A good workout always leaves your muscles feeling great – tired but also calm and relaxed. And there’s no reason that the muscles in your face should be left out.
These five facial exercises cover every area of your face and will get your muscles working. Although it takes daily practise before you’ll start to see the visible results of strengthening those muscles, you’ll immediately feel that your face has had a workout.
These five techniques are designed to work the muscles under the skin. If you do them regularly, you’ll lift and tone those muscles, which in turn tightens and tautens the skin attached to them.
This whole sequence takes around 10 minutes, so it should be easy to fit it into your existing routine. Many people like to do face yoga as part of their morning or evening skincare, but you can slot it in whenever you have time.
Since you can do face yoga anywhere, you could even run through these facial yoga exercises in the shower, at your desk, or while you are watching tv.
You can find a video of this routine over on my YouTube channel too. Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button while you’re there – I share loads of face yoga and facial massage techniques to rejuvenate your skin and lift your face naturally.
Before You Start
Make sure you have clean hands and a clean face before you start this routine. You might want to find a spot in front of a mirror, especially at first, so you can see what you’re doing.
Always work to your own level with any face yoga routine. If you need to spend a little less time on one of the moves, that’s fine. Like any exercise, they get easier the more you do them. Remember although you will feel these working straight away, they shouldn’t be painful or cause tension.
I like to apply a few drops of my Fusion by Danielle Collins serum before I do my face yoga. It helps your fingers move easily over your face and is packed full of high-performing botanical seed oils to nourish your skin.
Close your eyes for a moment and take a few deep, long breaths in and out through your nose. As we move through this set of facial exercises, try to keep that calming breath going.
We’re going to start with the neck and work up the face, finishing at the forehead.
For the first exercise, turn your head to one side and tilt your chin up and slightly back. Keep your lips together as you move your tongue up and down from the roof of your mouth.
You’re aiming for a speed of about one per second. Do thirty on one side and then repeat on the other side.
You’ll feel this move working the muscles in your neck and under your chin. Over time, this helps to lift the muscles and tighten the skin, reducing any sagging or signs of a double chin.
2. Lower Face
Our next exercise targets the muscles in your lower face, but you’ll also feel it working the front of your neck.
Make an ‘O’ shape with your mouth and tuck your lips around your teeth. You don’t need to over-express or over-stretch your mouth here. Just a small, gentle ‘O’ is enough.
Keeping your lips tucked around your teeth, move your mouth into a small smile shape, with the corners lifting upwards. Go back to an ‘O’ and then back to a smile, alternating between them for around thirty seconds to a minute.
Hold your mouth in the smile shape and place your index finger on your chin. Your finger is there to provide support and a bit of resistance, making your muscles work harder.
Keep your mouth in this smile shape as you scoop your jaw up and out, then back into position. Do this three times as you tilt your head back and then three times as you move it forwards again.
Repeat the move around five times.
When you finish, take a deep breath in through your nose and then sigh it out through your mouth to release any tension that has built up in your face. Repeat this deep, releasing breath before you move on to the next exercise.
We’re moving up to the cheeks now. For this exercise, puff both your cheeks full of air. Breathe through your nose as you transfer the air from one cheek to the other.
You might see or feel some little lines appearing around your mouth as you do this move, especially above your upper lip. If you do, just use your fingers to smooth out those lines.
It’s important with face yoga that we don’t create any new lines that weren’t there before. We’re aiming to do the opposite! The idea is to reduce lines by lifting and toning the muscles and smoothing the skin attached to them.
Continue to move the air in your cheeks from one to the other for around thirty seconds to a minute.
Place your middle fingers on the inside corners of your eyes and your index fingers on the outer corners. Your fingers make a ‘V’ shape around each eye.
Move your eyes to look up, keeping your head still. Then, half-close your eyes by moving your lower eyelids up.
You’re feeling for a little shake or pulse in the muscles beneath your index fingers. Don’t worry if you don’t feel it at first, especially if you are new to this move. It can take a few tries before you find the sweet spot. Just keep persevering and you’ll get there.
Hold the half squint for two to three seconds, then release. Take the position again, holding and releasing five to ten times.
This exercise can feel like hard work. If you are finding it too much, you can try placing your middle fingers a bit higher, on the edge of your eyebrows. This works more of the muscle, but it doesn’t go as deep, so it might feel slightly easier.
Close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath in and out through your nose. Let your face relax again.
Our final exercise targets the muscles in the forehead.
Start by releasing any tension held in your forehead. Place the fingers of both hands in the centre of your forehead and smooth outwards a few times to relax the muscles.
Then, make two ‘C’ shapes with your index fingers and thumbs. Place your index fingers at the top of your forehead and your thumbs on your cheekbones.
Stroke your hands down until your index fingers are resting just above your eyebrows to smooth out any lines or wrinkles. Place your thumbs lightly on your cheeks – it doesn’t matter exactly where, just choose somewhere that feels comfortable.
Open your eyes wide and gently lift your eyebrows up, pushing against the resistance from your index fingers. Release down and repeat the action for thirty seconds to a minute.
You can do this fast or slow. Find a speed that feels right for you.
Finish by raising your eyebrows and holding for a count of ten. Release. Bring your hands back to the centre of your forehead and repeat the smoothing massage to flatten any lines and relax the muscles again.
To end the sequence, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths through your nose. Feel your abdomen expand and contract as you breathe.
We’re all done! Hopefully, this facial yoga sequence has left you with muscles that feel well-worked and relaxed. Doing this routine regularly will strengthen and lift the muscles in your face, giving you naturally toned and healthy skin.
If you are new to face yoga and would like some support making it a daily habit, my ten-day course is a great place to begin. It also comes with a digital copy of my first book, so you’ll have everything you need to get started.
Long-term face yoga enthusiasts might want to check out my teacher training courses instead. I have two – one for face yoga and one for facial gua sha. Both give you everything you need to teach these wonderful skills to others, so they are perfect for anyone who already works in beauty or wellness, or who is looking for a career change.