Undeniably, our face is the very first thing to be noticed by onlookers. And, so we tend to be a bit more conscious about taking care of it; making all workable efforts to ensure that we have ageless skin, flawless and healthy as long as possible. We always keep looking for the answer to the most sought after question, ‘How to prevent fine lines?’ and, the very famous Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is no exception!
A lot has been spoken by the 36-year-old former actress about her devotion to fitness, health and beauty; ranging from her very own semi-vegan diet to her minimalist makeup approach that simply adds to her natural beauty even in her 30s.
While genetics has surely graced Meghan a lot when it comes to her irresistible looks, she has allegedly been known to bank on a relatively unconventional way to ensure the firmness of her jawline and cheekbones.
According to an online magazine, Megan affirmed that she relies on facial exercise suggested by one of her preferred aestheticians. She further said to the magazine that irrespective of how frivolous it may sound, it works for real.
She also asserted that she finds her jawline and cheekbones well sculpted soon after performing facial exercise. Maybe, this could be just another reason for which, she remains in great demand during the award season when every star celebrity wants to look his/her best. In another interview, she also admired “inner facial” and said that it is by far her most favorite beauty treatment.
So, after listening to all those claims made by A-listers like Megan, the question, which instantly pops into our mind is whether facial exercise really effective or it is just a puffery. Let’s explore!
Is Face Yoga or Facial Exercise Really Effective?
Well, the truth is that the claims about face yoga are genuine to some extent. In a recent study, middle-aged women, who performed facial exercise for 30 minutes daily for a period of more than 20 weeks, observed recognizable improvements in their appearance with visible well-shaped lower and upper cheeks at the end of the study. 
The reason behind such changes is that when muscles build up beneath the skin, the skin on the face appears fuller while compensating for loss of elasticity and fat layers in the facial skin that naturally occur with age.
In order to validate this theory, participants were made to learn and practice 32 different types of facial exercises – each to be done for at least a minute. The female participants performed the exercises for the initial eight-week duration daily and then, continued doing the facial exercises on alternate days for the rest of the period – up till 20 weeks.
Both the participants and dermatologists observed positive changes in the photographs taken before and after the study. Also, the mean perceived age was found to be reduced by roughly 3 years during the course of the study.
The lead study author, Dr. Murad Alam commented that the study, to some extent, proved that facial exercise has the potential to improve the appearance of face. He further added that the exercises helped facial muscles to enlarge and become strong, which led the face to appear fuller, shaped and toned – much similar to that of a young woman.
He stressed the need to perform the study on a fairly larger women as the current study merely included 27 women, out of which, only 16 performed the exercises. Another limitation of the study was that the participants were from the age group of 40-65 years, so it is hard to depict whether the results would be applicable to a more diversified population with respect to age.
However, many dermatologists are still skeptical about the outcomes of the study as it is a general observation that those, who practice face yoga, are keener to protect their skin from UV rays and opt for some skincare regimen. Interestingly, some experts do believe that too much of facial exercise may have the totally opposite result, i.e., speeds up wrinkle formation due to excess muscle use.
How to Do Face Yoga?
Well, if you are really convinced by all those evidence-based benefits of face yoga, why not to give it a try once! So, let’s have a look at two facial exercises that were performed by the participants of the aforementioned study:
- The Cheek Lifter: Try making an “O” by opening your mouth and move the upper lip above the teeth. Attempt to smile in order to uplift your cheek muscles. Now, delicately place your fingers on the upper side of the cheek and then, release the cheek muscles to bring them down to their original position. Repeat this procedure by uplifting the cheeks.
- The Happy Cheek Toning Smile: Try smiling without showing your teeth while stretching your lips on either side. Now, uplift the cheek muscles and put your fingers at the ends of the mouths. Then, gently slide those fingers to the top of your cheeks while holding the position for nearly 20 seconds.