Should you be exercising your face?

beauty, facial fitness, fashion, Fitness, Health, Wellbeing, wellness

In our increasingly image obsessed society, more and more people are going under the knife, or having cosmetic injections to improve their appearance.  These procedures can be costly, have significant side-effects and in many cases look unnatural.  One little known therapy said to improve facial appearance is performing resistance exercises for the face. So, could facial exercises be a viable alternative to Botox, filler, or even cosmetic surgery?  Let’s ask science.

What does the science say? A review paper analysed nine different scientific studies.  The studies analysed were on a small number of people and of a pretty poor quality, likely because facial exercises are not yet hugely popular.  However, of the nine studies analysed, every single one reported positive effects on appearance (1). Yay! Another review paper, although less structured then the previous paper, grossly reported facial exercises to decrease the appearance of wrinkles in several different studies, but that these changes only lasted as long as the exercises were performed (2).  This is about as far as the studies on facial exercise and appearance go, so let’s have a look at the effects of facial exercise on some other things. Studies conducted on patients with facial injuries, found that facial exercises can improve facial muscle strength and alter lip position (3). Facial exercises have also been found to improve facial function in Bell’s Palsy (facial drooping) patients, likely due to changes in muscle strength and activation (4). So, does this mean facial exercises are healthful? The-V Is it healthful? Facial exercises appear extremely promising.  We can confidently say that facial exercises can improve facial muscle strength/function and that there is a good chance this will enhance appearance.  However, due to the poor quality research on the topic we can’t yet be absolutely certain. Our verdict: Slightly healthful. Once more good quality research is conducted, I am confident this rating will be upgraded to very healthful! I hope this has been healthful.  

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40 thoughts on “Should you be exercising your face?

  1. Normally I get facial exercises when I go for my monthly facial. Lol! But I did some a bit of facial exercise when I’m at home, like pushing my bottom jawline upwards because my beautician told me that it (slightly) helps to form / maintain the ‘V’ shape. By the way, great video tips! I will make it a habit to do it. Thanks!

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  2. I believe there may be a trade-off in doing facial exercises: You are essentially stretching and pulling the skin by doing exaggerated facial movements, so in a way you are exchanging facial muscle tone for poor skin elasticity? Just a thought @.@

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    1. Yeah I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the currently available programs are of a poor quality, aren’t particularly scientific and probably suffer from this issue.

      Contraction of certain facial muscles causes expressive wrinkles as they attach to the skin. Therefore, strengthening them may well exacerbate the problem. I think a program that focused on strengthening the muscles that oppose those that cause wrinkles would be more effective and likely not suffer so much from this issue.

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      1. I’m not familiar with this area, but I thought that if we ever do these exercises it should be aimed to relax the muscles? After all, botox works to reduce deep wrinkles by relaxing the muscles that created those grooves.

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      2. Yep absolutely. Stretching and massaging the overactive facial muscles that cause wrinkles and strengthening the weak facial muscles that perform the opposite movement to the strong muscles that cause wrinkles.

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  3. I’ve sporadically done facial exercises for many years. I think there’s definitely something to it. The most immediately effective ones, I’ve found, are exercises for the eyes…seem to notice changes right away there! Great post and blog.

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  4. It’s simply another muscle group that responds like any other striated muscle group. Personally, I believe in facial exercises. Guys shave and naturally perform various facial exercises. Since life requires MOTION, why shouldn’t our faces?
    BTW- If you never gave facial exercises a thought, just get married. Your facial muscles will never look so good! (LOL) 🙂

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  5. Is it weird that when I read your posts my mind translates the words in to an Australian accent? I’m nearing 40 and I’m not going to lie, I find this idea both intriguing as well as cost effective. Plastic surgery scares me but the idea of remaing jowl-free is enticing. So thanks for another great post.

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  6. I recently had temporomandular joint disorder and was advised to perform jaw exercises to strengthen my muscles. Two months later after regular exercise I have no pain.

    We all know the benefits of exercising our body so why should our face be any different. Great information…..thanks.

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  7. Interesting concept. I believe you can’t do anything wrong with it, because after all there is nothing healthier and anti-aging than exercise, which also includes your facial muscles indeed. Thanks for sharing!

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