You have 43 muscles in the face, and you use them every day. But, have you ever wondered if you can exercise those muscles?
Maybe you haven’t given it a thought, but the researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago certainly have.
Through their research, they have found some evidence that a daily routine of facial exercises can make your facial muscles stronger. These same exercises can also make your face appear younger.
Five-Month De-Aging Experiment
The participants of the study had to perform daily facial exercises for 20 weeks. They performed these two out of thirty-two exercises during the study:
1. Happy cheeks sculpting
You perform this exercise by smiling without opening your mouth. Purse your lips together and smile, then push the corners of your mouth upward with your index fingers. Hold this position for 20 seconds.
2. Cheek Lifter
Hold your fingers on your cheekbones. Lift your cheeks and hold for 5 seconds.
These face muscle exercises work in the same was as body exercises. During the exercise session, the muscle fibers in the face get damaged from repeated stress. Then, during recovery, they are rebuilt into bigger and stronger muscles.
Bigger facial muscles take up more space under the skin. This makes the skin become tighter, which fixes that droopy appearance associated with aging. Strong muscles also prevent fat deposits under the skin from moving.
Twenty seven women aged forty to sixty five took part in the experiment. The experiment lasted five months.
Setting the Experiment
In the beginning, the women were assigned yoga instructors who were trained for this exact purpose. The women had two 90-minute practice sessions with the instructors.
The purpose of the two sessions was to learn about proper techniques for performing facial exercises. Also, these instructional sessions aimed to achieve consistency in performing the exercises among the women included in the study.
Continuing on Their Own
After receiving the training and getting familiar with the exercises, the women were sent home. They included the exercises in their daily routines.
For the first two months of the study, they performed the exercises daily. For the remaining three months, they did the exercises every other day.
The participants were photographed before the experiment, two months in, and at the end of the five-month period.
The researchers use standardized techniques for determining the apparent age from the photos. They did this by grading points on the subject’s face.
- At the start of the study, the average age of the participant was 50.8 years.
- Two months into the experiment, the average apparent age was reduced to 49.6 years.
- At the end of the study, the average was even lower, at 48.1 years.
This means that there were significant improvements even after switching from performing the exercises daily to every other day.
What This Means for You
There still isn’t enough information on which exercises are the best for facial training. What is certain is that facial training works to some degree and it is safe for you to perform. Try to make your own facial exercise routine, and see what works best for you!