We all know the benefits of yoga for our mind and body – relaxation, strength, flexibility, calmness – but can it really help improve the look of your skin?
According to new research, the answer is yes! BUT, you need to use the right moves.
We’re all about natural skin care at Nature’s Aid, and it doesn’t get more natural than simply moving your muscles. A new study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology suggests that facial yoga can make faces look up to three years younger.
A little about the study
Researchers had 27 women between the ages of 40 and 65 perform 30 minutes of facial exercises a day, for eight weeks. These exercises included pushing their lips out as if blowing a kiss, widening the eyes and lifting the forehead in surprise, and making fish faces. For weeks nine through twenty, participants were instructed to reduce the facial yoga sessions to every other day.
Blind ratings of photos at the end of the experiment showed significant improvements in upper and lower cheek fullness, as well as estimates in the average age of participants reduced by almost three years.
Obviously this is a small study, and more will need to be done on the topic, but this definitely shows some promise on the subject!
Give facial yoga a try with these 7 exercises
Puff Your Cheeks. Puff out both of your cheeks and then shift the air from one side to the other. Repeat this 5 times before releasing the air while making a small “O” shape with your mouth. Repeat this three to four times to help keep cheeks firm.
Stick Out Your Tongue. It may feel silly, but stick your tongue out as far as possible, holding for 60 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Look Up. Tilt your head to the ceiling and pucker your mouth, holding for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times, bringing your head back to a neutral position between each rep. If you’re looking for a more prominent jawline or cheekbones, try sticking your tongue out while looking at the ceiling. This will stretch and strengthen the muscles in your neck.
Make an “O”.
Let your jaw drop to create an “O” shape with your mouth. Slowly widen your lips as if you’re trying to smile while holding this “O” shape, and repeat 10 times.
Practice your Fish Face. Suck in your cheeks to make a classic fish face, hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 5 times to firm and tone your lips and cheeks.
Act Surprised. Open your eyes as wide as you can, and pull back on your skin with your hands. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 5 times. This facial exercise will work to decrease unwanted lines around the eyes – aka crow’s feet.
Stretch the Neck. Work the muscles in your neck and chin by bending your head sideways to the left, holding for 5 seconds, then go to the right. Repeat this move 5 times on each side.
A few final takeaways
As with anything, moderation is key. You don’t want to get to the point where you’re overdoing the facial yoga, resulting in the opposite effect: fine lines and wrinkle development due to repetitive use of facial muscles. We recommend no more than a few times a week.
For even greater results, pair your facial exercises with a natural skin care routine that’s complete with skin-friendly formulas, proper nutrition, a good night’s sleep. You’ll also want to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. And sunscreen. Always, always wear sunscreen!