Work Your Facial Muscles!

Like any muscle group in the human body, our facial muscles need to be exercised. The difference is, while the muscles in the rest of our body is attached to bone, facial muscles are attached to the overlaying skin. As a result, when they start to deteriorate, they are no longer able to support the skin, causing your face to look saggy and tired. Hence, it is important for us to understand our facial muscles and stimulate these delicate muscles to prevent it from deteriorating.

The basic 43 face muscles that we possess are those around the eyes, across the forehead, cheeks and around the mouth.


The diagram above indicates to us the different muscles on our face.

  • Occipito Frontalis is the muscle at the forehead, pulls scalp forward while raising eyebrows or wrinkling forehead.
  • Nasalis is the muscle at the nose, it compresses and dilates the nostrils. eg. flaring nostrils
  • Orbicularis Oculi is the muscle around the eye and and helps actions like closing eye
  • Levator Palpebrae Superioris is the muscle at the eyelids which allows us to open our eye.
  • Masseter is the muscle we use while closing our jaw
  • Obicularis oris is the muscle we use to purse our lips
  • The Risoris muscle helps us draw our lips into a smile
  • Depressor labii lowers the lower lips
  • Depressor anguli oris lowers the bottom corner of the lips
  • Zygomaticus is the one which draws lips upwards and outwards
  • Mentalis is the one which pulls the chin down

Without taking care of your facial muscles and allowing it to weakened, you may see the following signs of aging on your face:
1. Droopy eyelids
2. Eye puffiness
3. Saggy jawlines
4. Nasal Labial Lines
5. Saggy chin/double chin
6. Sides of mouth turning down

I’m sure all these signs scare you. But not to worry, this is something that can be prevented with regular facial exercise. Similar to exercising, which tones and tightens the muscles of your body, facial exercise is a good way to achieve a more youthful appearance and shapelier face.

Facial Exercises that you can do daily to look more youthful:
Basic Facial Exercise
Benefits: Stimulates all facial muscles
Steps:
1. Hold back teeth lightly together.
2. Place your index fingers above the corners of your mouth.
3. Smile using your cheek muscles, extending towards your temples.
4. Complete the smile incrementally, using a 6 step ladder, lifting each muscle as your smile lifts.
5. Hold for 5 counts and return to the start in 6 movements as well.

Eyelid Exercise
Benefits: Tones and lifts upper eyelids to prevent droopiness
Steps:
1. Look straight into the mirror while doing this exercise.
2. Place index fingers under eyebrows
3. Raise eyebrows while still holding against the bone
4. Close your lids in 5 small downward movements
5. Hold for 10 counts then release.
6. Open lids and relax for 3 counts.
7. Repeat exercise.

Double Chin Exercise 
Benefits: Prevents or reduces double chin
Steps:
1. Hold chin upwards
2. Place your middle finger and index finger against the back of the chin where it runs down to the neck.
3. Hold this position while keeping your back teeth tightly together.
4. Press the tip of your tongue against the gum line of your lower front teeth.
5. Increase pressure with a count of 10 and hold at the maximum pressure for 5 counts.
6. Gradually reduce the pressure with a count of 10.
7. Relax and repeat.

Forehead Exercise
Benefits: Reduces Frown lines
Steps:
1.  Relax your eyebrows and place your index fingers firmly along your eye brows.
2. Lift your forehead by moving against the resistance of your fingers.
3. Hold for 10 counts.
4. Slowly relax your muscles by gradually closing your eyes.
5. Repeat this movement.

For best results, try doing these facial exercises once a day. If time is a constraint, do it once or twice a week. You will definitely observe a more youthful appearance.