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Face Yoga For Anti-Aging: Does it Work?

The idea of face yoga sounds amazing. But does it actually work to reduce sagging jowls, fine lines and wrinkles?

When our bellies start to sag, we jump right into killer ab workouts. We all know that regular exercise has the ability to keep our bodies younger for longer - but what about our faces? Similar to the rest of the body, the face has muscles (over two dozen of them!), so can exercising these face muscles help make us look younger?

At first glance, the idea of Face Yoga may sound a bit “woo woo” but there is now some scientific evidence that facial exercises can be effective. So, let’s unclench our jaws together…literally.

What Is Face Yoga? 

Face Yoga is a series of resistance facial exercises designed to restore muscle tissue and elasticity. A review article in the Facial Surgery Aesthetic Surgery Journal defines facial exercises as exercises that imply strength, movement, or manipulation of facial muscles.

The Science Behind Face Yoga 

The concept of facial exercises is not a new one. More than a hundred years ago, as physical exercising was gaining in popularity, illustrated tutorials promoted the benefits of facial exercises.

Advert for tutorial on facial exercises by Kathryn Murray from 1916

But for a long time, there wasn't any real scientific evidence for the efficacy of facial exercises. So they were mainly seen as a form of wellness practice and self care. Facial rejuvenation was left to medical procedures such as facelifts, browlifts, eyelid surgery, or laser treatments.  

Now, there is scientific evidence. In 2018, the first ever clinical trial, published in JAMA dermatology, assessed the impact of facial yoga on improving skin appearance. Through a series of facial exercise training sessions with a certified facial exercise instructor, 27 women (between 40- and 65-years-old) with photodamage and facial sagging attended two live 90-minute muscle-resistant facial exercise training sessions and then adopted a daily routine of 32 facial exercises for eight weeks; then eleven weeks, until they switched it up to once every other day (3-4 times per week).

Face Yoga Can Make You Look 3 Years Younger 

Images of woman's face at week 1, week 8, and week 20 of clinical trial

The upper cheeks and bags under the eyes modestly improved starting at week eight (center) and, by week 20 (right), dermatologists rated the mid-face as more full and youthful.

At the end of the study, the researchers estimated that the average age decreased over the course of the study — 48.1 years after the exercises, versus 50.8 years before. And even more assuring, the participants themselves were satisfied and noted significant improvement of their facial features. A regimen of facial exercises maintained for 20 weeks seemed to improve mid-face and lower face fullness.

As the researchers who conducted the trial pointed out, it had its limitations. The number of participants was small, exclusively of middle-aged women, there were numerous dropouts, and there was no control group. But there are some other studies that provide further evidence for the benefits of facial exercises. 

Benefits of Face Yoga

Facial exercises can improve face muscle tone  

Physical facial aging has many layers: skin, soft tissue, muscle and bone structure. In addition to the natural loss of collagen that comes with aging, deeper underlying volume loss of fat and muscle also contribute to the aging process. However, when face muscles are exercised specifically and correctly through facial exercises, face muscles can be made stronger and shorter. A study found that this can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.

Facial exercises can increase blood circulation

Exercising engages the movement of muscle mass, which generates an increase in skin blood flow. This increase in blood flow has been shown to improve vascular stiffness not only in the limbs but also many other regions of the body. Stimulating blood circulation helps detoxify the skin, which can improve complexion and make the skin look younger.

Can Face Yoga Cause Wrinkles? 

Because the overuse of muscles is often the root for wrinkle formation, some fear that facial exercises may actually have the opposite effect. Worry not, if facial exercises are done the correct way, there is no risk of a crinkled outcome. Besides, you'd have to do a million incorrect facial exercises to produce a single wrinkle😊. Look in the mirror, follow instructions and ensure that you breathe and release tension while doing these exercises.

Okay, Yogi’s🧘 - here are 3 beginner anti-aging face yoga exercises to get you started on your face yoga journey! Be sure to apply a serum or face oil, so your hands can easily glide on your skin. 

3 Face Yoga Exercises To Try At Home 

Facial exercise to smooth out smile lines

Woman covering her mouth with one hand and pressing the other hand on one side of the face

  1. Break down the tension around your mouth from the inside by blowing up your cheeks.
  2. Press on the side of your face with one hand to add pressure into the blown cheek.
  3. Cover your mouth while doing this to avoid blowing raspberries in the middle of the practice.
  4. Repeat in 5 sets, relaxing your cheeks between each set. Do this once a day for best results.

Facial exercise to tone up a double chin

Woman tips her neck back, with her hands crossed above her chest

  1. Loosen up your shoulders and keep them flat.
  2. Look directly above by tipping your neck back until you feel a comfortable stretch in your upper neck and chin.
  3. Alternate by coming back to a neutral position, looking straight in front of you. Don't stop if you feel a slight mild burn, it means that it's working.
  4. Repeat in sets of 5 every day. (Be gentle with your neck and avoid straining your neck too much doing this exercise and make sure you're only tipping your head as far back as it feels natural).

Facial exercise to firm up saggy cheeks 

Woman presses her cheekbones with the palms of her hands

  1. Press down on your cheekbones in a cupping shape with your palms.
  2. Make your mouth into an "O" and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
  3. Hold this pose until it's comfortable and repeat with a 30-second relaxation time in between.

There are more exercises you can try. Check out YouTube tutorials like Life Over Sixty with Sandra.

How long does Face Yoga take to work?

Everyone’s face is different, so the amount of time it takes to see results will vary. Just like your skincare routine, facial exercises require the same consistency. Be sure⚠️ to monitor your personal progress by taking #selfies.

Face Yoga and Skincare

Facial exercises work best when paired with sunscreen (duhh) and anti-aging skincare, such as our 003-Hy Hydrating Face Cream and 005-Fi Skin Firming Cream

Pack Shot of Firm + Hydrate Duo

Customers who've used the 003-Hy Hydrating Face Cream and the 005-Fi Skin Firming Cream are raving about their effectiveness.

One customer who described his skin as 'Sharpei' skin, called them his "go-to secret anti-aging moisturizing weapon."

Another customer had people asking her where she'd found the fountain of youth.

And our clinical studies showed a significant reduction in fine lines and wrinkles (up to 94%) in just 28 days.   

On that note, Namaste🙏


Alam M, Walter AJ, Geisler A, et al. Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging. JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(3):365–367. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5142

Hwang UJ, Kwon OY, Jung SH, Ahn SH, Gwak GT. Effect of a Facial Muscle Exercise Device on Facial Rejuvenation. Aesthet Surg J. 2018 Apr 6;38(5):463-476. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjx238

Liu C, Kobayashi T, Shiba T, Hayashi N (2022) Effects of aging and exercise habits on blood flow profile of the ocular circulation. PLoS ONE 17(4): e0266684. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266684

John Van Borsel, PhD, Marie-Camille De Vos, MSc, Karen Bastiaansen, MSc, Jaira Welvaert, MSc, Jo Lambert, MD, PhD, The Effectiveness of Facial Exercises for Facial Rejuvenation: A Systematic Review, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 34, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages 22–27, doi: 10.1177/1090820X13514583