We know that exercise is good for every other part of the body, but what about the face? Could it benefit from regular exercise, too?
We think so. In fact, Annmarie posted a great video on exercises and massage techniques on Renegade Health. You can check that out for step-by-step instructions. Meanwhile, here’s more on what we know about exercise and anti-aging benefits on the face.
Regularly massaging your face may help to create anti-aging effects.
Massaging Muscles Stimulates Your Skin
If you’ve ever gotten a facial, you know how great it feels to have your face manipulated or massaged. We have a number of muscles under the skin. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to smile, frown, or perform the number of other expressions we do on a daily basis.
These muscles, like those in any other part of the body, benefit from a massage-like stimulation. Facial exercises are said to help increase blood circulation helping the complexion look clearer, healthier, and glowing, with a more vibrant tone.
Proponents of Facial Exercises
You may be surprised to know that Jack LaLanne, TV’s “godfather of fitness,” was a proponent of facial exercises. You can see him talking about it here, during an old television show.
“Have you ever studied an anatomy chart, and you’ve seen the muscles in your face?” he says. “You know why… your jowls are hanging and your chin is hanging and your neck’s all kind of craggy looking, you know? And your eyes—you get all kinds of wrinkles around your eyes? Because the muscles are all out of shape. You can firm up your stomach by exercise, you can firm up the muscles of the face.”
Jack then goes on to point out the intricate muscles in the face, chin, neck, eyes, cheeks, and more. When they’re not worked, he says, they actually atrophy, die, wither away, and stretch out of shape. Instead of having a tight, youthful face, your muscles are sagging and bagging. Jack then recommends a number of exercises you can do on your own to help strengthen and tighten the muscles.
The Beginnings of Facial Exercises
A man named Sanford Bennett is credited with inventing facial exercises to help tone and lift the face. The story goes that Sanford got to be 50 years old and found himself in poor health and suffering from a number of chronic complaints. He also felt he looked old, with too many wrinkles and facial sagging.
In an effort to turn back the clock, Sanford developed a series of exercises to be done in bed before rising in the morning. His theory was that the body gets old because of the accumulation of mineral deposits in the tissues, which then become stiff. He advocated exercises to get the blood moving and circulating, which he believed would then help flush out these deposits, revealing healthier tissues and even smoother skin.
Sanford followed his own advice, and was said to have become much younger in terms of health and vitality by the age of 70. In 1907, he published a book entitled Exercises in Bed, and in that book is a series of facial exercises, as well as many for the rest of the body.
Senta Maria Rungé Credited with Originating Modern Face Exercises
Senta Maria Rungé is the author of Face Lifting by Exercise, published in the 1960s, and is another proponent of the technique often credited with being the originator of true facial exercises. In fact, Vogue magazine introduced her method in a four and a half page article. She had a daily half-hour television program in which she showed the effectiveness of the technique, and also had a salon in Hollywood said to have been visited by many of the famous movie celebrities of the time.
You can find a sample exercise created by Senta Maria here, where she explains how to firm flabby muscles under the chin.
Licensed esthetician and spa owner Carole Maggio created “Facercise” a few decades later, and was featured on numerous television programs, including Dateline, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times. She created a series of 14 exercises to help develop facial muscles and improve appearance.
“Just as a body builder can develop particular muscles in his or her body,” she says on her website, “a particular facial feature can also be developed and accentuated by performing a specific facial exercise.”
You May Want to Try It
When you start looking into it, you find a number of proponents of facial exercises around the globe. All of them say that the exercises have helped them reduce the look of aging, and many even say that they have improved their facial appearance, helping them to look even younger than they did before starting the programs.
Whether facial exercises actually help build and tone facial muscles remains a matter of debate, and many dermatologists will dismiss the technique as useless. Some even say that working the muscles can make facial wrinkles worse, because it’s muscle work that causes wrinkles in the first place.
But most people who have tried facial exercises see results, and end up sticking with them for life. Many of these were skeptics to begin with, but couldn’t deny how much better they looked after sticking with it for a few months.
“A friend recommended me facial exercises in 2010,” says Jaana Kulmala, creator of Look Younger Naturally. “At first I did not believe her. But I kept coming back to the idea that maybe, just maybe, I could do something to look younger.”
Jaana saw results, and kept it up. Two-and-a-half years later, she says, “My skin feels great and it’s still looking better day by day.”
Surely firsthand results are proof enough?
For Annmarie’s tips on daily facial exercises, please see her video. If you try hers or any facial exercises, please let us know how they work for you!
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Nicholas Bakalar, “How Massage Heals Sore Muscles,” NY Times, February 6, 2012, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/how-massage-heals-sore-muscles/?_r=0.