9 Beginner Face Yoga Exercise to Try At HomeAugust 25, 2023
When you’re constantly learning about new things you can (and should) be doing to improve the health and appearance of your skin, it can start to get overwhelming. After all, shouldn’t your multi-step skincare routine be enough? Well, while a good skincare routine is essential, supplementing it with other methods of self-care can also be beneficial. Face yoga is an example of an easy way you can go above and beyond when it comes to taking care of your skin. With the help of experts, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about face yoga, from what it is to beginner exercises to try.
What Is Face Yoga?
“Facial yoga is essentially a special way of massaging your face, neck and décolleté,” says facialist Vanda Serrador. “Fatigue and stress accumulated during the day can cause skin to appear dull and tired — facial yoga [can] help you wind down before bed, so you can get the sleep you need and allow your skin to repair itself during its most relaxed state.”
However, face yoga is not just about the facial massage and exercises. According to Fumiko Takatsu, creator and co-founder of the Face Yoga Method, it also involves specific body postures and conscious breathing. “Face Yoga can be practiced anytime, anywhere and by anybody,” she says.
Face Yoga Benefits
“Just like body exercises, face yoga can tone the facial muscles and reduce or prevent unwanted wrinkles,” says Takatsu. Essentially, facial massage can result in firmer, toned muscles in your face, giving your skin a more contoured, lifted appearance, notes Theron.
Face yoga can even help boost the radiance of your complexion. “The ritual helps to promote skin revitalization and [can] enhance your complexion’s radiance by improving blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and [may also] help eliminate puffiness and water retention,” says Serrador. In addition, “performing a facial yoga massage on a continuous daily basis [can] also aid skin penetration and effectiveness of your skin care products.”
Finally, the daily practice of face yoga, as with regular yoga, is a great way to tap into mindfulness and promote relaxation.
How Often Should You Practice Face Yoga?
“If you’ve ever gone to a yoga retreat or been to a body bootcamp, you know the great benefits you get from regular workouts,” says Theron. “Muscles strengthen and the skin becomes tighter and healthier — it’s the same on your face, too.” In other words, the key to reaping the benefits of face yoga is keeping up a regular practice.
Takatsu recommends doing face yoga exercises twice a day, “in the morning when you wake up to wake up your face and start the day, and right before going to bed to reset and relax all the facial muscles you used during the day.”
But we know that a frequency of twice a day might seem intimidating or unrealistic. “If you’re new to facial massage, try to incorporate it into your routine a few times a week, building up to daily,” advises Theron. “Even five minutes a day makes a world of difference.”
How to Do Face Yoga
“There are so many different face yoga routines that you can do at home,” says Serrador. “My favorite [routine] only has four steps.” Before following a face yoga routine, you’ll want to prep your skin. Start by cleansing your skin with your favorite face wash. (Right now, we’re loving the CeraVe Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser.)
Next, apply a facial essence over your skin with clean fingers or a cotton pad. For extra hydration, follow with a facial oil over your face and neck. As a last step, gently apply a moisturizer over your face and neck in an upward, circular motion.
Once you’ve completed your skincare routine, it’s time to start the yoga “poses.” To do so, follow Serrador’s instructions, below.
Starting from the center of your chin, use a facial massager and roll it in light, upward strokes along the jawline towards your ear. Repeat on both sides of your face.
Place the massager between your eyebrows — just above the nose — and roll upwards towards the hairline. Repeat this motion on the left and right sides of your forehead, too.
Sweep the massager down your neck towards the collarbone. Repeat on both sides.
Finally, starting at the top of your breastbone, massage outwards towards your lymph nodes. Repeat in each direction.
The Best Beginner Face Yoga Exercises
Don’t have a facial massager or simply want some other face yoga poses to try? We’ve detailed a few simple face yoga exercises to include in your daily routine, below. The best part is that they’ll only take a few minutes out of your day!
The Big O
This face yoga exercise, which Takatsu called “the big O,” targets nearly all of the muscles in your face. Start by widening your eyes and making an “O” shape with your mouth by pressing your upper lip to your teeth. Basically, you’ll be mimicking a surprised facial expression. Hold the pose for 10 seconds, then repeat.
Facial lines are often formed from daily habits and expressions, whether that be smiling or furrowing your brow. This face yoga pose may help to offset some of those expressions we’ve all become accustomed to. Close your eyes and visualize the space between your eyebrows, allowing your face to relax. Then, form a very slight smile. Repeat as you wish.
Give your cheek muscles a workout by taking a deep breath and sucking in as much air as you can through your mouth. Puff the breath back and forth from cheek to cheek. After going back and forth a few times, release your breath.
Chin and Neck
Your neck is one of the most neglected areas of skin, which is why signs of aging can crop up prematurely here. Target this area by placing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and applying pressure. Point your chin towards the ceiling, then smile and swallow while pointing your chin at the ceiling.
This face yoga pose isn’t an instant eyebrow lift, but you may find benefits to completing it regularly. Place a finger under the center of each eye, pointing your fingers towards your nose.
Open your mouth and curl your lips so that they hide your teeth, stretching your lower face. While still holding below your eyes, flutter the upper eyelids while looking at the ceiling.
Pucker up and blow a kiss! Press your lips into your hand, blow a kiss, and repeat to help give your lips the temporary appearance of more fullness.
“Create a V-shape hook with your thumb and index finger and place [your hand] at the center of the chin with your thumb underneath,” Theron explains. “Move the V along each side of the jawline, working slowly to contour and ease any tension.” For this exercise, you’ll want to apply medium pressure and repeat it eight times on each side.
V Eye Lifts
This is one of Theron’s favorite massages for opening up the eyes. “Place two fingers on each side of the bridge of the nose up to the start of the eyebrow,” says Theron. “Apply a little pressure and lift under the eyebrow, then split the fingers into a V-shape and let them glide out to the sides, still applying a little pressure. Repeat three times.” For your under-eyes, use slightly less pressure so as not to drag the delicate skin in this area. “Place two fingers at the inner corner of the eye, split your fingers into a V-shape and let them glide out to the sides, finishing with a little lift and pressure at the temples. Repeat three times.”
The Swan Neck
Another one of Takatsu’s go-to exercises, the Swan Neck, helps tone your neck and jawline. Start by looking up and to the right at about a 45-degree angle, then pucker your lips towards the right. You should feel a stretch on the left side of your neck. After holding for five seconds, relax your muscles and return your gaze forward, then repeat the process on the other side. You can do this three times on each side. Don’t forget to finish with a smile!