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Do Facial Exercises Get Rid of Wrinkles?

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 17 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Wrinkles Facial Exercises Anti Ageing

For many of us keen to find a natural, non-invasive and inexpensive way to improve our facial appearance, facial exercises seem like a great anti ageing solution. It is believed to tighten the face and erase as well as prevent wrinkles, giving you a fresher, more youthful appearance.

However, many remain sceptical of its benefits and some even believe it does more harm than good! So what is the truth? Can facial exercises really get rid of wrinkles?

Facial exercises have long been used in Ayurveda, an ancient Indian science, to delay the ageing process and help prevent wrinkles. This activity has now been embraced by many advocates, including several dermatologists, with many fitness clubs across the United States even offering facial exercise classes. After all, if you can use exercise to firm the body, why not the face?

The Argument For

Skin requires a good supply of oxygen to maintain a healthy appearance and this means good circulation and muscle tone. Facial exercises are believed to increase circulation, helping to clear away toxins while also toning up underlying facial muscle structure which supports the facial skin and smoothing away lines, making skin more smooth and supple.

Supporters also believe that facial exercises promote collagen and elastin production and even helps to minimise pores through better oil distribution, as well as helping to drain away excess fluids and therefore reduce puffiness.

Many dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons do feel that facial exercises can play a positive role in medicine, due to their ability to stimulate circulation and blood flow. Thus, facial exercises are often used to relieve tension and prepare the skin for treatment – they are used by beauticians and registered nurses prior to facials, microdermabrasion, and chemical peel treatments and are even recommended by doctors to treat certain medical conditions such as TMJ Pain Syndrome. They are believed to facilitate lymphatic drainage and remove any excess fluid containing toxins.

Thus, many supporters are now advocating doing facial exercises at home, performed every day in front of the mirror. However, it’s not as simple as pulling faces – knowing which areas to target and which muscles to work in certain ways is the key to getting good results.

Also, all experts agree that it can take several weeks before you see any effects. An improvement in skin and tone is expected within 3-4 weeks if you do a facial workout every day and an overall fresher, more youthful look is expected within 3 months.

The Argument Against

Many experts, while acknowledging the potential benefits of facial exercises done by professionals, question their use at home. Many dermatologists believe that our faces get enough of a workout through normal smiling, talking, eating and blinking. Others believe that facial muscles are different from other muscles in the body and therefore can’t be toned in the same way.

Furthermore, some even believe that repeated facial exercise could actually cause more wrinkles and sagging by pulling the face into unnatural expressions and deepening existing lines. After all, we all know that crows feet are the result of laughter and frown lines the result of frowning – so it makes sense that if you do not pull those expressions frequently, those lines are less likely to appear. Finally, many experts believe that facial exercises simply don’t work and are just a fad or a superstition.

Preventing Facial Lines

According to experts, the best way to avoid facial wrinkles and sagging is to avoid these habits:

  • Squinting (wear sunglasses in strong sunlight)
  • Sucking/sipping through a straw
  • Scrubbing/washing your face too vigorously
  • Leaning your chin or cheek on your hand
  • Sleeping with your hand wedged between your chin/cheek and the pillow

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