In a world where every other person wants to look forever young, there has been a surge in procedures of face lifting, fillers, Botox, and the use of expensive facial cosmetics. Some of these methods do make your skin look healthy and give you the required results, but if not done correctly can cause some damage.
But what if we told you that there is a method that is available for free and you can perform it at any time of the day?
Face yoga exercises have found a way into many people’s early morning and night routines. Apart from a slimmer face, it can also give you healthy-looking skin, which may make you look younger and also boost your confidence.
What is Face Yoga?
Face yoga is a natural method to tone the facial muscles, skin, and lymphatics. Apart from facial muscles, face yoga exercises target the neck and shoulder areas. These exercises are a combination of facial massages and movements that may help you in reducing puffiness, improve skin tightness and sculpt your jawline.
A good face and neck massage also help in increasing the blood flow to the skin which will give you a healthy glow.
Face yoga has different exercises that target specific areas such as the frown lines (the tissue between the eyebrows into a fold), forehead lines, laugh lines, crow’s feet (line near the eye), etc, so you can work on the area of your choice. Many exercises also help in reducing stress and headaches and improve sleep.
It may take some time to see the results of face yoga, depending on the routine you are following. You can easily learn some of these exercises through online videos, workshops, or courses.
10 Face Yoga Exercises
Before we list some face yoga techniques for you, it should be noted that aggressive or incorrect application of the exercise methods may create wrinkles or accelerate the signs of aging.
Hence it is advised that you do these techniques in moderation. Ideally, face yoga exercises should be done daily or for 30-minutes twice a day. The results may take weeks or months to show however, if you have a dedicated regime, you will be successful in achieving your goal.
Also, make sure that your hands and face are clean before trying any face yoga exercises as dirt and bacteria can clog the pores resulting in a breakout. Wash your face with a face wash of your choice and use a serum, oil, moisturizer, or cleansing balm to make the finger movement smooth.
Then try these face yoga exercises;
1. For reducing eye strain
Make a fist with your thumbs upright. Place the right thumb on the right eye and the left thumb on the left eye. Now putting very light pressure on the inner corner of the eyes for 30 seconds. Gently move the thumbs in a circular motion around the eyes. Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat in an anti-clockwise direction.
2. For removing frown lines
Keep your fingertips just above your eyebrows. Raise your eyebrows as high as possible while pushing them down with your fingertips. Hold it for 6-7 seconds and repeat the process at least 10 times.
3. For reducing double chin
Place your elbows on a table or on your knees. Keep your fists under your chin and press them upwards while opening your jaw. Hold it for 6 seconds and repeat the procedure 5-10 times.
Alternatively, you can only use your thumbs instead of fists.
4. For removing neck tension and boosting lymphatic drainage
Tilt back your head and keep your fingers on top of the neck. With gentle pressure, glide your fingers towards the collarbone and press onto them for 6-8 seconds. Release your fingers and repeat the process for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
You can also do a clockwise and anticlockwise neck roll warm-up to stimulate the neck muscles. Keep your shoulders away from your ears and spine straight when doing this exercise.
5. For glowing sking
Keep your face relaxed and start by gently and rhythmically tapping your fingertips all over the forehead. Move down towards the corner of your eyes, your cheeks, areas around the lips, jawline, and chin.
Keep tapping on the front of your neck and across your shoulders. Move your hands back to the back of the neck and bring them over to your head. Spend at least 30 seconds to complete the tapping across the head and neck.
In the end, rub your palms together to generate some heat and place them on your face for a few seconds.
6. For relieving eyebrow stress
Hold your eyebrows with your fingers. Put slight pressure and move towards the temples, giving the area a nice stretch. Hold the fingers at the temples for a few seconds and repeat the procedure for 30 seconds.
7. For uplifting your cheeks
Smile as wide as you can. Place your index and middle fingertips on both cheeks and lift them towards the eyes. Lower and lift your cheeks at least 10 times before holding them upwards at the last lift for 10-15 seconds. Release and repeat the process 3 times.
8. For improving eyesight
Open your eyes wide without wrinkling your eyebrows. The white part of your eyes should be visible to the max. Now focus on a point at a distance and squeeze them shut tightly. Open wide and squeeze them shut. Repeat this process till there are tears forming in your eyes.
At this point, close your eyes for a few seconds to relax and start over. Start by doing this process for 30 seconds and gradually increase the time to 5 minutes.
9. For natural color to the lip
Open the mouth and keep your lower and upper lip relaxed. Slightly pucker your lips to make a kissing motion. Relax the lips and press both of them inwards. Exert pressure for 10 seconds and then relax them. Repeat this process for 30 seconds and increase it to 2 minutes gradually.
10. For reducing stress and relaxing your face muscles
Here we will be using Lion’s breath technique as it is a well-known yoga breathing exercise to relax the face muscles.
Sit in a comfortable position and place your hands on your knees or on the floor. Take a deep inhale. On exhaling, open your mouth wide, with your tongue outside stretching towards the chin making a “ha” sound. The sound should come from your throat.
Complete the breathing cycle for 1 minute and then relax. Repeat the process at least 3-4 times.
Benefits of Face Yoga and Science behind it
There have been some studies done around the benefits of face yoga, however, there is still a large gap. Let us have a look at the research done on the effectiveness of face yoga.
A pilot study 1 done on middle-aged women (40-65 years) shows an improvement in the facial appearance with significant improvement in upper and lower cheek fullness. They performed face yoga for 20 weeks with 30 minutes every day for 8 weeks and then on alternate days for the remaining weeks.
Another study 2 was done on 75 elderly people who had low motor functions and for whom doing entire body exercise is a bit difficult. They were under a facial exercise program for 12 weeks with 30 minutes twice a week where they were trained on rhythmic facial movement, muscle stretching, facial yoga, and Tanden breathing.
It was noted that doing face yoga can improve mental health, facial expression, tongue muscle power.
However, a literature review of 9 studies 3 has come to the conclusion that evidence in face yoga studies was insufficient and inconclusive. Most of the studies consisted of small trial groups with no control groups. The effectiveness of assessment is purely subjective hence further trials will be needed for evidence.
While there is still research going on in this area, people who have tried face yoga have experienced its effectiveness. It has helped people reduce headaches, improve sleep quality, and surprisingly, reduce teeth grinding as well!
Face yoga practitioners also report it may help to:
- Firm neckline
- Reduced dark circles
- Reduction in skin sagging
- Control of facial muscles
- Increases positive mood
- Toned jawline and makes face symmetrical
- Treatment of Myofascial TMD pain 4
- Proper nostril breathing
- Improve confidence
- Minimize the appearance of stress lines
Face Yoga is one of the best and cheap ways to improve the skin health of your face. You can effectively stimulate the muscles while gaining physical and mental benefits. All you need are your fingers and 30 minutes every day to get a healthy, glowing, and wrinkle-free skin that we all dream for.
- Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885810/
- The effective of facial exercises on the mental health in elderly adults https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29503371/
- The effectiveness of facial exercises for facial rejuvenation: a systematic review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24327764/
- Massage therapy in myofascial TMD pain management https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23356206/