A patient recently told me she had read that facial workouts could make you look younger. She asked me is this was true...I'm always happy to try something new so I thought I'd investigate.
She was talking about Eva Frasers Facial Workout, a book first published in 1993 and based on advice from 1978. In it Eva advises a series of exercises to help bulk up facial muscles so that you look 15 years younger and have less wrinkles in just 10 minutes a day!
If only it was that simple...
Eva is right in saying that muscle is connected to the skin, but then she states that when facial muscles slack it causes "bags under the eyes, loose folds of skin and jowl formation". The process is far more complex than that and muscle atrophy or "slacking" only accounts for a small percentage of why our faces lose volume and lines form.
Its starts with the bones that thin out, decreasing the facial lift in these areas. The facial fat padding above and below muscles thins out causing volume loss. The muscle do thin out but they also pull on the skin when we make facial expression and its this pulling that causes lines and wrinkles to form. Sun, pollution and genetics also play a role.
I think Eva means well with her book, but there is no scientific basis to substantiate it. I do like her advice on healthy diet and exercise and the positive effects of 10 minutes of downtime to yourself that she advocates to do the exercises is also a nice idea. Sadly, no matter how often you make faces in the mirror you just wont look fifteen years younger.