I.Always new creams, serums and oils promise to reduce laugh lines, bags under the eyes and crow’s feet and to ensure even skin. It seems obvious that this cannot be achieved by applying cream alone. Dermatologist Yael Adler confirms this: The molecules contained in creams and serums, she says in an interview, are simply far too large to “pass through the upper layer of the skin to the dermis – where they are needed to bring moisture into the skin – can get.
The use of hyaluronic or collagen cream therefore only has a temporary puffiness effect. The dermatologist believes that treatment from the inside out – i.e. through diet – is more effective. That should be beneficial, one clinical study according to, but also an external treatment, namely through facial yoga. Special training units are designed to significantly reduce wrinkles on the face, reshape sagging skin and relax it.
The study published in the journal “Jama Dermatology” took place over 20 weeks. In the first eight weeks, the subjects, aged 40 to 65, were instructed to do their facial exercises for 30 minutes a day – for the remaining weeks only three to four days a week. Indeed, the researchers noticed a noticeable rejuvenation effect; on average, the faces looked about three years younger than at the beginning of the investigation – here to see in comparison.
The increased amount of time spent working at the screen in the home office is particularly stressful for the skin. Like your body, you should also give your face a break regularly – with soothing facial exercises. We asked the two facial yoga experts Annett Hausmann, beautician from Berlin, and Tanja Lender, yoga teacher from Hamburg, what such training looks like and what beginners in particular should pay attention to.
Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston swear by face yoga; Meghan Brand also practices it. In one interview she once said to “Birchbox” magazine: “I swear it works, however silly you may feel. On the days I do this, my cheekbones and jawline are much better shaped. There is a reason why face yoga is so popular during the awards season when every actress wants to look first class. “
Annett Hausmann suspects that this is not due to the fact that face yoga is a current beauty trend: “Many actors learn facial exercises during their training in order to refine their facial expressions and control their facial muscles better. You will find that this workout has an extremely positive side effect, it tightens the face. So it’s only natural that they swear by this method. “
Tanja Lender also thinks that it’s more than just hype. Facial yoga has been part of her holistic yoga practice for more than 25 years. She is pleased that this form of yoga has such prominent followers: “These women help to get the sometimes strange yoga for the face out of the silly corner and to take it seriously. Due to its versatility, it can make a big difference – on a mental and physical level. “
Because regular facial yoga practice builds up the muscles, stimulates the blood circulation and increases the metabolism: “This leads to a natural plump – so it smooths expression lines and shapes the contours. In addition, tensions are released, the tissue is better supplied with nutrients and oxygen – and makes a face appear rosier and healthier, ”says Lender. A muscle – be it in the face or upper arm – enlarges when it is exercised and “also builds up the skin and tightens it,” explains Hausmann.
Just like the muscles in the body, the muscles in the face can also become tense: “Targeted training can loosen them up – the face appears friendly and open again. After all, we have 26 facial muscles there. ”And relaxed facial muscles, says the Berlin beautician, have an effect on the entire body – including emotional complaints. Stress in particular, but also anxiety, should be able to be alleviated in this way: “Stroking and tapping the skin stimulate the lymph flow and ensure the release of feel-good hormones. It’s also good for the immune system, ”says the Hamburg yoga teacher.
How long and how often do you train?
And what exactly does such a training look like? “Every workout begins with a warm-up phase, followed by individual exercises for each area of the face – this takes about 15 minutes. I supplement this with a facial massage and breathing exercises twice a week, ”says beautician Hausmann. However, one should not exaggerate: two days a week, like in sport, the muscles need a regeneration break.
Especially if you integrate facial exercises such as lender into conventional yoga classes – in the Löwen, for example, you can stick out your tongue wonderfully and thus relieve tension in the neck. But then up to 90 minutes have to be invested. A facial yoga unit also consists of several phases – coming to rest, breathing consciously, perceiving the face, massaging and moving all muscles individually. A final relaxation or meditation should not be missing in a longer session. “After all, avoiding stress is what makes us feel young, healthy and good,” says the yoga teacher.
It is also advisable to clean the face before training. Moisturizers should be used sparingly on dry skin, otherwise there is a risk of slipping your fingers too much. In addition to a mirror, in order to be able to control the correct posture and facial expressions, no other utensils are required to start with.
The best exercises for beginners – compiled by the face yoga experts:
Relaxation: Sit upright, that applies to the entire workout, place your palms on your eyes and let your breath flow. Linger like this for at least eight deep breaths. Use this technique to relax the face repeatedly between exercises.
Lion face: This exercise comes from classical yoga and is used to warm up. Close your eyes and mouth. Then open both wide at the same time, stick out your tongue and breathe out. Repeat four times.
To stimulate the metabolism, detonate and improve blood circulation: Tap gently with the balls of your fingers across the cleavage, neck, chin, cheeks, nose, forehead and head.
For the neck and chin area: Push your chin forward, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth (tense and relax every two seconds) and slowly lean your head back. Repeat this exercise six times.
Against lip wrinkles: The best way to train the oral ring muscle is to smile and suck your lips into your mouth over your teeth. Be careful to keep the rest of your face relaxed during this exercise. Repeat six times.
Exercise for the cheek muscle: To counteract sagging cheeks, the trumpet muscle needs to be trained. To do this, keep your mouth closed, fill your cheeks with air and push the air from one cheek to the other. Do this six times – if necessary, repeat the exercise for the oral ring muscle afterwards.
Against nasolabial folds: Place the middle fingers next to the nostrils to hold the skin under the fingertips and pull the nose up – hold for ten seconds. Pause three breaths, then repeat two times.
Wrinkles against frown lines: Place your palms above the eyebrows and gently pull them outwards. Now try to look angrily, so pulling your forehead towards the middle – your hands won’t allow that. Repeat six times.
Exercise against crow’s feet: To train the eye ring muscles, open your eyes wide and place your index fingers under the outer part of the brow (above the eyes) to fix the tissue. Then close your eyelids. Repeat six times, pause three breaths, and repeat again.
Train the forehead muscle: The index fingers are placed parallel one finger width across the brows, then fix and pull the forehead up to the hairline. Repeat this exercise six times of three sets.
Annett Hausmann shows other face yoga exercises to imitate here by video.
As with sport, facial yoga practice should also be adapted to individual needs. Lender: “Since the muscles in the face are directly connected to the skin, so they have no fascia except for the cheek area, little time is required for a visible effect. The first successes can be felt immediately, they can be seen after a few weeks, depending on the intensity of the practice. ”She recommends repeating the exercises four to six times or holding them for six to ten seconds – in about three series.
In order to avoid typical beginner mistakes, the introduction to facial yoga should ideally take place under professional guidance in a workshop. (Like him for example Tanja Lender in her Hamburg yoga studio “Adhuna Veda” and Annett Hausmann in her Berlin wellness and cosmetics studio “Time for me” to offer.)
If you start the first training session without instructions, the exercises should be done in front of a mirror. Because if you don’t pay attention to posture and facial expressions, the opposite of what you want can easily occur: “This is especially true when the desire to reduce wrinkles is in the foreground. With some exercises, it is particularly important not to move certain areas – such as the forehead or mouth, “says Lender.
In addition, the exercises should always be performed painlessly. “A common mistake my students make is to push too hard with their hands and pull the skin. Our facial skin is tender, especially around the eyes, so always only exert gentle pressure, ”explains Hausmann.
Grimaces instead of botox?
Hausmann considers facial yoga to be a natural and inexpensive alternative to beauty procedures, but anti-aging miracles should not be expected. The natural aging process cannot be stopped – it slows down to the maximum. Lender aptly calls it the slow-aging effect: “With facial yoga, the loss of muscle mass and the slackening of facial features with increasing age can be counteracted to a certain extent by building up muscles – small expression lines are smoothed, deeper wrinkles are mended, the face looks more Contour.”
Those who really want to keep themselves and their skin fit should, in addition to face yoga, also focus on exercise, a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as proper care and, of course, UV protection, both experts agree. “Patient people who agree with the natural aging process will certainly find facial yoga an enrichment,” says Lender. And further: “It will not be enough for others – they will continue to resort to facelifts, botox or injections.”