Does face yoga really work? Experts weigh in

In an age where TikTok is flooded with techniques promising youthful appearances, face yoga emerges as the latest trend. But does it really deliver on its promises? Experts have some answers.

Publication: 02.02.2024 - 14:06
Does face yoga really work? Experts weigh in
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Long dominating social media feeds, face yoga techniques have garnered billions of views on TikTok, yet many remain unclear about what it entails and its effectiveness.

What Is Face Yoga?

According to dermatologist and certified yoga instructor Dr. Amy B. Lewis in a Vogue interview, "face yoga consists of exercises aimed at tightening and stretching facial muscles. It often involves massaging, stretching, or pinching specific areas of the face to activate different muscle groups."

Human movement specialist Neha Gothe tells Global News that face yoga aligns more with facial massage than traditional yoga, highlighting its primary nature.

Does It Work?

Proponents of face yoga claim it brightens the face, reduces wrinkles, and lifts and contours the face and neck, dubbing these effects as anti-aging.

A 2018 study by a team at Northwestern University sought to verify these claims: 

The team subjected 27 participants, aged between 40 and 65, to a trial in which they performed facial exercises daily for 30 minutes over eight weeks. After the eight weeks, the participants continued with the exercises every other day for 12 weeks. According to the study's results, by the end of the 20th week, the participants appeared nearly three years younger. The authors concluded that the facial exercises improved the fullness of the mid and lower face.

But Is the Evidence Convincing?

Scientists caution against generalizing these findings due to the small, predominantly middle-aged female participant pool, with 11 dropping out before the study's conclusion.

Moreover, no follow-up was conducted to determine if any benefits persisted after stopping the regimen, leaving little solid scientific proof to support the anti-aging claims made on social media.

Expert Opinions

Dermatologist Dr. Shilpi Khetarpal from the Cleveland Clinic notes the challenge of maintaining such a regimen without high motivation, though this doesn't mean face yoga is ineffective.

It may offer some benefits, like reduced fine lines with continued practice, and massage can alleviate muscle tension and enhance blood flow, potentially explaining the "glow" some practitioners report.

Massage therapist Vickie Bodner explained to the Cleveland Clinic, "When you increase blood flow to an area, your capillaries (blood vessels) become active, which can relax the muscles and facilitate fluid movement," she continued,

"Sometimes, people experience swelling under their eyes or in their sinus areas. Massaging your face can help expel unwanted fluids..."

Author's Note

In summary, if face yoga makes you feel good and aids relaxation, it might be worth trying. If you're not interested but worried about wrinkles, rest assured you're not missing out on a miracle cure.

This article does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a qualified health professional with any questions regarding medical conditions.