In this blog post, we’re focusing on the mouth area and especially those vertical lines that can start to appear here as we get older. I’m going to run through five simple massage techniques you can use to reduce marionette and smile lines.
Marionette lines are the ones that run from the corners of our mouths to our chins. Smile lines, which are also known as nasolabial folds, run from the outside of our nostrils to our mouths.
In both cases, these lines tend to appear as we get older because we naturally start to produce less collagen and elastin, leaving our skin less plump and elastic. Sun damage can also play a part, as can tension and loss of strength in our facial muscles.
And just to say, there’s nothing wrong with having lines. Face Yoga is about having simple and effective tools to have healthy skin for the age we are. It is about loving our face and doing techniques from a place of gratitude. Yes Face Yoga can reduce wrinkles but always do this from a positive and loving mindset.
These five massage techniques focus on boosting blood circulation, releasing tension, and gently lifting the muscles. Done regularly, they can help to reduce marionette and smile lines.
If you prefer to follow a video, you can find this sequence on my YouTube channel too.
Before you begin, make sure you have clean hands and a clean face. Apply a few drops of serum to your skin – I use the Pro Lift Facial Moisturising Serum. Packed with organic seed oils, it is easily absorbed and non-greasy but gives a lovely glide that is ideal for face yoga. It’s also full of vitamins A, C, and E to deeply nourish your skin on a cellular level.
Find a comfortable place to sit or stand. You may want a mirror to hand, so you can see what you’re doing.
Start by taking a few deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nose. Allow your abdomen to rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale. Face yoga is as much about feeling good on the inside as looking good on the outside. Connecting with the breath is vital to give us that sense of inner calm and balance.
When you’re ready, begin to work through the following five techniques. I suggest spending about a minute on each. The whole sequence should take around 5-6 minutes, so it should be easy to fit into your existing routine.
1. Jaw to Nose
Place the index and middle finger of one hand on your jaw, just to one side of your chin. Using the index finger of your other hand, smooth up from those fingers to the outside of your nostril.
Lift off and return to your jaw to repeat the move. Continue for around a minute, then repeat this on the other side.
You can use whatever pressure feels right to you. I always encourage you to work to your own level with any face yoga techniques. Remember, harder doesn’t necessarily mean better – many techniques work best with just a light pressure, so don’t feel that you need to go harder than is comfortable.
The two fingers on your jaw are there to keep your skin taut and tightened as you work on this area. You may also find it helps to tilt your head slightly to one side as you do this massage.
This move aims to increase blood circulation, release tension, and gently lift the muscle.
Don’t forget to continue with your deep, long inhale and exhale as you work through this sequence.
Take your index and middle fingers and use both hands to tap quickly over your skin, moving up in a line from your jaw to the side of your nose.
When you reach your nose, lift your fingers off and come back to your jaw to repeat the move.
This technique is excellent for releasing tension, boosting blood flow, and encouraging collagen production.
3. V Massage
Form a ‘V’ shape with your index and middle fingers on both hands. Alternating hands, smooth across your mouth, keeping your lips together. Your index finger will run above your top lip and your middle finger comes across beneath your bottom lip.
This softens lines and helps to relax your lower face. It feels so calming too, especially when combined with the breath.
Using both hands, place your index and middle fingers together on either side of your chin. Glide up over your cheeks, opening your fingers to make a ‘V’ shape as you come up.
Continue until your middle finger is about level with your nostrils, then lift off and replace your fingers at your jaw to repeat the action.
This really helps to lift the muscles and is also great for reducing and preventing jowls.
You may see a little bit of redness or pinkness appear as you do this move, but don’t worry, this is a good thing – it shows that the blood is coming up to the surface of your skin, bringing all those nutrients and fresh oxygen with it.
Finally, use two fingers and your thumb to pinch down into the muscles around your mouth and lower cheek area. You can use a small twisting motion to get deeper into the muscle but be careful not to lift or drag at the skin here.
This technique works down into the muscles to release tension. It is also great for stimulating blood circulation, which in turn boosts collagen production and helps to reduce and prevent marionette lines and smile lines.
That’s it – five easy massage techniques you can do daily to reduce lines around the mouth area. You can make this part of your morning or evening skincare routine, or just do it whenever you have a spare five minutes throughout your day.
If you’d like to learn more about face yoga and facial massage, or even want to discover how you can teach these amazing techniques to other people, check out my Face Yoga Teacher Training Course.
Fully accredited by The International Institute for Complementary Therapists and the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine, the course gives you everything you need to know to teach face yoga to individuals or groups, online or in person.