What is Facial Yoga, you ask? It’s an exercise routine to tighten and tone the face. Surprisingly, we have more than 40 muscles above the neck that can be strengthened and enlarged, just like muscles in other parts of our body. Face yoga is a big trend among celebrities who say it sculps their face and makes them look younger.

What does it do?
Fat pads on top of our face muscles give us that cheeky, attractive, youthful fullness. But when the fat thins as we age, our skin sags and loosens. We can compensate for this loss with face yoga to bulk up and tighen the muscle under the fat pad.

A Northwestern University study took a group of middle-aged women and taught them 30 face yoga exercises. They committed to the exercises for 20 weeks. At the end of the study, dermatologists looked at their “before” and “after” pictures and said they looked about three years younger.

Why is it Beneficial for Your Skin?
Face yoga increases blood flow, and as you know, oxygenated skin is healthy skin. Celebrity practitioners rave about face yoga’s ability to boost collagen and increase lymphatic drainage, all while making them look more sculpted.

Become a Face Yogi
It takes about half an hour of exercise every other day to reap the benefits of face yoga that the women in the study experienced. The full routine is made up of 30 exercises. Here’s a sampling of three of the exercises that you can practice on your own (or with a friend). You’ll make each other laugh. Trust us.

Exercise #1: “The Cheek Lifter” – for sagging cheeks
Make an "O" with your mouth and fold your upper lip over your teeth. Now put an index finger on the top of each cheek. Lift the corners of your mouth into a smile, and your fingers will go up. Relax your mouth back into an "O" shape, and your fingers will go down. Repeat this ten times.
Cosmetic alternative: Dermal filler

Exercise #2: “Happy Cheeks Sculpting” – to improve cheek shape
Smile with your lips pressed together so your teeth won’t show. Place an index finger at each corner of your mouth. Slowly press the fingers up your face, over your cheekbones, and then out towards the corners of your eyes. Hold this for 20 seconds, and do it three times.
Cosmetic alternative: Voluma XC dermal filler

Exercise #3: “Eyebrow Lifter” – to lift brows
Place three fingertips from each hand under your eyebrow and force your eyes wide open. Smile while you pull your eyebrows down against your fingers. Close your lids and roll your eyeballs up. Hold for 20 seconds, repeat three times. 
Cosmetic alternative: Botox

Initial studies show face yoga builds cheek muscles and adds youthful volume to the face of middle-aged women. It takes several work-outs each week for about five months to reap the full benefits. But face yoga practitioners, including many celebrities, swear by the results. We had fun with the exercises, and the massage part felt so good. But it left us wondering…

What else can I do for my face?
Sometimes we want to instantly improve our looks, either because we need a self-confidence boost or because we have an important event coming up and want to look our best quickly. We get that, and we’re here to offer a variety of treatment options to rejuvenate your appearance. If you’d like to book an appointment, one of our board-certified dermatologists would be happy to see you.

Rachelle Riley