Face yoga is the latest skincare trend and it is all about exercise – but for your face rather than your body.
Celebrities like Meghan Markle, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Moss all swear by holistic skin health1 and, frankly, if it is good enough for them then it is good enough for us!
So, it is really popular amongst the A listers – but does face yoga work?
What is face yoga?
As we grow older, our skin starts to show perfectly natural signs of ageing including sagging, wrinkles and fine lines.
Face yoga has been touted as a natural way to avoid having filler injections or going under the knife for a face lift.
Face yoga is a facial exercise routine where making repetitive motions and exaggerated expressions strengthens muscle groups in the face to keep the skin on top looking and feeling plump and firm.2
Your face contains over 50 muscles and some of these are very rarely used, so just think of this as resistance training for the face!
This then lifts and tightens the skin over time3 as well as giving your complexion a bright healthy glow.4
Yoga for the face works in the same way as yoga works for the body by relaxing and toning the various muscles.5
How often should you do face yoga?
It is thought that to see results from your face exercise routine that you should perform your facial muscle exercises three to five times each week, for around 20 minutes each time.6
What are the benefits of face yoga?
Not only is it thought that face yoga can reduce the appearance of ageing but there are other benefits to doing facial exercises too.
Face exercises which teach the face, mouth, tongue and neck to work together properly are thought to help with a number of health issues including neck pain, snoring, headaches and speech issues.
It is also thought that when practised regularly, face yoga can help to build an holistic sense of wellbeing and mindfulness, just like yoga or meditation can.7
Five face yoga exercises to try
Here are some face exercises for you to try at home.
During each of these face yoga poses, try to keep your posture upright and straight, your chest open and do not hold your breath.
1. The warm up
Open your mouth as if you are yawning.
Keep your forehead still and move your gaze from eye level all the way up to the ceiling. Hold this for 10 seconds and then repeat twice more.8
2. Neck toning
Keep your shoulders down and then tip your chin up to the ceiling until you feel a good stretch.
Alternate between duck lips and sticking out your tongue, holding each pose for five seconds. Repeat three times.9
3. Face yoga for eyes
Press both of your middle fingers together at the inner corners of your eyebrows and then apply pressure with your index fingers to the outer corners of the brows.
Look up to the ceiling and the skin underneath the eyes upwards into a squint and then relax.
Repeat six times and then squeeze your eyes tightly shut for 10 seconds.10
4. Forehead smoother
Make both your hands into fists.
With your fingers facing towards you, place the knuckles of both of your middle fingers in the centre of your forehead.
Apply moderate pressure and then slide your fists to each side of the forehead, finishing at your temples. Repeat six times.11
5. Crow’s feet
Place your middle and index fingers of both hands just above your temples and pull up, feeling the stretch.
Squint for five seconds without moving your forehead and then relax.
Repeat this exercise three times.12
Does it actually work?
There have not been many studies into whether face yoga actually works or not.
A 2018 study from Northwestern University showed that 20 weeks of daily facial exercises did result in firmer skin and fuller upper and lower cheeks.13
This is an optimistic sign that face yoga could work. But the best way to find out is to give it a try and see if you see any face yoga results!
Last Updated: 28th January 2021
Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Regulatory Affairs
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.