Face Yoga

5 face yoga exercises to reduce and prevent marionette lines

Written by Meena AzzolliniUpdated on 07 Sep 2022
Face Yoga

5 face yoga exercises to reduce and prevent marionette lines

Written by Meena Azzollini.Updated at 07 Sep 2022
One of the natural consequences of aging is the appearance of wrinkles, whether we like it or not. After age 20, our skin begins to lose elasticity and collagen production starts to decline, which ultimately contributes to fine lines and wrinkles as we age. Because the skin around the mouth is thinner than the rest of the face, it tends to develop wrinkles quicker. Marionette lines are wrinkles that run vertically between the mouth and the chin, and they resemble split jaws found on marionette string puppets. One more cause of marionette lines is the tightness of specific muscles in the neck (the platysma) and the muscle that runs from the corners of the mouth to the chin, the depressor anguli oris: both pull the lower part of the face down. You may notice signs of marionette lines during your 20s and 30s. However, they tend to develop more in your 40s, spurred by a decline in skin hydration, collagen, and elastin. Gravity too plays a role in deepening the effect of marionette lines as it causes the skin around the chin and lower jaw to sag. The corners of your mouth also turn downwards giving you an unhappy expression, exaggerating the marionette lines. The best way to get rid of marionette lines and improve your smile without invasive surgery is to try face yoga exercises, which help work out necessary muscles and tone and tighten your skin.

Can Facial Exercises Help With Marionette Lines?

Stress and tension are one of the main culprits responsible for wrinkles and lines. We hold tension in our facial muscles and express stress through our faces. Face yoga exercises work two-fold. They tone the muscles and help relieve tension from our facial muscles. With facial exercises, you learn to relax those tight muscles and release any tension which reduces the appearance of current lines and prevents new ones from forming.

Exercises for Marionette Lines

While daily facial yoga exercises are important to reduce and prevent marionette lines, a regular skincare routine is also necessary. This includes washing your face twice a day and using a good moisturizer and a sunblock to reduce the harmful effects of sun exposure on your skin. It’s also best to manage your weight as marionette lines can become more noticeable due to fluctuating weight which increases the risk of sagging skin under the jawline. Before you begin any face yoga exercises it’s a good habit to relax. Try breathing in and out steadily till you feel yourself relaxing. Koko Hayashi, a face yoga expert recommends massaging your chin gently to break down any tension in that muscle. The chin muscle is a hard muscle and can hold a lot of tension. However, the skin is very thin in this area. Jasmine Tella, a practicing face yoga teacher, advices to apply very light pressure when massaging the marionette lines. “We don't want to rub [the skin on the chin] and stretch it, causing loose lines as a consequence. When massaging, make sure to grab the muscle underneath: buccal massages under guidance are best to avoid damage, and oil must be worn.” - says Jasmine.

O-Shape Exercise

This exercise increases blood circulation around the mouth area while lifting and firming the muscles. How to do it:
  1. Make an ‘O’ shape with your mouth by wrapping your lips over your teeth.
  2. Holding this position, use the index fingers on both your hands to tap on both sides of the mouth, going upwards in a straight line from the chin (along the marionette lines) right up to your nose.
  3. Do this for 5 minutes
  4. Relax and release

Smile Lifter

To naturally lift the corners of your mouth and your cheeks, try this exercise, which works both the cheek and mouth muscles. Besides improving your smile and reducing marionette lines, this workout also tones your neck. How to do it:
  1. Move your jaw slightly forward and curl your lower lip over your teeth.
  2. Now smile, making sure that both corners of your mouth are at the same level.
  3. Lift your chin slightly and bring your tongue up to the roof of your mouth.
  4. Push your tongue upwards and keep pushing for 10 seconds.
  5. Relax and repeat the exercise 2 more times.

Cheek Lifter

With this exercise, you will encourage lifting the depressor angulis oris, a facial muscle that originates from the lower jaw and extends upwards towards the angle of the mouth. These muscles pull the mouth downwards and play an important role in facial expression when we are expressing feelings of sadness or anger. Cheek lifter will tone and lift your cheeks, which will automatically pull the lower part of the face up, marionette lines included. By doing this exercise you are training your muscles to lift the corners of your mouth. How to do it:
  1. Hold your hands up, palm facing outwards and bring your thumbs to the tip of your nose (on either side of your nose).
  2. With your thumbs in position, support your cheeks with your thumbs encasing the sides of the cheek muscle with your pointer fingers.
  3. Curl your lips over your teeth.
  4. Inhale and lift your cheeks by pressing your thumbs into your cheeks, while smiling (lifting the corners of your mouth).
  5. Exhale and release. Repeat 5 times.
  6. Next, lift your cheeks and smile, but hold this position for the count of 5.
  7. Release and repeat 2 more times.
  8. Gently breathe in, relax and breath out to soften your jaw.

Pencil Technique

For this exercise, you will need a pencil and a smile. It's a quick exercise and is easy to practice. How to do it:
  1. Purse your lips around your teeth and place the pencil horizontally between both your lips.
  2. Tilt your chin forward and your head backwards, and come back to starting position.
  3. Now tilt to face upwards towards the left and come back to starting position.
  4. Tilt your face upwards towards the right and back to start.
  5. Repeat this 3 times.

Puffy Cheeks

With this exercise, you lift and firm your cheeks and stimulate circulation in the area. How to do it:
  1. Fill your mouth with air and puff your cheeks.
  2. Smooth any lines around the mouth and place the palm of your hand on your mouth.
  3. With the other hand tap on the left check for 30 seconds.
  4. Then tap on the right cheek for 30 seconds.

Before and After Face Yoga for Marionette Lines

Remember, to see results from facial yoga, you must practice the exercises daily. Strengthening and toning muscles takes time but with dedicated workouts, you can see a change in your appearance. Take a look at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of some of our app users to see how face yoga exercises make a difference to marionette lines.
Linda Before.jpg
Linda After.jpg
Linda Before.jpg
Linda After.jpg
Linda Before.jpg
Linda After.jpg


Target area: Forehead, crow’s feet, lines around the mouth Routine: Mid-brow rubber, eye circle taps, lip stretcher, marble roller Duration: 12 weeks Result: Reduced lines and wrinkles, smoother skin, reduced crow’s feet, toned face