Health Topics

Healthy Living

December 2011
Exercise Your Face
Dr Savita Date Menon

Smile and you will use more muscles! It is also important to relax your facial muscles in a state of no expression.

  • Total muscles in your face - 43 muscles.
  • A gentle smile. Corners of the lips and the upper lip raised - TEN muscles used.
  • A frown? Lower corners of the mouth, slight downward pout of the lower lip – SIX muscles used.
  • Thinking, concentrating, planning, etc. or angry, upset, cross. Result is often a frown! Brows come together causing THREE deep vertical lines on the forehead.
  • Very surprised? Horrified? THREE deep horizontal lines on the forehead. Initially, till the emotion lasts. Thereafter, seen even after the emotion has passed!
What does the mirror on the wall say to you? Is your face the fittest of them all? Are your facial muscles toned, your skin elastic? Or are wrinkles, sagging jawline, crow’s feet, smile lines, frown lines, double chin – all making their presence felt? Doesn’t your personal visiting card, your face, that part of you which walks in first through any door require your attention and care?

While Cosmetology and Aesthetic surgery do have many solutions, for those of you who believe in preventive, natural ways, here are a few steps that will help prevent or at least postpone those lines.

Facial Exercises are used to
  • Stimulate blood flow and circulation
  • Relieve tension
  • Relax face muscles
  • Improve overall appearance of the face

Exercises for the Face
Exercising your facial muscles is just as necessary as exercising your heart, bones and body muscles. As you age, it is normal that your facial muscles loose firmness and sag. Facial exercises help in achieving a youthful and wrinkle free face. They are a great antidote to ageing.

If you have dry skin, then do these exercises after moisturizing your face and neck lightly. Remember, facial exercises do not cause wrinkles! They help remove/reduce them.

CHIN UP: Pull your lower lip over your upper lip and hold. Now raise your chin and point it straight up to the sky. Now tilt your chin to the left, then right. Slowly come back to starting position. This movement will exercise your chin, jawline and neck. Start with two repetitions and slowly grade up to 10. (Those who suffer from vertigo, spondylitis, etc., should go easy on this exercise.)

EYES WIDE OPEN/SHUT: Open your eyes wide, raise the eyebrows high, then rotate both eyes clockwise. Hold for moment. Then close your eyes and squeeze them shut. Hold for a moment, then release. Now repeat this cycle anticlockwise. This movement will exercise the forehead, eyebrows, eye and under eye. Start with one repetition each clockwise and anticlockwise, then grade up to five each.

Keeping your mouth closed, blow out and stretch your mouth and cheeks as wide as possible. Your mouth should resemble Lord Hanuman! A variation is to do this exercise by blowing out 1 cheek at a time. This movement will exercise your lips, mouth and cheeks. Start with two repetitions, then grade up to 10.

SILENT SCREAM: Open your mouth wide. Stretch your jaws up and out. Your face will appear to be screaming, but without sound. Start slowly; keep increasing the stretch till you can. Hold for a moment, then release. This movement will exercise your cheeks, jawline, chin and mouth. Start with two to three repetitions and slowly increase to 10.

When you finish each exercise, return to a calm, no expression state. Now stroke your whole face with both hands over your forehead, across the cheeks and neck. Gently massage your face with your hands using upward and outward movements.

These four simple exercises will work the muscles of your forehead, eyes, cheeks, mouth, jawline, chin and neck. Starting at an early age will help in preventing or postponing lines and wrinkles. However, you could start at any age to at least reduce the impact of ageing.

A diet rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre will help a lot. Protein is responsible for cell generation, hence necessary. Fluids are vital. And fats, while limited, must not be ignored.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
  • See additional information.