Upon being handed her 8X magnifying mirror to apply her lipstick, my Mother would invariably look into that same mirror and exclaim: “Who is that old bag?!” Because she was suffering dementia, it was never clear to me whether she had so lost track of time that she had forgotten her real age at 88, or if she truly did not recognize that face in the mirror looking back at her. At any rate she was definitely unhappy with the face looking back at her.
Can Creams Address Gravity?
Cosmeticians tell us to exfoliate, moisturize, drink lots of water & spritz in order to keep our skin looking younger. But there is another trend that entails exercising muscles in the face whereby you can make your face look younger naturally with face yoga. Exercising any muscle in our body enhances strength and mobility, so it naturally follows that if you allow muscles in your face to atrophy, gravity takes over.
JAMA Dermatology Lends Credence to the Benefits of Face Yoga
A study out of Northwestern University Feinburg School of Medicine has revealed that just 20 weeks of facial exercises 30 minutes a day can result in firmer skin as well as fuller upper and lower cheeks. Women between the age of 40 – 65 who participated in the study looked 3 years younger after only 4 months of practising face yoga, a non toxic, non invasive route to looking younger naturally. Dr Murad Alam, Vice Chair and Professor of Dermatology at Northwestern explains that facial exercises enlarge and strengthen facial muscles resulting in the face becoming firmer, more toned and shaped like a younger face. Who would not want to buy into that? No needles, no fillers, no surgery – just exercise. Facial exercises were developed by Gary Sikorksi of Happy Face Yoga who co-authored the study.
There are caveats to everything
Critics claim if not done properly you might add more wrinkles but what exercise improperly executed does not come with a caveat.
Thankfully there are guides available on the internet, videos you can watch or books you can purchase to instruct as to how to properly exercise your facial muscles with face yoga. For more information google Gary Sikorski, Fumiko Takatsu or Danielle Collins, three of the better known practitioners.
Acceptance of the inevitable
Aging is inevitable. Resignation to the process is not. We can summon what we know to slow it down but it usually comes down to good nutrition, adequate sleep, avoiding stress, exercising and keeping active. I once met a woman who at age 70 ran several km each and every day. In addition to her slim figure, I noticed her clear complexion, one which had very few wrinkles.
Advocates and teachers of face yoga maintain its neck exercises can help deal with the fat of a double chin, strengthen muscles in your neck, prevent or eliminate crows feet and prevent neck and chin from sagging – all good outcomes for a mere 30 minute per day workout.
Had my Mother only known about face yoga, I’m sure she would have made it a priority as she did Zumba classes into her 90s and her mirror in turn, might have given her a more flattering visual.
Going Au Naturel
Exercise is in. Toxic facial creams are out. Intrusive procedures are a thing of the past. Botox is still popular but can have significant side effects. I’m all in for the natural route and have bought the book The Ultimate Guide to the Face Yoga Method by Fumiko Takatsu. See you in 4 months when I look 3 years younger! And if you are a face yoga practitioner, please share your experience. Have you tried it and what was the result? We’d love to hear from you!