- Face yoga provides anti-aging results through a combination of massage and facial exercise.
- Face yoga benefits include easing tension, tightening skin, and strengthening facial muscles.
- Practice face yoga daily for 20 minutes and you should see results in six weeks.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Smooth, firm, lifted skin is highly coveted in a time where many hope to age gracefully. But what if there was a way to reduce fine lines and saggy skin without facelifts or Botox injections? The answer may be face yoga.
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Face yoga, which includes specific exercises and massages targeting the face, may strengthen skin and reduce signs of aging, amongst other benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about face yoga and a few exercises to try it for yourself.
What is face yoga?
Face yoga combines massage, acupressure, exercises, and relaxation to provide safe, anti-aging skin results, says Danielle Collins, who has been teaching face yoga for 16 years with her own practice. All you need to do face yoga are your hands.
While there are limited studies on the benefits of face yoga, the few out there found that the technique:
- Increasing blood circulation
- Diminishing fine lines
- Softening your skin
- Reducing puffiness
- Improving posture
Most people can practice face yoga, Collins says. But if you have one of the following conditions on your face, consult with a medical professional beforehand and avoid massaging the affected area:
- An injury like an open wound or broken jaw
- Active acne
Important: Always wash your hands before doing face yoga in order to prevent acne.
Face yoga exercises
There are many different facial exercises you can do while growing your daily routine. To practice face yoga, start with one minute a day and work your way to 10, says Collins. From there, try increasing it to 20 minutes a day.
Here are some face yoga options to try at home and how they can benefit you, according to Collins and Sikorski.
1. Cheek sculptor
Good for: Lifting and sculpting the cheek area.
How to do it:
- Put your index fingers and middle fingers near the bottom of the face.
- Glide your fingers up the face with the index fingers going up the smile lines, then stopping around the nostrils.
- The middle fingers then slide up the rest of the cheeks.
- The fingers move into a V position as they slide up the face.
- Repeat for one minute.
2. Neck tension releaser
Good for: Boosting circulation, releasing tension in the back of the neck, opening shoulders, and lifting and firming the front of the neck.
How to do it:
- Gently tilt back the head.
- Then use your fingers to tap across the front of your neck lightly.
- Gradually move up and continue onto the cheek area, around the mouth, gently under the eyes, and onto the temple.
- Do this for about one minute.
3. Third eye softener
Good for: Reducing stress and headaches, relaxing muscles, and softening vertical lines between the eyebrows.
How to do it: This is a simple exercise where you repeatedly press between your eyebrows with one finger in the same spot, says Collins. Do this for about a minute.
4. Forehead smoother
Good for: Lifting eyebrows, smoothing forehead lines, preventing eyelid droop, and releasing tension.
How to do it:
- Put your index and middle fingers of both hands on your forehead along the hairline.
- Press the length of those fingers firmly down and slide them lower towards your eyebrows.
- Simultaneously lift your eyebrows up.
- Hold for ten seconds while taking a deep breath.
- Do this three times, holding the last one for 20 seconds.
- Do the sequence one more time.
5. Lower eyelid firmer
Good for: Strengthening upper and lower eyelids, increasing blood circulation, brightening skin around eyes, and decreasing under-eye puffiness.
How to do it:
- Place your middle fingers on the inside corner of your eyes and your index fingers on the outside of your eyes.
- Squint with your lower eyelids and feel the muscles under your fingers tighten.
- Do this ten times while keeping the upper eyelids open.
- Hold the final squint for 20 seconds.
- Repeat the session once.
Does face yoga work?
Similar to other exercises, you must do face yoga consistently to see results. “It’s just like going to the gym,” says Sikorski. “If you practice more exercises and spend more time with your face, then you’ll see quicker, faster, and better results.”
The amount of time it takes to see lasting results from face yoga varies from person to person, but Sikorski says to expect to see initial results after six to ten weeks of 15 to 20 minute daily sessions.
For example, in a small 2018 study, participants made up of middle-aged women learned 32 facial exercises. Over 20 weeks, they did face yoga for 30-minute intervals, either daily or every other day. At the end of the study, upper and lower cheek fullness improved, and the estimated age of participants decreased.
Wearing SPF, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep can help results appear sooner, says Collins.
Important: While tugging on your face may seem like it could exacerbate wrinkles, face yoga will not cause lines when appropriately performed. You shouldn’t see any lines during the exercises as the fingers keep the skin taut, says Collins.
Face yoga is a form of facial massage, acupuncture, and exercise that is intended to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It should be practiced daily for 20 minutes.
Face yoga is doable for most people. However, Collins cautions to listen to your face. “Ask yourself how are you feeling and go really gentle with the techniques when you start,” she says. The results will still come.
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