Aging is quite a curious thing. It happens to everyone, but we all go through it at a different rate. East Asians, for instance, never seem to age at all. There’s even this 9gag post on the Asian aging process, where a Chinese lady is drawn to look pretty much the same from 18-50 years of age.
Given our society’s obsession with youthfulness, so many of us feel the need to hang on to ours for as long as we can. Celebrities are especially pressured to preserve their looks because their bankability and livelihoods depend on it, so they end up trying all sorts of anti-aging treatments out there, from Botox to vampire facials, where they draw your blood and spatter it all over your face via microdermabrasion.
Sounds creepy, but if the shoe fits, I suppose.
Facial yoga is the latest in a long line of trends that promise to restore elasticity and radiance to an aging face, and it’s every bit as trippy as it sounds. The philosophy behind it is that exercising the 52 muscles in your face helps release tension, and neck and eye strain. It’s also supposed to improve facial blood circulation (hence the glow, apparently), shred excess fat, and bring out your jawline.
Furthermore, the prescribed exercises sound really simple. If you want to give it a whirl, here’s a few:
1. The Grumpy Face.
This exercise was designed to diminish the appearance of wrinkles on one’s forehead.
Rest the heel of your hand on the forehead and on top of the brows. Hold the forehead firmly with your hands facing upwards. Attempt a frown while pulling down on your brows. Repeat ten times.
2. The Sad Face.
Excellent for beginners, this super easy exercise is meant to address a sagging neck.
To practice, simply bring the corners of your mouth downwards and hold that position for ten seconds. Repeat as desired.
3. The Sexy Face.
If you’ve ever dreamed of blowing a kiss down that runway as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, this might be the next best thing.
As they like to say to babies in my country, do a flying kiss. Pucker your mouth, make a kissing noise, and blow through your pout. Repeat as needed, or just until you start to feel a little silly blowing yourself kisses.
In case it isn’t obvious, this exercise is best done in private, lest you send the wrong message to an unwitting passerby on the street.
4. Chipmunk Cheeks.
To firm up your cheeks, suck in as much air as you need to puff them up fully, then shift the air from one cheek to the next, keeping your mouth closed all the while, about five times.
Finally, make a small “O” with your lips and slowly release the air through it. Repeat for about three to four times.
5. Fish Lips.
Create a fish face by sucking your inner cheeks into the sides of the gap between your upper and lower teeth. Hold for a few seconds, and then release slowly. Repeat about five times to tone your lips and cheeks.
But does facial yoga actually work? Some plastic surgeons and dermatologists scoff at the idea. “The earlier you start face yoga, the earlier you’ll get wrinkles…repetitive movement creates creases in the skin. It’s like folding a piece of paper,” says cosmetic facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey Spiegel, MD.
That may be so, but a few facial exercises can relax your face and reduce tension in areas like the jaw, brow, and forehead, making you look more relaxed and possibly younger.
If nothing else, all those contortions you make with your face will at least make you laugh, and we all know that nothing brightens and uplifts a face more than the look of sheer joy.