A new study says that doing facial exercises can help make you look up to three years younger — they're like a DIY, at-home facelift! Most anti-aging techniques focus on the skin to reduce sag, but this approach works your facial muscles for firmer appearance instead. Just like your body muscles, if you want your face to appear more toned, you can't just apply creams and hope for the best: you have to work it out! Try these exercises from Happy Face Yoga.
Scooping: The Jaw and Neck Firmer
This exercise strengthens the group of muscles located on, around, and under your chin, including but not limited to the triangularis, mentalis, digastric, and platysma. It will help tone saggy cheeks and droopy jowls. It also diminishes wrinkles on the sides of your chin and strengthens your jaw — and you start by smiling!
Open your mouth and make an "ahh" sound. Fold your lower lip and the corners of your lips into your mouth and hold them tightly. Extend your lower jaw forward.
Using your lower jaw only, scoop up very slowly as you close your mouth. Visualize you are using your jaw to scoop up something very heavy. Pull your chin up about an inch each time you scoop, tilting your head backward. Open and close your lower jaw for 10 repetitions. On the final repetition, your chin should be pointed toward the ceiling.
Keep the chin extended and hold this position tightly for 20 seconds, while visualizing the sides of your face lifting. Complete this exercise fully two times.
The Cheek Lifter
Gravity ages all of us by pulling our cheeks down, giving us a flat-faced appearance. This exercise is designed to lift the cheeks right back up where they belong. It strengthens all the cheek muscles, such as the levator labii superiroris, caninus, and zygomaticus major and minor. This move will also help develop your upper lip.
Again, start with a smile! Open your mouth into a long "O." Fold your upper lip over your front teeth. Smile again to lift those cheek muscles up! Place your index fingers lightly on the top part of your cheek, right on top of the cheek muscles, directly under your eyes. Relax the cheek muscles, allowing them to return to their original, relaxed position. Smile again with the corners of your mouth to lift those cheek muscles back up. Visualize pushing the muscles up towards your eyes as you smile. You have just completed one "push-up." Now do ten of these "push-ups."
On the tenth "push-up", hold your cheek muscles up as high as you can. Imagine that your cheeks are moving up from your face towards the ceiling.
Take your index fingers and move them an inch away from your face and then move the fingers up over the scalp area. This will help you visualize your cheek muscles moving up. Hold this position for 20 seconds while looking up towards your fingers. If you tighten your buttocks during these 20 seconds, it will help to push your cheek muscles even harder. Release and relax. Repeat all of these steps fully three times.