IF MY FACE IS UGLY, SHOULD I STRETCH IT?


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Lately, a couple of my friends have been saying that doing facial exercises can change the way someone's face looks through aging, effectively making them more attractive. The late Jack Lelanne advocated doing exercises that stretched someone's face. Early on, nobody disputed LeLanne's position, but as years have passed, new research has emerged. According to livestrong as well numerous experts, it is actually counter-productive. According to Dr. Wilma Bergfield, a respected dermatologist, excess facial exercises can actually increase wrinkling in the face in that it damages the natural elasticity within the skin. However, another side of the argument is that facial exercises increase blood flow, relieve stress and simply, "enhance overall beauty". Another benefit facial exercises have is is in stroke patients or people who have certain conditions, certain face stretches effectively rehabilitate the facial skin.
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In short, the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) states that doing facial exercises to a healthy face does more harm than good. As stated, there are certain circumstances that are the exception to the rule, but as a whole, let your skin take the path it was destined to take. One of the studies above stated that a certain percentage of people do think that facial exercises work, is there anyone that can make a strong argument against any of this research? Perhaps a first hand account?

3 Comments

Really interesting post! I think that maybe doing facial exercises can be a good thing - if you use caution. Sometimes it can almost be like a little wake-up for your face to "stretch". Also, face stretching could be a good exercise for actors, who constantly must make facial expressions. Face stretching could be a good way for them to relax out of their role. Here is a blog post with exercises that some actors use to "loosen" their facial muscles.
But, like you noted it's not something you want to do all the time. I never thought about the effects stretching your face has. I guess it would be similar to the effects of squinting (while looking at a computer screen) or having furrowed eyebrows!

While I've never had a first hand account of this, I do like to make silly faces; been doing it all my life. I do notice wrinkles but aging does that, I don't fully believe that stretching the face is a direct causation for excessive wrinkles.This article I found suggests that as time passes and also due to gravity, the face looses its firmness. It said you should do "facial exercises" and talks about yoga positions for the face and even acupuncture. But these exercises help to tighten and lift the face, not to relax it.
And possibly in your research, a relaxed face could mean that a person looks less tense and more happy then loose, floppy face skin.
But in my own opinion, humans can't hide from time and sooner or later we will get wrinkles, loose skin, and get old. That's life!

I have never actually heard of doing facial expressions as an exercise or to reduce signs of aging. But after reading your blog post I also did some research on the topic. I saw some discussion of yoga poses for the face that can help relax the face and act as sort of a natural facelife. I found this article that writes in favor of facial excercises. Although there is still some resistance against these actually working, I would say it sounds like it wouldn't cause any excess harm in the process, so maybe facial yoga is the way to go!

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