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The Lowdown On The Anti-Ageing Practice Of Face Yoga
A 60-minute yoga class will tone your legs, shoulders, torso and arms. And what does your face get out of that? Red, sweaty and not much else.
Although the term "face-yoga" may sound a little woo-woo, toning the 43 muscles in your face can provide a lifted result much like exercising your body. And who doesn’t want that?
According to a 2018 study, a group of women aged 40 to 65 who practised 30 minutes of face yoga every day for eight weeks, then every other day for 12 weeks, were declared to look three years younger by a panel of dermatologists.
What is face yoga?
There’s not much left to the imagination, face yoga is exactly as it reads: yoga for the face. The practice consists of a series of small, targeted exercises that work to train each different muscle within the face.
This form of exercise has become so popular that studios dedicated to toning and transforming facial structures (minus any knives or needles) have since opened their doors. At FaceGym in the UK, sessions include a warm-up, cardio, and cool-down designed exclusively for the face.
What are the benefits of face yoga?
Essentially, face yoga works to increase blood circulation, relax tension and stress, correct sagging and firm the neckline. Basically, minimising all the signs of ageing.
Celebs like Meghan Markle, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston have all hailed the practice, with their glowing, youthful and lifted complexions serving as the best testimonial of all.
And according to a conversation between Goop and LA face yoga instructor Soheila Ghassemi, there is one key factor that contributes to results: consistency. Soheila explained that daily commitment is critical, but not to worry as it also won't overtake your life: “A few minutes in the morning or evening is all it takes”.
Ready to try face yoga for yourself?
The warm up is all about relaxing the facial muscles, which you can work into your routine alongside your regular skin care application. Begin by prepping the skin with a hydrating serum, moisturiser or face oil. This works to keep the skin elastic and smooth while you’re stretching, plus it allows for greater penetration of your products.
Start by tapping your fingertips from the forehead down to the neck. Then stretch your head and neck back and forth, and finish your warm up by stretching your mouth open and closed three times.
Soheila’s 5 wrinkle-targeting exercises
Forehead wrinkles: Make a fist with both hands and place them in the centre of the forehead. Press down firmly and slide fists to the side. Continue this process four times. “This move relaxes the frontalis muscle and removes tension in the forehead” explained Soheila.
Eleven lines: Position your index and middle fingers at the innermost corners of your eyebrows. Begin by pressing firmly, then spreading fingers horizontally. Inhale deeply and slowly exhale while frowning for five counts. Feel the resistance of the muscles beneath your fingertips. According to Soheila: "the key for this pose is not to try too hard, make sure your forehead is relaxed."
Crow’s feet: Place your middle and index finger just above the temples, towards the hairline, and pull upward. Squint for five seconds without moving the forehead. Repeat three times.
Laugh lines: Make an O shape with your mouth and extend your face long. Place both palms on the temples and pull upward. Pull the upper lip firmly towards the teeth. Hold this pose for five seconds and relax. Repeat three times.
Neck and jawline: Turn your chin to the right at a 45-degree angle. Pout your mouth as if you were going to kiss someone. Hold for five seconds. Relax and repeat three times. Then repeat on the left side.
Just as you started, finish by tapping across the face and neck to restore muscle relaxation.