Healthspan February 15, 2018

From bicep curls to tone our arms, Pilates to tighten our stomachs and lunges to define our legs, there’s an exercise out there to help us achieve our own individual body goals. However, when it comes to our face and neck we’re a little more lax.

Our face and neck contain over 50 muscles so it’s only logical that we take the time to exercise them to keep the skin in this area toned and tightened. Daily facial exercises can help increase blood circulation which results in a healthier complexion and may also stimulate collagen production leading to a smoother, plumper look and feel to skin. Some facial yoga advocates even claim that daily, regular exercises are better than botox or plastic surgery when it comes to tightening and toning skin. Adding a targeted topical treatment can also enhance the benefits of facial exercises. Opt for a specialised neck and décolletage cream for your chest area, a soothing serum for the delicate skin around your eyes and a rich moisturiser to plump skin all over.

The beauty of facial exercising is that it can be done in the comfort of your own home, so there’s no need to feel self-conscious about how weird it may look (or feel). On the flip side if you do fancy contorting your face in public, there’s a small, but slowly-expanding, number of facial gym classes (yes, really) popping up across the country. Simply try whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Here’s our pick of the best daily exercises for your face and chin

Chin & Neck: place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, smile and swallow whilst tilting your chin at the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds then repeat 5 times.

Eyes: Open your eyes as wide as possible, but don’t wrinkle your forehead. Focus on a distant object, hold for 10 seconds then repeat 5 times.

Cheeks: Smile as wide as possible with your lips closed and the corners of your mouth turning upwards. Wrinkle your nose in order to move your cheek muscles upwards. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat 5 times.

Giving our face and neck muscles a daily workout can have great long-term benefits for your skin, especially in terms of keeping it looking youthful and healthy. However we should also become more mindful of our facial expressions and how they can impact on the ageing process.

We’ve probably all heard by now that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile but whether you believe it or not, frowning is not great for our skin nor people’s impressions of us. Constant frowning can accelerate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the forehead and eye area so next time something perplexes, frustrates or annoys you be mindful of your facial expressions and try to soften them. Similarly regularly squinting or rubbing your eyes can lead to dark circles or crow’s feet developing so take regular breaks from reading or using screens.

Smiling and laughing often get a bad rap for causing, well, laughter lines but in reality having a positive outlook and enjoying life can leave us feeling and looking radiant. Numerous studies vary in their findings but they all conclude that adults laugh less than children. One study estimated that the average adult laughs just four times a day compared to an average four-year-old that giggles 300 times.¹ It’s no secret that laughter can make us feel better which can translate into feeling more confident and glowing so we definitely believe it’s worth the laughter lines – after all, they’re a reflection of a happy life.

Regular facial exercising can have plenty of benefits for your skin health and on the plus side, you’re guaranteed to laugh whilst perfecting it so there’s no better excuse to try it.

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References
1 Gerloff. P, (2011), You're Not Laughing Enough, and That's No Joke, Psychology Today.

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