Almost everyone I know believes that exercise keeps all areas of the body in good shape. But most of these same people would not even consider doing facial exercises to keep all areas of the face in good shape. Why is there this reluctance to do the same thing for the face as we do for the body?
Paula Begoun, a woman I respect for her intelligence and honesty, thinks that facial exercises are actually harmful to the face. But I'm going to let Paula who has written many fine books on skin and hair care speak for herself:
I am completely bewildered by the enthusiasm facial exercises seem to generate. I get swarms of letters from women telling me that I have my non-exercised head screwed on wrong when I suggest that facial exercises don't work. But is there any research that explains the mania surrounding all this stretching of the face muscles?
For the most part, facial exercises are more a problem for skin than a help. Facial exercises provide little or no benefit because loss of muscle tone is not a major cause of wrinkles or sagging skin. In fact, muscle tone is barely involved in these at all.
The skin's sagging and drooping are caused by four major factors: Deteriorated collagen and elastin (due primarily to sun damage); Depletion of the skin's fat layer (a factor of genetic aging and gravity); Repetitive facial movement (particularly true for the forehead frown lines and for smile lines from the nose to the mouth); Muscle sagging due to the loosening of facial ligaments that hold the muscles in place.
Facial exercise is not helpful for worn-out collagen, elastin, or the skin's fat layer, because none of that is about the muscles. It is especially not helpful for the lines caused by facial movement! Instead, facial exercises only make those areas appear more lined. The reason Botox injections into the muscles of the forehead and facial lines work to create a smoother face is because Botox prevents the muscles from moving!
These paragraphs are from Paula's excellent book The Beauty Bible, page 215. I strongly recommend the 2nd Edition of this book to all women who want straight talk about beauty problems. That's Paula below looking great even though she hates facial exercises.
Since I'm not selling a facial exercise program, I don't have to try to destroy the credibility of Paula Begoun on this topic or to misrepresent her point of view. She presents her argument against facial exercise clearly, cogently - and honestly. You, the reader of the material on this site, will have to make up your own mind as to what is best for your face. For people who prefer not to exercise, Paula's rationale will be welcome news.
And, by the way, Botox, which Paula mentions, does work. It gives the person injected a smooth brow - but it leaves the upper part of the face almost expressionless because the muscles in this area are at first just deadened, then later become atrophied.
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