You work out several times a week, but do you also exercise for the face? Facial exercises aren't as widely touted as full-body workouts like aerobics, swimming and sports, at least not in fitness circles. Most people interested in face exercises do it to stave off wrinkles, sagging skin and other aging indicators. Do these exercises actually work?
Effectiveness of Facial Exercise
Devotees of face exercises claim that regular participation is what lends them a youthful appearance, but everyone isn't convinced about the effectiveness of these workouts. Exercise alone probably won't get rid of wrinkles -- you may find an anti-aging moisturizer much more effective if that's your aim. Likewise, if you have a double chin and want it to disappear, you'll most benefit from a full-body exercise program. Excess fat around your face will melt away at the same time it melts from the rest of you.
Whether the benefits of facial exercise are a myth or not, you can try them out to see if they work for you.
Exercise for the Face: Examples
There's exercise equipment for virtually any body part, and the face is no exception. You don't need to shell out any money to exercise your facial muscles, so there's no need to buy expensive gadgets and other dubious items that claim to turn back the clock. Your gym may have a machine or two for chin and neck exercises, but don't be surprised if even the most well-equipped facility is lacking -- equipment for exercise for the face is simply not as in demand as other machines.
You can still give those facial muscles a workout with no equipment at all. Try any or all of these exercises. You won't notice results right away, but stick with them for at least six weeks and see if you notice a difference. (Helpful hint: Take "before" and "after" pictures to compare.) When performing these moves, keep your neck and facial muscles relaxed and avoid tensing them.
- Sit in a straight-backed chair and look straight ahead. Lean your head back and face the ceiling. Open your mouth into a round O without stressing it; hold for a count of 10 to 20, close your mouth and return to the starting position. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
- Tilt your head back to look at the ceiling. Lift your lower lip over your top lip. This may be difficult, so only stretch your lip as far as you comfortably can. Hold for a count of five. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Close your eyes and lift your eyebrows as high as you can, while keeping your eyelids shut. You may place gentle pressure on your lids if you have trouble keeping them closed. Repeat 10 times.
Lips and Cheeks
- Pucker your lips and stick them out, as if you're giving someone a big kiss. Then pull your lips back into a wide grin. Hold each position for a second or two; the two movements together count as one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.
- Purse your lips as if you're sucking on a straw. Hold for a count of five. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Stick with It
As with any exercise, you don't get immediate results, so it's important to continue with the program. Try to get into the habit of performing this workout every other day; it might be a good way to wind down before bed, after you've applied a facial cream. You may find an improvement in your appearance, or you might not see any difference at all. To contribute to a youthful look, you can add drinking plenty of water and anti-aging products to your facial care routine.