Yoga for Your Face

Do Facial Exercises Work

Want a natural solution to saggy skin and fine lines? Try face yoga!

It may sound a little strange, but facial exercises, also known as face yoga, have become all the rage in skincare circles in recent years thanks to the supposed benefits of improving skin tone, and reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.

Like any exercise, face yoga is meant to tone and tighten the muscles through repeated movements, expressions, and massages. This, in turn, stimulates the lymphatic system and helps reduce sagging and wrinkles.

“The aim is to create a moment of self-care where you improve blood circulation for a healthy glow and reduce stress and tension in your face,” Elisa Jungman, Ph.D., a proponent of facial yoga, told EveryDay Health.

Some small studies have shown certain facial exercises, done consistently for several weeks, can indeed modestly improve a person’s facial appearance. But the jury is still out as to whether the effects are long lasting, or they just offer a temporary fix. (Of course, cosmetic procedures like injections and peels are also only a temporary fix.)

“Although available studies have had limitations, they—along with anecdotal evidence—have shown there may be a benefit,” Dr. Sheila Farhang, a Tucson-based board-certified dermatologist, told RealSelf News.

On the other hand, there is some risk: Doing the exercises wrong or too aggressively might cause wrinkles too, just in different spots than the ones you’re trying to focus on. Because of the risk, dermatologists are divided on whether to recommend face yoga for patients.

Facial exercises to try

Curious and want to give it a try? Below are five common facial exercises. They are usually recommended to be done every day continuously for several weeks before expecting results. There are also several YouTube channels out there, like Five Face Exercises You Need to Know and Two-Minute Face Yoga, to help you get it right.

(You’ll find links to both in the additional resources section.)

The Eye Opener

This exercise is meant to reduce puffiness around the eyes. Take your fingertips and push your eyebrows up. Then smile while trying to push your eyebrows down. Hold for a few seconds then release. Do this 20 times.

Jaw and Neck Stretch

Tilt your head back and up to the right at about 45-degree angle. Pucker your lips like you’re kissing someone and then move your mouth further to the right. You’ll feel a stretch in your left cheek. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and then do the same on the other side. Repeat this exercise a few times each day.

Forehead Smoother

This one is pretty straightforward to help with horizontal forehead wrinkles. Make fists with both hands. Hold your knuckles to your forehead rather firmly. Move your hands from the middle of your forehead out toward your temples. Do this several times over 30 seconds.

Cheekbone Lifter

Place your index fingers on your chin and run them along each side of your jaw up toward your cheekbones. End at the crevice of your cheekbones and hold the fingers there for a moment. Do this slowly and several times for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Crow’s Feet Smoother

Make an oval shape with your mouth, pulling the top and bottom lips over your teeth. Look up with just your eyes. Hold for a few seconds. Careful with this exercise because doing this too much could lead to stretching and further sagging in different places!

So there you have it – five facial exercises that you’ll probably feel a little silly doing but might help you look a bit younger. Happy exercising!

Additional resources

Lynn Cicchelli is a writer with over 20 years' worth of experience creating healthy lifestyle content for both print and digital publications. Originally from New York, Lynn currently lives in Connecticut with her husband, stepson, and dog Indiana.


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