Heidi from http://siegemedia.com shared with Healthy Lombard that if you’re at all tuned in to the Meghan Markle craze that has swept the globe since the royal wedding, you’ve probably heard about her unique facial exercise routine. In order to maintain her youthful, wide-awake “Markle Sparkle,” she and many celebrities (including Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, and Gwenyth Paltrow) have taken up “face yoga.”
Face yoga, or facial exercises, work by strengthening specific muscle groups to keep the skin on top plump and firm. Not only is face yoga a less invasive alternative to Botox and other facial fillers, but it’s also way cheaper (as in, free!). Though it might sound too good to be true, there are a lot of before and afters out there that make a compelling case. But we understand if you’re still skeptical, so read on to see what experts have to say about the benefits of facial exercises.
Does the Face Yoga Method Actually Work?
Unfortunately, there haven’t been many studies on the effectiveness of face yoga. Maybe scientists don’t care about fighting wrinkles? However, the practice is becoming more widespread and a couple of studies published last year showed promising results.
In the first study, a group of 40–65-year-olds was trained on muscle-resistant facial exercises and instructed to do the exercises every day for 30 minutes. After eight weeks, before and after photos were evaluated using the Merz-Carruthers Facial Aging Photoscales (MCFAP). When compared to their baseline photos, participants showed improved upper cheek fullness and their average estimated age decreased significantly.
The second study tried to take any human bias out of the equation by evaluating participants with a sonograph and laser scanning system to measure facial surface area and muscle thickness. Participants used a PAO device (a very interesting-looking Japanese facial exercise tool) for 30 seconds twice per day over the course of eight weeks. The findings were similar to the earlier study, in that facial muscle thickness increased for a more rejuvenated look.
If that’s not enough of a reason to give face yoga a shot, there are many other health benefits to facial exercises besides anti-aging.
Why You Should Try Face Yoga
There are numerous physical benefits to face yoga, which is why facial exercises are often recommended in recovery plans for people suffering from facial paralysis. Orofacial myofunctional therapy, as it’s formally known, is a system for repatterning the movement of the facial neuromuscular system. By teaching the face, mouth, tongue, and neck to coordinate properly, face exercises have been purported to help with health issues such as:
- Neck pain
- Speech issues
Reduce wrinkles and get rid of headaches? Seems like the perfect solution! In addition, a study published last year found that facial exercises can even improve your mental health. Seniors in an assisted living facility attended 30-minute facial exercise programs twice a week over the course of 12 weeks. The conclusions suggested that these exercises improved their mental health and that this type of therapy could be a useful alternative to physical exercise for people with low motor function.
Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Click here to see the top five facial exercises for a more youthful appearance.