In your 40s? Well, superwoman, it’s time to supercharge your skin. Introduce facial exercises to an already stellar skin care regimen, and you can boost glow, tighten everything up quite nicely, and create all-new bounce-back for your skin. That may seem like a lot of promises; but just like improving your physical fitness or nutrition, healthier, firmer skin comes with dedication and patience to see results, especially if you are trying to avoid needles and knives.
Facialist Rachel Lang and massage therapist Heidi Frederick, co-founders of New York City’s FaceLove Fitness (it’s like barre class for your face), created this facial workout exclusively for us and specifically for 40-somethings. “This age group usually notices loss of muscle tone, which can show up as sagging around the eyes, cheeks, and jowls,” explains Rachel. “These exercises help counteract that by strengthening the right muscles to lift, tone, and sculpt those areas.” (Not in your 40s? You’re not off the hook. Check out these workouts that address specific facial concerns that arise in one’s 20s and 30s.)
For maximum results, make these mini workouts a habit 2 to 3 times a week, and combine them with a firming skin care regimen that has the same goals—to lift, tone and tighten. Incorporating a facial massage to boost micro-circulation is also vital. “Our clients notice a difference in photos, and family and friends comment on how ‘well’ or ‘healthy’ they look,” says Heidi. This facial exercise circuit only takes about 5 minutes. That’s 5 minutes, a few times a week, to take care of yourself. Enjoy it—and de-stress with it, too.
Merrilee Hesterfer, 42, Clinique’s Executive Director of Art Production, put the workout to the test. “One of these exercises gives a temporary eye lift—kind of amazing. And it makes me see how my facial muscles can legitimately be tightened. I’m excited.”
The Warm Up: Warm a dollop of a firming mask like Sculptwear Contouring Massage Cream Mask between your fingers, and apply evenly to face and neck using an upward motion. Then, “warm-up” for your workout with a circulation-boosting massage using a hand-held tool like Clinique Sonic System Massaging Treatment Applicator.
The Elevens Eraser
This sequence strengthens the forehead and eyebrow muscles to lift your eye area and reduce the appearance of the "eleven lines"—two parallel lines furrowed between your brows. Repeat 5 times.
Step 1: Place one hand on top of your head, with your fingers covering your forehead. Use your fingertips to firmly lift up the bridge of your nose.
Step 2: Now contract your eyebrows together and down while also extending the tip of your nose outward. Making a kissy face helps accentuate the movement. Hold for 5 counts, then release.
The Eye Lift
Like a sun salutation, this sequence increases your circulation, especially around the entire eye area, helping them to look more lifted and bright. Repeat 5 times.
Step 1: Place the tips of your pointer fingers just under eyebrows, then press firmly and push them up.
Step 2: While keeping your eyebrows raised, attempt to squint. Hold for 5 counts, then release.
The Chin Chisler
This move helps to lift jowls, plump cheeks, and firm your smile zone. Repeat 5 times for a full-face workout.
Step 1: Place both hands on each side of your mouth with fingers covering the lower half of your cheek area.
Step 2: Now pull your cheeks back toward your ears while you pucker your lips. Pulse 10 times.
The Cool Down: Chug a tall glass of water (another healthy skin must-have), leave the firming mask on for 5 more minutes (if you have the time), then tissue off excess.