Face yoga and its benefits
Already well known in Japan, the United States and the UK, face yoga is gaining popularity in France thanks to Sylvie Lefranc and her book, "Yoga du Visage," in which she introduces a holistic approach to skin aging. Find out more about the benefits of face yoga, and learn some facial exercises you can do at home regularly, for a natural way to slow down the signs of aging.
What is face yoga?
Yoga itself certainly needs no introduction. Originally from India, it has been practiced for thousands of years, and has spread through the western world in different forms: Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, etc. But are you familiar with face yoga?
Face yoga is a subtle combination of facial exercises, Hatha yoga postures, acupressure, massage and breathing techniques, aimed at relaxing facial features and toning up muscles. When practiced regularly, it helps to prevent and slow down the appearance of the signs of aging.
The benefits of face yoga
A more radiant complexion
Face yoga exercises stimulate microcirculation and bring more oxygen to cells. This makes the complexion look more balanced, even and radiant. The breathing exercises help you to better manage your emotions, so your face looks calm and serene, and your eyes and features look softer.
Softened wrinkles and plumped skin
With age, natural collagen levels decrease. As a result, the skin starts to sag and loses tone, and wrinkles become more pronounced. The advantage of face yoga exercises is that they don't just stimulate muscles; they also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. By practicing face yoga regularly, you'll tone up your skin, visibly reduce the depth of wrinkles, and make your face look smoother and less tired.
A way to de-stress
When you perform face yoga exercises, you'll probably find that you feel more relaxed! These exercises are good for both the body and mind, as they relax facial muscles while acting on the nervous system, reducing stress.
Gravity-fighting facial exercises
There are around fifty muscles in the face, but they don't get a workout every day! This means that they may lose tone prematurely – and there is a direct correlation between this loss of tone and skin aging. You can help your face to defy gravity by practicing the following exercises every day for five minutes.
Smooth forehead lines
To soften and smooth forehead lines, begin by placing your palms on the top of your forehead. Breathe in deeply and push the skin of your forehead upward. Continue to hold the skin in this position as you breathe out and look down as far as possible. Repeat ten times.
Reduce frown lines between the eyes
These vertical frown lines are formed by repeated contractions of the muscles between the eyebrows. To soften them, begin by stretching the eyebrows with deep smoothing movements, starting from the middle of the face (where the frown lines are) and working outward. Repeat ten times.
Next, apply even pressure with the palm of your hand on the frown lines, while breathing in and out deeply. Repeat this exercise five times.
Make your eyes look more open, and smooth crow's-feet
To smooth the eye area, place three fingers (index, middle and ring) on your temples, then pull your skin back, applying moderate pressure, for five seconds. For an even firmer "grip," place your thumbs below your jawbone. Repeat this exercise five times.
Reduce nasolabial folds and firm the cheeks
Also known as "smile lines," nasolabial folds are expression lines that go from the sides of the nose down to the corners of the lips. This exercise helps to smooth these lines while also working on the cheeks, for a firming effect. Fill your cheeks with air and hold the position for five seconds. Then transfer the air from one cheek to the other, holding it for five seconds each time. To work on smile lines, move the air to the upper mouth and puff out your upper lip, then puff out your lower lip. Repeat this exercise five times, holding each position for five seconds.
To avoid puckering the lips during this exercise (you don't want to create new wrinkles!), you can place one finger on your mouth to hold it still.
Plump the lips
The lips also lose volume with age: they gradually become thinner, and their outline becomes less defined. This exercise will strengthen the muscles around the mouth and help plump the lips. Breathe in and tilt your head slightly backward, making sure the position is comfortable. Breathe out, blowing about ten exaggerated "big kisses" up into the air.
Extra benefit: this exercise is also good for the cheeks and jawline.
Redefine facial contours
A loss of firmness and definition around the jawline is one of the first signs of aging. This simple exercise provides a natural way to redefine and tone facial contours. Cup your chin in your hands so your hands are clasping your jawline, all the way up to the ears. Breathe in, then tilt your head forward so that you're exerting pressure while resisting with the hands (you could place your elbows on a table to make this movement easier). Hold the position for five seconds while breathing out. Repeat five times.
In addition to your daily face yoga exercises, don't forget to use a skincare routine that's tailored to your skin's needs. To help you choose the most suitable products, you can take our online skin diagnosis. You'll get answers in just 3 minutes!