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.
I don't want 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.
Continue to - Glossary
Paula has written three books that are outstanding: The Beauty Bible, Don't Go Shopping for Hair-Care Products Without me, and the monster (1362 pages) Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. She's also written one that I didn't read, Eyeshadow Should be illegal. These highly informative books that she has written with intelligence and honesty are her credentials.
Her no-nonsense style might not appeal to some women who prefer a more genteel approach. And her style definitely does not appeal to certain cosmetics purveyors whose substandard products she gives a failing grade to. But I think women and men who want some intelligent, honest answers to skin and hair problems will find them in Paula's books.
Paula Begoun has written a clear explanation of the AHA and BHA exfoliants in her free Beauty Bulletin. As Paula says, "Both AHAs and BHA affect the top layers of skin [epidermis], and they help to improve the appearance of sun-damaged, dry, and/or thickened skin."
She also writes about the retinoids like Retin-A in this article. The retinoids are not exfoliants; they work on areas lower down in the skin. "They can positively affect the way cells are formed deep in the dermis," says Paula.
This long article is an education for women who might be lost when shopping for skin-care products. She not only tells you what, she tells you why and how.