14 Facial Exercises to Tighten the Skin
14 Facial Exercises to Tighten the Skin

14 Facial Exercises to Tighten the Skin

11 minutes read

Facial exercises or ‘face fitness’ to tighten and lift skin have slowly entered our routines. Why, and do face exercises actually work? They’ve been shown to work in a small study by Jama Network, in which participants showed around a three-year reduction in age perception after a 20-week trial.    

Plus, a home facial massage will also help you avoid water retention and puffiness — so cheekbones look chiselled, and jawlines can be refined.   

So, without expecting any miracles, let us try facial exercises to tighten the skin and lift the face. 

How to begin your facial exercise routine 

Before you start your facial exercises, here are some tips that will help you maximise the benefits: 

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. 
  • Take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly, and try to release any tension in your face and neck. 
  • Keep your facial muscles relaxed, and avoid making unnecessary expressions or movements during the exercises. 
  • Always use gentle pressure and avoid straining or pulling too hard. 
  • Use your fingers to massage and stimulate the muscles in your face, using gentle circular motions or light tapping. 
  • It’s always a good idea to follow the instructions of a reputable source and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns. 

Facial exercises to target the eye area

These exercises came from yoga and were adopted by the founder of Face Yoga by Fumiko Takatsu. You can do them while applying your eye skincare product.  

Eye toning with Eye flex 

Takatsu says this exercise targets muscles surrounding the eyes, toning and strengthening them and helping to prevent and reduce crow’s feet. 

  • Position your index and middle fingers at the outer corners of your eyes. 
  • Spread your fingers apart gently, pulling them at a 45-degree angle towards the back of your head until your eyes form a squint.
  • Focus your gaze on a distant point and hold the squint for 5 seconds.
  • Relax.
  • Do two more sets.

Yoga facial exercises to tighten the skin around the eyes 

Soften and help prevent eye wrinkles 

  • On both sides of your face, position your index finger at your eyebrow’s outer edge, placing your middle finger on your cheekbone.  
  • Spread the skin between these two points gently, avoiding creating wrinkles near the eyebrow.  
  • Repeat this action on both sides of your face while flaring your elbows out and squinting your eyes.  
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds.  
  • Do three sets for best results. 

Eliminate under-eye bags   

  • Position your thumbs near your ears and place your index fingers under your eyes.
  • Allow your mouth to drop open and, using only your eyes, look upwards towards the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then release. 
  • Repeat for three sets.

Winking exercise 

This exercise is said to tone muscles around the eyes and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.  

  • Close your left eye while keeping your right eye open. 
  • Look up at the ceiling with your open eye. 
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Breathe normally. 
  • Release your facial muscles. 
  • Repeat the exercise with your right eye closed and left eye open. 
  • Repeat ten times on each side, alternating between your left and right eye. 

Facial Exercises to target the face 

Fumiko Takatsu Face Yoga method 

Forehead and brows

  • Put your hands on your forehead, and spread your fingers between your hairline and eyebrows. 
  • Sweep your fingers outwards across the forehead with light pressure. Repeat five times more. 
  • Put your middle and index fingers at the inner corner of your eyebrows. Apply with pressure, then slightly spread fingers and repeat five more times.

Cheekbones and cheek plumping 

Cheek exercises are designed to help to tone and strengthen the muscles in the cheeks and promote blood flow to the area. This can help cheeks become more lifted and defined, and skin may appear tighter and smoother.  

Cheek-squeezing exercises can also help to reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds and jowls. ‘Fish face’ and ‘puffer fish’ are two well-known exercises. 

  • To lift your cheeks, hide your teeth with your lips while making an “O” shape with your mouth.  
  • Keep your teeth hidden and smile as wide as you can. Repeat six more times. 
  • Place an index finger on a chin and hold the smile. Next, move your head back and your jaw up and down simultaneously. Repeat two times more.

Cheekbone lift with ‘fish face’

  • Take a deep breath and exhale through your mouth with a “ha” sound. 
  • Close your mouth and draw your lips back tightly over your teeth as if you’re smiling with your mouth closed. 
  • Suck your cheeks in toward your teeth, creating a fish face shape. 
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds while breathing normally. 
  • Release the fish face and relax your facial muscles. 
  • Repeat the exercise 5-10 times. 

The ‘puffer fish’ press exercise 

This exercise targets nasolabial folds, smoker’s lines and double chins. 

  • Inhale, filling your mouth with air. Close your mouth tightly so your cheeks bulge outwards, and push the air towards your lips.  
  • Move the air to the right side of your mouth. 
  • Move the air to the left side of your mouth. 
  • Move the air to the upper part of your mouth. 
  • Move the air to the lower part of your mouth.  
  • Hold the air in each position for 5 seconds. You should feel the resistance in the activated cheek and upper and lower mouth.   

Face tightening and lifting

These exercises help tone the muscles in the cheeks and reduce the appearance of sagging skin and wrinkles around the mouth. They also improve blood circulation and can give your face a natural lift. 

  • Put your middle fingers at the inner corner of your eyebrows and connect them. Then gently add pressure to the outer corners of your eyebrows with index fingers.
  • Look up, lift the skin under the eyes, make a squint, and then relax.
  • Repeat this seven times, then close your eyes tightly for 10 seconds.

Chipmunk cheek squeeze

  • Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. 
  • Inhale again and puff up both cheeks with air. 
  • Use your index and middle fingers to apply gentle pressure to the cheeks, pressing them towards the teeth. 
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds while breathing normally. 
  • Release the pressure and exhale. 
  • Take a few deep breaths and relax your facial muscles. 
  •  Do 10 repetitions. 

Prevent sagging/tighten jowls

Several face yoga exercises have been shown to help prevent sagging and tighten jowls. Takatsu recommends: 

 The V Exercise 

  • Open your mouth and fold your lips over your teeth. 
  • Bring the corners of your lips toward each other, forming a V-shape with your fingers. 
  • Contract your chin muscles and tilt your head back slightly. 
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat for 3-5 sets. 

Cheek Lifter

  • Smile without showing your teeth, and place your fingers at the corners of your mouth. 
  • Gently lift your cheeks up, towards your eyes. 
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat for 3-5 sets.  

Jaw exercises

These centuries-old traditional yoga poses are part of yoga practice, with multiple benefits. Of course, there may be slight variations, according to whoever is teaching them.   

Jivha Bandha (Locked tongue pose)

This is said to help tone the jawline and strengthen the neck while toning a double chin. 

  • Inhale deeply through your nose, then curl the tip of your tongue and touch it to the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. 
  • Exhale slowly through your nose, keeping your tongue in this position. 
  • Hold your breath for a few seconds with your tongue still touching the roof of your mouth, then release your tongue and exhale completely. 
  • Repeat this cycle of inhaling, holding, and exhaling with your tongue locked in the same position for several rounds, gradually increasing the duration of the hold as you feel comfortable. 

Double-chin workout 

Simha Mudra (Lion pose)

  • Begin comfortably seated with your legs crossed and your hands resting on your knees, leaning slightly forward. 
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs. 
  • As you exhale, open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue as far as it will go, as if you’re trying to touch your chin. 
  • Roar like a lion, making a “ha” sound from the back of your throat. 
  • While exhaling and roaring, stretch your fingers wide and spread them apart. 
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds, breathing deeply through your nose. 
  • Release the pose and take a few breaths before repeating it a few more times. 

Use skincare to boost your skin-tightening exercises 

Applying an oil-based skincare product to clean skin before your facial exercise is a good idea. The ‘slip’ it gives will help your fingers glide, so you aren’t tugging at your skin as you perform hand gestures. Plus, the massage will help the active ingredients sink into the skin more efficiently.    

Choose products that have a complementary action, such as: 

  • For eyes, try Double Serum Eye, £58, with a pro-ageing formula for firming, lifting, and brightening skin around the eyes.  
  • For mature skin, try Super Restorative Remodelling Serum, £86. This anti-ageing treatment with narrow-leaf plantain extract will help lift the contours of your face and give radiance. 
  • For dehydrated skin, Blue Orchid Treatment Oil, £40, is recommended. Made from pure plant extracts, this oil can be used as aromatherapy and care for skin, thus smoothing, revitalising and moisturising, and some de-stressing side effects. 
  • For wrinkles above the lip, try the Extra-Firming Lip and Contour Balm, £33. Not only does it moisturise the lip with nourishing raspberry seed oil, but it also instantly smoothes and blurs fine lines.

Alternatives to skin tightening exercises 

 Tighten up face muscles with Gua Sha tool 

  • For this, take a Gua Sha face tool made of quartz or jade and use the flat side to massage your neck downwards and drain lymph.  
  • Move the flat side of a Gua Sha face tool across the forehead.  
  • Work with Gua Sha through your cheeks and lift them.   
  • Then go a little bit down to cheekbones. Come across the cheekbones using the double side of the tool. Next, move across and down to the neck.  
  • Press underneath the eyes with Gua Sha. Next, close your eyes and gently press the eyelids.Short black hair woman allpy cream on face and do guasha face massage

Exercises to tighten facial muscles with a stone roller 

  • First, freeze your crystal roller in the fridge. This will help to remove puffiness. Start rolling up on the neck with light pressure. Repeat these five to 10 times.  
  • Press the large end of the jade roller on your chin, apply medium pressure and roll towards your ear; repeat five-six times on both sides.  
  • Take the large roller end and move up to your forehead, starting in the middle and rolling towards your ear. Repeat on both sides five to six times.  
  • Roll from the inner to the outer eye corner. Repeat 10 to 15 times on both sides.  
  • Place the roller between your eyebrows and roll out over each eyebrow. Repeat five to 10 times on both sides.  
  • Roll over the jawline bone, move back and forward. 

 Facial yoga need-to-knows 

What are the benefits of facial yoga?

The specific movements are designed to improve the appearance and health of the skin and muscles in the face, with the following benefits:  

  • Improved skin tone and elasticity. 
  • Reduced muscle tension, which helps reduce the appearance of puffiness and promotes relaxation.  
  • Improved facial symmetry through toning and strengthening the muscles on both sides of the face.

How long do facial exercises take to work?

Results can depend on age, skin elasticity, and genetics. However, many sources tell us that consistent practice can produce visible results within a few weeks to a few months. 

How can I lift my face naturally?

Besides facial exercises, you can use facial massage to stimulate blood flow and lymph drainage and enhance skin firmness. 

Using skincare products that contain ingredients such as retinoids, antioxidants, and peptides can help improve the skin’s appearance and reduce signs of ageing. They help stimulate collagen production, improve skin texture, protect the skin from environmental damage, and improve skin firmness. 

What are the side effects of facial exercises?

While facial yoga exercises are considered safe, overdoing it or using the wrong techniques may cause some undesirable effects. It could worsen certain skin conditions, such as rosacea and acne. Using excessive force could strain or injure facial muscles. And jaw exercises could cause jaw pain or stiffness. 

How can I tighten my face in 3 days?

Nothing (other than a facelift) can tighten your face in just three days. However, you may improve the appearance of your skin in the short term with certain products that have an instant, temporary tightening effect on the skin. With continued use, skincare ingredients work in the longer term to improve skin firmness and tone. Try V Facial Intensive Wrap, £51, V Shaping Facial Lift Serum, £62, or  V Shaping Facial Lift Tightening & Anti-Puffiness Eye Concentrate, £44, all by Clarins. 

Can tightening the skin on my neck give me a better jawline?

A sagging neck can make the jawline appear less defined, as the skin on the neck and jawline are connected. So, tightening the skin on the neck with facial exercises can help improve the appearance of the jawline.  


Do facial exercises work for nasolabial folds?

Several face yoga exercises may help to reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds — ‘Cheek lifter’, ‘Fish face’, ‘Mouth stretcher’ and ‘Smile smoother’.  

Read next: Thin Or Sparse Eyebrows? Here’s How To Draw Them On Perfectly

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