Who wants to look younger? If you just raised your hand, keep on reading. If you didn’t, keep reading anyway (you might feel differently in a few years you lucky young-looking mama). Looking younger no longer means taking out a mini loan just to pay for the ultra-pricey department store cosmetic creams, lotions and potions. It also doesn’t mean having the derm shoot your face up with Botox injections. Researchers at Northwestern University may have found an all-natural alternative — and it’s free!
So what is this magic fix? It’s face yoga. Yes, face yoga. Okay, it’s more of a series of facial exercises than trying to contort your face into some sort of unbearably uncomfortable version of downward dog.
The recent study, which was published in JAMA Dermatology, looked at 27 women between the ages of 40 and 65. The women were taught facial exercises, developed by study co-author Gary Sikorski of Happy Face Yoga, during two 90-minute training sessions. They kept on working out their faces for the next 20 weeks. During weeks one through eight, the women did the facial exercises every day for 30 minutes. For the remainder of the time they did the exercises for 30 minutes every other day.
The 32 exercises included facial workouts such as The Cheek Lifter (make an “O” with your mouth, cover your teeth with your upper lip, smile, put your fingers on the top part of your cheeks, release the muscles and repeat), The Happy Cheeks Sculpting (smile with your lips pursed together, force the cheek muscles up, put your fingers on the corners of your mouth and move them to the top of the cheeks as you hold the pose for 20 seconds).
Before and after pics were taken of the participants. Dermatologists then rated the photos, using a standardized age scale. And what they found was an increase in cheek fullness and a decrease in perceived age. After the 20-week trial period, researchers also found that the participants looked almost three years younger.
Would you do face yoga? Share your answer in the comments below.