Benefits of Facial Exercise

Can exercise change facial bone structure?

Facial exercise routines help improve skin tone, texture, and facial muscles. But done properly, it can also help with facial bone mass.

See why this is important for a younger looking face as you age and what you can do about it at home.


The difference in bone loss between a younger and older woman. Facial exercises and massages may help maintain facial bone volume.With age, facial bones lose volume and recede (shrink). This affects the look of our face and neck. (Image credit: Dr. Robert Shaw. 417plasticsurgery.com)

In the image above, a CT scan shows that between the ages of 20 and 60 we begin to lose bone mass around the eye sockets, which adds to the appearance of droopy, puffy eyes.

And the bones around the middle and especially the lower face, shrink and recede, which contributes to sagging jowls and neck lines. 

This decrease in bone mass, along with loss of natural volume (facial fat pads) in the mid-face, means the skin and muscle have "less to hold on to", less support, causing the face to sag downward. 

Some of the benefits of facial exercises, include a firmer and improved skin tone.

But, face exercises (if done properly) can also help maintain bone and muscle mass, and support the production of collagen, elastin, and muscle fibers. All of which contributes to a younger, firmer face and neck.

How does facial exercises help with aging?

How bone loss changes your face.Darken areas show where the greatest bone loss occurs. (Image credit: Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Bryan Mendelson and Chin-Ho Wong)

The right facial exercise can also help build muscle fiber, rejuvenate connective tissues and revitalize bone. However, the exercise has to be the type that puts pressure on the muscle and tension on the bone.

According to Dr. Frederick Rossiter, M.D., most facial muscles are attached to bone on one end and the other end attached to another muscle and all this attached to the skin.

So if you contract the muscle first, then, with mild pressure, slide your fingers across the skin, you are building muscle mass (fiber) which helps lift the skin and challenging and rejuvenating facial bones too.

The exercise of contracting muscles and sliding across the skin helps keep connective tissues healthy and strong and promotes the growth of muscle fibers, collagen and elastin. 1

Exercises for facial muscles and bone remodeling

There is a difference between simple facial toning exercises and an anti-aging facial resistance program that builds and strengthens the skin, muscles, connective tissues and facial bones.

Facial toning exercises work well when you’re young. But, once you’re past a certain age, you'll gain more benefits if you include resistance exercises too.

A good face lift exercise, like the CFF program, can help regain or at least maintain that beautiful facial structure you once had.

Also, it's important to engage in a facial workout that targets hard to tone areas – like the lower half of the face (jowls, double chin, neck, and chest) and helps maintain healthy facial bone mass.

Are facial exercises hard to do?

No, they're not hard to do. It may take a few days to learn the exercises, but after that you can practically do them in your sleep...well at least you can do them in bed!

The exercise facial workout that I currently use actually suggests you do them lying down to take advantage of gravity.

How can you prevent facial bone loss

Engage in anti-aging facial exercises that emphasize muscle resistance training and also puts pressure on the face and bones at the same time.

According to Dr. Frederick Rossiter, M.D., sliding your fingers with medium pressure across your skin while firmly contracting underlying facial muscles at the same time helps to:

  1. Support healthy skin (less papery, thin skin)
  2. Build muscle density (think lifting)
  3. Reduce facial bone loss and builds bone mass (think volume and fullness)

It’s a win-win-win for a more youthful face.

The combination of building facial muscle and preventing facial bone loss adds volume and lift to the skin and face.  

Volume is what gives your face that youthful look. Why do you think injectable fillers (like Restylane) are so popular? 

While exercise facial workouts may not restore volume to the level injectable fillers can, the results from a facial workout are natural, inexpensive, and free from side effects or downtime.

What type of exercise facial program is best

There are a lot of good facial exercise programs available, and I can honestly say I tried many of them. But, I’m impressed with the simplicity and ease of Facial Fitness by Carolyn.

Her attention to target the classic signs of facial aging along with her ongoing detailed anti-aging research on preventing (and restoring) facial bone loss is impressive.

The fact that this exercise facial program covers all facial aging issues from - droopy eyebrows to sagging turkey neck - and can be done lying down in 15 minutes appeals to my lazy side!

This face exercise program was designed to be done lying down to take advantage of the gravitational pull. You can do them anywhere you're comfortable, in bed or on the floor. And you don’t have to do them all at once. Do whatever works best for your schedule.

My Exercise Schedule:

I usually do about half in the morning (takes about  6-7 minutes) and the other half after I wash my face before bed at night (another  6-7 minutes). Easy!

Sample exercise facial workout for the jowls

Jowl press exercise example.

The Jowl Press

This exercise helps tighten sagging pouches along the jowl line.

  • Place your thumb and index finger on your jaw bone, directly under the corners of your mouth.
  • Use your thumb and index finger to form little "pinchers" around your jaw bone.
  • Press your fingers tightly around your jaw bone, close your mouth and try to smile - drawing the corners of your mouth out toward your ears.
  • Use your thumb and index finger and try to hold the muscle in place as you smile, creating resistance.
  • Hold for a count of 3 and repeat 3 times.

You can perform this exercise several times a day as need. Everyone is different so you need to find the correct number of times that works for you and lifts and smooths the lower jowl area.

Benefits of exercise facial workouts

What Do You Gain?

What do you gain if you exercise your facial muscles using a program that includes bone remodeling?

Healthier, smoother and more resilient skin, facial muscles - all while maintaining health facial bone mass.

And, the good feeling knowing that you’re taking control of facial aging in a way that creams and even plastic surgery cannot do.

Exercise facial: FAQ's

Q: Do facial exercises really work

A: Yes, they work, as long as you keep doing them. In the beginning, you'll need to do face exercises about 3-4 times a week. Once you've achieved your goals, you can cut back to a maintenance level of 1-2 times a week.

You can see my before and after results here: Sagging face and neck wrinkles.

Q: Are facial exercises for men?

A: Yes! Both men and women can benefit from facial exercises to help firm the face and rejuvenate facial bones.

Q: Do cheekbone exercises actually work?

A: Yes, cheekbone exercises do work if you do them on a regular basis. However, it's best not to spot train. For the best and most elegant results from facial exercises, you should do a full workout. Then, if you have areas of your face that need extra work, you can do bonus exercises to help that area.

Q: How long do facial exercises take to work?

A: That depends on your age, the health of your skin, your diet, and many other factors. But, for most people, slight results can be seen as soon as 4-6 weeks. The full effects of facial exercises can take months to a year. It's important to take pictures weekly, so you can document your progress. Check out my many before and after pictures here. You can see major changes within about 3 months.

Q: Can you strengthen face muscles?

A: Absolutely! That's one of the major advantages to facial exercises. The stronger and firmer your underlying facial muscles are, the firmer your skin will look. And stronger facial muscles can help keep facial fat pads in place. With age, facial fat pads slowly slide downward toward our jowls and neck, this contributes to an "aged" appearance.

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