Facial Exercises: What Are They and Do They Work?

The world of health and wellness will forever be plagued by diet or exercise crazes. It’s best to avoid fighting against it. The truth is, anything that gets anyone to view their health in a new and more positive way is considered a good thing in our books!

Take facial exercises for example. It’s new, intriguing and it’s lighting the collective health and wellness blogosphere on fire. It certainly checks off all of the “exercise craze” boxes. But what are facial exercises exactly? And, more importantly, do they actually work?

Gather round as we explore this oddly exciting new branch of the health and wellness exercise library.

What Are Facial Exercises?

They are exercises, but for the face. Need more explanation? Perfectly understandable.

You do crunches to tighten up core muscles in the stomach and squats to strengthen the legs, so why not create a comprehensive workout routine to tighten up our most visible body part? It may sound silly and we’ll admit, the research is inconclusive, however the logic is sound!

The goal is to eliminate wrinkles, slim the face, and maintain a smooth, age-defying look without having to resort to the various dangerous and costly surgical or chemical interventions available out there. Because sometimes lotion and exfoliator doesn’t quite cut it.

Just like a well-balanced, full-body workout plan, a full-face routine incorporates a variety of muscle-targeting movements.

Warm Up

All routines should start with a warm up, especially if targeting a specific body part like the arms, back…or face.

There are a bunch of variations on the theme, but the principal goal is to heat up the muscles prior to any reps to avoid injuries and cramps. Start with blowing raspberries with your mouth and cheeks for roughly 10-seconds.

If that feels silly, try the “Big O” face warmup routine as featured on the popular Face Yoga Method YouTube channel.

Examples of Facial Exercises

The key to building a facial exercise plan, according to the experts, is to first determine which muscles to target. Interested in tightening up the skin on your neck? Try tipping your chin upwards toward the ceiling until you feel the skin on your chin stretch. Once there, alternate between duck lips and sticking out your tongue three times for 5-seconds at a time.

You can also smooth out smile lines by using the tongue to draw circles inside the left and right cheeks. Eliminate and protect against saggy cheeks by making a “bulldog-like face,” by shifting your jaw to the left and right.

There are countless examples of facial exercise routines that tout countless age-defying benefits. But, the most pertinent question remains to be answered: do they actually do anything?

Do Facial Exercises Work?

No. Well, sort of? The truth is much murkier than that, unfortunately.

According to the dermatological community, eliminating surface-level wrinkles by exercising the muscles below is highly unlikely. In reality, facial exercises could lead to even more wrinkles due to the increase in excess muscle activity. You can’t lose weight in the face by “exercising” face muscles either. That’s just not how weight-loss works.

Should You Do Them?

While they aren’t scientifically or clinically proven to work, facial exercises may have the ability to reduce the appearance of scars. However, again, there isn’t much science to back any of this up. Facial exercises are a relatively new concept and scientific studies can take a long time to catch up. So no one knows for sure whether they work or not.

Which leads to our next question: should you do them? Well, the real question is, do they make you feel good? Because if a rigorous facial exercise routine makes you feel good, then the answer is clear.

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Chris is a Canadian who loves ice-hockey, espresso, and really long books. He’s an early riser that relies on a combination of meditation, yoga, indoor cycling, and long walks to keep fit. Chris is also a multi-platform content creator with a portfolio that includes terrestrial radio, television, the written word, and YouTube. For more content, check out his podcast, “Black Sheep Radio,” or follow @notTHATcb on Twitter and Instagram