Does the Yoga Facelift Work?

Doing facial yoga may encourage wrinkles.
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Men and women who see the signs of aging on their faces often turn to plastic surgery or other medical interventions for a facelift. The "yoga facelift," an exercise routine developed by chemist and aesthetician Marie-Veronique Nadeau, offers a non-surgical alternative to younger skin and fewer wrinkles at a fraction of the price. While doing facial yoga is less expensive, exercising your facial muscles may not work as advertised, actually making signs of aging more pronounced.

About the Yoga Facelift

    Nadeau, in her book "The Yoga Facelift," purports that exercises engaging the muscles of the head and neck influence muscle tone in those areas and result in a more youthful appearance. She suggests beginning a facial yoga practice by relaxing and taking note of the muscles you generally use in your face for the purposes of making expressions. Each session of the "yoga facelift" takes approximately one hour and should be completed several times each week, although after you achieve the results you desire you can do a maintenance routine of 15 minutes per day.

The Yoga Facelift Exercises

    The "yoga facelift" incorporates standard yoga practices, such as attention to breathing and stretching poses, before moving into the facial exercises. These exercises range from the "Turtle," a movement that involves pulling your chin into your chest, followed by jutting out your chin, to inverted poses such as the modified headstand. Nadeau claims these poses increase blood flow to the face and train muscles to avoid wrinkles.

Effectiveness of the Yoga Facelift

    No scientific evidence exists to confirm the effectiveness of facial yoga. Dr. Rick Weiss, a California opthamologist, noted in a 2007 article in the "Orange County Register" that performing these exercises could potentially be effective for preventing new wrinkles; however, its effect on existing wrinkles would be negligible. Board-certified dermatologist with Cedars-Sinai Medical Group Joyce Fox believes the facial yoga could have the opposite effect of its intention. In a 2008 interview with KABC-TV in Los Angeles, she suggested that doing the prescribed exercises could make your jaw line more prominent and cause rosacea or acne.

Suggested Aging Skin Treatments

    Facial yoga targets signs of extrinsic aging, or aging that occurs due to sun exposure, facial expressions and smoking. The American Academy of Dermatology, or the AAD, does not promote facial exercises of any kind, including the "yoga facelift," as a means of looking younger, as these exercises can result in fine lines and wrinkles. Rather, the AAD suggests a number of surgical and non-surgical skin interventions to improve the look of skin, including dermabrasion, radiofrequency and Botox injections.

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