FROM Pilates to park runs, many of us try to squeeze a workout of some kind into our busy week.
But when did you last exercise your face? And we’re not talking about the old-school contortions your mum used to do to get rid of her double chin! New-gen face workouts use targeted massage techniques to condition, sculpt and tone its 43 muscles.
It’s basically a facelift minus the knife, needles, expense and recovery time.
“Facial massage boosts circulation and encourages the shedding of dead skin,” explains consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk.
“Incorporating it into your cleansing routine reduces congestion and puffiness to help skin look more plumped, firm and rosy.”
Here’s how to get face fit.
Book into a skin gym
Founded by ex-beauty-journalist Inge Theron, FaceGym is the first fitness studio for your face.
The signature workout is carried out by a skin trainer, who talks you through how to get the results you want – from lifting and sculpting to tightening, detoxing and de-puffing.
Just like a traditional workout, it feels good, but is far from relaxing, and consists of four stages: a warm-up, cardio, sculpting and a cool down.
For the warm-up, oil is massaged into the skin with the fingertips and knuckles. Then, using kneading, tugging and pressing techniques, the cardio begins.
The sculpting stage involves massaging the facial contours around the cheekbones and chin, and tightens using tools that suit your personal requirements.
A mini yoga ball stretches the face and an electrical muscle stimulation device is used to firm. Finally, to cool down, a jade stone toolis rolled across the face to calm and relax the muscles.
The result? Skin that appears instantly lifted, tighter and brighter. Appointments cost from £50 for 45 minutes – visit Facegym.com to find your nearest studio.
Update your kit
Facial massage tools are an easy way to give muscles an intense at-home workout. They also boast a heap of stress-busting benefits.
To de-puff, try The Body Shop Revitalising Facial Roller, £16, which helps diminish puffiness caused by irritation and dehydration. After cleansing, roll the device across your face for five minutes.
Move it along your jawline and chin, then continue upwards, finishing just above your cheekbones.
Do you have blemish-prone skin? Nurse Jamie NuVibe RX Amethyst Massaging Beauty Tool, £75, delivers sonic vibrations via an amethyst crystal head to instantly perk up face muscles.
After applying moisturiser, glide it around your eyes, nose, cheeks and jawline. The amethyst head helps calm any inflammation that occurs during the process, and the crystal has even been known to help reduce the appearance of blemishes.
If that’s a little too expensive, the White Lotus A Grade Jade Facial Roller, £36.99, is similar, but without the vibrations.
Plus, cooling jade stone is thought to calm swelling. Roll it upwards and outwards from your chin.
- The Body Shop Revitalising Facial Roller, £16 from The Body Shop — buy now
- Nurse Jamie NuVibe RX Amethyst Massaging Beauty Tool, £75 from Cult Beauty — buy now
- White Lotus A Grade Jade Facial Roller, £36.99 from Cult Beauty — buy now
Download a Face Yoga app
Face Yoga is the newest craze in facial fitness because of its possible mindful benefits.
“It gives a holistic feeling of wellbeing, which can nourish the mind and body, too,” explains face yoga specialist Danielle Collins. The soothing ritual of carving out time to relax your facial muscles each morning can not only help you to achieve an overall feeling of zen, but it will also increase oxygen levels and improve blood circulation to relieve tension build-up.
Danielle’s app Face Yoga For Your Busy Life offers 15 workouts that can easily slot into your daily routine. Choose a scenario such as “When you are in the shower,” or “When you are at your desk” and follow the simple, short workout video.
Because the routines encourage you to slow down and relax during a busy day, your mood can benefit as much as your skin.
The gentle techniques also give skin a subtle glow, and help to make it appear lifted and sculpted.
The App is free on Google Play and the App Store, though the workouts cost from 99p each.
Get oiled up
Reap the full benefits of your face workout by prepping pores with serums and face oils.
They help fingers and tools glide over the skin to manipulate your muscles with ease.
For a morning warm-up, treat yourself to Neal’s Yard Frankincense Intense Lift Serum, £75, which is packed with firming, lifting and contouring ingredients.
Warm a couple of drops of this deeply relaxing serum between your palms and press into pores before you massage.
For a pre-gym workout, go for the FaceGym Multi-Vitamin Stick, £38.50.
The more you work out and sweat, the more effective these oils are. The combination of hyaluronic acid, carrot oil and vitamins A and E hydrate and protect the skin from free radicals – just apply straight from the stick.
Want a bedtime cool-down? Reach for Temple Spa It’s All Good Face Oil, £30. This rich formula is so hydrating it can be worn on its own after cleansing.
Press a couple of drops into pores just before your massage.
- Neal’s Yard Frankincense Intense Lift Serum, £75 from Neal’s Yard — buy now
- FaceGym Multi-Vitamin Stick, £38.50 from FaceGym — buy now
- Temple Spa It’s All Good Face Oil, £30 from Temple Spa — buy now
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Master some moves
If you only have the time (or the patience) to do one facial exercise, Danielle suggests learning the Circle The Eyes workout. “It reduces wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles,” she explains.
“Plus, it also helps to reduce eye strain and tension to give the face a healthy glow.”
Here’s how to do it:
- Place your middle fingers at the inner corner of your eyebrows and gently tap around your eyes, following the arch of your brows. Once you reach the top of your cheekbones, continue taping under your eyes so you and finish at the inner corners.
- Repeat in the opposite direction.
- Using your index fingers, very gently stroke just under your eyes from the nose outwards four times to warm and relax the eye area.
Stockists: FaceGym (Facegym.com), Neal’s Yard (Nealsyardremedies.com), Nurse Jamie (Cultbeauty.co.uk), Temple Spa (Templespa.com), The Body Shop (Thebodyshop.com), White Lotus (Cultbeauty.co.uk).