Face yoga is a series of facial exercises, where you intentionally isolate and tone your face muscles with the aim to boost circulation, improve lymphatic drainage, and release tension.
It is not just because of its physical and mental benefits, many people have embraced yoga owing
to the wonders it is believed to work on the skin, especially when it comes to lessening the signs
of ageing. So it is not surprising to know that facial yoga has become immensely popular in the
last few years. However, is it as effective as believed to be? Dr Tishya Singh, a dermatologist,
addressed the topic in one of her Instagram posts.
Explaining what it actually is, the expert said that face yoga is a “series of facial exercises, where
you intentionally isolate and tone your face muscles aiming to boost circulation, improve
lymphatic drainage, and release tension,
” she wrote, adding that the asanas are believed to work by targeting the “facial muscles, skin, and lymphatics.”
However, she was quick to add that despite its popularity, there has been no clinical research
done to prove a “positive correlation between wrinkle prevention and facial exercises.” She further
stressed that the claim about facial yoga helping slim down the face was also baseless. “This is
just one more iteration of the spot reduction myth. Exercising a specific part of the body does not
ensure weight loss in that particular location. We can’t dictate which body part we burn calories in,
” she added.
“The best way to get a slimmer face is to focus on general exercise aimed at normal weight loss
— or, to tolerate the natural aging process, which entails the thinning of the fat pads that underlie
the cheeks that tend to leave the face more hollowed (but also, more wrinkled), ” she added.
Dr Tishya further pointed out that the claim about facial yoga helping plump up the skin is also
“questionable”. “Instead, repetitive muscle contractions can cause your skin to wrinkle (think: the
two lines that show up on your forehead from furrowing your brow or crow’s feet from narrowing
your eyes). Regularly giving your facial muscles a ‘workout’ will only speed up the process,
increasing the chances of you getting wrinkles sooner, ” Dr Trishya added.
Agreed Dr Rashmi, adding that face yoga can never help reduce wrinkles. “If at all, it may increase
wrinkles as they are formed by the movement of the muscle. And unlike the body, the muscles of
your face are attached to the skin and not to the bone, so when they move they move the skin
along with it. Therefore, after repeated movements wrinkles and lines are formed, so face yoga
will only will make it worse.”
Yoga expert Sharmilee Agrawal Kapur, Co-founder and director, Atmantan Wellness Centre, who
said that face yoga helps one work the facial and neck muscles in a planned manner. “Even
though face yoga may not always reduce wrinkles, it improves elasticity, sculpting, and the
appearance of the existing wrinkles or fine lines, making them look less prominent.”
A healthy diet, not smoking, managing stress, moisturising dry skin as needed, and applying
sunscreen prove to be immensely helpful. “Also, injectables like Botox that work to decrease
facial muscle movements and prevent wrinkles also are great options. Also, once wrinkles form,
they can be smoothed out with certain lasers, and micro-needling with platelet rich plasma or
dermal fillers,” shared Dr Trishya.