In theory it makes sense. We exercise our bodies to stay fit and toned. Why not exercise facial muscles, too?
Based on this reasoning, a small industry has been built around the idea that exercise for facial muscles can reduce sagging and other signs of facial aging.
A search on the internet will reveal a variety of sources selling products to teach the art of facial exercise through DVD’s and books. Some companies have even developed machines to make facial exercises easier to perform. Does facial exercise work or is this designed to separate your from your hard earned money?
Like the rest of the body, a layer of muscle underlies the skin and connective tissue found on the face.
Based on the theory that toning up the underlying facial muscles would cause the overlying skin and connective tissue to appear more firm and youthful, the proponents of facial exercise argue that exercise for facial muscles is an effective means of preserving youth. They also argue that developing the underlying facial muscles will effectively “fill in” lines and wrinkles on aging facial skin to some extent.
Unfortunately, the opposite is closer to the truth.
Repeated use of facial muscles may actually increase wrinkle formation due to the repetitive creasing of the skin that occurs with these movements. This is the whole basis behind expression lines which occur from facial overuse. In fact, thousands of women seek out Botox to freeze the underlying facial muscles, thus smoothing out dynamic wrinkles. When the muscle is paralyzed or frozen by Botox, wrinkles are less likely to develop which goes against the theory behind exercise for facial muscles.
Most wrinkles and signs of facial aging are caused by direct exposure to the sun which breaks down the underlying collagen and elastin structure that gives the overlying skin its firm, youthful look. When the collagen and elastin structure of the face weaken, gravity can take its toll causing skin laxity and sagging. There’s no doubt that facial expressions also play a role in promoting wrinkle development as well as other external factors such as smoking, diet, and genetics which can also have an effect on collagen production.
If you’re tempted to spend your money on a book or DVD to learn how to exercise facial muscles, save your cash and invest in a good sunscreen and a moisturizer with alpha hydroxy acids, retinoic acid, or vitamin C. These ingredients have been shown to have a positive impact on the appearance of aging facial skin. Quit smoking and reduce alcohol along with eating a healthy diet and you’ll go even further to reduce the signs of aging facial skin. If you’re unhappy with the damage that’s already done, consider a superficial glycolic acid peel or deeper peel performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. You’ll almost surely get more satisfying results than you will from facial muscle exercises that don’t deliver what they promise.
OK – Are we certain that facial exercises are ineffective in making you look younger? Of course not! Here’s an article with included video on how “facial yoga” can possibly help you! YOU DECIDE!