Most gym programs have a ‘leg day’, ‘arm day’ and ‘ab day’, targeted at toning up different areas of our bodies - but perhaps we should be incorporating in a ‘face day’ too! Different exercises help to tone up the muscles in different parts of our body, so why neglect our facial muscles?
Before now there was limited evidence that facial exercises actually contributed to a more youthful appearance. However, in a study published in January in JAMA dermatology, researchers at Northwestern University found that 20 weeks of facial exercises yielded firmer skin and the test group of women were found, on average, to look three years younger.
While most people know that crunches will strengthen our core and pushups our arms, specific exercises for our facial muscles are much lesser known. Read on to find out exactly how to exercise your face and, in turn, knock years off your appearance.
This exercise strengthens the muscles in your cheeks creating a firm, more taut look.
Step 1: Smile and form a long “O” with your mouth.
Step 2: Fold your upper lip over your front teeth and smile to lift the cheek muscles. Relax.
Step 3: Put your index finger lightly on the top of your cheek and smile again which should lift the fingers.
Step 4: Repeat ten times
Puffy eyes are a sure-fire way to look older than you actually are so to de-swell try an eye specific exercise. This exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to these delicate areas which reduces the puffy look.
Step 1: Dip your thumbs into an eye cream or moisturiser
Step 2: Lightly draw circles with your thumbs all the way around your eye sockets going in the opposite direction of wrinkles.
Step 3: Repeat 5 times.
The temporals muscle is located in the temples and is one of the most important facial muscles in regards to facial strength. A strong and toned Temporalis will tighten and strength the upper portion of the face and help to smooth out crows feet.
Step 1: Place your fingers at your temples and press lightly while you close your jaw, clenching teeth together and moving chin up.
Step 2: Clench your teeth together and hold for 10 seconds
Step 3: Clench down on your back teeth for 10 seconds feeling your Temporalis muscle flex with each clench
Step 4: Repeat four times.
Sagging eyelids are an inevitable part of ageing, so try this exercise to strengthen your orbiculares oculi - otherwise known as the ring of muscles that encircles your eye - for a firmer lid.
Step 1: Place index fingers under your eyebrows
Step 2: Hold your eyebrows against the eyebrow bone.
Step 3: Close your eyelids by stretching your upper lid down while still holding eyebrows.
Step 4: Repeat five times then squeeze your eyes shut for six seconds.