6 Best Facial Exercises to Slim Your Face & Tight Skin

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: February 1, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Christiana Mikesch, CPT
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Like any other muscle group, the face possesses muscles that can be targeted and enhanced through specific exercises.

It may surprise you to learn that the face is home to forty-three muscles. However, unlike many other muscles in the body, not all the muscles are used.

Together with a renowned face yoga specialist, I embarked on an in-depth research journey that spanned several months.

I have curated a selection of the best facial exercises worth adding to your daily routine. In this article, I will also shed light on the many benefits they bring forth.

Quick Summary

  • The best facial exercises include piano fingers, fish face, catching snowflakes, neck stretches, AEIOU, and worry line eraser.
  • Facial exercises may help with lymphatic drainage, blood circulation, and collagen production, minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and reduce stress.
  • According to the National Institute of Health, targeted facial exercises can shape the jawline, reduce jowls, and improve skin tightness.
  • Personally, I find these exercises to be a natural and effective way to maintain a youthful appearance and enhance overall facial health.

6 Top Facial Exercises

A person stretching her face

1. Piano Fingers

This facial exercise is a gentle massage to warm up your face and activate the microcirculation.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Apply a serum to your face and neck.
  2. Apply a moisturizer.
  3. Tap using all of your fingers from your neck and move upward towards your forehead - as if you were playing the piano.
  4. Continue tapping with all of your figures for two minutes.

2. Fish face

The fish face exercise is designed to target and tone your lip and cheek muscles, potentially reducing facial fat.

To do this exercise:

  1. Close your mouth.
  2. Suck your cheeks in, mimicking the shape of a fish face.
  3. Hold this position for five seconds while trying to smile.
  4. Relax your face and repeat for one or two minutes.

3. Neck Stretch

A person stretching their neck

In my experience as a trainer, I've found this exercise to be effective in strengthening my clients' neck muscles and also noticed it offers the additional benefit of improving their posture.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Lift your chest and place your hands on your chest or shoulders.
  2. Pucker your lips slightly.
  3. Lift your chin at a forty-five-degree angle to the right while keeping your shoulders down.
  4. Hold for five seconds while keeping your forehead muscles relaxed.
  5. Return to the center and repeat the same on the left side.
  6. Complete ten reps.

“By prioritizing neck strength—and, as a complementary goal, correcting poor posture to help prevent muscular imbalances—you can help reduce the likelihood of neck pain, upper back pain, and even headaches.”

- Laura Williams, Fitness Expert

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4. AEIOU

This exercise helps tone your cheek muscles and potentially reduces the double chin appearance.

To perform this exercise:

  1. Open your mouth as wide as you can.
  2. Pronounce each vowel sound (“a,” “e,” “i,” “o,” and “u”) in succession.
  3. Repeat this sequence of vowel sounds twenty times.

5. Catching Snowflakes

A person doing the catching snowflake neck stretch

This is another exercise to help prevent or minimize the appearance of a double chin.

Follow these steps to perform the exercise:

  1. Tilt your head back.
  2. Reach your tongue upwards as if attempting to catch snowflakes with it.
  3. Lower your head back down.
  4. Repeat this movement for one to two minutes.

6. Worry Line Eraser

I've found that this exercise effectively helps my clients reduce stress, a major contributor to the development of forehead wrinkles.

To do this exercise:

  1. Place your middle fingers at your eyes’ corners.
  2. Place your index fingers on the outer sides of your eyes.
  3. Tense the muscles in your lower eyelids.
  4. Repeat this ten times while keeping your eyes open.

“Long-lasting results may require consistent practice over an extended period, but the exact duration for lasting results may vary for individuals.”

- Michell Henry, Dermatologist

Benefits of These Exercises

A person at home stretching their neck

The science-backed benefits of facial exercises include:

  • Skin tightening - Research by the National Institute of Health (NIH) shows that targeting and strengthening specific facial muscles can help shape your jawline, reduce jowls, minimize facial puffiness, improve skin tightness, and lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles [1].
  • Improved blood circulation - According to NIH, massaging your face has been proven to boost blood flow, stimulating collagen production and contributing to a radiant and youthful appearance, providing that sought-after healthy glow [2].
  • Increased muscle thickness - According to MDPI, face exercises can improve various aspects associated with aging, including skin laxity, wrinkle length, muscle thickness, and pigmentary changes [3].
  • Improved muscle tone - It is possible to help maintain the proper positioning of fat by strengthening the facial muscles. This, according to Harvard Medical School, means fat is less likely to sag or shift downward due to gravity, leading to a more sculpted appearance [4].
  • Promoted collagen production - Collagen, the essential protein responsible for the structure of our facial skin and tissues, decreases naturally with age, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles. However, strengthening your facial muscles can help compensate for the reduced collagen levels by filling out areas where collagen has diminished.
  • Better moisture absorption - Strengthening your face muscles and improving blood circulation to the face can support your skin health, including its ability to retain moisture.
  • Activate additional facial muscles - In addition to the muscles involved in facial expressions, numerous other muscles in your face and neck often go underutilized. Facial exercises are designed to target and activate these neglected muscles.
  • Release tension and stress in your face - Similar to the principles of traditional yoga, facial yoga exercises can help alleviate tension in the overactive muscles of your face and neck.

Tips for Doing Face Workouts the Right Way

A person working out her face

To get the most out of your facial exercise, take note of the following tips:

  1. Clean hands - Before touching your face, ensure that your hands are clean to prevent any potential transfer of dirt or bacteria.
  2. Prep your skin - Apply a serum and moisturizer before starting your facial exercise routine to nourish and hydrate your skin, enhancing the benefits of the exercises.
  3. Maintain good posture - Sit upright in a chair with your head up and back and your shoulders relaxed. Focus on maintaining proper posture throughout the exercises.
  4. Be gentle - Avoid pulling your skin aggressively during the exercises, as this can potentially accentuate wrinkles or cause skin irritation. Use controlled and gentle movements instead.
  5. Consider using tools - Explore using tools like gua sha to complement your facial exercises and amplify their effects.
  6. Establish a routine - Try to perform your facial exercises simultaneously every day to develop a habit and make it a regular part of your skincare regimen.
  7. Combine with cardiovascular exercise - Pairing your facial exercises with regular cardiovascular exercise can enhance the benefits. Physical activity that raises your heart rate, such as cycling or running, increases blood flow throughout your body, including your face.

Role of Skin Care in Conjunction with Facial Exercises

A proper skincare routine enhances the benefits of facial exercises, ensuring optimal skin health and appearance.

  • Cleansing removes impurities, allowing skin to better respond to exercises.
  • Moisturizing maintains skin elasticity, crucial for the flexibility and effectiveness of facial movements.
  • Exfoliation aids in removing dead skin cells, promoting circulation and rejuvenation, which complements the toning effects of facial exercises.
  • Sunscreen protects against UV damage, preserving skin firmness and preventing premature aging.

Together, these skincare steps create a conducive environment for facial exercises to work more effectively, leading to a more toned, youthful appearance and maximizing the benefits of your facial workout regimen.

FAQs

Do Facial Yoga Exercises Work?

Yes, facial yoga exercises work; just like any other muscle in your body, the face responds to exercise. Maintaining a consistent 30-minute face exercise routine may help target and revitalize specific areas of your face prone to showing early signs of aging, such as the eyes, forehead, and cheeks.

How Often Should You Perform Facial Exercises?

You should perform facial exercises three to five times a week, with each session lasting approximately thirty minutes, to achieve noticeable results in a timely manner. However, if finding a continuous thirty-minute is challenging, you can break it down into two fifteen minute sessions that are more easily accommodated within your schedule.

Add a Protein-Powder to Promote Your Skin Health

While these facial exercises won’t replace a facelift, they can offer benefits such as improved blood flow, wrinkle prevention, and tension release in facial muscles.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for combating aging and preventing various skin problems. This includes consuming a balanced diet and managing stress.

Protein is one of the key building blocks of skin tissue, so you may consider including one of the protein powders below:

As our tests indicate, these supplements increase collagen production, contribute to tissue repair, and neutralize free radicals that can damage the skin cells.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885810/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30477852/
  3. https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/7/1/10
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/does-your-face-need-a-workout
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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