Health & Wellness

Chin-ups and Facelifts May Have a New Definition

Can Face Yoga Reduce Signs of Aging?

When it comes to better-looking skin, some women opt for invasive surgery or Botox, but new research finds that doing simple facial exercises can help banish lines and wrinkles and lead to younger-looking skin.

A recent study from Northwestern University suggests that doing facial exercises for five months can make skin look three years younger.

“Now there is some evidence that facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of aging,” said lead author Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine dermatologist. “The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face.”

In the study, women ages 40 to 65 were taught a 30-minute set of 32 facial exercises, which they practiced daily for a total of 20 weeks. The exercises were developed and taught by facial exercise instructor Gary Sikorski of Happy Face Yoga, a co-author on the study.

Some of the exercises included the Cheek Lifter: Open mouth and form an O, position upper lip over teeth, smile to lift cheek muscles up, put fingers lightly on top part of cheek, release cheek muscles to lower them and lift back up. Repeat by lowering and lifting the cheeks.

Another exercise is Happy Cheeks Sculpting: Smile without showing teeth, purse lips together, smile forcing cheek muscles up, place fingers on corners of the mouth and slide them up to the top of the cheeks, hold for 20 seconds.

While the findings need to be confirmed in a larger study, “individuals now have a low-cost, non-toxic way for looking younger or to augment other cosmetic or anti-aging treatments they may be seeking,” Alam said.

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