By Shilpa Bhim
When you hear the word ‘workout’, you’re probably thinking of a sweaty HIIT session at the gym, a run around your local park or a whole body stretch at the pilates studio.
All these things are great workouts for your body and help get the blood flowing, supporting a healthy body and mind, and build up muscle strength.
But have you ever thought about also working out your face?
We know, it sounds a little weird, but a face workout has a range of benefits that you’ll be grateful for. Don’t believe us? Well, we’ve broken down the benefits of a face workout and how to do one!
GET TO KNOW YOUR FACIAL MUSCLES
Did you know there are 43 muscles in your face?! That’s right, just like with your body the muscles in your face support overall function and movement.
Facial muscles serve two key purposes: to support chewing (we’re all for anything that supports our food intake!) and facial expressions, so you can thank your muscles for letting you blink (nobody wants dry, itchy eyes!) and getting your excellent smile out!
WHY DO I NEED TO WORKOUT MY FACIAL MUSCLES?
Working out your facial muscles through regular facial exercises helps to promote circulation of blood to different areas of the face and replenishes oxygen supply in the muscles and skin.
At a high level, this supports healthy glowing skin and it feels good – that’s a win! But there’s some additional benefits attributed to facial workouts.
Dr Suzanne Olbricht, an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, highlights that a face workout can reduce the appearance of scars and improve muscle tone in the face:
Reduce The Appearance Of Scars: "Massage and exercises that stretch the skin affected by scarring can make a thick scar become thinner and more pliable," says Dr. Olbricht. The stretching and movement associated with facial exercises can help to loosen up and reduce the appearance of a scar.
Improve Muscle Tone In The Face: Dr Olbricht notes that facial exercise can improve overall muscle tone in the face and that building muscle in the face could potentially help keep fat, which might otherwise slide down with the pull of gravity, where it belongs.
Muscle also has memory and given that exercise has a cumulative effect, over time, your face workouts will help to tone, sculpt and define your face.
I’M CONVINCED! SO HOW DO I DO A FACE WORKOUT?
Thankfully, there are no weights involved in a face workout!
Similar to your Saturday pilates session, there’s a lot of intentional stretching and movement involved with a face workout. Not only will your face be toned and glowing at the end of it, but your mind is likely to feel relaxed. So, let’s get to it!
Step 1: Start off with a facial massage using your favourite serum or facial oil and your gua sha tool. This will release tension, assist with lymphatic drainage and blood flow and warm your muscles up. If you need a refresher on using your gua sha tool, you can follow our step by step guide here.
Step 2: Strengthen your cheek muscles by smiling as widely as possible and pressing your fingertips into your cheeks at the spot between your nose and lips. Press your fingertips into your muscles and lift the muscles up. Repeat motion ten times.
Step 3: Smooth out your forehead by furrowing your brow (frowning and bringing your eyebrows close together), then lift your eyebrows as high as possible – your eyes should open up wide with this movement. Repeat motion ten times.
Step 4: Tighten your neck area by pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, look up towards the ceiling, smile and swallow. Repeat this motion for 30 – 60 seconds.
Step 5: Finish off your face workout by running your facial roller over your face for a few minutes. This will help to soothe your muscles and your skin – kind of like your post HIIT workout cool down at the gym!
For best results, most experts recommend doing a face workout around 3 - 5 times a week. Your facial muscles and your skin will no doubt thank you for it!
What are you waiting for, Zovers?! Add a face workout to your skincare routine immediately! As always, share your thoughts and feedback with us via the little icon on your right, via Instagram or email us!
Shilpa is a freelance beauty and lifestyle writer from Melbourne, Australia. You can keep up with her adventures over at @skb.ontherun and check out her latest articles here.