Facial Muscle Mobility

Discussions on how to do facial exercises and what these exercises might accomplish.
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Horsegirl
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Facial Muscle Mobility

Post by Horsegirl »

I have read many times that people with mobile faces, people who smile and laugh often, develop premature lines in the face. The theory is that mobility of the facial muscles will have a negative effect on the overlying skin, that it will cause the skin to become lined. It does make sense to me that smiling and laughing will deepen the already shallow expression lines. It also makes sense to me that knitting the eyebrows and raising the eyebrows will cause vertical and horizontal lines to form on the forehead.

All the facial exercises that I see demonstrated move the facial muscles in unnatural ways. Why would these movements not make the already existing lines in the face even deeper? I've seen photos of women who use Botox in the forehead. The lines that were there before disappeared. These before and after photos look real. They do not look touched up or photoshopped.

Can someone give me a rational argument why facial exercises will not deepen already existing lines. The arguments against facial exercise seem logical and convincing. I would like to hear some rebuttal to these arguments that are at least equally convincing and logical.
Nonie
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:24 am

Re: Facial Muscle Mobility

Post by Nonie »

The thing to first understand is face muscles are attached to each other and directly to the skin. So every facial movement engages more than just the muscles under the part of the face showing the expression. And in order to make facial expressions, the muscles have to work as a team: some contracting and some relaxing. For instance, raising the eyebrows moves the scalp forward because while forehead muscles contract to create that expression they pull on the scalp. That requires the occipitalis muscles at the back of the head to relax in order to allow the forward scalp movement. When you relax the forehead muscles by lowering the eyebrows, the muscles at the back of the head pull back on the scalp helping to smooth out the forehead. Similarly, when you smile, cheek muscles contract and shorten and pull on mouth muscles which must relax and stretch to shape the lips into a smile.

With that in mind, there are a few posts I have written on the forum, one of which Tom quoted on this page, that helps to answer your question.

You can read more of the same thoughts in the following threads‎:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=224

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=184

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=180‎

Yesterday I a read post whereby someone's frown lines appeared to get worse with exercise. The person wanted to know why this was happening and whether the fix was to exercise more, or massage, or stop exercising altogether.

My guess is the person tried doing face exercises specifically to eliminate the lines by focusing on working the muscles in that area--in other words, by spot training or "target training" as some call it. The problem with this is overuse of those muscles at the expense of all related muscles is why the problem exists in the first place. The muscles are very well-toned from frequent use and so they stay in a semi-contracted state, which holds the skin in that creased form. So doing more "targeted" exercises only helps maintain that semi-contracted state of those muscles and hence the creased skin effect they have.

Had the person done a comprehensive, well-designed, full-face workout, the muscles of the forehead, temple, back of the head, etc. would all achieve the tone that the eyebrow and glabellar muscles have and this would create a balance that would make everything lie flat. That is because those other muscles would pull back on the ones that were causing the crease with their exclusive contraction and thus open up the folds. The photo below shows the glabellar of a lady who did a complete face exercise program and you can see the difference the program made to her frown lines in less than a year (First photo taken on May 3, 2009 and second pic is from March 31, 2010):

Image Image

And face exercise results are cumulative. The more you do them, the better things get so I imagine that lady's forehead looks even better today if she is still doing the program.

So now you understand why Botox works. Botox paralyzes the aforementioned muscles and gets them to relax thus making the skin lie smooth. The downside to Botox, aside from the risk of things going wrong, is that paralysis leads to muscle atrophy due to muscles not being used. That is why after some time people notice sag in related areas thanks to regularly Botoxed muscles being slack from lack of tone therefore not supporting attached muscles or skin, causing the skin attached to them to hang. And so they either get fillers or a facelift. (Gotta say, cosmetic surgeons do have it made! Not only are they guaranteed repeat visits because Botox results don't last forever, the "side-effects" due to lack of muscle use just mean the doctors will more likely get to do more work on those clients down the road to address droop. Can you say cha-ching?!)

Face exercises do more than just remove lines. They also bring out the best in one's face. I was surprised myself to find that aside from removing laughlines, face exercises had given my lower face a fullness that I did not even realize was lacking. Needless to say, I was thrilled! The other cool thing about face exercises is they give a natural look. When people get fillers, they can sometimes get the "pillow-face" look; Botox can make them look frozen like mannequins, and some facelifts make people look as if stuck in a wind-tunnel. Over time, unnatural procedures do not look as great as they did the first time they were done, which is why some people start looking more like freaks as more and more cosmetic procedures are performed on them. Compare that with this woman who has done face exercises and led a healthy lifestyle since her 20's. Except for getting cosmetic surgery on her eyes in her 30's, she has maintained her youthful looks with exercise:
Image

Here are three more:
Image

and

Image

and

Image
ShrunkenFace
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 9:12 am
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Re: Facial Muscle Mobility

Post by ShrunkenFace »

Nonie wrote:The thing to first understand is face muscles are attached to each other and directly to the skin. So every facial movement engages more than just the muscles under the part of the face showing the expression. And in order to make facial expressions, the muscles have to work as a team: some contracting and some relaxing. For instance, raising the eyebrows moves the scalp forward because while forehead muscles contract to create that expression they pull on the scalp. That requires the occipitalis muscles at the back of the head to relax in order to allow the forward scalp movement. When you relax the forehead muscles by lowering the eyebrows, the muscles at the back of the head pull back on the scalp helping to smooth out the forehead. Similarly, when you smile, cheek muscles contract and shorten and pull on mouth muscles which must relax and stretch to shape the lips into a smile.

With that in mind, there are a few posts I have written on the forum, one of which Tom quoted on this page, that helps to answer your question.

You can read more of the same thoughts in the following threads‎:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=224

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=184

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=180‎

Yesterday I a read post whereby someone's frown lines appeared to get worse with exercise. The person wanted to know why this was happening and whether the fix was to exercise more, or massage, or stop exercising altogether.

My guess is the person tried doing face exercises specifically to eliminate the lines by focusing on working the muscles in that area--in other words, by spot training or "target training" as some call it. The problem with this is overuse of those muscles at the expense of all related muscles is why the problem exists in the first place. The muscles are very well-toned from frequent use and so they stay in a semi-contracted state, which holds the skin in that creased form. So doing more "targeted" exercises only helps maintain that semi-contracted state of those muscles and hence the creased skin effect they have.

Had the person done a comprehensive, well-designed, full-face workout, the muscles of the forehead, temple, back of the head, etc. would all achieve the tone that the eyebrow and glabellar muscles have and this would create a balance that would make everything lie flat. That is because those other muscles would pull back on the ones that were causing the crease with their exclusive contraction and thus open up the folds. The photo below shows the glabellar of a lady who did a complete face exercise program and you can see the difference the program made to her frown lines in less than a year (First photo taken on May 3, 2009 and second pic is from March 31, 2010):

Image Image

And face exercise results are cumulative. The more you do them, the better things get so I imagine that lady's forehead looks even better today if she is still doing the program.

So now you understand why Botox works. Botox paralyzes the aforementioned muscles and gets them to relax thus making the skin lie smooth. The downside to Botox, aside from the risk of things going wrong, is that paralysis leads to muscle atrophy due to muscles not being used. That is why after some time people notice sag in related areas thanks to regularly Botoxed muscles being slack from lack of tone therefore not supporting attached muscles or skin, causing the skin attached to them to hang. And so they either get fillers or a facelift. (Gotta say, cosmetic surgeons do have it made! Not only are they guaranteed repeat visits because Botox results don't last forever, the "side-effects" due to lack of muscle use just mean the doctors will more likely get to do more work on those clients down the road to address droop. Can you say cha-ching?!)

Face exercises do more than just remove lines. They also bring out the best in one's face. I was surprised myself to find that aside from removing laughlines, face exercises had given my lower face a fullness that I did not even realize was lacking. Needless to say, I was thrilled! The other cool thing about face exercises is they give a natural look. When people get fillers, they can sometimes get the "pillow-face" look; Botox can make them look frozen like mannequins, and some facelifts make people look as if stuck in a wind-tunnel. Over time, unnatural procedures do not look as great as they did the first time they were done, which is why some people start looking more like freaks as more and more cosmetic procedures are performed on them. Compare that with this woman who has done face exercises and led a healthy lifestyle since her 20's. Except for getting cosmetic surgery on her eyes in her 30's, she has maintained her youthful looks with exercise:
Image

Here are three more:
Image

and

Image

and

Image
I'd love to see male examples. Make-up can be delusional.
Nonie
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:24 am

Re: Facial Muscle Mobility

Post by Nonie »

ShrunkenFace wrote:I'd love to see male examples. Make-up can be delusional.
Oh you skeptic! ;) I would love you to show me how jowls can be hidden with makeup or hooded eyes be made unhooded with makeup. :P Here's a woman over 40 without makeup and then with makeup. She looks lovely with makeup, but do you see her looking any younger with makeup? Any change to her hooded eyes or jowls?

Image

Furthermore, it's not as if the before photos I posted showed a plain face with no makeup and then the after photos showed a made-up face. Oleda's photos are all made up which IMO creates a fair comparison. Three of the second set of photos I posted showed no makeup and the lady's face was clearly improving in tone. The other two sets of photos show minimum makeup and contours. The third set shows not only a lifting and toning of the face and hooded eyes being eliminated but the woman looks younger at 68 than she was at 53 and that has nothing to do with makeup. And you cannot deny that this woman's face went from being wide at the bottom, which happens as we age and everything goes south creating jowls, to having her face lift making her lower face narrower than the upper face when previously they were about the same size and her jowls have diminished. Her upper cheeks are fuller and rounded and she looks like she could be the daughter of her former self. You think makeup did this?

Image

The other thing you have to realize is the reason any of us submit photos to be published is because in spite of being the biggest critics of ourselves, we actually see improvement worthy of sharing. It is why I advise anyone considering a face exercise program not to believe what people say about a program they do unless they can show them their own before/after photos and they can determine whether they would want those sort of results for themselves.

Well, here's an example of a male:

Image
Notice how his neck skin lifted and smoothed out; and his face which was long and gaunt has lifted and filled out so that he looks like the son of his former self.

Here's another male success story: http://www.geocities.ws/mateo1970/

A lot of the photos I've posted of myself show me without makeup. At the most, I do draw my eyebrows in, but that's about it. So If you've read posts in which I've shared photos, then you have indeed seen proof of the efficacy of face exercises without makeup.

I recently saw a plastic surgeon write that face exercises tone muscles but cannot do anything about the skin. Surely he has to know that facial skin is directly attached to muscle so what happens to the muscles is reflected on the skin. The whole premise that face exercises will, without fail, cause wrinkles is such hogwash to me. If this were true, then how is it that after starting face exercises in my 20's when there was no hint of aging on my face, I still had no wrinkles 15 years later. (I was not wearing makeup in the "after" photo below, but notice 15 years of exercising my face did not give me wrinkles. It gave me beautiful tone and definition)

Image

In fact, I think the biggest proof that face exercises do work--and are perhaps the biggest threat to plastic surgery industry--is how they gave me a natural eyelift that IMO rivals that of some of the best surgeons:

Image

And thanks to face exercises, my eyes have never reverted to the hooded state, so I don't have to keep lining some surgeon's pocket to redo my eyes every few years, like those who simply depend on surgeons for this. This is an impromptu photo I have just taken. I have nothing on my face, not even lotion (I'll be 47 next month)--notice that even my eyebrows are not drawn in but I'm sporting the eyebrows nature gave me--which can also be seen in my 2-year old baby photo above :lol: :

ImageSept 2016

Now as I have shared before, face exercises are not without fault. It is indeed is possible to do a bad program or to make the mistake of spot-training the face and experience all the negative things you're told by cosmetic surgeons would happen. It happened to me. After 15 years of doing Eva Fraser's program with great success, curiosity got me to try another program and I went from having the beautifully toned and firm lifted face you saw above dated July 22, 2005 to the frumpy bulky face you see below with heavy soft cheeks that sagged a bit giving me nasolabial lines; and this "aging" happened in just four months of doing that program!!!

ImageNov 2005

Had this been my only experience with face exercises, I might have joined the choir of biased cosmetic surgeons and sworn that face exercises are a recipe for looking old. But I had a personal FIFTEEN YEAR history of doing face exercises and looking younger than my peers, so no one could convince me that this happened because of face exercises in general. So I set out to find a way to undo this damage with exercise. Thirteen months after I took that Nov 2005 photo I started another program, supplementing it with Tom's program whenever I didn't have time to do the 28 exercises in that programs, and in just two years, I had regained the toned face that was free of lines that I had had before that awful experience with the other program. You can see those results below (I was wearing no makeup in the photo below):

ImageJan 2009

And the more I do face exercises, the happier I am with my face. People spend money every few months on fillers to plump their faces up and replace lost mass to make themselves look less old. I have not needed to do that, thanks to face exercises. What is so wonderful about face exercises is changes happen when you aren't even aware that they are happening. And if you're doing a good program, changes that happen behind your back always bring out the best in you. Take for instance my lower face, I have never considered myself gaunt. Yet, in 2013, I saw a photo of my lower face and was taken aback by how very nicely plump it looked--a look I didn't recall ever having. I decided to take photos in poses of previous photos without makeup to compare. Notice the change from a pointed chin V shape which I had when I started the program in Jan 2007 to a softer more elegant shape with a smoothing out of the parentheses that were on either side of my mouth about 6 years 10 months later:

Image

The same unexpected, yet very much appreciated, change happened with my eyes. I was not trying to change them. I didn't know hooded eyes were not what everyone had or that people paid big bucks to change what, to me, was a very normal feature. The change in my eyes was so gradual that I only realized this had happened when I read an article by Deborah Crowley--another face exercise program founder--in which she said face exercises can lift eyes so that eye makeup does not look like Morse code. That got me wondering if my own eyes had changed in any way. It was when I compared my eyes in my 30's with an old photo taken when I was 20 that I saw that, indeed, I had experienced this change. And actually, I recently found another photo of me taken in my mid-twenties...about 5-6 years into doing Eva Fraser's Facial Fitness Program and you can see that the eye lift I have today was definitely in the works:

Image

And so what I do know about face exercises is:

1) they can delay aging as they did for me when I started them young before my face had any signs of aging; and
2)they can remove signs of aging if you already have them, whether brought on by a bad program (as what happened with me) or by just nature taking its course (as the photos I posted of other face exercisers showed).

Many people who do face exercise talk of "youth jumps". This is when you seem to have hit a plateau and assume that you're just in maintenance mode, then all of a sudden you notice a change that seems to have happened overnight that makes you look younger than you ever remember. I myself experienced a youth jump recently!

You see, the photo I posted above labeled Jan 2009 is one of my favorites. It was at that point that I felt I had achieved all I had set out to achieve with the new program I was doing (Carolyn's Facial Fitness); namely, to undo all the negative things that that other program had done to my face. I considered that photo the best I will ever look and couldn't have asked for anything else. And yet 7.5 years since I took that favorite photo, I continue to reap benefits I would not have thought possible. I mean, who'd think it possible to improve on your best? Yet the same face exercises that doctors say will cause you to get wrinkles, will make you look older, will fail to lift the face or to eliminate signs of aging...continue to defy their so-called logic.

Image

So naysayers can keep believing the lies of those who have a lot to gain by convincing them that all face exercises are bad for them. Those of us who do them know better.
Last edited by Nonie on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
ShrunkenFace
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Re: Facial Muscle Mobility

Post by ShrunkenFace »

I never doubted that it works.

I just wanted to see realistic results for men. You really have improved too!
Nonie
Posts: 91
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:24 am

Re: Facial Muscle Mobility

Post by Nonie »

ShrunkenFace wrote:I never doubted that it works.

I just wanted to see realistic results for men. You really have improved too!
Oh OK. :)

Thanks for the compliment.
Gina
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:43 am
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Re: Facial Muscle Mobility

Post by Gina »

Nonie, I just wanted to thank you for this very detailed information relating your experience with facial exercise and the experience of others. You have really taken the time to convey not only information and evidence, but also your passion for, besides fitness and nutrition, the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. Along with Tom and with the help of his fantastic website, you help to inspire those of us who are beginning this journey and give us hope and the motivation to continue. Thank you to Tom and to Nonie!
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