How many of us have heard about facial exercises or face yoga, but are unsure if these methods really work for tightening sagging skin? There are a number of YouTube tutorials, as well as books on the subject, and miscellaneous information available online, which may confuse the general public. Articles in Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire boast facial exercise as an effective solution to a younger face – if muscle training works to strengthen the body, it must work the same way on the face, right?
Face yoga expert Danielle Collins says: “The exercises work the hypodermis or the lower layer of the skin, the dermis or the middle layer and the epidermis or the upper layer. By working all these layers correctly it will increase the blood circulation, allowing more oxygen and more nourishment to reach the cells of the skin. The result is a clear, healthy complexion with a beautiful glow which has less toxins and has a better ability to absorb moisture.”
The reality is, there has been absolutely no research confirming this to be true. On the contrary, plastic surgeons unanimously agree that facial exercises can indeed cause deeper expression lines, and more wrinkling, but why?
The hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue) is mostly made up of fat tissue and fibrous bands that anchor your skin to the deep fascia. This layer may vary in the body from very minimal, such as in areas of the eyelids, or as a thick layer as in the fat around the abdomen and waist. Hypodermis aging is observed by the loss of fat tissues which affects the shape of our face, neck and hands, i.e. sagging skin. Our cheeks and eye sockets may hallow out, and the skin on the neck, breasts and hands may lose its firmness.
Muscular stimulation by facial exercise doesn’t correct this issue, furthermore, more expression lines are created in the areas where the hypodermis is thinnest. Through repeated strenuous facial muscle engagement, more lines are formed in the same way crow’s feet, marionette lines and forehead wrinkles are created naturally. What methods actually work to reduce sagging skin? Manual facial stimulation such as: Dien Chan multireflexology, facial acupressure, facial acupuncture, Gua Sha, and European massage are all effective at toning the facial muscles and stimulating circulation, which gives a plump, revived appearance to sagging skin.
There are also numerous devices to tone and lift sagging skin, including microcurrent machines, phototherapy LED, and Radio Frequency modalities. In a medical setting, machines such as ThermiTight, ThermiSmooth, IPL, Fractional laser are all beneficial in tightening the skin, without surgical involvement.
Topical products based on hyaluronic acid, peptides and growth factors hydrate and nourish the skin, giving it a supple and youthful glow. In addition to anti-aging products, regular use of sunblock protects the skin from sun damage and elastosis.
Hyaluronic acid supports the structure of connective tissue by acting as a water magnet to maintain extra-cellular fluidity. HA forms a viscous fluid with exceptional lubricating properties necessary for the vital functions of many parts of the human body including the skin. If sagging skin is a concern, 200mg of hyaluronic acid may be taken as a dietary supplement, as well as 6000 mg of bioactive collagen types 1 & 3.