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You remember making faces as a kid? You’d blow up your cheeks, roll your eyes, and waggle your ears until some adult said your face would stick that way. Turns out you might have been fighting wrinkles, and you didn’t even know it. Today, people looking for a cheaper, safer alternative to Botox and other anti-aging treatments are trying out face exercises. Just like you’d tone arms or buns, the face has many muscles that you can work out to lift those bloodhound brows.

A few words of caution, though. First off, make sure you are properly moisturized so you don’t split or otherwise damage your delicate facial skin as the whole point of this is to look better. Secondly, if it hurts, don’t do it. “No pain, no gain,” doesn’t apply to face exercising. Thirdly, do this in a private area unless you’ve always wanted to be the top video on YouTube.

If you feel your scalp itching to try some exercises, then all you have to do is start making faces. Of course, not just any old face flapping will do, you’re going to want to target those problem areas. The neck is a biggie. Nothing says “I was born before electric lights” like a wrinkly leather-bound edition of your neck.

There are many neck-specific exercises, but our favorite is this one: (1) Sit up straight, tilt your head back and look at the ceiling. Now move your bottom lip over your top lip and feel your neck skin and muscles expand and contract. You may feel (and look) like a fish on land, but after three sets of 15 or so reps – or whatever works for you – you’ll be ready to display that Adam’s apple with pride.

If your saggy peepers are giving you the jeepers-creepers, don’t worry, there’s an exercise for those, too. Turns out those muscles that let you wink and make that unibrow dance for the ladies - or the boys.  It can be flexed and toned to trim the claws on those crow’s feet. Here’s where your politically-incorrect childhood habit of stretching your eyelids to imitate people from east Asia comes in handy. (2) Place your hands on your temples and pull backwards and up on your eyelids to simulate that playground standby, now close your eyes tightly and hold for 10 seconds or so. Repeat until you start feeling the burn (or lose a contact).

If you keep your hands washed and your mind clean, then you’ll have no problem with our next exercise. (3) To keep that mouth pert and pouty, put your finger in there and suck as hard you can, slowly removing it. Repeat about ten or so times to firm up your lips. Not recommended: combining this with any face exercise that involves winking.

If that didn’t put a smile on your face, this one will: (4) put your right and left pointer, middle, and ring fingers on your cheeks and pull down. Now do your best to make the biggest happy-go-lucky grin you can. Do that 10 times over to firm up those chipmunk cheeks.

These are just a few of the face exercises you can do to firm and tone your face without injections or expensive or questionable creams. The down-side? Just like any exercise, it doesn’t pay off without weeks and months of disciplined effort. / Issue 115 - September 2018
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