Can these exercises make you look younger?
Searching for the key to a younger appearance? The answer may lie in a few simple exercises.
In a study published earlier this year in the journal JAMA Dermatology, researchers concluded a defined facial exercise routine resulted in participants appearing younger per dermatologists.
As we age, definition of the face tends to diminish, making us look older. Dr. Martha Arroyo, a dermatologist affiliated with Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., explains that several bodily changes in the body are at play. “Signs of aging in the face are typically due to gradual changes in definition over time. These can include changes in distribution of facial fat, laxity of the skin and even changes in the shape of the underlying bone.”
As part of the study, women between the ages of 40 and 65 years were asked to perform a 30-minute daily or alternate-daily facial exercise taught to them by facial exercise instructors for 20 weeks. The prescribed exercises, which focused on stimulation of the facial muscles, resulted in fuller and firmer muscles in the upper and lower cheeks. With this increase in volume and lift, dermatologists reported these women appeared an average of three years younger after the trial period.
The study participants were taught 32 exercises that they performed for about 60 seconds each. Here are two examples:
- The Cheek Lifter: To begin, open your mouth and form an O. Then, position the upper lip over the teeth and smile to lift cheek muscles up. Afterwards, put fingers lightly on the top part of the cheek, release the cheek muscle to lower them and then lift them back up. The repetition of lowering and lifting the cheeks trains the facial muscles, making them stronger and more enlarged.
- The Happy Cheeks Sculpting: To perform this exercise, start by smiling without showing teeth and pursing the lips together. Next, smile and force the cheek muscles up, then place fingers on the corners of the mouth and slide them up to the top of the cheeks. Hold fingers in place for 20 seconds.
About the Author
Shvetali Thatte, a junior at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, is a remote Public Affairs and Marketing intern for Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill. She spends her time by engaging in clubs and sports at school as well as volunteering at the hospital and nearby tutoring programs. She enjoys spending time with her friends, traveling, and reading. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in medicine with a focus on public health.