If you’re in your mid-20s to your early-30s, you’ve likely started thinking about aging. Blame it on a lone gray hair that found its way to your locks, or a nagging, fine line that you’re anxious will turn into a profound indent. But according to experts, the more that you do to address your skin issues when you’re younger, the less you’ll have to worry about it as you age.
Though not scientifically proven, face exercises have been recommended by massage therapists for decades as a technique to banish those could-be wrinkles before they even form. After all, you make a point to get in your daily sweat sesh at the cycling studio or gym, so why wouldn’t you put in the extra effort to make sure your face is healthy and firm, too? If you’re curious to try these face exercises yourself, here are a few you can try to maintain your skin’s elasticity for years to come:
To tighten sagging neck muscles
If you’ve ever seen a facelift fail, it was probably because the skin on the face was tightened while the excess skin on the neck was left alone. Though not noticeable on most women before the age of 45, loose skin around the neck can be troublesome and annoying as you begin to get older. That’s why Connie Rogers, a certified integrative nutritional holistic health coach, cosmetologist and skin expert recommends this exercise:
“Use an inversion table to hang upside down or lay right side up and hang your head off your bed. This is a form of resistance training. Open mouth wide and tighten your bottom jaw/neck, called the platysma muscles. These platysma muscles are directly connected to the skin,” Rogers says. “Performing this exercise requires 3 sets of 12, each time holding your jaw up as tight as you can for about four seconds and releasing. These muscles hold the neck and jaw together for a youthful appearance. Benefits include increased blood circulation to the face and neck, improved facial expressions, slowing down the aging process, keeping muscles toned, tight and short and preventing turkey neck!”
To decrease puffy bags around eyes
Many factors can make those prevalent bags around your peepers more common—from allergies to being hungover (we’ve all been there)—waking up and feeling face bloated isn’t a happy experience for anyone. Over time, those bags can deepen and become less random and more permanent, but luckily, Rogers says keeping this exercise in your anti-aging back pocket can be a game changer.
“For this exercise, you’ll need clean skin and some moisturizer or eye cream on your thumbs. Start with thumbs orbiting your eyebrow bone and eye socket bone to make a complete circle around eye, which is going in the opposite direction of wrinkles. Do this 5 times,” she explains. “The muscles around the eye, brows and lid are called orbiularis oculi muscles and these cover the orbital bone (eyes socket bone) Periorbital skin covers the eyes muscles. This exercise can increase blood flow and oxygen in these surrounding delicate tissues, which then reduces the puffy look. Best results are achieved by drinking more water, decreasing alcohol intake and avoid smoking.”
To improve wrinkles around your lips
As you sip on iced coffee (or margaritas) with an ever-convenient straw, you probably never considered the lines around your mouth that you could be encouraging. While smile lines are nearly inevitable, there are some movements you can whip out to keep your puckers healthy and smooth. “Use a device that offers a low-level current and work around the orbicularis oris muscle. Start with clean skin and open mouth and tighten your lips around your teeth. Place water-soluble gel on skin and work with roller attachment on skin area for about 3 to 4 minutes. Once you get used to this tiny beauty tool you can work your way up to 5-7 minutes,” Rogers says. “This exercise/treatment tightens, firms, tones and increases blood supply to connective tissues. It’s safe and painless. For faster results, it’s best to discontinue poor habits such as drinking from straws or puffing on cigarettes that can increase wrinkles.”