, steady exhale, relax those muscles, stick out your tongue, widen your eyes and open your hands. Repeat three times. Hold the last exhale position for 30 to 60 seconds to really stretch your tongue.
Furrowed Brow Remover
Try a brow smoother when you are worried. Sit in a Lotus position and put your index fingers on the outer edges of your eyebrows, and then slowly and gently pull your eyebrows away from each other while simultaneously closing your eyelids. Hold for a few seconds and repeat twice. Do this two or three times throughout the day.
Neck and Chin Stretches
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To avoid the gobble-gobble neck and chin, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your legs bent slightly and arms hanging at your sides. Sink your weight down with your back straight. Put your lower lip on your top lip and keep it that way. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose as you gently raise your chin until you are looking directly at the sky. Hold for a second or two and feel your throat stretching in front. Exhale as you slowly bring your head down to the starting position. Do this three times, building to 10 to 15 repetitions.
For the sides of the neck and chin, do the same as above, but while raising your head straight up, look over one shoulder and rest your chin on it. Hold for a second or two and then roll your head slowly toward the chest to face front again. Do three stretches, building to 10 to 15 per side.
Facial Exercise Tips
You can do facial exercises at any time and almost anywhere, so do them at your desk while reading your email or while driving to work.
To prevent damage when cleaning your face, use only an upward motion, and do not be too strenuous.
When sleeping, don't rest your face on top of your hands.
Keep your mind and body as relaxed as possible. Less stress in your life can mean fewer wrinkles.
Mary Werner has more than 15 years of corporate communications experience. She also writes about health and fitness for a variety of websites. Werner earned an M.B.A. from the Acton School of Business in Austin, Texas, and a B.A. in clinical psychology from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.