Our face is how we present ourselves to the world.

It’s also how we see ourselves every day in the mirror! So we all want that healthy, serene glow, right?

We know what the body needs for strength and health – but what about the face? Face massage, facial exercise, conscious breathing, good posture, eating ‘skin nourishing’ foods, good hydration, and using the best natural products to cleanse, tone and moisturise the face – all of these will influence how your face looks and feels.

The word ‘yoga’ means ‘union’. I love the term ‘face yoga’ because it expresses the ‘coming together’ of these different ways of caring for your face. In this journal I take a closer look at facial exercise, why it works – and what it does for me!

Unlike anywhere else in the body, many of our facial muscles attach directly to the skin, enabling us to show our emotions – either voluntarily or involuntarily – through facial expression. Whist this is essential for human interaction, there’s another wonderful bonus that evolution hadn’t necessarily considered – if we exercise our facial muscles, we can tone these muscles and therefore lift the skin! This is not the case with the rest of our body, where the muscles can’t influence the skin in the same way.

When I first heard this, about 20 years ago, I was thrilled! I was already exercising my body, and now I had a futureproof way to keep facial ageing at bay, by simply adding a short face ‘workout’ to my existing routine!

This did happen – kind of. I read Eva Fraser’s Facial Workout a few times and got hold of her VHS video. I practised ‘The Snarl’ to perfection! And even today, I do still pull some incredible faces when I’m driving. (Somehow I always feel safe practicing my facial exercises in the car. I really ought to remember that windows are transparent!).

To tell you the truth, I’m not too concerned about getting older. It’s a privilege – not everyone gets to do it. So that’s not really the reason I give my face a little workout every now and then. Rather, I do it because it makes me feel more alive, less tired – fresher. My skin feels more toned and I feel as if I have more control over my facial expressions. I’ve noticed that I can curl my lip into a snarl on each side (a feat within itself) without inadvertently winking, or furrowing my brow.

I don’t get stress headaches and I don’t have an abundance of forehead lines, crows’ feet or sagginess. Now – I’m sure my turn will come. But I can’t help wondering how much is down to my random, very brief but almost daily face-pulling. And when I say very brief, I mean a minute or two – no more!

If you are starting to believe that you too could take a few minutes a day to try out this practice, then look no further. I’ve chosen three exercises for you to perform right here, right now – and they can all be done in just one minute! These exercises are generally known within the field of face yoga. There are many, many more, and many ways to exercise and tone your face. If you think it’s something you’ll want to know more about, then see our forthcoming leaflet on Face Yoga in your local Bath House store, which contains more info and examples of techniques.


Technique 1 – Eye Tapping
This helps to improve puffy eyes. Place the pads of your middle and index fingers just below the inner corners of each eye, on the eye socket bone. Tap gently but firmly, and quickly, on the area, gradually moving towards the outer corner of each eye, and then along the top of the eye socket above the eye, towards the eye centre. Then go back the other way. Repeat this circular movement several times, doing each eye simultaneously, for 20 to 30 seconds.


Technique 2 – Kiss The Sky
This tones the neck and jawline. Tilt your head back slightly and move your lower jaw forward so that the lower teeth are in front of the upper teeth and you feel a stretch along the front of your neck. Now, without frowning or holding your breath, aim a kiss toward the ceiling. Do this several times, for about 20 to 30 seconds.


Technique 3 – Tooth Polisher
This reduces mouth lines. Imagine the skin on the inside of your upper lip is going to polish the upper row of front teeth! Stretch your upper lip over your teeth and then ‘slide’ your upper lip outwards, so that the inside of your upper lip ‘glides’ along your teeth, and pulls wide. Now release the tension in your upper lip and start again, repeating the procedure. Do this several times for 20 to 30 seconds.

I will confess that ‘Tooth Polisher’ is my own name for this common facial exercise – and that I think it’s a name that fits the bill perfectly!


A recent US study on a group of older people (50 plus) has shown that performing certain specific facial movements over a 20-week period for half an hour a day can reduce visible ageing of the face by about three years. Clearly I’m way off 30 minutes, but I do feel better afterwards, so that’s good enough for me! Plus, there’s plenty of scope to build on what I already do.

But it’s not just the visible improvements that are giving face yoga, facial exercise or facial massage (call it what you will) a good name. There are so many other benefits to these techniques, many of which go back to ancient times.

Circulation is improved, stress levels can drop and relaxation is promoted, alongside better posture and breathing. Headaches and tension pain are reduced, sleep can improve… and so on. A myriad of benefits!

And I would add to that – your face just feels less tired! It feels as if it has had some attention. It feels stronger and just generally better. Just like your body does when it’s had a good workout.

If it works for you, enjoy it, spending just a few minutes every day on your self-care not only helps you physically but also mentally.

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