By Diane Small
It seems that Botox is falling out of favour as increasing numbers of women become disenchanted with the frozen, waxy look associated with the product. Luckily, there are increasingly effective – and more natural – Botox alternatives and other ways of dealing with the first signs of ageing.
Easy to do just about any time, anywhere, the benefits of facial yoga are many: it can help delay the onset of wrinkles, prevent drooping and wrinkling of the skin, but it’s also relaxing and kind of fun!
Facial yoga exercises are a great thing for anyone to do, no matter what their age and no matter what their skin is like. As with any exercise, it’s never too early to keep muscles strong, boost collagen and elastin and relax tension, right?
Here, Danielle answered some of our questions and shares some of her favourite Face Yoga exercises with us.
Can Face Yoga reverse existing issues as well as prevent them?
Yes. As we age we lose our muscle tone which means the skin attached to those muscles sags, causing lines and loose skin. Simply toning this muscle helps to lift and tighten the skin again. Just like body exercise, it is never to late to start and build strength. I have even had clients in their 90s seeing results from Face Yoga!
What are the benefits of facial massage?
By regularly massaging the face using the techniques from The Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method, you will increase the circulation, lymph flow and remove toxins. This will reduce poor skin tone, puffiness and dark circles and allow the skin to look healthier and more youthful. The massage techniques will also increase the collagen and elastin, the natural plumping agents which will mean a firmer and healthier complexion.
Besides massage and yoga, what else does your Facial Yoga involve?
Acupressure: this age-old technique works by pressing on certain points on the face. This can increase the flow of the subtle energy or prana in the face. This therefore reduces tension, increases circulation and gives a healthy glow to the skin. I also incorporate some relaxation: by learning to relax tension in the face this will help to reduce and prevent the deep sets lines and wrinkles caused by stress, squinting or grimacing, giving the face a more open, youthful look.
What are the best moves for the eyes?
To reduce lines and wrinkles around the eyes and to make the eyes more open and energized, put both your middle fingers together between your eyebrows then apply pressure to the outer corners of your eyes with your index fingers. Look up and start to move the lower eyelids upwards, making a strong squint. Then relax and repeat 6 more times. To finish squeeze your eyes shut for 10 seconds then relax.
What about for jowels and sagging skin?
Try the giraffe to tone and lift the jowl and neck area. Looking straight ahead place your finger tips on the top of your neck and lightly stroke the skin down as you tilt your head back. Bring your head back down and repeat twice more. Then jut your lower lip out as far as possible, place your fingers on your collarbone and point your chin upwards, pulling the corners of your mouth down. Hold for 4 deep breaths.
And to tighten cheeks?
I designed the Smile Smoother to reduce lines around the mouth and to lift and firm the cheeks and jaw. Hide your teeth with your lips and make an O; shape with the mouth. Then, smile as wide as you can and keep hiding the teeth. Repeat 6 times. Next, hold the smile shape and place one index finger on the chin. Then start to move your jaw up and down as you tilt your head back. Relax and repeat twice more.
Is there anything you can do for the forehead?
Yes, you can increase collagen and elastin in the forehead to smooth the skin in this area. Using all the finger tips, gently stroke outwards at least 3 times.
How often do you need to practice? How long for?
The full Danielle Collins Face Yoga Method consists of a 10 minute upper face workout and a 10 minute lower face workout. These workouts can be done together as a 20 minute session or as two 10 minute sessions at different times of the day. It should be done 6 days a week. This is the ideal and this is what you should do to see results very quickly. However anything is better than nothing. Even picking a couple of exercises and doing them daily can have a positive effect. Face Yoga works in the same way as Yoga for the body or indeed any exercise for the body. We know we may feel a bit better doing a few sessions or even look a bit better but to see real results we must do this regularly. This time shouldn’t be looked at as a chore though. It is a wonderful pampering time for you.
When will I start to see results?
You will see and feel some difference straight away. Your muscles may feel they have had a good workout (just like with body exercise), you will see and feel less tension in the face and you will have a rosy glow due to increased circulation and better lymphatic drainage. Everyone has different faces so the time it takes to see changes varies from person to person. As a general rule you will start to see more of a long term improvement in your face and neck after 2 weeks. After 2-4 months, you will notice you have less fine lines and less tension and people will notice you look healthier and more energised. Within 6 months people have reported that they look and feel many years younger and feel more relaxed within themselves.
Remember that taking two sessions of 10 minutes each for yourself to do this every day will also do wonders for your overall wellbeing and stress levels. This time to relax, do something for you, and knowing you will look and feel better as a result may mean you also notice yourself feeling calmer and happier. How we feel on the inside radiates out through our faces. This is why my Method is called Face Yoga rather than simply ‘Face Exercises’.