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Have You Ever Tried a Face Workout? Here's Why You Should

The concept of a face workout might sound like a desperate attempt to reclaim your lost youth, and while this is likely partially true the benefits of facial exercises are real.

We each have 43 facial muscles and already do facial exercises every day – basically any time we make a facial expression – but we unknowingly overuse certain muscles, leaving the opposing muscles weaker and the skin on our face less elastic.

Massaging and exercising our face on a regular basis can help to distribute muscle strength more evenly and maintain a plump, youthful face. More importantly, face workouts can alleviate stress and stress-related pain (i.e. jaw pain and eye strain). Let's dig in.

What is a face workout?

Just like exercising your body, exercising your face involves making repetitive motions and exaggerated movements in order to activate and build muscle. The idea is that by strengthening the muscles in your face, you'll provide a stronger base for the fat pats that sit between muscle and skin, in turn making the face appear fuller and more youthful.

What are the benefits?

The jury is still out on whether facial exercises are effective when it comes to weight loss or skin elasticity – according to Harvard dermatology specialist Suzanne Olbricht there just haven't been any serious studies in the area. This isn't to say there aren't benefits. "Massage and exercises that stretch the skin affected by scarring can make a thick scar become thinner and more pliable," Dr Olbricht says. In addition, face workouts could improve muscle tone and help with the redistribution of fat on the face, but results will be minimal compared to something more extreme like injectable fillers.

What makes face workouts so appealing, however, is the simple fact that they feel good and can alleviate stress. Sign me up!

How do you do a face workout?

There are two approaches to consider:

1. Assisted

Inge Theron founded FaceGym after a cosmetic face lifting procedure went very wrong and left her house bound. FaceGym sells face workout videos and other tools that claim to help strengthen your face and reduce the appearance of ageing. There's also a thousand-dollar device that applies mild electrical muscle stimulation to the face in the aim of strengthening, lifting and tightening, and resulting in a more youthful face "in as little as 10 minutes".

There are more three-figure facial toning devices on the market, but if you're not ready to drop that much cash (and we completely understand), natural stone face rollers will theoretically achieve the same result, only a little slower. Taking a jade or rose quartz roller to your face once a day is a relaxing way to promote lymphatic drainage, manipulate areas of tension, reduce toxins and alleviate pain cause by jaw clenching and eye strain.

2. Freestyle

Doing your own face workout is as simple as repeating a facial movement a certain number of times once a day. It could be lifting and lowering your eyebrows or sucking your cheeks in. Facial massage is another simple way to release muscle tension and relax your mind – here's a step by step we prepared earlier. You can also find plenty of face workouts on YouTube that will help you work out what exercises feel best for you. What have you got to lose?

We asked an acupuncturist what your face says about your health – here's what she had to say.

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