A workout for your face

I was watching The Real Housewives of New York City last week, and the episode featured the ladies learning a bit of facial yoga. I’d heard about these particular exercises a few years ago, when this Time article came out, but had completely forgotten about it until I saw Ramona Singer making fish faces in a hot tub. I have to say — Ranjana Khan, who was showing the Housewives how to do it, had amazing facial tone. She looked 20 years younger than she actually was, and with NO cosmetic surgery. Maybe there’s something to this facial yoga thing!

I amused myself by looking around for different exercises, and not only found the Time article I’d read several years ago, but also this hilarious video. You can’t watch it without laughing, I guarantee (and consequently, I think the woman in this video is the same one pictured above…except that she appears to have been working out her face, um, more). Production values of the video not withstanding, I’ve been randomly doing a few of these exercises over the last couple days, and while nothing magical has happened, it is interesting to see how your face feels afterwards. Not exactly like a bootcamp workout…but you can definitely tell the muscles have been doing something.

Have any of you put facial yoga to work? Did you notice any changes? I mean, if it works, this is natural beauty at its best!

{Image Credits: Time Magazine}


Leave a Comment


  1. 8.6.12
    Christin said:

    I think talking a lot is also facial exercise :) Worked for my mom & grandmother.

  2. 8.6.12
    rita said:

    too funny! one of my yoga instructors used to have us do some of these exercises so we were totally relaxed for class and it did feel different, but good! i may try these before i go to sleep tonight! the other best tip i’ve received re: skin and wrinkles is to smile as much as possible, because smiling is good for your face (and makes you happier) and smile-lines are always viewed favorably. not sure if the skin implications are true but it’s worth trying!

  3. 8.6.12
    Anna said:

    Haha, this was both interesting and funny. I’ve never heard of this! I’m going to have to start doing it. No better time than when I’m blogging. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 8.6.12

    Haha I was totally doing this while reading your post. So funny!

  5. 8.6.12
    Clara said:

    Ha I totally saw that episode too and have been thinking of doing face yoga ever since!

  6. 8.6.12
    Bettina said:

    I think Ranjana was onto something here! You can tell there’s no botox because of the lines when she scrunches her forehead, but when she’s not scrunching her skin is amazing for her age. I might start these exercises up!

  7. 8.8.12
    Gary said:

    Another wonderful program is Happy Face Yoga

  8. 8.18.12
    nicole said:

    i am so happy people are finding out about this. honestly the propensity for younger and younger women to start freezing their faces is just terrifying. what they don’t realize is in 30 years they will have atrophied all of their underlying facial muscle, and then obviously need a face lift!! i’ve been do eva’s facial workouts since i was 24, i’m 32 now, http://www.evafraser.com/ and i SWEAR they make my face feel just as toned as my body after working out. pick up your muscles and put down the needles!!!

  9. 8.20.12
    Daisy said:

    I speak as a 40-year-old who’s never done botox and who has no lines on her forehead, so…here goes: If you feel these exercises are working, it’s a placebo effect, pure and simple. Scrunching your face into some of these “postures” will make your wrinkles worse, not better. The posture in picture No. 3 is guaranteed to worsen your nasolabial folds, while the posture in pic 4 is guaranteed to give you “cigarette” fine lines around your mouth.

    If you want to limit lines, and drooping, the last thing you should be doing is contorting your face. Don’t let a get-rich-quick quack tell you otherwise. To prevent dynamic lines (lines caused by facial expressions), you should try to keep your face fairly still. Don’t want forehead lines? Limit your eyebrow-raising. It’s that simple.

    Staying out of the sun/wearing hats, eating a nice diet with lots of healthy fats, getting good sleep and getting lucky with genetics also help keep wrinkles at bay.

    Fact is, if this facial-yoga stuff worked, plastic surgeons would be out of business. Because who wants to spend thousands of dollars and go under knife and needle if they don’t have to?

    Here’s a piece that explains why this theory is bogus (your skin is separate from your facial muscles) and explains some of the more problematic results of some of these expressions (i.e., potential “horse” jowls):


    And another more recent article:

    “According to Papay, heavily used face muscles are a cause of wrinkles such as crow’s-feet and frown lines, not a remedy. If someone has suffered a stroke that paralyzes half of the face, he says, the paralyzed side tends to look smoother and less wrinkly than the active side. Likewise, he explains, Botox injections work by paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles. “These exercises would have the opposite effect.”