There are over 40 muscles in the human face, but you’ve likely never thought of exercising them. From cheek push-ups to chin presses there are plenty of facial workouts you can do while sitting on the couch.
Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex has said she performs facial exercises that sculpt her face and now, a Northwestern University study is backing her up.
The study reports that women who followed a 30-minute facial exercise program ended up appearing younger with fuller upper and lower cheeks. Before and after photos of the women were rated by a panel of independent dermatologists. On average the panel found the women looked three years younger in the after shots.
The group of participants, aged 40 to 65, were taught 32 exercises to be performed for about one minute daily at first then every other day for five months. “The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face,” the study’s lead author and professor of dermatology, Dr. Murad Alam, told the school’s alumni magazine.
Gary Sikorski, co-author of the study, taught the exercises participants used. Sikorski is the creator of Happy Face Yoga, a facial exercise program that promises to remove and smooth lines, lift eyebrows and eyelids and restore fullness to the upper lip.
While the eye-rolling, lip-folding and smile-filled exercises may look silly, their potential to take years off your face may make them worth adding to your workout regimen.
Facial exercises to look younger!
The cheek lifter: Open your mouth to form an “O” and fold your upper lip over your teeth. Smile to lift up cheek muscles, then put your fingers on the top part of the cheek before releasing the cheek muscles to lower them. Lift the cheeks back up and repeat by lowering and lifting 10 times.
Happy cheeks sculpting: Smile without showing your teeth. Purse your lips together and then smile, forcing the cheek muscles up. Place your fingers on the corners of the mouth and slide them up to the top of the cheeks, holding for 20 seconds.
The eyebrow lifter: Press three fingertips under each eyebrow to force your eyes open. Smile while trying to push your eyebrows down against your fingers. Close your eyes and roll your eyeballs up to the top of your head, holding for 20 seconds.
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Author: Payge Woodard is a freelance journalist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Passionate about learning to dig deeper into a story, she recently completed her master’s in investigative and data journalism at the University of King’s College. When she isn’t working on a story, you can find her watching reruns on Netflix. She is a regular writer for Optimyz Magazine.