Can Face Yoga Actually Give A More Youthful Appearance To Your Face?

As you’ve aged, has your skincare routine created a sizable dent in your wallet? 

Have masks, creams, and serums become a ritualistic part of your morning and evening hours, aiding your endeavors in diminishing fine lines and wrinkles? 

If you’ve found yourself searching for the fountain of youth, or any other remedy to hide the signs of stress and worry written all over your face, yoga may just be the solution to your search. 

Yes, aside from promoting relaxation and relieving stress in general, yoga, more specifically, face yoga, can work to relax the muscles in your face, alleviating tension and the fine lines and wrinkles that follow! 

What Is Face Yoga?

It’s no secret that exercise can help to keep you looking young and feeling great. But, is it possible to focus these efforts to specifically benefit your face? 

I mean, we put in a little extra effort in both the kitchen and the gym for tight abs and firm glutes, so can similarly focused efforts on your facial muscles yield such youthful results as well? 

Survey says (actually research says)…yes! 

Face yoga seeks to improve the structural appearance of your face and neck. 

A lot of what we do (or even feel) throughout a given day can lead to premature aging, often seen in our reflection in the mirror. 

Did you know that too much time spent in front of a screen can cause facial aging? 

Did you know that most people hold tension in their face, contributing to fine lines and wrinkles? 

Face yoga, no mat, leggings, or vinyasas needed, can provide needed relaxation and strengthening to your face, releasing held tension and softening the effects of these daily routines and stressors. 

Incorporating both massage and exercise (and acupuncture in some cases), face yoga targets three main areas with the goal of relaxing and softening your facial muscles to alleviate stress, tension, and/or worry (and the fine lines and wrinkles that result from these feelings). 

As your face and neck house many muscles, face yoga works to stimulate these muscles, as well as your skin, and lymphatic system. 

By strengthening the muscles in your cheeks, face, and neck, you can potentially decrease puffiness or inflammation in the face. 

This can also help to improve the elasticity of the skin of your face and neck, which works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

Focusing on these muscles can also reduce fat in the jawline, giving you a more sculpted appearance. 

Skin & Lymphatic System
We’ll look at your skin and lymphatic system together here as stimulating these areas boasts similar benefits.

Both exercise and massage, focused on your face and neck, increases blood flow.

Massage, specifically, can improve skin blood flow which aids in the production of collagen, a needed protein that keeps your skin from sagging and gives it a young/youthful glow. 

Facial massage also promotes tissue drainage, which clears toxins from below the surface of your skin to help improve your complexion. 

And, lymphatic drainage also works to smooth the skin, giving a youthful appearance to your facial features. 

Another way that face yoga can help to give a youthful appearance to your face is by helping you cease to make the facial expressions that promote the formation of fine lines and wrinkles in the first place. 

Alleviating tension, stress, and worry through the calming practice of yoga can reduce the number of times you may use such facial expressions altogether. 

Less frowning, fewer instances of a furrowed brow, less frequent eyebrow raises, these can all lead to a reduction in the lines and wrinkles that come with age. 

What The Experts Say About Face Yoga

Many believe face yoga to be a promising and natural practice to alleviate the need for expensive, and often invasive, treatments that promise a more youthful appearance. 

Board certified dermatologist, Deborah Longwill, states “the goal of face yoga is to increase the blood and oxygen supply to your skin, which improves the life of the cell, [and] this leads to glowing and rejuvenated skin.” 

When speaking of practicing specific exercises targeting the muscles in the face, dermatologist Lucy Chen says that face yoga can “reduce visible signs of aging.” 

And, Harvard Health has noted that “moving and stretching scarred skin through face yoga can lessen the appearance of scars.” 

While some believe studies regarding the effectiveness of face yoga are limited, meaning there simply aren’t enough results to conclusively define the benefits of it. 

Others have found the following to be tried and true results of practicing face yoga: 

  • Released and relieved tension, minimizing the appearance of stress lines on the face
  • Reduced number of scars (on the face)
  • Smoothing of lines and wrinkles
  • Glowing skin (thought to be the result of better circulation and increased blood flow to the skin)
  • Firmed jaw and neckline
  • Raised cheeks
  • Widened eyes
  • Reduced skin sagging
  • Makes your face less rounded and more symmetrical 
  • Reduced appearance of dark circles under the eyes

And, many practitioners recommend face yoga for benefits beyond appearance, such as: 

  • Improvements of facial muscle thickness
  • Reducing facial spasms
  • Improving Bell’s palsy
  • TMJ pain treatment
  • Controlled breathing through your nostrils
  • Improved confidence and greater positive emotions

So then, how can you reap these rewards, bringing health and a more youthful appearance to your face? 

How To Do Face Yoga

While traditional yoga poses aren’t at the core of face yoga, some of these exercises can still benefit your face and skin. 

  • Yoga exercises that promote a forward fold in your body can increase the amounts of blood and oxygen that flow to the skin, resulting in a youthful, healthy glow. 
  • Backbending yoga poses can benefit your front neck muscles through toning and firming. 
  • Poses that incorporate twisting can firm the sides of your face and release tension held in the neck. 
  • When meditating during traditional yoga poses, you can seek to also relax the muscles in your face to release tension. 

During face yoga, as tension tends to be found in your forehead, jaw, and brows, seek to work to release any tightness in these areas. 

As wrinkles are most often found near the forehead, mouth, and eyes, choose massages and exercises that focus on these areas. 

It is important to note that pain and tension shouldn’t be felt throughout face yoga exercises, but warmth or heat is normal. 

First, we’ll start with a common yoga breathing exercise that is already known for its benefits regarding stress reduction and the relaxing of facial muscles, the lion’s pose. 

The Lion’s Pose should be performed from a seated position, from this position: 

  • Lean forward, placing your hands either on your knees or on the floor.
  • Inhale through your nose, deeply. 
  • Open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out towards your chin.
  • Exhale your breath forcefully across the base of your tongue while making a “ha” sound. 
  • Now relax, breathe normally. 
  • Repeat this process up to 7 times, then relax, breathing deeply for a period of 1-3 minutes. 

Now, with clean hands and face, using an oil or balm on your fingers to promote easy gliding over your skin, practice exercising or massaging the following areas: 

  1. Eyes – To increase blood and oxygen circulation and relieve puffiness, using extremely light touches, perform the following for approximately 30 seconds:
  • Place your ring fingers at the inside of your brows.
  • Tap your fingers towards the outside of your brows gently. 
  • Gently press into your temples for one to two seconds.
  • In the same manner, now tap above your cheekbones to the inner corner of your eye. 
  1. Brows – To relax the large muscle at the front of the forehead (the frontalis muscle), relieving stiffness and releasing stress/tension:
  • Rest your fingertips, facing inwards, at the center of your forehead. 
  • Moving them gently towards your temples, press your fingertips into your forehead.
  • Release, then repeat this exercise for approximately 30 seconds. 
  1. Eyes (Pressure Point) – To reduce eye strain throughout the day or before sleeping: 
  • Gently press your fingertips into the inner corner of your eye (roughly 30 seconds).
  • Rotate your fingertips in a circular motion (roughly 30 seconds, in the same inner corner of your eye). 
  • Repeat this circular motion for another 30 seconds in the opposite direction. 
  1. Jaw – To engage the muscles in your jaw (and neck):
  • Sit down, make a fist with your left hand, and place it on the outside of your jaw (thumb facing downward). 
  • Not allowing your hand to move, turn your head towards your fist. You should feel a stretch on the side of your neck. 
  • Hold for a few seconds, then release, repeating on the opposite side. 
  1. Neck – To relieve tension in the neck and increase lymphatic drainage, also improving the appearance of sagging in the neck and jaw/chin, perform the following for approximately 30 seconds (repeating as often as needed for the allotted time): 
  • Slightly tilt your head backwards.
  • Placing your fingers at the top of your neck, gently press as you glide your fingertips down to your collarbone. 
  • Press here (collarbone) for a few moments before releasing.
  1. Face – To increase circulation and promote facial relaxation:
  • Beginning at your forehead, gently and rhythmically tap your skin with your fingertips. 
  • Move in a continual motion along your face and towards your jaw. 
  • Move to the front of your neck, proceeding along your shoulders.
  • Move along the back of your neck, upwards to your head.
  • Rubbing your palms together to generate heat, now cup your hands over your face, breathing into them deeply for several breaths. 
  1. Cheeks – To lift and strengthen cheek muscles:
  • Open your mouth to form an O shape.
  • Positioning your upper lip over your teeth, smile to cause your cheek muscles to lift upward.
  • Now gently place your index fingers on top of your cheek muscles, under your eyes. 
  • Release your cheek muscles, lowering them. 
  • Now, smile again, focusing on lifting those same muscles upwards (towards your eyes). 
  • Repeat 10 times, lowering and lifting the cheeks, holding your cheek muscles in the upward position for 20 seconds on the tenth time. 
  • Repeat up to 3 times.

Keep in mind…

It is important to do these exercises gently as aggressive moments could actually work to accelerate the signs of aging. 

And, it is important to do these exercises with clean hands and a clean face, as dirt, oil, and bacteria can clog pores and lead to breakouts which decrease the appearance of youthful, healthy skin. 

While some believe face yoga isn’t quite enough to negate the need for surgeries, procedures, creams, serums, and the like, overall, many believe its benefits such as in increasing blood and oxygen flow to the skin, promoting collagen production, and improving muscle tone are sufficient to achieve and maintain a healthy youthful appearance. 


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