Firm Your Sagging Face Naturally

Here is an inexpensive way to reduce facial sagging, including saggy cheeks and jowls. And fix dull looking skin.

by Linda Robison

A sagging face will always look dry or dull because it can't reflect light properly. But, simple facial exercises can help improve its appearance.

If you've tried different remedies for firmer, glowing skin, and still wondered, why does my skin look so dull?

Here is a simple solution to consider...

How can I tighten my face naturally?

Can sagging facial skin be reversed?

Well, we can't stop the march of time. But, we can help slow and reduce some visible signs of facial aging and improve the quality of the skin and facial firmness, especially in the mid-face area.

A study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology found that engaging in facial exercises for 20 weeks led to the enlargement and strengthening of facial muscles, resulting in firmer, more toned, and youthful-looking facial contours.

But, it won't happen overnight. For me, it took longer than 20 weeks to see significant results. Sure, there were tiny improvements here and there, but it took about 6 to 9 months before I really noticed a big difference, especially around my neck.

Sagging cheeks before and afterFirmer Face before and after Face Exercise

Note: The most dramatic changes I've seen since following this exercise program is less sagging in the lower face and jowl area and more defined cheeks.

Sagging face: What does it look like

Sagging face before and after. Results of face exercises before and after.My Before and After results over 10 years later.

Facial exercises, the kind that require muscle resistance, not only help firm a sagging face, but can fix dull skin too. Have you tried different remedies for glowing skin, but your face still looks dry or dull?

Here is a solution

Improve your facial muscle tone:

In the before picture above, my skin looked gray and dull, even though I often exfoliated and used many forms, from scrubs to acid peel serum.

But once I started facial exercises, the underlying muscles firmed up, allowing the skin to reflect light more evenly, giving the face a smooth shine or glow. 

Studies show that facial exercises can improve skin function by reducing wrinkles and sagging. Although studies are limited and researchers admit they're not sure how or why it works.

How face exercises can rejuvenate skin, naturally, without surgery?

The muscles of the face are intertwined and connected with the skin. That's how we're able to show and express emotions.

When we use our frown or smile muscles, the skin moves along with the muscle. If we can keep our facial muscles firm and built-up, the overlying skin stays tighter and smooths out.

This allows for better light reflection and brighter, more glowy skin. And, results are even greater if we take care to keep it clean, exfoliated and hydrated.

Improved Skin Tone

Besides building facial muscles, exercises helps pump fluid into the subcutaneous layer of the skin, and firming up the skin around the contracted muscles.

Long Term Rejuvenation

Exercise also helps keep the skin and connective tissues firm and healthy, so they continue to produce collagen and elastin even as we age.

Face aging - what happens

Wrinkles and lines are not the only issues that age a face. Experts say the shape of our face changes with age.

The face tends to get bottom-heavy (i.e., droopy cheeks, jowls, and double chin) as time goes on.

I decided to try face exercises to see if I can firm up the lower part of my face and reduce that heavy jowl look.

Within a few months, I was convinced that good results can be obtained from at-home facial muscle exercises.

One of the first areas I noticed a huge change was my sagging neck. Check out these before and after pictures 8 weeks after starting.

Yes, results cannot be compared to a surgical facelift. But it is the least expensive and easiest way to improve the facial contour and lift and firm the mid-face/lower face,

Face exercises for cheek fat and jawline

So how can you naturally lift sagging face, cheeks and reduce fat around the lower face and jowls?

Try facial exercises.

If you do them consistently, they work to improve your facial contours. First I noticed a reduction of that "doughy, pudgy look" around the lower jawline/jawbone.

Also, my cheeks seemed more defined and overall face looked tighter and smoother.

The longer I do these exercises, the more results I see. This is especially true around the lower face area.

I love that the lower part of my face is slimmer – like it was when I was younger.

Choose a facial exercise for an even build and beautiful face

Yes, there are plenty of facial exercise programs to choose from.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve tried many exercise routines, but for one reason or another, I found them difficult to follow because:

  • some were too time-consuming
  • some caused my face to look bulky or masculine
  • many neglected the neck and chest area
  • none combined a facial massage plus muscle building to help maintain facial bone structure

Click here to see how your facial bones change with age. You'll be shocked to see how our facial bones change over the years!!

This workout felt right to me. It was quick, easy to follow and allowed me to obtain a smooth, elegant build.

Just like any other workout, it's important to find a face exercise program that you enjoy doing, so you'll be able to stick with it and see results.

One essential feature of this program is that it incorporates isometric and muscle resistance training along with skin massaging/polishing.

The massaging/polishing helps improve skin suppleness and reduces that thin, papery skin look. And there is evidence that massaging/polishing the skin also helps increase collagen production.

You can learn more about the CFF program here.

Basic face and neck exercise routine

The chart below shows all the muscles used while during the workout.

In the first 6–12 months it's recommend you do the workout about 3 times - which takes less than 15 minutes a session.

Once you've achieved your goals, you can cut down to a few times a month for maintenance.

Facial Exercises and the Muscles they Activate

Here is a list of all the face exercises in this program and the muscles they activate.

Click on the picture below to see the interactive muscles light up in color for a clearer understanding. Note: This will take you to another site...

Muscles of the face.
face exercise stepsCourtesy of Carolyn's Facial Fitness, LLC

Once you achieve a good facial foundation but still have areas that need extra help, you can add a specific Bonus workout for that area.

Jowl lift without surgery

One part of face aging that concerns us the most is saggy jowls. The excess loose skin and loss of definition in the jawline, can be a concern, and may affecting how we feel about ourselves.

Some of us have even embarked on some strange cosmetic procedures like buccal fat removal surgery to reduce jowls.

Even though it's a big trend among celebrities, it may not the most effective method. Looking for a more natural approach?

While non-surgery options won't offer dramatic results like a face lift, there are several non-surgical methods that could help lift the jowls. Plus, they're safer, with less side effects.

Also, check out FREE exercises for sagging jowls that also helps firm the cheeks too! Click on the video below...

How facial muscle exercises work to fix a sagging face?

Want to know how facial muscles work and how you can look younger with face exercises?

Click on the following for more detailed information on why we age well with facial exercisesBut, here is a basic, simple explanation:

  • Unlike muscles in the body that only connect to bone - muscles in the face are attached to bone (on one end) and the other end connects to other muscles or directly under skin.
  • This allows us to show facial expressions and emotions as the skin goes along for the ride with muscle movement.
  • The muscle/skin connection is also the reason facial exercises can help you look younger.

When facial muscles are toned and have more bulk, they help lift and smooth the attached skin. This results in a tighter, more defined face and neck with less sagging and wrinkles.

Anti-aging skincare with face exercise

Finally, regardless of whether you choose facial exercises, facial massages or both, basic simple skincare goes a long way to help keep your skin and face looking younger.

A good all natural, pH balanced, almost organic, scent-free moisturizer not only hydrates, but feeds your skin too. This can help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, along with your exercise routine.

You can and should also use this cream before your workouts. This is especially important if your skin is very damaged, wrinkled, sensitive or in bad condition.

As time goes on and your skin becomes firmer and stronger, you can use less cream, so you can get a stronger workout.

A word on bonus exercises and spot training

People always ask for a specific exercise to fix a certain area of the face that bothers them. But that's really spot training and should avoid for a few reasons.

  • It won't work! Facial muscles are interconnected and working on one area also helps lift another. And working on just one part of the face may result in an odd or overbuilt look.
  • Over time, other areas of your face will begin to sag and droop. Why not address the whole face now and look younger as you grow older!

Some people think they won't have time to do all 28 exercises. But the truth is - this workout is very quick.

Only 15 minutes a session 3-4 times a week. And, the majority of the exercises are done lying down! How simple is that?

So how are Bonus exercises different from spot training?

Everyone is different and has different needs. So it's important to first build a good foundation for the whole face/neck by doing following the full basic workout routine for a few months to year - depending on the condition of your skin and face.

Then if you still see areas that are not responding as well (for me it was the jowls/neck area) it's OK to do a few extra bonus exercise to firm up those areas.

This is not "spot training" because you still are doing a full face workout monthly. Just like your body, your face needs a full basic workout before you can address areas that concern you.




FAQ: How to Firm a Sagging Face

Q:What causes face sagging?

A: Many factors contribute to facial sagging, but the most important are:

  • loss of collagen
  • loss of and redistribution of facial fat
  • loss of and reabsorption of facial bone mass

The facial fat that once sat high in the cheek area is reduced, and this causes the skin to sag downward. Picture a balloon with some air let out.

Facial bone changes cause the skin to droop too, especially around the eyes and jaw bone area. See this picture on how facial bone change with age.

Eventually, these change affect the shape of our face. The face tends to get bottom-heavy (i.e., droopy cheeks, jowls, and double chin) as time goes on.

Q: Some massage therapists like to use a jade stone roller as a form of massage. Which face rollers do you suggest for a sagging face?

A: Personally, I like to use my hands. The index finger, middle finger, and ring finger provide enough gentle pressure to stimulate lymph nodes, massage face muscles and is a great way to relax and reduce a lot of tension in the face and neck. For best results, make circular motions using firm pressure. Start at your jowls and massage in an upward direction along the sides of your face. Make sure to apply a little face cream  or face serum, so you're not tugging on the skin. Click here to see a video of the Sagging Skin Face Massage.

Q: What causes face sagging?

A: Many factors contribute to facial sagging, but the most important are:

  • loss of collagen
  • loss of and redistribution of facial fat
  • loss of and reabsorption of facial bone mass

The facial fat that once sat high in the cheek area is reduced, and this causes the skin to sag downward. Picture a balloon with some air let out.

Facial bone changes cause the skin to droop too, especially around the eyes and jaw bone area. See this picture on how facial bone change with age.

Eventually, these change affect the shape of our face. The face tends to get bottom-heavy (i.e., droopy cheeks, jowls, and double chin) as time goes on.

Q: How does facial massage help sagging skin?

A: A face massage helps increase blood flow and helps stimulate fibroblast cells, improve connecting tissues and increase collagen and elastin... All necessary for healthy, firm skin tone. We're not talking about results like a facelift, but regular facial massages helps keep good skin tone and lessen age related sagging.

Q: How does a jade roller or gua sha stone help firm up facial skin?

A: These devices can help improve and drain the lymphatic system. As we get older, our faces tend to hold more fluid around the lower half of our face, making our faces look saggy and bloated. A regular facial massage can help slim and contour the face and neck area - giving you a firmer look

Q: Does Botox help with sagging cheeks?

A: Botox is not typically used to address sagging cheeks. Botox (Botulinum toxin) is a neurotoxin that is commonly used for cosmetic purposes to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines by temporarily paralyzing specific facial muscles. It is commonly used for areas such as the forehead, between the eyebrows (glabellar lines), and around the eyes (crow's feet).

Sagging cheeks, on the other hand, are usually caused by a loss of skin elasticity and volume, which occurs naturally with aging. To address sagging cheeks, other treatments like dermal fillers, fat transfers, or surgical procedures (such as facelifts) are typically recommended.

Dermal fillers, like hyaluronic acid-based fillers, are commonly used to restore lost volume in the cheeks and lift the sagging skin. These fillers help to plump up the cheeks, providing a more youthful and lifted appearance.

Q: How long does it take for face skin to tighten when using face exercises?

A: That really depends on your age and skin condition. But, it can at least a few months before you start to see any results. More results can be seen up to 12 months later. It takes time, but it's something you just do on a weekly basis.

Q: What are the best essential oils for sagging skin? I've read that neroli oil and lavender oil have skin tightening properties, but I'm not sure how to use them since I have very sensitive skin.

A: Essential oils won't lift saggy skin, but keeping dry skin hydrated can help improve the appearance of wrinkles and skin elasticity. Lavender, frankincense, and Neroli oil have antifungal, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, but like all essential oils, they are very concentrated. You should dilute them and make your own essential oil blend by mixing a drop or two of these essential oils with carrier oils (like coconut oil or jojoba oil).

Additional Reading:

Simple skincare routine

Face Lift Treatments at Home

Facial Toning Benefits Over 40

Face Tightening Exercises - Does it Work

Face Exercise - Key Tips for Success

Forehead Wrinkles 

Which Face Lift Exercises are Best

Facial Exercises for Fuller Cheeks

Facial Exercises VS. Botox: Pros and Cons




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