The desire to avoid or get rid of wrinkles leaves many women turning to Botox or even more extreme, invasive cosmetic procedures. While the popularity of these options continues to grow, a natural alternative is also gaining increasing amounts of attention: facial exercises.
What are facial exercises?
Facial exercising is, according to some women, an easy, free and effective solution to wrinkles and sagging skin. It simples involves contorting your facial muscles in a certain way a few times a week – resulting in some amusing facial expressions.
Facial-fitness guru Eva Fraser is 86 years old, but says people often think she is younger or that she must have had Botox, thanks to decades of facial exercising. She says that the practice reduces nose-to-mouth lines, lifts and plumps upper cheeks and firms the jawline and eyelids.
“People think it’s their skin sagging as we get older,” says Eva. “But facial skin is attached to facial muscles, and you have to work those muscles if you want to look good.”
What exercises should you try to banish the wrinkles?
Eva teaches women how certain facial movements and stretches can combat wrinkles in specific areas. For example, holding your fingers firmly against the brow bone while blinking your eyes six times, then closing your eyes for ten seconds, is the method used to lift crepey eyelids.
Cosmetic dermatologist Dr David Fenton says that he has seen enough evidence to suggest that Eva’s methods do indeed have a positive impact on the complexion. “From what I’ve seen of Eva’s work, there is no doubt it appears to have some effect. I’ve had patients who have been to her, and it is obvious there is a visible change.”
58-year-old Carolyne Robinson, one of Eva’s students, spends ten minutes each day contorting and massaging her facial muscles in the bathroom mirror, and says that she has seen significant changes to her skin over time.
“I’m very keen on natural health and wellbeing, and I certainly wasn’t going to contemplate Botox or surgery,” says Carolyne. “But it seemed logical to me that if you’re looking after your body, you should do what you can to look after your face. A ‘workout’ for my facial muscles in a bid to slow the ageing process seemed like a very natural piece in the anti-ageing jigsaw puzzle.”
Carolyne says that facial exercises have given her skin a much more youthful glow, possibly as a result of the circulation boost. “People would say ‘Gosh, you look well – have you been on holiday?’ That really lifts your self-confidence which, in turn, shines out of your face. I frequently receive compliments as to how well I look or how good my skin tone is, and I’d like to think I look nearer to 50 than 60.”
What other facial exercises could you try?
- The eye opener. Place your index fingers together between your brows. Then, place your thumbs around the outer corners of your eye. Squeeze your eyes shut, and at the same time, pull your index fingers up slightly, pulling your thumbs outwards towards your ears. Keeping your eyes tightly shut, continue to pull up and out with your fingers for the count of 40 seconds. For more ways to improve the appearance of your eyes, click on this link to our earlier article.
- The lower eyelid lifter. Place your index fingers at the outer corner of each eye. Then squint your lower eyelids, until you feel your outer eye muscles pulsing. Look upwards to the ceiling, pushing your face forward and shoulders back for added resistance. Hold for 40 seconds.
- The lip lift. Pressing your lips together, pull the corners of your mouth in tightly. Tap the corners of your mouth with your index fingers, then move your fingers up and down until you feel a burning sensation in the muscles at either side of the mouth. Pulse the fingers up and down for 40 seconds to intensify the sensation and really work the muscles.
- The neck and chin lift. Place a hand at the front of your neck, exerting a gentle pressure. Spread the other hand out against a wall in front of you. Raise your chin to the ceiling and smile, pushing your tongue out and curling it upwards towards your nose. Whilst doing this, push away from the wall quickly and rock back. Repeat this 30 times. Turn your head to the right, whilst still maintaining your facial expression and look over your shoulder. Rock 30 times, then look over your other shoulder.
As yet, there is no scientific evidence as to the effectiveness of facial exercises in the fight to banish wrinkles but many people see the benefit sufficiently to recommend it as an effective way to improve the appearance.
The jury may be out as to how effective facial exercises are at reversing the effects of ageing but there’s certainly no harm in having a go!
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