BLOG 198: THE 5 FACIAL EXERCISES FOR A NON-SURGICAL FACE LIFTJan 16, 2023
In today’s blog post, we’re going to run through five of my favourite face yoga exercises that you can do daily for a natural, non-surgical facelift. It is hard to pick favourites as I love so many but here’s a few!
In total, this whole sequence should only take about ten minutes, so it is hopefully easy for you to slip it into your existing routine.
Many people do their face yoga at the same time as their morning or evening skincare. But you could also do a few minutes in front of the TV in the evening, while you shower, or if you are waiting in the car for school pick-up.
This is such a versatile form of self-care. And all you need is your hands, so you really can do it anywhere.
If you prefer to watch a video guide of these moves, you can also find this routine on my YouTube channel.
Please make sure your hands and face are clean before you start.
Apply a few drops of serum – I use the Pro Lift Moisturising Serum from my Fusion by Danielle Collins skincare range. It’s particularly good for face yoga because it gives your skin a lovely glide, while also nourishing your skin cells with lots of high-performing botanical seed oils.
Remember, always work to your own level with everything. You are the expert on your own face, so I encourage you to tune into your intuition as you work with any face yoga technique.
Finally, take a moment to connect with your breath. Allow your abdomen to rise and fall as you take long, deep breaths, ideally through your nose.
1. NECK LIFT
Our first technique is one of my favourites. It targets the neck and is wonderful for lifting and toning the skin in this area.
Gently tilt your head backwards, remembering to keep your shoulders dropped down away from your ears.
With your lips together, move the tip of your tongue up onto the roof of your mouth and then back down again. Continue to repeat this action, aiming for a rate of about one per second, until you’ve done twenty.
Come slowly down, take a short break, and then tilt your head back to do another twenty.
Bring your head back down again. Depending on how you are feeling, you can either just take a short pause and focus on your breathing or come back for a third time and do another twenty.
With this exercise, we’re targeting the platysma muscle at the front of the neck. As we age, we often find that this muscle starts to weaken, and the skin can start to sag.
This technique also helps to combat that rounded posture so many people find themselves in from looking down at screens or small children. When we round our shoulders and hunch forward, we can also end up with fluid accumulation under the chin, so correcting our posture should also help to reduce fluid build-up in this area.
Of course, opening up this area also helps with the flow of energy around the body. In yoga, we call this lifeforce, prana, while in Traditional Chinese Medicine it is referred to as Qi.
When that lifeforce energy is flowing correctly our skin looks tighter, tauter, and more glowing.
2. LOWER FACE LIFT
With our second technique, we’re still working with the lower face and neck. We’ll be targeting the sides of the neck especially, but this also helps to lift the cheeks.
Turn your head to one side. Tilt your chin slightly up and back. Then, extend your tongue out towards the tip of your nose.
Make sure your shoulders are dropped down and back and that you aren’t holding any tension in the upper body.
Hold this position for a count of fifteen. Come back to centre, then repeat on the other side. Hold for fifteen seconds, then gently release back to centre.
3. CHEEKS AND MOUTH
We’re moving up the face now with an exercise that works the muscles in our cheek and mouth area.
Open your mouth slightly so that you can tuck your lips around your teeth. Turn the corners of your mouth upwards into a smile.
As we work with these face exercises, we target the muscles of the face in a very controlled way – totally different from how we use them in our day-to-day expressions. This controlled movement means we’re not creating new lines and wrinkles, but we are strengthening the muscles under the skin and tightening and tautening the skin attached.
When you lift the corners of your mouth up, you are engaging a lot of the muscles in the cheek area. You’re also strengthening the orbicularis oris muscle, which runs around the mouth.
If you notice any lines appearing as you hold this pose, use your index fingers on either side of your mouth to smooth them away.
Hold for a count of ten. Release and then repeat twice more, remembering to use your fingers to smooth out any lines.
4. EYE AREA
For our fourth technique, we’re doing an exercise that targets the muscles around the eye area. This is called the mini-V exercise and it comes from my first book, Danielle Collins’ Face Yoga.
Bring your middle fingers to the inner corners of your eyes, just to either side of your nose. Then, place your index fingers on the outer edge of your eye, so your fingers form a V shape around your eyes.
Half close your eyes. As you hold them half-closed, you should feel a little shake in the muscles beneath your index fingers.
When you feel that shake, hold the pose for a few seconds and then release.
It can take a couple of tries before you get this one, so don’t worry if that little shake isn’t immediately obvious. Keep trying and it will come.
Repeat this technique around five to seven times.
Our final move is going to work the forehead area. We’re still looking to strengthen the muscles around the eyes, but this technique also aims to relax the big frontalis muscle that runs across the forehead.
Most of us are very prone to overusing this muscle when we express. We also tend to hold a lot of tension in this area. So, we want to allow the frontalis muscle to relax while we engage the eye muscles.
This is great practice for day-to-day life, helping us learn to express more with our eyes and less with our forehead. In turn, this will help us reduce and prevent lines and wrinkles in the forehead area.
Place both hands on your forehead to keep the frontalis muscle as still as you can. At the same time, open your eyes as wide as you can, focusing on a set point in front of you.
Take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of four, then exhale through your nose for a count of six. Keep widening your eyes.
Close your eyes for a moment and then repeat the exercise again twice more.
Release your hands down and allow your eyes to relax back to normal.
To finish off this facial exercise routine, place one hand on your heart and put the other hand on top.
Close your eyes and then complete this sentence: “I am so happy and grateful for…”
Take one more deep breath, allowing those feelings of joy and gratitude to fill you. Then, open your eyes, and we are all done!
FACE YOGA FOR SELF-CARE
I hope you’ve enjoyed this face-lifting exercise sequence. Of course, face yoga is like any other form of exercise – doing the techniques regularly is how you are going to see the best results.
Face yoga is also such a nurturing form of self-care. The main motivation for me to do face yoga every day is that it feels so good.
Yes, it helps that a side benefit is a lifted and toned face. I’m in my 40s now and have never done any invasive treatments like Botox or fillers (although no shame at all to people who do choose these routes). I just use these natural techniques to lift and smooth my skin.
But what I really love about face yoga is how it makes me feel. I’m a busy working mum, I don’t have much time, so I really need these simple and quick self-care practices to ensure I’m feeling my best.
If you also want to make face yoga a daily habit, my two books DANIELLE COLLINS’ FACE YOGA and THE FACE YOGA JOURNAL are packed full of face yoga techniques to give you a naturally lifted and glowing face. Each technique takes about a minute and there are options that cover every area of your face, so you can easily create your own face yoga routines to meet your needs.
Put the books somewhere you’ll see them regularly as a reminder to do your face yoga as often as you can – in your car, in your bathroom, on your bedside table. Anywhere that they’ll catch your eye and remind you to spend five to ten minutes showing yourself some care and attention!
You can find both books, as well as plenty of other resources to help you on your face yoga journey, via my online shop.