Can “Face Yoga” Make You Look More Youthful?

There’s nothing like a good yoga session to make us feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and just plain good. But did you know that, according to some, yoga might also help namaste away wrinkles, sagging skin, and puffy eyelids? Yes, face yoga is a thing now.

Proponents, such as the face yoga expert cited in this article in Marie Claire, claim that “working all the layers [of skin] correctly will increase blood circulation,” resulting in a “clear, healthy complexion with a beautiful glow.” But wait, there’s more. Face yoga is also promoted as an alternative to BOTOX, fillers, and facelift surgery, with exercises “designed to stimulate collagen and elastin production.”

While face yoga could offer a temporary benefit, increasing blood flow and giving you a nice glow, no amount of muscle toning will restore lost facial fat volume or tighten the skin.

The problem is, there just isn’t enough science to back these claims. Only a handful of very small studies have been published that test the effectiveness of facial exercises for rejuvenation, and none of these provide more than weak indications that there may be a positive aesthetic effect (one study had the subjects assess their own before and after photos to measure improvements).

Moreover, the theory that toning facial muscles can help reverse signs of aging on the skin skips over an important fact: skin aging is caused by UVA/UVB radiation (sun damage) plus the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin over time, not weak facial muscles. While facial exercises could offer a temporary aesthetic benefit, increasing circulation and giving the skin a nice glow for a few hours, no amount of muscle toning will restore facial fat volume or tighten the skin.

Considering that years of repeated facial movements combined with a natural loss of skin elasticity can actually contribute to more pronounced crow’s feet, laugh lines, and other creases, religiously practicing face yoga could accelerate the onset of certain wrinkles instead of staving them off.

Tried and true ways to rejuvenate your face

The truth is good skincare habits are your best bet for slowing the aging process. Protect skin with broad-spectrum SPF every day, and get a professional’s help designing a skincare program tailored to your skin type and needs, including light moisturizers and antioxidants. Add in a monthly facial and occasional peel, and you’ll have a lasting glow no amount of face yoga can match.

If you were hoping to reverse already visible signs of aging with facial exercises, you’ll have much better luck booking regular non-surgical treatments with your plastic surgeon or aesthetician. Neurotoxins and fillers remain the top choice when it comes to safe, effective treatment for existing wrinkles and creases. There are oodles of injectables on the market today, so there is sure to be a product that is well-suited to your specific goals.

As time moves on and skin sagging grows more extensive, eyelid, brow, or facelift surgery may be the most effective way to restore a youthful face and neck.

Don’t get us wrong—we love yoga for the muscle toning, mind-clearing, and balance boosting effects (not to mention the comfy clothes!), but when it comes to anti-aging treatments that work, we’ll stick to what we know.

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