Facial Exercises for Cheeks and Mid-Face

I'll show you facial exercises for sagging cheeks that gave me the best results in the least amount of time.

Firmer, fuller cheeks can really give you a more youthful appearance. Plus, when you lift sagging cheeks, the lower part of the face gets a small lift too.

Fuller Cheeks ExercisesCheeks higher and fuller now than in my late 50s than they were in my late 40s

Click on Sagging Cheeks Before and After page to see my other results!

The cheek shaper

First it's important to know that you should do a complete facial exercise workout for best results. Then, if you want larger, fuller, or more shapely cheeks you can try the suggestions on this page.

With a regular facial workout program you'll get a nice even build all-over your face. Spot training is not recommended. 

For rounder cheeks try the bonus workout called the Cheek Shaper, courtesy of Carolyn's Facial Fitness.

The Cheek Shaper - designed by Carolyn helps shape the cheeks from the bottom too. This exercise will even out uneven cheek building and be sure you build your cheeks evenly and in balance. 

  • Wrap your lips around your upper and lower teeth
  • Place your open hand against the face as shown below 
  • Thumbs are next to the nose and the Index fingers are lying next to the temple
  • Smile wide with the corners of your mouth
  • Pressing fingers evenly into the face and “lift up” with the bottom rim of your hands, against the natural shape of your cheeks 
  • Hold for a count of 10 and release 

Click here to get more FREE sample exercises to add to your workout.

How to get defined cheekbones

Here is another simple cheek exercise that can help firm the cheeks and even tighten the lower half of the face.

This cheek exercise is actually straight from Carolyn's Facial Fitness program. She adds an interesting twist to this and suggests doing these exercises lying down for best results. This allows you to take advantage of gravity for faster results.

Try this exercise for firmer cheeks

Start with a clean face. Lie flat on the floor or in bed (without a pillow). Then...

step 1 for cheek exercises
  • Curl your upper lip over your top teeth and your lower lip over your bottom teeth.
  • Open your mouth as wide as you can (comfortably) making an "O" shape with your mouth.

  • Place an index finger on top of each cheek to act like a weight.
  • Contract your cheeks by "trying" to smiling wide. This will also raise them too.
  • While you’re contracting/raising your cheeks, try to “push” them down with your index fingers. I use the butt of my palms because my cheek muscles are stronger now.
  • You'll feel resistance here. Now hold this position for a count of 5, then release, relax and repeat.
  • Do this in a pumping motion (up and down, up and down) sort of like lifting weights.
  • Do 10 reps. Repeat this workout about 2-3 times per week, in conjunction with your regular face exercise workout.

Cheek exercise - more resistance

To create more resistance, use the butt of your palms and try raising your head a few inches off the floor at the same time you're pushing down on your cheeks. Then lower your head back to the floor and release/relax.

Results - Aside from a little soreness, most people begin to see results within a couple of weeks. Yes, a couple of weeks! Cheek muscles tend to build quickly for most people. Check out my before and after cheek results here!

Cheek exercise correct position for the "O" face

Almost all of Carolyn's facial exercises require you to make what she calls the "Long O" face by wrapping your upper and lower lips around your teeth and then smiling.

Why do this?  Because it helps keep your face muscles taut so you don't pull and tug on the skin but instead you're able to isolate and work the muscle. Plus, this movement alone helps tighten cheek muscles even before you start doing the exercise. 

Here is a video explaining the long "O" face technique.

Warning about facial exercises for cheeks

Most experts in the facial exercise field warn about exercising only one area of the face (i.e. spot training).

It’s fine to do extra exercises for troubled spots or if you want faster results in a particular area, but don't over do them and make sure you're doing a full complete facial exercise program

In the past I've been tempted to spot train certain areas that bothered me. What I got was a bulky odd, overbuilt look. 

Working ALL the muscles of the face and neck on a steady schedule is best for several reasons:

  1. Overworking one area you risk the chance of over-training certain muscles. This can sometimes cause an imbalanced look to the face.
  2. Eventually all areas of the face will be of concern and will eventually droop. From your forehead to your neck - so take care of it now. 

And speaking of the neck: You should have seen what a mess my neck was before starting this facial workout! Check out my before and after neck pictures.These results came about after only a few short weeks!

This full Facial Fitness program to lift sagging cheeks, neck and more only takes 15 minutes a few times a week.

Facial exercises for Cheeks - Do they work

Do cheek exercises work? For some they can work too well, meaning you can build up the cheek muscles pretty easily creating an overbuilt, awkward appearance.  

That's why it's best to do your favorite facial exercise routine for a few months first. Then evaluate your face and if you need more "oomph" in the cheek area, you can add extra cheek exercises. Perform the extra cheek exercises no more than 2-3 times a week, spaced out over the course of 7 days.

That's why experts in facial exercising field highly recommended you perform a full facial workout - in conjunction with spot training with cheek exercises.  This combination ensures you get a beautiful balanced look.

Studies on facial exercises and facial aging

A pilot study published in the JAMA Dermatology showed that after 20 weeks of steady facial exercising, there was a significant improvement in upper and lower cheek fullness. And that the study participants were highly satisfied with their results.

While researches state that since the sample group was small and there was no control group to compare the results; further research is warranted to fully asses the findings. I say, just look at your before and after pictures.  


JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Mar; 154(3): 365–367.

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