That old cliche “It takes many more muscles to smile than it does to frown” is actually true: According to esthetician Rachel Lang, there are exactly 43 muscles in the facial area that are directly related to emotion. Yet many of us spend days barely moving our faces in front of computer screens, or tightening our faces while we stress out.
When Rachel and her partners Kate Gyllenhaal and Heidi Frederick realized most people weren’t doing anything their facial muscles, the trio founded Skin Gym Face Fitness, a circuit training class for the face. They use touch and tech therapy to fight facial muscle atrophy in their New York City salon. Here are a few things to know about exercising your facial muscles:
What is the importance of exercising your face?
Facial muscles are part of the foundation that defines the shape of the face. Like all muscles, they need to be exercised. During the workday, you might get up and walk around the block, but still barely change your expression. Even sleeping on the same side of your body can contribute to facial muscle atrophy. The good news is, since facial muscles are smaller, atrophy is easy to correct and you’ll see results quickly.
How often should you work out your face?
Every day. These reps are simple and don’t take much time. You can do them in the shower, watching TV, or even sitting at your desk.
What results will I see?
If you tone the muscles around your laugh lines, your laugh lines won’t stand out. The stress relief is another major bonus.
Here, Rachel and Kate shared a few simple, esthetician-approved tricks to liven up your skin and leave your face feeling refreshed.
Hold your cheekbones down with your palm flat against your face. Try to squint while keeping your hand in place. You’re working out the muscles surrounding your eyes and cheeks. Try: 3 reps for 5 seconds each.
Tighten a resistance band under your chin. Keep it taut while you open and close your mouth three times. You should feel the pressure of the band fighting against your jaw. Try: 3 reps for 5 seconds each.
The SkinGym circuit ends with a 10-minute treatment using the StriVectinLabs Facial Toner, a device that uses a gentle microcurrent to stimulate the facial muscles. It restores muscle mass and tone, after repeated use, your skin will appear lifted; 94%of women who used the toner said their faces felt firmer afterwards. To use, place the device on your bare skin and you should feel the current in your facial muscles. Try: 10 to 20 minutes daily for 12 weeks.