If you want to get toned, defined Michelle Obama arms, you might try pushups and planks. For six-pack abs, add some bicycle crunches to your gym circuit. So it makes sense that if you want to define and tone the contours of your face, you’re going to need to work those muscles, too, right?
Exactly, says Gary Sikorski, founder of Happy Face Yoga, a program designed to stimulate and work out the 57 muscles that hold up our face, neck and scalp.
“You’re strengthening your muscles and moving them back into place,” Sikorski tells NBC News BETTER about the face workout. “So the skin naturally follows and starts to smooth.”
It may sound like a futile time-suck for people with way too much time on their hands (and there are a lot of skeptics), but dermatologists at Northwestern University recently published a study that shows Sikorski’s facial exercise program might work.
The data suggest the exercises do help the face look younger (at least for more than a dozen women followed over the course of the study). But following the program will cost you — a chunk of time out of your schedule, that is. The women in the study spent 30 minutes daily for eight weeks, and 30 minutes every other day for 12 weeks after that, doing the exercises.
WHY THE EXERCISES MAY ACTUALLY CHANGE HOW YOU LOOK
One concern about the exercises was that they might actually create more wrinkles, frown lines and crow’s feet than they were getting rid of, says the study’s lead author Murad Alam, MD, Vice Chair and Chief of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern Medicine’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “But this didn’t happen in any of the participants,”.