4 facial yoga exercises you can do at home
It’s the latest non-invasive alternative to surgery or Botox – facial yoga. Said to banish sagging, fine lines and wrinkles, and with Jennifer Aniston and Meghan Markle reportedly fans, we had to check it out. So we caught up with Face Yoga Expert Danielle Collins, who gave us the lowdown:
‘The exercises work the hypodermis (lower layer of skin – muscles and fatty tissue), the dermis (middle layer – connective tissue), and the epidermis (upper layer – cells). By working all these layers correctly we can increase the blood circulation, allowing more oxygen and nourishment to reach the cells of the skin.’
The result? A clear, glowing, healthy complexion with fewer toxins and greater ability to absorb moisture. Sounds good to us. The massage techniques Danielle uses are designed to stimulate collagen and elastin production in the middle layer of skin too, aiding smoother, more supple skin.
Get started with her simple routine combining the four most popular exercises:
1 The Owl
Make a big C shape with your thumb and index fingers. Place your index finger just above and parallel to your eyebrows and your thumbs on your cheeks. Start to pull down with the index fingers while trying to raise your eyebrows and making the eyes wide. Hold for two seconds, relax and repeat again. Now do three more times. Then hold this position for ten seconds. This will firm up the forehead, reducing lines and wrinkles.
2 Circle the Eyes
First place your middle fingers at the beginning of your eyebrows. Start to gently tap around your eyes following the top of your eyebrow and then continue under your eye, just at the top of your cheekbones. Then continue to the inside corners of your eye. Then repeat, going in the opposite direction, making little tapping motions. This is great for reducing eye wrinkles, boosting circulation and relaxing the muscles. Then with your index fingers, very gently stroke just under your eyes from the nose outwards four times to warm up and relax the eye area. This helps to reduce bags and puffiness under the eyes by removing toxins and increasing blood flow and oxygen to the area.
3 Swan Neck
Begin looking straight ahead with your chin level. Turn your head to the right so that it is even with your right shoulder and then tilt your head backwards. Hold for six to eight seconds. Return your head to the forward position with your chin level. Turn your head to the left, in line with with your left shoulder. Tilt your head back and hold for six to eight seconds – repeat up to three times. This lifts and tones the neck muscles, firming lines and wrinkles on the side of the neck and face.
Looking straight ahead, place your fingertips on the top of your neck and lightly stroke the skin down as you tilt your head back. Bring your head back down and repeat twice more. Then jut your lower lip out as far as possible, place your fingers on your collarbone and point your chin upwards, pulling the corners of your mouth down. Hold for 4 deep breaths. This releases neck tension, tones and lift the neck area.