Want to look younger for as long as possible? Exercising your face may be a good alternative to plastic surgery and injections.

The Fountain of Truth

The truth is that we all grow old—some with more grace than others. We live in a society where image and youthful physical attributes are held in the highest regard. It’s a shame we’re made to feel inferior (and ashamed) if we age naturally the way nature intended. The battle is then fought with weapons such as scalpels, lasers, and needles. Returning, however, is a more peaceful trend. It’s the penchant of exercising facial muscles (along with creams, etc.) to maintain a semblance of a younger appearance.

Days of Yore

Before the introduction of plastic surgery to “lift” skin, women implemented other rituals to keep their faces intact. As we age, our skin’s elasticity declines. Collagen production starts to decrease after the age of 25. The late fitness guru, Jack LaLanne, introduced a facial “workout” on his TV show in the 1950’s.

LaLanne claimed that because muscles were out of shape, your skin became wrinkly and loose. He compared it to any other muscles in the body. Hence, he introduced his version of facial exercises. There were many starlets and other public figures in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s who subscribed to funny-face-making to engage “unused” muscles. That was before surgery became commonplace.

The 21st Century

Nowadays, those who choose not to (or can’t afford to) go under the knife or laser, practice facial contortions. Some beauty experts have coined the movements as face yoga or face Pilates. It’s old hat with a new brim.
Here are a few samples of how the exercises work:

Remove laugh lines. Toning cheek muscles are the focus. Inhale and fill your mouth and cheeks with as much air possible. Look like a sax player. Hold it… then release. Repeat six times.

Tighten jawline and neck. Sit upright and tilt your head back. Look straight up. Now press your tongue, hard, into the roof of your mouth. Weird, huh? The muscles in your neck should contract like a lizard. Bring your chin down. Repeat process six times.

Reduce lip lines. The theory is that if you tighten those muscles, they’ll be less inclined to shrivel. Blow air kisses ten times. Then place your finger on your lips and kiss six times again, keeping the rest of the face relaxed.

Reduce crow’s feet. As LaLanne suggested in his video, so do beauty gurus of today. If you want to reduce lines around the eyes, practice this: open your eyes wide as if you’ve just been surprised. Hold that pose for 10 seconds. Relax.  Repeat a couple of times and feel free to do it anytime during the day (as long as no one’s watching.)

There are other benign exercises for cheeks, jowls, and even hanging earlobes—all available on the Internet. The success of  “face exercising” has not been proven—nor has it been discounted. The only thing we can satisfactorily say is that it’s a device striving to maintain a youthful appearance without being invasive. A Happy face to you!

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