By Sean Zucker –
You know the moment. It’s Throwback Thursday and all of a sudden you’re staring at an old picture of yourself on Facebook that gives your face an angelic, wrinkle-free look. Your immediate reaction: How did I turn into the Crypt Keeper overnight? Your second: I gotta do something before I become a two-legged prune. Well, there are lots of anti-aging face creams on the market but they are expensive. Botox is another option. But face it (no pun intended): you’re not sticking needles in your mug.
Here’s a stretch. How about face yoga; face exercises for wrinkles. There is growing evidence this natural and inexpensive approach helps prevent and reduces wrinkles.
First developed in Japan, the practice involves making a series of repetitive motions and exaggerated expressions to help relax and activate facial muscles. Your face has 43 muscles in it and just like exercising any other part of the body, face yoga strengthens the muscles to add tone and definition. Working as a natural facelift, face yoga attempts to avoid the gradual displacement of face pads between the muscle and skin. The method attempts to achieve this by relaxing and shaping facial muscles to keep the face pads in place, therefore creating a slimmer, younger complexion.
Although it may initially seem unlikely that just moving your face around can have any genuine anti-aging effect, there is evidence to support these claims. A 2018 study conducted by Northwestern University found that 30 minutes of facial exercises a day can significantly reduce visible signs of aging. These daily or alternate-day exercises improved appearance by enlarging facial muscles, giving the face more volume. Moreover, the university found that women who practiced the 30-minute routine for 20 weeks made themselves look three years younger on average.
A study by JAMA Dermatology supported the notion that regular facial exercises result in a more youthful appearance. The study concluded that face yoga significantly improves the transparency of physical manifestations of facial aging, including skin laxity and superficial photo damage as well as combating deeper structural volume loss of fat and muscle.
Admittedly, there are many skeptics who claim there is not yet enough evidence to fully support face yoga’s anti-aging claims. And that may be true. But trying face yoga is virtually risk- and cost-free. You only have to invest a little time.