Face Yoga vs Face Massage for younger-looking skin. Find out the differences, disadvantages, benefits if they cause wrinkles, and alternatives.
Face yoga and its cousin, face massage are two similar methods that have the same aim: restore a youthful look and revitalize the skin. Followers of each method herald it as being an effective solution that turns back the clock; and indeed, there is evidence that face yoga and face massage do exactly that (although promising, it should be noted that the studies are small in scale).
Although the methods are similar in purpose, the execution and process are quite different.
Facial yoga has had a fair bit of controversy, but a recent study found that doing facial yoga did, in fact, give the face a more youthful appearance. Subjects followed a strict 30-minute daily facial exercise program over the course of 20 weeks and the results showed women looking an average of 3 years younger.
The premise of facial yoga is that it enlarges and strengthens facial muscles, which essentially pad the skin over top. What does this have to do with collagen, you might ask? Similar to facial massage, anything that’s increasing circulation is also increasing the nutrients flowing to collagen production. Sometimes you either have time or you have money, but if you at least have the former – facial yoga could be worth your time when done on a regular basis.
BENEFITS OF FACIAL YOGA
Similar to bicep curls for firmer arms or squats for stronger glutes, face yoga involves exercising the 57 different muscles within the face, scalp, and neck. This is accomplished through exaggerated facial expressions which work the muscles in the face. Over time, as with the bicep curls and squats, the muscles will strengthen, causing lift and a more youthful appearance.
Sound great, but does it work? There is evidence to support that it does, via a study conducted at Northwestern University. After two 90-minute training sessions, a group of women aged 40-65 engaged in facial exercises based on face yoga for a period of 20 weeks total (30 mins per day for the first eight weeks, and 30 mins every other day for the 12 weeks following.)
At the end of the study, both the women and dermatologists concluded that the exercises did indeed make them look younger, especially in the cheek area: study participants saw fuller cheeks (the muscles grew from the exercises). This counteracts drooping skin and helps give a more youthful appearance.
Facial massage is a technique that can boost blood circulation, tighten and tone muscles, and stimulate overall collagen production. And believe it or not, you don’t need a professional aesthetician to do it! Just by adding a couple minutes to your bedtime routine, you can help relax muscles and counteract repeat movements made throughout the day. Just be sure to have clean hands, a good slip oil or serum, and massage skin gently avoiding the precious eye area.
BENEFITS OF FACE MASSAGE
Face massage centers mainly around the lymph nodes located on the neck and under the ears. It helps drain toxins when these areas become blocked. It’s thought that blocked lymph nodes make the face appear dull and puffy, so draining them through massage will assist in a brighter look.
Similarly, the skin of the face is also manipulated and massaged, which increases blood flow. This in turn increases oxygen and nutrients to the skin and stimulates collagen production. The results? Lifted skin, a healthy glow, and release of muscle tension.
As for visible results: Looking at the Face Gym Instagram, a popular face massage company, there are “before and after” pictures showing results in as little as eight days.
However, it’s important to note that while face massage appears to be effective, the benefits don’t last long without continual follow-up massages. You’ll need to get into facial massage as a consistent routine, but they can either be done at home or with a professional. A light massage each day is helpful, with a more in-depth home facial weekly, or a monthly professional session.
Disadvantages of Face Massage vs. Face Yoga
Although both systems appear to have merit, there are some disadvantages tied to each.
For example, face yoga is a significant time commitment. If the Northwestern study referenced above is any indication of the time commitment involved, this may be out of reach for many people. This takes a lot of time and consistency in order to see results.
Face massage has its drawbacks as well. It also needs to be done continuously to maintain results, and if you do facial injectables or fillers, you’ll need to be careful. Don’t do face massage too soon after getting injectables – wait about two weeks after getting Botox and four weeks after getting fillers (source).
Also be aware that if you do use injectables, the face massage may cause them to metabolize faster, meaning the results won’t last as long. Make sure to advise your facialist that you have injectables when you meet with them.
When it comes to alternatives, there are several different ways to go about face massages, and there are other alternatives altogether.
For face massage: you can schedule a massage at a spa, or you can do them at home yourself. As far as the DIY crowd, there are several options there too – you can use your fingers, a jade roller, or a tool called Gua Sha, a smooth stone made of crystal that you can “scrape” across your face to help massage the skin. These are just a couple of examples: there are also facial wands and other tools that can assist with face massage.
Face Gym, one of the companies that specialize in face massage, even has online “workout classes.”
Of course, if face yoga or face massage isn’t your thing, there are still wonderful moisturizers, serums, and exfoliators on the market. They will not impact the muscles or lymphatic system as these two methods will, but you will still have healthier younger-looking skin.
There are also injectables that will give your face a firmer look.