Is face yoga the new revolution in anti-aging or another Paltrow-esque peculiarity?
Six weeks to two months is all it takes to go from jowly and droopy to a lifted, smooth and firm face, according to certified “facial-exercise instructor” Gary Sikorski.
Sikorski founded Happy Face Yoga in Providence, Rhode Island – a clinic that has been providing clients with all the benefits of a facelift through resistance training and movements for the muscles in the face.
Much like the efficacy of yoga for the body, which benefits from moving your limbs against oppositional weight from your own body with or without aids such as dumbbells or elastic bands, face yoga observes the same principles of toning and strengthening.
Looking beyond wrinkles and fine lines, face yoga is designed to target the muscles below the fatty layer on the premise that once the fatty layer begins to drop and sag, the muscles beneath will be strong enough to compensate for age-related volume loss.
“People are obsessed with getting rid of wrinkles, but there are other, possibly more pronounced signs of aging—the eyes narrowing, the mouth turning down, pouchy cheeks,” says Sikorski. “My exercises help lift everything up.”
Backed by dermatologists from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, it appears that Sikorski’s theory, when practiced consistently, goes beyond that of pulling funny faces to make people look up to three years younger.
According to Goop, “the before and after photos are utterly convincing; the subjects look like younger, almost photoshopped versions of themselves. Their skin isn’t merely smoother and tighter, it somehow exudes a youthful flush you don’t often see in people past the age of twelve.”
Furthermore, as Dr Murad Alam, the vice chair of dermatology at Northwestern University who led the study, discovers that by undergoing facial exercises is not only strengthening the muscles and thus reversing the signs of aging, but may also be causing a level of irritation that stimulates the body laying down more collagen making the skin appear more subtle. It’s a win-win.
And if you’re not prepared to walk away from your traditional anti-aging procedures, you may still want to consider face yoga to get your money’s worth.
According to Dr Alam, combining facial exercises with dermatologic procedures can garner even more profound skin-perfecting results. “If facial exercise improves volume and fullness, then less filler may be required, or the effects of injected filler may be more beneficial,” explains Dr Alam.
Before you go trolling the internet for facial exercises to firm and lift, remember that similarly to regular yoga, holding expressions can be tiring and may require more effort for some than offers. While Sikorski prescribes his clients with an advised 10-15 minutes a day, “how long it takes to see a difference in your skin is sort of a loaded question,” says Sikorski. “Every face is different, and if you drink and smoke and are in the sun all day, it’s going to take a long[er] time.”
Check out an excerpt from Sikorski’s earlier DVDs below and determine whether you’ll be embracing the outlandish movements to pursue the face of youth.
WATCH: How to look younger with Happy Face Yoga Facial Exercises
Images: Happy Face Yoga, Getty and Supplied