Aside from death and taxes, there’s one other thing in life that’s certain – wrinkles. You may hate them, you may tolerate them or you may even embrace them as signs of a life well lived. Either way, if you’d like to learn how to minimise the appearance of wrinkles without nasty chemicals, injections or dodgy DIY treatments, you’re in luck.
It’s all about facial exercises, according to “face school” pioneer Marja Putkisto of Method Putkisto. “As with exercising any part of your body, it takes a few weeks before you'll see the effects,” she explains to Saga Magazine. “But you will see an amazing difference - our exercises eliminate double chins, reduce puffiness and wrinkles, and improving skin texture. It also helps realign the upper body, key to reducing shoulder and neck tension.”
In fact, even cosmetic surgeons are singing the praises of facial exercises. “When you exercise, you tone and tighten the muscles in your body,” said former president of the California Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons, Dr Mark Berman. “So why not apply the same principles to your face? I've seen the results, and it works.”
So, what exactly do you need to do? Here are Putkisto’s top face-firming exercises.
- The “Centre Triangle Lift” – To stretch and strengthen your cheek muscles, put your fingertips on your cheekbones (about two cm from your temples) and use your fingers to “lift the muscles up and over the cheekbones”. Breath out, then stretch by slowly opening and closing your mouth. Repeat five to 10 times. “You may be surprised at how tight these muscles are and may even feel the stretch in your neck.”
- Minimise a wrinkly neck – Lift your chin and put both hands at the top of your throat. Lift your jaw (without putting your head back) and push your jaw forward to feel the stretch. “To see how tight your neck muscles are, try swallowing in this position,” Putkisto says. “This tightness hinders support of the upper part of the neck, allowing skin to sag.”
- Lose those extra chins – Weight loss is the best way to lose an extra chin or two, but there are some exercises that may help. Sit up straight, tilt your head back (so you’re looking at the ceiling), then bring your lower lip up and over your top lip as much as you can and count to five, slowly. “Relax and let your head come back to its normal position. Repeat five times. Do this exercise twice daily.”
- Hide bags under your eyes – Give those bags the heave-ho by placing your fingertips just under your eyebrows and gently lifting your eyelids. “Now press your upper lids down, holding your fingertips in place, and count to five. Then relax.” Repeat twice, then move your fingertips to the outer corners of your eyes and move your fingers upwards while moving your eyelids downward. Repeat three times.
- Banish frown lines – "Press both your index fingers on your forehead above your eyes,” says Potkisto. “Then push up against them with your eyebrows. Resist with your fingertips. Repeat this 8-10 times, rest, then repeat five times.”
How do you like to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful? Share your tips with us in the comments below.