Thursday, June 20, 2013

Facial Exercises For Reducing Wrinkles: Do They Really Work?

Facial Exercises Are Funny Looking

For a long time now, since the days of Jack LaLanne, all kinds of instructors have been teaching facial exercises of some sort.  Supposedly, they were designed to improve wrinkles through tightening and toning of the skin by putting our faces through all sorts of contorted expressions.  I mean after all, the face has small muscles as well, so doesn't it stand to reason that by exercising facial muscles they too should tighten everything up?

Well Let's See Why Our Skin Really Ages

It has become quite apparent as to why our skin ages over time and it isn't fiction or overstated.  Dermatologists have been shouting this stuff from rooftops for awhile now, some more than others if they don't have a line of cosmeceuticals (made up word) to sell you.
  • Sun exposure of course: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, whether you sunbathe or not, we are exposed everyday to UV rays when sitting in the shade or out driving in our cars.  This daily exposure assists with breaking down our collagen and elastin caused by free radical damage.  As high as 90 percent of the visible signs of aging are caused by the sun.  This type of exposure is where we see sagging skin, dryness, hyper-pigmentation, and on some women that have clearly abused their time in the sun, that loose, leathery, weathered look that comes from that tan they think is so ultra attractive.
  • Collagen loss over time:  Aging in years is the natural progression to losing the benefits collagen and elastin in our skin provided us when we were younger.  It is what contributes to keeping our skin firm and taut.  It also provides skin's overall feel and texture.  Unfortunately as part of the aging process, collagen production naturally slows down, causing the skin to thin and lose firmness and its' plump look....and after menopause this process only accelerates.
  • Gravity, gotta love it:  My dermo has told me many times that gravity is giving my face a workout.  I watch my face begin to get the droopies with visible signs of my neck skin beginning to loosen, and plump puffy cheeks shrink to now shifting the plump to my jowls.  It is what it is!
  • Years of making facial expressions:  Every time we smile, pout, pucker for a kiss or grasp that cigarette between our lips, glare at someone in disapproval, or the daily squinting every time we step out into a sunny day, we are going to create a lot of sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles.  No and's, if's, but's about it.  In fact, overuse of facial muscles can contribute to torn connective tissue by overusing or stretching the delicate ligaments that hold our skin to our facial muscles.
  • Critical thinking emerges:  All we have to do is look at somebody or ourselves for that matter, in the mirror and do one of these ghastly contortions, and what will we see when we do this?  That's r-i-g-h-t, big, fat wrinkles.  We can't avoid them no matter what facial exercise we try to perform.  We are literally scrunching the skin into creating more of the same.....doi!....remember the sunburns we got around our eyes while squinting and then we relax and we have those lovely white runways to our eyes?  Yep...we call those burgeoning crows feet.
Dermatologists State Things Plainly; Doing Facial Exercises May Actually Do More Harm Than Good!

Bottom line you simply cannot undo all those years of life on this planet with daily exposure to sun and pollutants that cause free radical damage to our faces by doing a routine of facial exercises.

Since collagen is the structure within our skin to keep it firm and taut, then it stands to reason, as it becomes depleted within our bodies as we age, then all the facial exercises in the world will not produce or repair collagen.  Muscles on the face do not assist with facial tone, so trying to build facial structure through exercise is just ridiculous.

As an adjunct to my last comment to collagen, muscles on the face are actually what contribute to our wrinkles, so why would we want to help this along?  For example:  As it was explained to me by my dermatologist; facial exercises will actually cause more lines and creases and further enhance the wrinkles I  already have.  How do you think we get laugh lines and crows feet?  After all, it is those muscles that help us to squint when we need to, or laugh when we love to, that give us our aged appearance, or our look of wisdom, depending on your perspective.

Contorting your face in weird ways, not conducive to our facial muscles natural tendencies for making expressions, may actually cause spasms or long term maxillofacial pain.  In fact, I have lost more than a third of my condyle joint on my jaws' left side, so some of the exercises involving the jaw, would only cause further damage and erosion to this area of my bone.  

So without knowing the history of someone, recommendations such as certain facial exercises is negligent on the instructors part, let alone the fact that all these exercises hasn't shown any proven benefit, while perhaps causing me greater harm.  So listening to yoga or meditation gurus, does not mean their advice is sound based solely on what they represent in their experience as part of a lifestyle.

How To Truly Accomplish Younger Looking Skin

Cleansing your skin through massage or using a gentle washcloth, helps to stimulate circulation of the skin and increase blood flow.  This will give your face a natural flush, appear plumper and fuller, which in turn creates the appearance of a younger looking complexion.

I have always been an advocate of a great skincare regimen and using facial creams and serums that contain antioxidants, gentle alpha hydroxy acids, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, retinoids and herbal extracts, which our skincare provides all of these components which will improve skin health.

Well hydrated skin will provide a toned and plumped effect on the skin which in turn creates a younger looking face.  A daily regimen can provide great results for fighting free radicals on the skin which in turn will help slow the aging process.  Remember, a skin care product is only as good as long as you use it.  Cumulative effects are what occur through continued use.  Once you stop, everything goes south once more.

And of course, always keep your lovely face out of the sun through the use of wide brim sunhats, your favorite sunscreen, and / or your mineral makeup.  Don't forget about reflecting rays off of patios, sand, water and windows.  That is why, even when sitting in the shade, cover up and always use a great sunscreen product, preferably one with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide for broad spectrum sun protection.

On A Final Note

Pause and think for a single second:  Why do women get botox?  Where is it injected?  What is it designed to do?  Oh that's right, to keep the face from moving so their muscles don't contract and create more wrinkles.

Only a visit to a plastic surgeon or med spa where things can be fixed through surgical manipulation and injections, will you truly see anti-aging results that can be permanent. 

All the facial exercises in the world can’t correct any of them, but will actually contribute to aging your skin faster.  No matter how many squints, jutting of your jaw, puckers, and head tipping you do, facial exercises won't counteract sagging or wrinkles, but will certainly help speed the process.  Just love the skin your in, avoid sun exposure when at all possible and continue to use great skincare products, like our ONATI.

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