Regular facial exercises make middle-aged women look younger
Many middle-aged women want a younger look and are willing to use questionable means such as botox injections. Regular facial exercises can offer an efficient, low-risk alternative. According to a recent study, women can achieve firmer skin and fuller upper and lower cheeks through special facial yoga.
"A 30-minute daily or two-day facial exercise program that ran over 20 weeks improved the facial features of middle-aged women, resulting in a younger look with fuller upper and lower cheeks," said scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine their study results. For the first time, the positive effects of facial yoga could be scientifically confirmed. The researchers published their results in the specialist magazine "JAMA Dermatology".
Reduce visible signs of aging
The means by which people try to keep themselves young at an advanced age range from anti-wrinkle creams and peels to botox injections and cosmetic surgery. Apparently, regular face training can also help. "Now there is some evidence that facial exercises can improve the look of the face and reduce visible signs of aging," emphasizes Dr. Murad Alam, professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Structure of the facial muscles
As the face ages, the skin loses elasticity and the fat deposits between the muscle and skin become thinner. Wrinkles form as a clear sign of aging. A build-up of the facial muscles through regular training could lead to a tightening of the skin and less wrinkling, according to the researchers' thesis, which they examined in their study with 27 middle-aged women.
Regular facial exercises for 20 weeks
The participants between the ages of 40 and 65 years underwent a 90-minute training session with a facial exercise instructor and then continued the exercises they had learned at home for a total of 20 weeks. For the first eight weeks, they did the exercises for 30 minutes a day, and every other day for 30 minutes every other day. The facial exercises were developed by Gary Sikorski of Happy Face Yoga, who was the co-author of the study.
Targeted training of the cheek muscles
The participants learned 32 different facial exercises, which they carried out for about one minute each. One example was the cheek lifter, in which the mouth is opened and shaped into an O. At the same time, an attempt is made to smile in order to lift the cheek muscles - the upper lip remains above the teeth. In this position, the fingers are pressed lightly on the upper part of the cheek to release the control muscles and to lower the cheek muscles. The lowering and lifting of the cheeks is repeated several times in this way.
Another exercise smiles without showing your teeth. The lips are pressed tightly together and the corners of the mouth are pushed towards the cheek with the finger. This position must be held for 20 seconds. "Facial exercises that can be beneficial include those that result in the curling and bruising of the cheeks," explains Dr. Alam. Because the movement of the cheeks takes up a lot of muscles on the face.
Evaluation based on photos
Using photographs taken at the beginning of the study, after eight weeks and after the 20th week, dermatologists then assessed the skin condition of the women without knowing which photo was taken at what time. The experts used a standardized facial aging scale (Merz-Carruthers Facial Aging Photoscales) for the evaluation. A total of 19 spots on the face were analyzed individually. The subjects were also asked how satisfied they were with the results.
Abundance of the upper and lower cheeks significantly improved
The dermatologists found that the exercises, in particular, significantly improved the fullness of the upper and lower cheeks. The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles so that the skin is tightened and the face looks younger, the researchers explain. "Muscle growth increases facial volume and counteracts age-related fat thinning and skin loosening," said senior author Emily Poon of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Age estimated much less after the exercises
The positive effect of the facial exercises is also reflected in the reduced estimated average age of the test subjects after the exercises. Based on the evaluation of the photos, the dermatologists came to an average age of 50.8 years for the pictures from the beginning of the study, 49.6 years after eight weeks of study and for the pictures after completing the exercises, the average age of the test subjects was 48.1 Years estimated. "This is almost a three-year decline in the appearance of age over a period of 20 weeks," emphasizes Dr. Alam.
Inexpensive, non-toxic anti-aging method
For their part, the participants reported that they were very satisfied with the results of facial yoga and noticed improvements in almost all facial areas. However, the number of study participants was too small to make a final assessment. Further studies with larger samples should therefore follow. "However, assuming that the results are confirmed in a larger study, people now have an inexpensive, non-toxic way to look younger"; so the conclusion of Dr. (fp)