Look And Feel More Youthful
By Dr. Michelle Kmiec, Founder OHH
Countless dollars are spent yearly on lotions, oils, makeup, and potentially dangerous facial treatments such as Botox or plastic surgery in hopes of regaining a healthier or more youthful appearance. However, these types of treatments are really no more than skin deep.
Lotions, oils, and makeup are applied to the top layer of the skin (the epidermis) and actually do not have much benefit as this part of the skin is already dead.
In order for any real difference to be made, a product must reach the dermis and few, if any, products even come close to hitting this mark (Though many do make this false claim.)
Further, most of these chemical-ridden products simply sit on the top of your skin and over time can actually cause you to look older!
But don’t worry, all is not lost! Because there is something you can do AND it is very effective!
A few years ago, I wrote an article about The Power Of The Smile and about the number of muscles it takes to create that smile? Did you know that they outnumber the muscles needed to create that unsightly frown despite what some people may think?
What does this mean? It means that when you smile and use those muscles, it makes you look and feel younger!
Imagine how you would look and feel if you smiled more often than you frowned!
Did you know that there are 43 muscles located in your face alone?
Just like any other muscle in your body, facial muscles need to be exercised and given the care they deserve. However, facial muscles are often overlooked, and the lack of stimulation can cause them to become stressed and fatigued. Many people spend a good part of their day practically expressionless, and this results in muscle atrophy which adds to the appearance of sagging and wrinkled skin. (Insufficient water intake will further add to the problem.)
Six Amazing Facial Exercises
It’s important to remember that your facial muscles can get sore just like any other muscle that you exercise. This is normal and is to be expected.
Additionally, just like when you are exercising your body, it’s important to drink plenty of water as you are performing these exercises. Also be sure that you do not hold your breath. Breathe deeply throughout the entire exercise sequence.
To get the best results, go through the following exercises twice per day, every other day until the desired results are achieved. And then maintain by continuing the exercise once a day every three days.
- The Eye Squeeze! – Helps to relieve tension around the eyes and diminish crow’s feet and under eye bags.
Place your fingertips alongside your upper cheekbones and lower jaw to ensure that your face is stabilized and relaxed and then tightly squeeze your eyes. Hold them in this squeezed position for a few seconds and then completely release and relax them for a few seconds.
Do 3 sets of 6 -15 squeezes, beginning with 6 and working up to 15.
When complete, very gently massage your forehead and around your eyes.
- Star Gazing! – Reduces tension and stress in the neck and tightens saggy skin around the chin and jowl
Caution: If this exercise causes discomfort to your neck, modify by supporting your neck under a rolled up towel while lying down. In either version, make sure that you do not hold your breath. Breathe deeply throughout the entire exercise.
Gently turn your gaze and look toward the stars. If you are lying down, place a rolled towel under your neck creating a gentle extension of your neck and exposing your throat. Keeping your lips closed, jet your lower jaw out as you begin to lift it up and down stretching your throat muscles. If you like, place your fingertips just above your collarbone on either side of your neck and as you lift your jaw, gently pull down toward your collarbone.
Do 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps.
After each set, slowly bring your head and chin forward toward your chest as a counter position.
- Pucker up – Fish style! – Lifts the jowls, reduces frown lines
This is one of my favorites! Not just because it is a bit silly, but because it really works!
With your lips closed, slowly suck in your cheeks, hold for a few seconds and then release. Do not relax your face when you release your checks. Immediately repeat.
Do 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.
Alternatively, you can quickly suck in your cheeks doing 2 sets of 15-20 reps. This one will burn a bit!
As a counter position, puff your cheeks out as far as you can while pursing your lips.
- Puff it out and finish with a swish! – Reduces tension, strengths your cheeks
This is the opposite exercise to Pucker up – Fish style, much like working out your biceps and then triceps.
Begin by making your mouth and lips really small, and then blow your cheeks out as far as you can. To ensure there is no tension on your neck, place your hands on the back of your neck. Be mindful not to let your shoulders creep up as you do this exercise. When your cheeks are puffed, try to force all the air from one cheek to the next in a swishing motion. Move the air from cheek to cheek about 10 times.
Do 3 sets of this exercise.
As a counter position, suck your cheeks in as far as you can.
- Let the Anger Go! – Releases tension in your face and neck
Now, this is one I think we all occasionally do when we are having “one of those days”!
Simply squeeze every muscle in your face as hard and as tight as you can. You may even want to squeeze your neck, shoulders, arms, and fists. Hold for a few seconds…
…And then explosively release as you open your eyes and mouth wide and stick out your tongue as far as you can. Many people find that exhaling loudly adds great benefit. Try it!
This exercise should be done at least 5 times. To invoke some laughter, try doing this exercise in the mirror!
- Surprise! – Reduces tension in your forehead
Allow your face to be completely relaxed and then scrunch your eyebrows as high as they can go squeezing your forehead. This feels especially good if you have a lot of tension in your forehead or have a mild headache. The bridge of your nose will want to go along for the ride but try to prevent that from happening. Hold the squeeze for a few seconds before releasing.
Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.
As a counter to this exercise, place your fingertips at the center of your forehead and give yourself a gentle pressure massage moving from the center of your forehead out to your temples.
Face Workout Cooldown Massage
A gentle circular motion self-massage with a nice organic oil is always a good way to end your Facial workout. (Coconut, almond, and sesame oils are all great choices.) As an extra bonus, try adding some essential oils!
As you continue to do these Facial Exercises, keep track of your progress in your journal and answer the following questions:
- Were you sore after the first few facial workouts?
- How did your face feel after a few workouts?
- Did it feel as though your face had more blood flow?
- Did your overall energy level improve?
- When did you begin to notice actual changes in your appearance?
- Did you notice that your facial muscles were becoming more tone?
- When did others begin to notice a change in your appearance?
Now that you’ve worked out your face, why not give your face a bit of pampering? Here are two more awesome natural options to consider.
One of the best stress relievers is a face, scalp, and neck massage. I remember the first time I got a facial massage. The tension that was released relaxed me so much that afterward, I slept an incredible 16 hours! I guarantee you will not be disappointed with the results of a facial massage!
Finding a place to get a facial massage is as easy as going online and making an appointment.
Not only does facial acupuncture stimulate (or in some cases reduce) the energy flow of your meridians, but it can also:
- Reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles and fine lines
- Reduce the appearance of bags under the eyes
- Rejuvenate sagging, puffy, or drooping eyelids
- Tighten the sagging skin around your chin (double chin)
- Reduce pore size
- Combat dry skin or oily skin
- Reduce acne resulting from skin irritation, stress, or diet
So why not give yourself a treat of facial self-care? You are so worth it!
Special thanks to Elsa A. Cordero, for demonstrating the Facial Exercises! 🙂