Written by: Ayesha Khan, MBBS
In A Nutshell
- Aging is the normal, natural process which manifests in different ways – such as the appearance of wrinkles, laugh lines and crow’s feet on the facial skin
- Many people practice different facial exercise in an attempt to rejuvenate the skin
- Scientifically, there is no link between facial exercises and the disappearance of different signs of aging
Men and women who are concerned about the appearance of common signs of aging (wrinkles, crow’s feet, pigmentation, sagging skin and fine lines) are always on the lookout for non-invasive techniques that can help reverse the aging process. While cosmetic surgeries such as face lifts and facial rejuvenation peels have shown remarkable results in temporarily clearing wrinkles and pigmentation, most non-surgical treatments haven’t yielded a similar outcome.
Facial exercises are becoming increasingly popular with influencers advising their following to practice certain movements of the face that will help tighten loose or sagging skin. These exercises usually target the cheeks and the chin to firm up the sagging skin that tends to appear under the face. Unfortunately, the effects of these exercises have not been proved scientifically.
A study was conducted on a group of 18 men and women, half of whom practiced facial exercises daily for seven weeks. Pictures of the areas of the face where the loose skin was present were taken and compared to new pictures taken after the study period was over. No significant difference was noted between the two groups and therefore it was concluded that facial exercise may not be effective in firming up sagging skin or reducing wrinkles.
Once the signs of aging have set in, it may be difficult to get rid of them (unless you opt for surgical intervention), however, with certain dietary and lifestyle modifications, you can delay aging.
EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENT REGIMEN
It is normal to feel conscious about one’s appearance, as long as it is understood that aging is a natural process that cannot be stopped. There are certain ways that can help you pause it for a while – temporary fixes – that can get rid of fine lines and sagging skin. If you wish to hold on to your youth for a while longer, you should look into:
- Using sunscreen every day to protect the skin from sun damage
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day to keep the skin hydrated
- Use a moisturizer to prevent dryness. Dry skin is much more vulnerable to appearance of wrinkles
- Cut down on smoking and alcohol
- Do not experiment with sun products. Visit a dermatologist and use prescription medication or topical formulations that are suitable for your skin type.
- Work out, or get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily
- Keep your skin clean and avoid touching it excessively
- If you are looking for a more dramatic makeover, you may want to consider invasive techniques such as face lift surgeries.
STRENGTH OF EVIDENCE: C
Studies have not been able to prove any significant link between facial exercises and the disappearance of common signs of aging. Repetitive movements of different muscles of the face cannot tighten loose or sagging skin, and individuals who are looking for a more effective fix, should consider cosmetic surgery, or the use of chemical peels/products.
Facial exercises alone cannot firm up sagging skin or treat common signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentation and crow’s feet.
Facial exercises for facial rejuvenation: A control group studySign up here for reminder texts that can help you stay on top of your treatment plan.
JAMA Dermatology - Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging
AAD - Methods to reduce premature aging