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Face Yoga

What is face yoga? Complete guide to facial fitness for beginners

Written by Vera KarimovaUpdated on 19 Aug 2022
Face Yoga

What is face yoga? Complete guide to facial fitness for beginners

Written by Vera Karimova.Updated at 19 Aug 2022
Face Yoga is a new trend in facial exercises. Face yoga routines consist of the various stretches and muscle contracting exercises which help to tone and stimulate muscles, skin, and the lymphatic system of one’s face. As you age, the appearance of your face and neck changes because of the gradual loss of elasticity and changes in the deeper soft tissues and muscles of the face. Face yoga offers a natural solution to aging skin as opposed to expensive skin-care products and procedures. Face yoga can counter drooping cheeks, sagging jowls and wrinkles, and fine lines. Thousands of users all over the world use face fitness daily. Face yoga has won over celebrities and cosmetic business and is here to stay.

How does face yoga work?

Just like exercises that tone your body, face yoga exercises isolate and tone specific facial muscles so that your face looks youthful and healthy. Facial exercises involve stretching, massage, acupressure, and relaxing techniques that strengthen and activate the growth of facial muscles, thus enhancing your skin and your appearance. Years of facial expressions, particularly when you hold tension and stress, can condition specific muscles, and alter your appearance. Face yoga helps you let go of these patterns and release facial tension through relaxation. The result is the softening of your face and trimming off years from your appearance. Read more: Does Face Yoga Really Work?
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Is face yoga effective?

A 2018 study conducted by Northwestern University found facial exercises to be beneficial and effective in improving the structural appearance of the face and neck of the study participants, particularly mid-face and lower-face fullness. The study participants also reported a younger appearance after 20 weeks of the facial exercise program. They were highly satisfied with the results noticeable in all facial areas that were assessed and rated. Murad Alam, the co-author of the Northwestern Medicine study noted that, though larger trials were needed to confirm the findings, it still has shown some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of aging. Scientists still recommend more research to draw up any conclusive proof on the effectiveness of face yoga. However, some smaller studies on face yoga have shown promising results. And while some experts and dermatologists are skeptical about the effects of face yoga, others, like face yoga expert, Danielle Collins, recommend it. See before and after pictures of Luvly customers.
The philosophy behind face yoga is simple—just like exercise, massage, and relaxation have shown positive results for the body, in the same way, these techniques can ‌benefit your face.

Face yoga benefits

Touted as a natural and alternative method to enhance your appearance, face yoga benefits facial muscles, skin, blood and lymph circulation and overall wellbeing.
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Muscular benefits

Facial exercises break down the patterns and facial expressions we hold especially through tension and stress. It also activates unused muscles and provides these benefits:
  • Relaxes overactive muscles and tones weaker ones
  • Lifts the muscles under the skin, preventing sagging
  • Firms the neckline muscles
  • Strengthens and tones facial muscles and the tongue

Skin benefits

Face yoga can promote healthy and glowing skin. Other skin benefits can include:
  • Smoothes fine lines and wrinkles
  • Releases tension, minimizing the appearance of stress lines
  • Lessens the appearance of scars

Circulation benefits

Face yoga can offer the following benefits for bodily fluids:
  • Boosts circulation and blood flow, improving facial appearance
  • Makes skin more radiant, reducing the appearance of aging
  • Improves circulation around eyes, reducing the appearance of dark circles

Wellbeing benefits

Some studies and anecdotal reports say that practicing face yoga impacts overall wellbeing as well, and can:
  • Improve mental health and balance
  • Increase awareness and mindfulness
  • Improve the quality of sleep
  • Prevent headaches
Read more: 11 Ways Face Yoga Benefits Your Face, Body, and Wellness

How to start face yoga exercises

You can start face yoga exercises at any age, whether you want to address some concerns or as a preventative practice. Depending on your concerns, you can target specific areas of your face and create a routine around it. For example, you can practice exercises that oppose the development of wrinkles around your mouth, eyes, and forehead. Or, you can choose exercises to reduce specific symptoms, like headaches. Before you jump into exercising, here are a few principles of face yoga to know:
  • It takes time and regular practice to see results.
  • Face yoga exercises can be difficult, especially when you are holding a pose.
  • Facial exercises are based on the principle of resistance training, so expect to feel a muscle burn on your face after face yoga.
  • Ideally, you should practice face yoga twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening.
  • Four or five poses per session, after a quick warm-up, is enough to work the muscles on your face or target specific areas.
Read more: Complete Guide to Face Yoga Exercises

Face yoga tools and resources

For those that are smartphone savvy, you can download face yoga apps for exercises and information. Here are three popular face yoga apps:
  • Luvly: Face Yoga & Exercise. If you want to have face yoga and beauty routines in one good-looking package, this one is for you. Video tutorials are done by live experts, and there are even audio courses included.
  • FaceJoy - this app lets you pick target areas, and track your progress in the face diary. The connected audience tracker gives you a nice sense of community, once you get beyond the paywall. For a better deal, look for a body fit app from same developer.
  • Koko Face Yoga. Based on the course by celebrity face yogi, Koko Hayashi, this app focuses on the science beyond beauty. This app also has cool symmetry tracker feature, while paid version gives you access to 40+ exercises sets.
There are some face yoga resources you can follow, and read their blogs for more information:
  • The Face Yoga Method by Fumiko Takatsu is an informative blog. She offers online programs as well as a teacher training course.
  • Gary Sikorski’s program, the Happy Face Yoga, is worth looking at as he is one one the forefathers of this technique.
  • Danielle Collins, also known as the “Face Yoga Expert”, has an in-depth blog and a podcast. She offers online workshops and personalized sessions.
Read more: Best Face Yoga Apps for 2022

FAQ about face yoga

When can I expect results from face yoga exercises?

You need regular face yoga practice for good results. According to the Cleveland Clinic, facial exercises need to be done six to seven days a week for 20-30 minutes per day. It takes about three to four weeks to see results for the people around you, though you can notice them even earlier.

Are there any potential risks of face yoga?

Some dermatologists and experts say that face yoga can cause wrinkles as stretching and working out your facial muscles can make the elastin in the skin weaker, resulting in wrinkles. However, face yoga experts, like Jasmine Tella, Fumiko Takatsu, advocate ‌ facial workouts can reduce wrinkles, if the exercises are done correctly.

Who should not practice face yoga?

Facial exercises are not recommended for people who have previously had cosmetic injectables, such as dermal fillers. It depends on the intensity, of course, but generally the fillers will not last for long with these exercises.

Is there a special face regimen to follow when practicing face yoga?

If you’re going to try face yoga, make sure you get professional personalized advice before you begin. Also remember to practice a good skin-care regimen, including sun-protection for the overall health of your skin and face.

Starting face yoga

Now that you have some information about face yoga, you can give these facial exercises a shot. Tone and contour your facial muscles and get a youthful glow, starting today.