We exercise our bodies, so why not exercise our face muscles too? Face exercises and face yoga poses, along with full body exercises, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water drinking, are being hailed as alternatives to surgery and botox.
Face exercising has been around for centuries. It is believed that Cleopatra exercised her face to keep her looking young and, in the 1960s, face exercises regained popularity with the book “Face Lifting by Exercise” by Senta Maria Rungé. With the internet the way it is and everyone scrambling for a way to look younger and to keep their beauty fresh, face exercises are alive and well today.
Do they work? Many people who have added face exercises to their daily routine strongly believe that the poses are working to keep their face and jowls from sagging with age. On the other hand, there are plenty of plastic surgeons who have pooh-poohed the idea that face exercises can replace surgery.
Many women, and even some men, hide in the bathroom to perform their face exercises and never let on to anyone that they do them. After all, we all look rather silly doing these face poses.
12. Eyes Wide Open
Surprise! This face yoga pose is believed to strengthen the muscles around your eyes and forehead, and all you have to do is look surprised. Simply open your eyes as wide as you possibly can, exposing the whites of your eyes, and keep the skin on your forehead high and tight. Hold this facial expression for about five seconds and then release. Repeat a few times a day and erase those scowl lines that can form on your brow.
11. Bewitched Nose Twitch
Admit it. You have seen Bewitched and tried to wiggle your nose just like the character, Samantha. The thing is, you don’t wiggle your nose at all. You are actually moving your upper lip back and forth really fast and this makes your nose look like it is wiggling. This also happens to be an exercise listed for your face and it is a fun one to practise in front of kids. Before you know it, you can get a whole room of people, young and old, twitching their noses for fun and never realizing just how good it is that they are exercising their face muscles.
10. Big Mouth
Keep your mouth open long enough, you might catch a few flies. At least that is what our grandparents would probably say. Funny thing is, it is also a great way to stretch your face muscles, particularly the muscles around your mouth and your tongue. All you have to do is open your mouth as wide as possible (if you have dry lips, moisturize them first or the skin may split open) and stick out your tongue as far as you possibly can. Hold this facial position for about five seconds and then relax. Repeat this face position throughout the day.
9. Sit Down and Pucker Up
Home alone? Great, because you can’t lock yourself in the bathroom to do this face exercise, unless your bathroom is large enough for a comfortable chair. To do this exercise, sit down on a sofa or soft chair. Put your head back and look up at the ceiling. Next, stick out your tongue as far as it will go and pucker your lips around your tongue. Hold this position for about five seconds and then relax. Repeat this pose four more times and avoid trying to see your reflection in a mirror. Simply take my word for it. You look ridiculous, but you are also working your face muscles and stretching your neck muscles.
8. Three Finger Lifts
Imagine lifting weights with your face muscles and that is kind of what you are going to do with this exercise. Your three middle fingers on each hand are your weights. Press these three fingers onto your cheek bones and smile as hard as possible to lift your fingers. Do this five to ten times in a row and you will feel your face muscles working. It is almost like cheek pushups and these are one of the few face exercises you might be able to get away with doing while at work.
7. Lower Lid Lifts
Give the muscles around your eyes a workout with this weird, but fun face exercise. First, open your eyes as wide as you can get them. Next, try closing your eyes with your lower lids. It is like doing push ups with the lower lids. It is tricky and you need to get your cheeks involved in the action, but it is also kind of fun. I struggle to do several of these at a time and I look like I have some bad contact lens action going on, but no one has said anything about it to me yet.
6. Dog at the Vet Face Pose
There are certain face exercises that should only be done in a locked bathroom. This is one of them. I call it the “dog at the vet face” because it reminds me of a doggy friend I had who hated that certain unpleasant moment of his vet visit. To see what I am talking about, stand in front of a mirror. Open your eyes as wide as they can go and lift up your eyebrows. Frown hard. After you recover from your initial giggle fit, repeat the face pose four more times. Yes, you look absolutely ridiculous, but you will feel your face muscles working with this exercise.
5. Oh Pucker
A trip to camp one summer thirty plus years ago taught me the trick of mouthing E and O over and over again to loosen up my mouth and prepare me for performing some ridiculous routine on the camp stage. I think it was a reenactment of a children’s song. Regardless, I continued practicing my Es and Os all these years as a way to stop myself from getting tongue tied. Little did I know it was also similar to a popular face exercise. The oh pucker pose involves puckering your lips as hard as possible and then pulling your lips back into a smile. Do this five to ten times to feel your face muscles getting a workout.
4. Something Smelly Pose
You know the look. You get into the car, put the keys in the ignition, and suddenly you smell it. It is so awful that you crinkle up your nose and let out a few choice words. Somewhere between the front door and your car, you managed to step into something. The bad news is that now you have to rush back into the house and grab a clean pair of shoes. The good news is that you just did a face exercise. To do the nose crinkle, wrinkle up your nose, hold it for a second, and then release. Repeat the crinkle five to ten times.
3. Open Tuck
Look, ma! No neck. I remember making this funny face as a kid, and if I did it, you probably did it a few times in front of the mirror, too. Now that we are all adults, we can quietly return to making funny faces in front of the bathroom mirror and say that we are exercising. To do this exercise, open your big mouth as wide as you possibly can and then tuck your chin into your neck. Hold this position to the count of three and then return to normal. Repeat the open tuck five to ten times a day.
2. Open Smile
Did a laugh ever catch you in the middle of a yawn? That is sort of how this exercise rolls. Open your mouth up wide and smile. Hold for a second and then relax your mouth. Repeat the wide open smile five to ten times. If you are prone to dry lips, moisturize them before doing this exercise. I find that if I don’t moisturize my lips before doing face exercises, I tend to crack and split my skin, especially during the winter months. If you are suffering from a cold sore, avoid doing this one until after you have healed.
1. Wink Wink
If you are happy and you know it, give a wink. When we normally wink, we mostly do the winking with our upper eyelid. For this face exercise, we are going to get our cheeks in on the action. Wink your right eye, using your right cheek muscle to close it. Hold for a second and release. Repeat the same process with your left eye and cheek. Repeat the exercise five to ten times, alternating sides.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the (others) author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of StickeeBra, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.
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