Do Facial Exercises Really Work? Here are 16 You Must Try

Facial exercises, just as they sound, are those sets of weird facial expressions that help relax facial muscles. And it doesn’t stop there, they’re also said to reverse the signs of aging.

Facial exercises are a type of physical therapy tool which tones the contours. Facial exercises prevent muscle loss that is usually caused by aging and facial paralysis.

Face yoga is a lot more than stretching face skin or doing uncontrolled facial movements. It activates each muscle of your face and helps in gaining control over them over time.

Facial muscles and their functions are what help us in expressing our emotions naturally. Thus being repeated many times, they cause wrinkles and forehead lines, crow’s feet.

The story of facial exercises and how they work is explained below. Read it all and you’ll know if they work.

The origin of facial exercise

You exercise your body, then why not your face? This might be the start of facial expressions. But a few say that it originated in Japan and that Koko Hayashi was the founder of face yoga. He says that there are two types of exercises, one of which all the muscles that are overworked, and the other type wakes up the sleeping muscles1.

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Picture by Abdallam via Unsplash

And a few others say that facial exercises have origins in China. It is said that in ancient China, an empress used facial exercises to maintain a young appearance. Those exercises are still very popular in China.

A few facial exercises

Let us look at a few recommend facial exercises below:

1. Locked tongue pose

This exercise helps to shape one’s jawline.

  • Sit comfortably on a mat or a chair.
  • Place the tip of your tongue against the upper palate of your mouth.
  • Gently push your tongue towards the upper palette and wait till you stretch your neck.
  • Repeat this 5 times.

2. Chin lock

This exercise helps to tone your jawline muscles, and get rid of double chin.

  • Sit comfortably on the mat in Lotus posture.
  • Take a deep breath, and then several.
  • Place your hands on your keens, and lift your shoulders.
  • Bend your neck forward until your chin touches your chest between your collar bones.
  • Hold your breath for as long as you can, relax and repeat.

3. Neck roll

This exercise helps in losing the double chin and tone neck muscles.

  • Sit comfortably on a mat with your head straight.
  • Bend your neck to one side and circle your head in a clockwise direction.
  • Your shoulder and spine should stay straight when you do this.
  • Repeat in an anti-clockwise direction and vice versa 3 times.

4. The V pose

This exercise helps in drooping eye bags.

  • Sit comfortably on a mat.
  • Place your two middle fingers together on the inner corner of your eyebrows.
  • Apply pressure on the outer corners of your eyebrows using your index fingers.
  • Look up without rising your neck and lift the skin below the eyes upward making a squint. Relax.
  • Repeat 5 times and end by shutting your eyes for 10 seconds.

5. Smooth brow exercise

This exercise helps in reducing forehead lines and frown lines.

  • Sit comfortably on a mat.
  • Place the tip of your fingers as shown in the picture between the eyebrows and hairline.
  • Gently sweep the fingers outward by applying light pressure on the forehead muscles.
  • Relax and repeat.

6. Fish face exercise

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Image via Shutterstock

This fish face exercise helps to lose fat on the face, therefore helping in getting rid of fat cheeks.

  • Sit comfortably on a mat.
  • Suck your cheeks in and pucker your lips like a fish.
  • Hold this pose for five seconds.

7. The cheekbone lift

The cheekbone lift exercise helps to lose fat in the cheeks and gives you defined cheekbones.

  • Place your forefinger and middle fingers together on your cheekbones
  • Gently pull your skin upwards
  • Open your mouth to form oval until you can feel resistance in your cheek muscles
  • Hold it for 5 seconds
  • Relax and repeat 5 times.

8. Neck tilt

This face exercise helps in tightening the throat muscles and reducing double chin.

  • Tilt your neck and rest there for 5 seconds.
  • Then bring it down
  • Repeat this 5 times.
  • Then tilt your head to the side. Tilt towards your left after tilting it as back as you can.
  • After 5 seconds of keeping your head back, tilt your neck towards the right.
  • Repeat this 5 times.

9. Jaw Flex

This facial exercise helps in getting a toned jawline

  • Tilt your head back as much as you can until you can see the ceiling.
  • Lift your lower lip over your upper lip as much as you can.
  • While doing the second step, you should feel the jaw muscles near your ear.
  • Rest in this position for 10 seconds.
  • Release yourself in the same backward process, and repeat for a set of 12-15 times.

10. The Puffer-Fish Press

This facial exercise helps in reducing the laugh lines.

  • Close your mouth.
  • Puff your cheeks with air
  • Move the air from one cheek to the other cheek.
  • Repeat this for a set of 30 seconds.

11. Wink and Hold

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image via Shutterstock

This facial exercise helps in reducing wrinkles and lines.

  • In this exercise, you have to close one of your eyes partially.
  • And hold that half wink for one second.
  • Release slowly.
  • Repeat the same 30 times.

Don’t overdo this exercise, as it may aid in line formation instead of fighting with them.

12. Cheek Plumping

This facial exercise helps in raising the folds around your nose.

  • Smile as wide as you can, and press the folds on your nose and lips with your fingertips.
  • Lift your cheek muscles while you resist it by pressing down using your fingertips.
  • Repeat this for 2 minutes with small breaks in between.

13. Forehead Fine Tuning1

This facial exercise helps in reducing the forehead lines.

There aren’t any steps for these exercises. That’s just not it, you can do it anywhere without making repetitive weird faces. All you have to do is make a surprised face and keep your forehead frozen, wide your eyes.

Repeat this 10 times a day.

14. Eye Focus

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Image via Shutterstock

This facial exercise helps in smoothing the eyebrows.

  • Open your eye wide.
  • Make sure that your eyebrows stay smooth without wrinkles.
  • Freeze with this posture and focus on a distant straight point.
  • Relax and repeat with small breaks in between.

15. Stretch Eyelids

This facial exercise helps in keeping the eyelids firm.


  • Look upwards and raise your eyebrows simultaneously.
  • Then gently close your eyes.
  • Make sure you do it as you are still looking upwards.
  • Relax and repeat the same.

16. Dimple Exercise

This exercise brings dimples naturally.

  • Suck your cheeks in partially by puckering lips or pouting.
  • Make sure your teeth are not clenched together as you put your mouth closed.
  • Relax and repeat this exercise daily with little breaks.

Apart from these exercises, there are many other facial exercises.

Benefits of facial yoga

  • Toning facial muscles
  • Shaping jawline
  • Stretching cheek muscles
  • Reducing double chin
  • Reducing facial fat in cheekbones
  • Shaping cheekbones
  • Reducing sagging skin and wrinkles

Face yoga is gaining popularity in many countries for being a holistic approach to anti-aging. Radiant Complexion is one of the benefits of facial yoga. Facial massage helps in skin cell regeneration, which brings a serene and radiant complexion.

Murad Alam and facial exercise

Murad Alam is a professor of dermatology 2at Northwestern University. His experiments on facial yoga resulted in three years younger look in a group of middle-aged women after a 20-week facial program.

In his experiment with Gary Sikorski, the participants were trained with a 30-minute facial exercises daily routine. The participants’ age ranged from 45 to 60. After 20 weeks, the pictures of 16 highly motivated groups of participants were compared to their earlier pictures by a panel of dermatologists, who evaluated their after-facial yoga pictures as 3 years younger than before one’s.

He says that the exercises enlarge and strengthen the muscles of the face, so then the face becomes firmer, toned, and shaped. Anti-aging facial exercises help in reducing visible signs of aging and in improving appearance.

And these facial exercises work not just for everyone. Especially if they have dermal fillers or any other cosmetic injectables. Facial exercises don’t will dislodge the filler, but the motion can lead to the breakdown of the filler.

Face yoga is non-toxic unless it is overly or wrongly done. Studies done in northwestern universities proved that face yoga can lead to a younger look, but when these face workouts are done wrong, they can cause wrinkles. Face yoga is like resistance training for the muscles in your face. So when you work on them consistently in a prescribed way, they help in lifting up the skin.

Facial Muscles

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Image via Shutterstock

It is not strange that our face contains major sense organs of our body. And they – eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin, are so intertwined with the body. If we observe carefully, we can experience that the tension we hold in our faces during face yoga also transmits through our whole body.

Our face has around 20 skeletal muscles that work together and control movements like the forehead, eyebrows, eyelids, nose, ears, cheeks, lips, and chin. These muscles help in expressing our emotions and chewing. Affects on face muscles can lead to sagging facial appearance, drooling (inability to hold food/drink in mouth), and trouble in expressing facial expressions.

Through age and repetition of certain expressions decreases the elasticity of muscles, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Facial workouts result in good blood circulation, thus making the skin firmer. Face yoga exercise and resistant facial movement help in de-stressing the individual.

Daily facial exercise release tension and stress of the individual by acting as massages. Face exercises, as mentioned before, decreases the aging process, and also reduce pigmentation. Regular facial yoga exercise helps in bringing hormonal balance. These exercises help in good blood flow by drawing more oxygenated blood3 to the face. This in turn results in reducing the toxins and bloating.

The first session in facial yoga exercises can also result in a less puffy and more refreshed look. Because these exercises give instant lift and remove fatigue and water retention. This basically happens because it leads to a rise in endorphin, immune system, and then all the blood circulation results in the glow on your face.

The exercises push the blood and essential nutrients into the skin and muscle tissues to nourish and improve cell renewal. Wrinkles, frown lines, laugh lines, and crow’s feet, all of these are a result of excess muscle activity. Thus many doubt the idea that toning muscles prevent wrinkles. But we all accept that the opposite works, and that’s face yoga4, which focuses on proper techniques to address this repetitive activity.

Sometimes, the cause of these wrinkles and sagging skin can be attributed to muscle memory. Muscle memory is the long-lasting memory of skills. It is not just something that comes into the picture in the context of gym or riding or knitting. This also contributes to advancing the aging process of an individual.

This happens because our face muscles are more delicate than any other muscle in our body. A few common repeated facial expression is squinting eyes in bright light or when smiling. This is never going to change, but understanding the counter effects of this can help in graceful aging.

Face yoga exercises include gentle sweeping movements over the skin of the face. These movements stimulate collagen and release the stuck fascia. The enhancement of oxygen circulation will tighten your skin and lift the contour of the face.

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picture by cottonbro

Face Exercises: Do They Really Work?

Do Facial Exercises lead to skin health? We mostly focus on and believe that body exercises have an impact on our body within. They just don’t shape the body, but also help in improving the mechanical processes of organs such as the heart, and spine. In the same way, healthy blood circulation leads to glowing and vibrant skin, therefore a healthy lifestyle.

Read more from us here.

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  1. Hsu, Brien, et al. “Effects of respiratory muscle therapy on obstructive sleep apnea: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 16.5 (2020): 785-801. ↩︎
  2. Chan, Stephanie, et al. “Machine learning in dermatology: current applications, opportunities, and limitations.” Dermatology and therapy 10 (2020): 365-386. ↩︎
  3. Aref, Mohamed Hisham Fouad, Amr AR Sharawi, and Yasser H. El-Sharkawy. “Delineation of the arm blood vessels utilizing hyperspectral imaging to assist with phlebotomy for exploiting the cutaneous tissue oxygen concentration.” Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy 33 (2021): 102190. ↩︎
  4. Raja G, Prabu, et al. “Effectiveness of deep cervical fascial manipulation and yoga postures on pain, function, and oculomotor control in patients with mechanical neck pain: study protocol of a pragmatic, parallel-group, randomized, controlled trial.” Trials 22.1 (2021): 574. ↩︎

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