The decisions we make in how we eat, sleep, and care for our bodies profoundly impacts whether our aging is graceful or uncomfortable. No matter what cosmetic companies and the plastic surgery industry want to tell us, aging is a natural part of life. Have you noticed that marketing tactics have used women’s insecurities and vulnerabilities around their appearances to sell products that promise anti-aging? I have and unfortunately, it’s often at the expense of our health since they tend to use toxic ingredients to achieve the short-lived results that they promise.

 

Elastin and Skin – The Dynamic Duo

 

When we talk about fitness for our face, we must first talk about elastin. Elastin means elasticity and resilience in the skin. When elastin is strong and plentiful, it actually inhibits skin changes related to age. Since we produce less as we age, it’s tempting to buy cheaply made products to work with the wrinkles and fine lines that occur from reduced elastin.1

While you can find elastin in products to use topically, it’s just as important to eat your medicine.  Your nutrition and overall lifestyle help you protect your skin from the inside, out.

 

The Collagen and Elastin Connection

 

While we talk a lot about how to increase collagen, its better half is elastin! Yes, collagen is the absolute best protein for your skin, but it can only provide the elasticity in our skin by teaming up with elastin.  If collagen provides the structure, elastin provides flexibility.2

Where Does Fitness Come into Play?

Over the past several years a new kind of workout has come back onto the scene, it’s called facial fitness and it involves fitness exercises and routines as well as massage to work and strengthen your facial muscles and to improve elastin and collagen production. Why do this, you might ask? Well, according to researchers, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians, doing daily or every other day facial exercises can have a significant positive effect on facial rejuvenation and getting back that youthful appearance to your skin.3

In fact, this idea is not really all that new. There are many books out there on “facial yoga,” as some like to call it, that were published around the 1970s, but perhaps some believe were becoming popular as early as the late 1930s.

A 2018 study was performed on middle-aged women and took place over 20 weeks. According to the authors, “physical manifestations of facial aging are now understood to include not only skin laxity and superficial photodamage but also deeper substructural volume loss of fat and muscle.”4

 

Bottom Line

This means that besides the loss of skin elasticity and sun damage over time, it is also a loss of fat and muscle volume in our facial structures that contribute to the appearance of aging skin.5 How can you combat this? You guessed it, facial yoga! The participants in this study were instructed to perform exercises for 30 minutes daily for 20 weeks. Though it was a small study, the women noted an improvement in 18 out of 20 facial features.

Another recent study measured facial muscle thickness after participants used a Pao device (a device used in the mouth for the purpose of exercising facial muscles) for just 30 seconds twice per day demonstrating that facial muscle workouts reduced lines, wrinkles and sagging skin. However, it appears that there is a balance between doing enough of the exercises and not overdoing it as overdoing the exercises can actually induce the appearance of aged skin according to this study.6

The Pro’s of Facial Fitness

  • Better circulation which helps soften lines
  • Evens skin tone
  • Reduces puffiness
  • Accentuates bone structure

Any Challenges to Facial Fitness? 

  • It is recommended that you do at least 2 minutes per day but ideally more like 5-6 minutes according to Dr. Michelle R. Yagoda, a plastic surgeon in NYC. This length of time can feel like a major challenge to complete for some but it can be done! Especially when one starts to recognize positive changes, it will likely happily become part of your daily routine.7

 

Facial Massage

 

Proteins (collagen and elastin) required to form building blocks for skin structures can possibly be activated when mechanically stimulated (massaged), according to one study. This means that by turning on these proteins, you are enhancing the anti-aging effects by smoothing and toning skin giving it that radiant appearance.8 This can even be done at home!

Science reveals that collagen production in the skin starts diminishing as early as your twenties.9 Thankfully, with the right lifestyle tools on your side you can put the brakes on wrinkles and sagging skin, regardless of your age. Along with a healthy diet with special attention to collagen intake, use this facial massage first thing in the morning, or whenever you want to renew the look and feel of your skin. This technique stimulates neurophysiology pathways from the face to the brain, in effect “waking up” the skin, through gentle tapping followed by a massage. Apply a little of your favorite non-toxic oil like coconut or avocado oil, to clean hands and face before you begin.

Did you miss it? 

 

Self Massage Facelift in Minutes!

1. 

Start with your index and middle fingers of both hands at the center of your forehead between your eyebrows. Lightly tap and stimulate your forehead as you move your fingers out towards your temples.

2. 

Come back to the center of your forehead, but now move up an inch and again tap until you reach your temples.

3. 

Return to the center of your forehead, but now move up an inch and again tap until you reach your temples. Repeat once more if necessary, to reach just below your hairline.

4. 

Come back to the center of your forehead between your eyebrows and with your index and middle fingers of both hands massage in small circles outward, until you reach your temples.

5. 

Follow the same sequence you did for tapping on your forehead, using small circles until you reach your temples. Move up about an inch each time and repeat until you reach just below your hairline.

6. 

Place the index finger of both hands below your eyes, on your cheekbones, on either side of your nose. Gently tap along your cheekbones and move outward until you reach the corner of your eyes. Now tap inward until you reach your nose.

7. 

Using your same fingers, massage the skin in gentle circles outward until you reach the corner of your eyes, just as you did for tapping. Massage inward towards your nose. Repeat this twice.

8. 

Place both the index and middle fingers of both hands to either side of your nostrils and gently tap along the bottom of your cheekbone, outward until you almost reach your ears. Repeat twice.

9. 

Again, place both the index and middle fingers of both hands to either side of your nostrils and gently massage with a circular motion outward until you almost reach your nose. Repeat twice.

10. 

Place your index and middle fingers of both hands below your lips on your chin. Begin tapping outward along your jawline until you reach your earlobes. Tap inward until you reach your chin. Repeat twice.

11. 

Take your thumbs and index fingers of both hands and come to the center of your chin. Place your index fingers on your chin and your thumbs below the chin. Gently pinch along the edge of your jawline with your index fingers and thumbs until you reach the edge of your jaw, close to your earlobes. Return back to the center by gently pinching along your jawline. Repeat 4 times.

Bringing It All Together: Facial Massage and Improving Skin Elasticity

 

There is a powerful difference between the motivation to look and feel better because you want external affirmation from others versus becoming the best version of yourself because you’re inspired by a loving and compassionate energy from within.

When your body is performing at its peak, you will naturally look beautiful because you are hitting your stride and exuding a total body glow from the inside-out. This glow is ageless and doesn’t discriminate against those in their golden years, so you still have all the opportunity in the world to get your glow on! Just as a healthy diet and lifestyle will do amazing things for your skin health internally, with some dedication and simple exercises you can do wonders for your skin’s outward appearance too.

If you are working to improve your skin and all of this resonates with you, I invite you to join my 5 Years Younger Challenge where you can jumpstart your path to improving skin health by flooding your body with all of the important nutrition compounds it needs to regain that beautiful, radiant look.

Sources and References
  1. Mithieux, Suzanne M, and Anthony S Weiss. “Elastin.” Elastin – an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/elastin
  2. Tzaphlidou, Margaret. “The Role of Collagen and Elastin in Aged Skin: an Image Processing Approach.” Micron, Pergamon, 13 Dec. 2003, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0968432803001872?via%3Dihub
  3. Caberlotto, Elisa, et al. “Effects of a Skin-Massaging Device on the Ex-Vivo Expression of Human Dermis Proteins and in-Vivo Facial Wrinkles.” PloS One, Public Library of Science, 1 Mar. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383004/
  4. Alam, Murad, et al. “Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging.” JAMA Dermatology, American Medical Association, Mar. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885810/
  5. Coleman, et al. “Anatomy of the Aging Face: Volume Loss and Changes in 3-Dimensional Topography.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Jan. 2006, https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/26/1_Supplement/S4/223473
  6. Hwang, Ui-Jae, et al. “Effect of a Facial Muscle Exercise Device on Facial Rejuvenation.” Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Oxford University Press, Apr. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5888959/
  7. Meltzer, Marisa. “Why Your Face Is Now Part of Your Workout.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 21 Dec. 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/27/fashion/facial-exercises-face-massage-facial-fitness.html
  8. Caberlotto, Elisa, et al. “Effects of a Skin-Massaging Device on the Ex-Vivo Expression of Human Dermis Proteins and in-Vivo Facial Wrinkles.” PloS One, Public Library of Science, 1 Mar. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383004/
  9. Obagi, Suzan. “Why Does Skin Wrinkle with Age? What Is the Best Way to Slow or Prevent This Process?” Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-skin-wrinkle-wit/

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