I love the many aspects of my aging; I love the different experiences and knowledge I have been accumulating, the wisdom that came with the years, the calmness, the psychological maturity, and many other traits. What I don’t love about aging is the look of it; I don’t care much for wrinkles and sagging skin. It might look fascinating on National Geographic photos, but I don’t want this look on my face.
I was obsessed with skin care since a very young age. As a kid, I couldn’t wait for the time I'm older enough so I could use my mother's facial creams. As a teenager I used oil free products, but they weren’t exciting enough. I wanted to use the heavy-duty stuff – the anti aging products, I wanted to show the wrinkles who's the boss. By now I’m a veteran of many skincare creams, lotions, and serums. I love doing research to learn about the different components the skin care industry is using and their effect on the skin. I love to try different products and experiment on my skin, and I have no problem with using an expensive cream as a foot cream, if it failed to impress me. Some skin care products impressed me more than others, yet they did not turn the clock back on my face. Some were good at hydrating and treating the fine lines that are created by skin dryness. Some did a good job improving skin texture. Unfortunately, non took care of the deep lines, known as expression lines like the nasal folds and the deep forehead lines, or the sagging cheeks and droopy eyelids and lip corners that are attributed to gravity.
Today there are great solutions to address these issues like Botulinum toxin (BOTOX) to freeze the forehead muscles and lift the eyebrows. There are different fillers (RADIESSE, JUVADERM, RESTYLANE etc.) to plump up the cheeks, lips and the skin under the eyes. However, there are two major problems with these solutions: they are expensive and they are not natural. There are also different electric tools to treat the skin at home and give it a lift by increasing collagen production: microcurrent tools such as Nuface and Myotone, and red light tools such as Tanda and Quasar MD. The problem with these tools is that you have to use them regularly, if you want to see results. That means a daily use of 20 minutes. From my experience, after the initial excitement, these things tend to join the cemetery in my bathroom drawers. Doing something boring for 20 minute every day is too much of a commitment for me.
Before you decide to give up and book an appointment with a plastic surgeon, here is one more option that is worth trying. It doesn’t cost a thing, it won’t take space in your anyway-crowded-bathroom-countertop, you can do it anywhere (even in the jungle with no electricity) and it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes a day. It’s called different names such as Facial Exercises, Facial Yoga, Facial Workout, and Facial Fitness. The basic idea behind all these names is that you need to exercise your face muscles to keep them toned, just like you have to do with the rest of your body. I tried different methods, most have similar exercises, and yet each contributes some new twists to the familiar exercises. I would recommend that you try the different exercises and decide yourself which ones you are going to keep doing. Different things work for different people.
Facial Exercises Methods:
Carole Maggio – Facercise
I have Carole’s two books. In the second book she really simplified the exercise routine, but the written instructions are not very clear. I heard her video is a lot easier to understand, but I did not watch it. Her second book contains some good skin care information.
Carolyn Cleaves – Facial Fitness
Though Carolyn is from Seattle, I had never heard of her until I found her online looking for several facial exercises videos.
Annelise Hagen – The Yoga Face
I discovered Annelise when I was looking online for different natural solutions to treat the annoying Nasolabial folds. She had some interesting exercises, and she is very generous with sharing her knowledge with the public. I have her book The Yoga Face – but I have to admit that exercising books bore me. I prefer to watch exercises rather than read about them.
Tal Reinhold – The facial workout
I borrowed this DVD from Netflix. It is a great production and I love the explanation behind every exercise and the computer visualization of the facial muscles. This program is more than 30 minutes. It’s too long for me, yet it is very informative and clear.
Fumiko Takatsu – Face Yoga Method
I found Fumiko’s method when I was looking for an exercise to plum up my cheeks. She has some interesting twists on some familiar exercises. She offers many free videos on her website and on youtube.
Hisako Tanaka – Face Contouring Massage
I decided to include this facial massage method in this post since it can help some people with bad lymphatic drainage to look fresh. Bags under the eyes, for example, are sometimes caused by accumulated liquid that the body is not able drain well. Whenever I get up in the morning and find that I developed bags under the eye I just massage the eye area, moving my index fingers in circular motions around the eye area, as it is demonstrated in the video. When I do so, I do feel liquid runs down my nose and throat.
Facial exercises to treat different areas of concern:
Forehead: Using both hands, hold your forehead at the hairline, stretching the skin up, and lift the forehead 30 times.
Eyes: Hold your eyes wide open by placing your index fingers under your eyebrows stretching the skin up, and placing your thumbs under the eyes stretching the skin down. Try to close your eyes for 30 times.
Under eyes and cheeks: Open your mouth and fold your lips around your teeth. Place your index fingers horizontally under your eyes then try to close your eyes with the bottom lids. Repeat 30 times.
Nose: Hold the bottom part of your nose bridge between your thumb and index finger. Press the tip of your nose with the other hand’s index finger and push it up. Repeat 30 times.
Cheeks: Press your lips hard against each other, as if you are holding a pencil between them. Hold it for 30 seconds, or until you feel the burn in your muscles. You can place your hands on your cheeks during this exercise to feel the muscles.
Lips, cheeks and neck: Tilt your head back and kiss the sky for 10 times. Turn your neck to one side, head still tilted up and repeat for another 10 times. Repeat the exercise on the other side.
Does it work?
Repeat your chosen facial exercises twice a day for 3 weeks and decide for yourself.