BLOG 220: LOOKING FOR A NATURAL ALTERNATIVE TO BOTOX? 5 FACIAL EXERCISES TO DO TODAY!Jun 20, 2023
Today’s blog post is all about natural ways to lift and smooth your skin. But I want to start by saying that I have nothing against Botox or injectables at all. I’m a big believer in doing what is right for you, and I would never judge anyone for making different choices to me.
Personally, I’ve decided to opt for natural methods instead. This is probably no surprise, considering I’ve spent the past 18 years developing the Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method and sharing it with people around the world!
I love face yoga for how it makes my skin look and feel, but also for how it makes me feel on the inside. It is such a beautiful form of self-care. Spending even just a few minutes each day taking care of your skin in this way can be so nourishing and self-affirming.
I’m 41 now, and I still have no interest in getting Botox or injectables. The natural route is what is right for me.
If you feel the same and are looking for natural alternatives to Botox, then you have come to the right place! I’m going to run through five facial exercises that you can do daily to smooth and firm your skin.
However, you can also do these exercises even if you do opt for Botox. My only caution is to wait for four weeks after a treatment before you start doing facial exercises. If you are at all unsure, you can check with your practitioner first.
If you prefer a video guide, you can also find this sequence on my YouTube channel.
BEFORE YOU START
Before you begin this face yoga routine, make sure you have clean hands and a clean face. Then, apply a few drops of serum to give your skin some glide.
The best skincare to use for face yoga is the Fusion by Danielle Collins Pro Lift Moisturising Serum. It has been specifically developed to work with face yoga and facial massage. Packed with high-performing botanical seed oils, it gives your skin a delicious glide, but also absorbs easily and is non-greasy.
As a rule of thumb, I suggest doing each of the techniques below for around a minute. Like any form of exercise, face yoga works best when you do it regularly, so try to make this a daily habit. It should only take around 10 minutes in total.
Finally, as you work through this face yoga routine, remember to focus on your breathing. Take long, deep inhales and exhales through your nose.
It really is amazing how much the breath can do to help us relax and find a sense of calm. If you have time, you might want to start by just closing your eyes and concentrating on your breath for a minute or two before you move onto the exercises themselves.
1. FOREHEAD RELEASE
Our first move is one of my favourites – you’ll see me use it a lot in my face yoga videos. It targets the frontalis muscle, which is the large muscle that runs across the front of your forehead.
Many of us store a lot of stress and tension in this muscle, which can lead to lines and wrinkles. So, this move aims to relax the muscle and smooth the forehead. It also boosts blood flow to this area, giving your skin a lovely natural glow.
Bring the fingertips of both hands together at the centre of your forehead. Smooth horizontally out across your forehead, lifting your hands off when you reach your temples.
Replace your fingers in the centre and repeat the action.
Next, place your index fingers on your forehead, just above the bridge of your nose. Moving outwards, repeatedly draw a small zigzag shape with both fingers, just above the line of your eyebrows.
Repeat the action, coming a little higher to work over the middle of your forehead. Then, do it again at the top of your forehead.
Continue for around a minute.
Again, this massage helps to relax the frontalis muscle and brings lots of lovely fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients to your skin.
Take a moment to shake out your arms and roll your shoulders before moving onto the next technique.
2. EYE STRENGTHENING
Place both your hands on your forehead, with your little fingers resting over your eyebrows.
Keeping your hands in place, open your eyes as wide as you can. Focus on one spot in front of you. Use your hands to keep your forehead and eyebrows still, so you are just using the muscles around your eyes.
Most of us overuse our eyebrows and forehead when we express. Over time, this leads to a build-up of tension in those muscles and can contribute to lines and wrinkles.
This technique helps to retrain us to use our eyes more and our brows and forehead less. It particularly helps to strengthen the orbicularis oculi muscles, which are the ring muscles that go around each eye.
Hold for around 30 seconds. Close your eyes for a moment, then repeat again.
Release and shake out your arms. Take a few deep breaths, just checking in with yourself before our next move.
3. NUMBER 11 LINES
As well as our foreheads, a common place for people to get Botox is between the eyebrows. This is another area that can often show lines because of tension in the muscles. So, this technique is a great alternative to release that tension and smooth the skin in this area.
Form one of your index fingers into a hook shape. Using your middle knuckle, smooth up between your eyes and up the central line of your forehead.
We’re targeting the procerus muscle, which runs up between the eyebrows. It is this muscle we use when we frown or when we’re concentrating. Relaxing this muscle can help to smooth out any number 11 lines that have started to appear in this area.
You can vary the angle of the massage every now and then too so that you cover a wider area.
Don’t be surprised if you see the skin here get a bit pink as you massage – this is normal. As long as there is no pain, a little bit of redness is fine and will soon fade.
4. THIRD EYE POINT
Next, we’ll do a little bit of acupressure to continue to relax and smooth the forehead and eyebrows.
Place the tip of one index finger between your eyebrows, onto the acupressure point that is known as the Third Eye point.
Start by just resting your finger there as you breath slowly in and out through your nose. You might want to close your eyes too.
Then, gently massage the point in a circular motion. Go clockwise for a few seconds and then repeat anticlockwise.
This acupressure point is a wonderful one to use if you are experiencing headaches or are feeling stressed and tense.
From an aesthetic perspective, massaging the Third Eye point also helps to relax your forehead further, smoothing out any lines naturally.
5. FOREHEAD AND TEMPLES
For our final technique, form both hands into fists. Place them together in the centre of your forehead and smooth outwards towards your temples, using your middle knuckles to stroke across your skin.
When you reach your temples, pause there for a moment and give them a little massage, moving your fists in a circular action.
Lift your hands off and replace them at the centre of your forehead to repeat the move.
Once again, this technique helps to relax the muscles and release tension, preventing lines and smoothing your skin. It also boosts the blood circulation and helps to get any stagnant energy moving again, leaving your skin with a beautiful natural glow.
You are all done! Place your hands down into your lap and close your eyes for a moment. Take some deep breaths through your nose, letting any last bits of tension release from your body.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this routine and have ended it feeling grounded and calm, as well as with smoother, brighter skin.
If you’d like to dive deeper into face yoga and learn more ways to naturally lift and smooth your skin, the best option is to take my face yoga teacher training course.
It takes around 12 hours of study, and you can work through the materials completely at your own pace. You also have lifetime access to the course, so you can stop and start, or come back to refresh your memory whenever you want.
The course is wonderful if you just want to learn more about face yoga so that you can use it yourself at home. But it is also internationally accredited and leads to a face yoga teacher training certification. So, if you want to share these amazing techniques with others, you’ll have everything you need to build a wellness business or add a new service to your existing one.
You can find out more about teacher training here.