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When you think about working out, thoughts of hitting the gym likely pop into your head. The thing is, there are more ways than one to get a workout in—and it’s not just about your body. With the right facial exercises, you can actually work out your face. We’re talking about face yoga! This beauty trend is spreading like wildfire across social media, with various face yoga methods making an appearance. Interested in giving it a go yourself? Below, find everything you need to know about face yoga—from an explanation of exactly what it is to a list of the best face yoga exercises to add to your “workout” routine.
Before we share how to do face yoga, you’ll want to know exactly what it is. As we mentioned earlier, face yoga is a workout for your face. You do various facial exercises to create a yoga session for your face, and by using the right face yoga methods, you can indulge your face and skin in a calming spa-like experience. You’ll be feeling totally Zen by the end of it—just like with regular yoga—making these facial exercises the perfect way to practice some self-care at the end of a long day.
Face yoga isn’t just about relaxation. If you’re wondering if facial exercises really work to improve the appearance of your skin, we have some good news: There is research suggesting they can! Which brings us to the next question we see all the time…
There is, in fact, some research suggesting facial exercises can help with skin fullness. According to a study published by JAMA Dermatology, participants in a study on face yoga saw improvement in upper and lower cheek fullness after 20 weeks of regularly doing facial exercises. Still, the Cleveland Clinic states that more research needs to be done before face yoga can really be recommended as an anti-aging solution.
On the flip side, you might worry that face yoga could actually make things worse—and this isn’t completely unfounded. You know smiling and laughing—and repeated facial movements in general—can lead to wrinkles down the line. Manipulating your skin into certain facial exercises can do the same. Per the Cleveland Clinic, it’s important to have the proper technique because wrinkles can deepen with repeated contraction of the upper face. Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t try face yoga. The Cleveland Clinic simply recommends consulting with your dermatologist, as these facial exercises aren’t for everyone.
Wondering which face yoga exercises you should try when youthful-looking skin is your goal? If you’ve spoken with your derm and gotten the go-ahead to start using the face yoga method as part of your skin care regimen, below you’ll find eight of our favorite facial exercises.
Remember when you were a little kid and would puff out your face like a blowfish or bullfrog? For this face yoga method, you’ll do the same thing. Fill your cheeks with air until your face is full, puffed, and round. Release and repeat.
Who doesn’t love smiling loud and proud? With this facial yoga exercise, you’re going to be cheesing real hard. First, smile big (with teeth)! Then, gently place your finger between your nose and lips. Raise your muscles while gently pressing down, creating resistance. Release and repeat.
Maybe not so much of a snap, but you’ll certainly be bending with this face yoga method. Bend your head back, craning your neck so that your chin is pointing at the ceiling. Then, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, smile (we love exercises with a happy facial expression), and swallow. As always, release your position and repeat.
You know that facial expression every movie character ever has made when they’ve been shocked or surprised? That’s what you’re going to do for this face yoga exercise! All you have to do is widen your eyes as big as you can for your best surprised face. Hold this expression as long as you can—even until your eyes start to water! After, relax your face and repeat.
This face yoga method is different than the others in the fact that, well, it requires you to do nothing. Nothing, besides relax your face. Close your eyes and allow your face to become completely still—no clenched muscles, just pure being. Keep your mind from wandering and instead just focus on your breathing.
Ready to get silly? All you have to do for this simple face yoga pose is stick your tongue out as far as you can. Hold, release, and repeat!
Boo! This face yoga exercise resembles a facial expression you can imagine a ghost making. Open your mouth to form an “O,” then curl your lips inward around your teeth. Drop your jaw as far as possible, then look up. Talk about a stretch!
Another childhood throwback, you’ll want to mimic your best fish face for this exercise. To do so, suck your cheeks inward while pursing your lips. Release and repeat.
Now that you know more about face yoga and even have some facial exercises to do in mind, it’s time to find out when you can expect to see results. Per the Cleveland Clinic, if you do facial exercises consistently six to seven days a week for 20-30 minutes per day, changes may start to be noticeable in three to four weeks—but that’s at the earliest. With face yoga and face exercises, consistency is really key, so be patient.
Next up: Learn more ways to pamper your face at home. Here’s How to Give Yourself a Face Massage.
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