Have you ever tried face yoga? If you haven’t, you’re not alone: most people have no idea that you can do yoga for your face. A few days ago you could have added us to that list because we had no idea either.
Naturally, the question that immediately springs to mind is… er, why would you? But then we remembered facercise! Facercise, if you’ve never heard of it before, is an exercise program for your face, which originally came out in the mid-nineties (and is still going strong).
In fact, you may be surprised to discover that facial yoga is nothing new – even the late, great Jack LaLanne used to do it (he called it facenastics, so there you go):
We love a 1950′s flashback.
So facial yoga is about looking younger. And there’s nothing wrong with that; after all, isn’t that also part of the reason why people eat healthy and work out anyway?
Does Facial Yoga Work?
While we haven’t tried facial yoga, we do know that exercising certainly works. And if there’s one place which has an abundance of muscles, it’s your face (most people have about 43. We say ‘about’ because, interesting fact, not everyone has the same number of facial muscles).
But does that necessarily mean face yoga will make you look younger? We’re not so sure.
Your results largely depend on how you work out. We can’t help but be somewhat sceptical about facial yoga because the muscles in your face already get quite a good workout each day through speech and facial expressions.
On the other hand, everyone has habitual facial expressions and mannerisms, so by working out the other muscles in your face, you could potentially get some good results. Facial exercise can potentially increase circulation in the face, increased circulation would have beneficial effects (especially for your skin).
If you look around the internet, you’ll find a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that facial yoga (in its’ various incarnations) does work. For example:
It’s not a quick fix, but the results are amazing. I’ve noticed results with my cheeks and my jaw line more than anywhere else. My lips (and I’ve always had chicken lips) have filled out and the tiny age lines that were wrinkling the top lip are slowly smoothing out. My eyes have widened slightly, and the droop has almost completely disappeared. The eye lid to crease area has plumped up a bit. source on Flex Effect
And when you look at a few of the facial yoga gurus, you’ve got to admit: they do look pretty good for their ages.
Still, those kind of results could be a product of any number of things, from eating clean and healthy to just really good genetics. In fact, it could be said that if someone is going to go to the trouble of practicing facial yoga, then they’re likely to already be working out, eating healthy and following a beauty regime designed to preserve their youthful looks.
Dr. Francis Papay, chairman of the Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, is sceptical of the claims, citing a lack of studies (that he’s aware of), but more importantly that, to him, the claims just don’t make sense: heavily used face muscles are a cause of wrinkles rather than a remedy.
He does concede that the neck exercises could perhaps tone the muscles, and potentially lift the skin along the neck and lower jaw.
On the other hand, Dr. Neil Sadick, a cosmetic surgeon and clinical professor of dermatology at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, has conducted studies on facial stimulation and states that they can improve muscle tone and make the skin appear more supple.
So there is some disagreement between those in the medical profession. Heck, even the gurus of facial yoga don’t always agree on what exercises work and which ones don’t.
Currently, more studies will need to be done to reach a conclusive, scientifically-accepted conclusion. Remember though, that absense of evidence is not evidence of absence – in other words, just because
no few studies have been done, doesn’t necessarily mean that facial yoga doesn’t work.
Facial Yoga Workout
Since the anecdotal evidence is so good (granted that it is anecdotal, but still…) if you’re like us, you’re thinking about giving this facial yoga stuff a go. We don’t blame you, because if it works it’d be like having your own fountain of youth (kinda).
To get you started, here’s a happy lady showing you her facial yoga routine:
And here’s another:
The thing to remember is that advocates for face yoga all say that you need to do them consistently to see results – just like working out! Also, be willing to look ridiculous.
Warning: you don’t want to do this in front of people, unless you’re actually trying to freak them out. Seriously.
We’re not sure if these routines actually work, but for science – you understand – we’re willing to try. And if you’re looking for scientifically proven anti-aging, then look at stress reduction, healthy eating and exercise.
Further Facial Yoga Resources
Note: we’re providing these as further information for those interested, we haven’t tried them, so we can’t claim any results.
What are your thoughts on face yoga? Let us know in the comments section below!