Of all the laugh out loud-worthy beauty techniques I’ve adopted, face yoga is probably the most absurd. Nevertheless, I’m two weeks into my new routine and already a fan.
Just like its name suggests, the practice involves daily “exercises” for your face with the idea that strengthening the muscles under your skin can delay the onset of sagging skin and wrinkles. As someone who is trying everything and anything to keep my anti-aging routine as natural as possible through my mid and late 20s, this is appealing.
The issue is, of course, that there isn’t much thorough research supporting the idea that face yoga can prevent the onset of aging. However, proponents are adamant that regular practice delivers real results.
One such woman is Fumiko Takatsu, the founder of online program, Face Yoga Method. Takatsu has hundreds of thousands of followers, and believes that her techniques can do everything from tighten-up double chins, to make frown lines almost disappear (holy heck, yes please!!).
“Face yoga exercises work by strengthening the muscles under the skin. As the muscles get toned and grow, they fill in and give you a youthful face. [The] exercises also promote better blood and oxygen flow throughout the face and body making it easier for nutrients to reach the top layer of the skin. When the skin is given proper nutrients, turn over speeds up and the result is more radiant, softer skin,” she explained to me.
Like all yogic practices, face yoga also incorporates conscious breath, and the deep breathing is supposed to “encourage blood flow to the skin and stress reduction.“
My first reaction upon hearing this theory, was to think that surely constant exercising of the face muscles would lead to overuse, and even expedite the aging process. Right? Wrong, apparently. While the wrong repetitive movements can cause unwanted wrinkles, moving them the right way can (allegedly) prevent and even reduce wrinkles.
“Since each pose does not take more than a minute and every movement is very specific, it would be quite difficult to make more wrinkles by practicing the face yoga method,” Takatsu explained.
She also recommends practicing in front of a mirror until you get it right, to make sure you’re moving the muscles correctly. Honestly, it can’t hurt to give this technique a try — and it’s a hell of a lot less invasive and much cheaper than botox — so here are three moves to get you started. If you love it, head to the Face Yoga Method website for more sequences.
Benefits: Defines and adds volume your cheeks, and tones the neck.
Move the jaw slightly forward, curl your lower lips over your teeth. Then smile, making sure both corners of your mouth are at the same level. Lift up the chin slightly and push your tongue up to the roof of the mouth. Keep pushing hard for 10 seconds then relax and repeat twice. By pushing the tongue to the roof of the mouth, the muscles around the mouth and the cheek contract more. This exercise is also supposed to help tone the neck area. When you do this pose, it is very important to keep both corners of your mouth at the same level.
Benefits: Prevents wrinkles and opens the eye area.
To start, curl your hands into “C” shapes. Next, place the index fingers above each eyebrow, along the upper eye bones and each thumb on either side of the nose, just above the nostrils. Open your chest, pull down your shoulder blades, and open your eyes as widely as possible. Make sure you press your fingers firmly into your eyebrows, making sure your forehead and brows don’t move. Hold this pose for five seconds. Then, squint your eyes, without losing pressure on the brow area. Hold this for five seconds, and then relax for a few seconds. Repeat for a total of three sets.
Benefits: Reduce the appearance of frown lines between your eyebrows.
This sequence is more complicated than the others — it involves a few steps and some serious scrunching and relaxing of your brows. For that reason, we suggest you check out the full video so you don’t miss any steps.