Trends & research

Laughing is healthy

If someone says you should do more exercise to look fitter, younger and healthier, wouldn't you immediately think of areas like legs, bum and tum? Likely everyone does. When you're thinking about your inner balance, yoga springs to mind. Exercise and workouts for your face? Not so often.

Whether you’re tired and stressed, in a good mood or grumpy: people can tell this just by looking at your face. The condition of your skin is of course responsible for how you look, but when it comes to expression and mood, the facial muscles – known as mimic muscles – play a major role, too. 

You may be wondering why we've decided to talk about muscles on a site about skin, skin care and well-being. It’s very simple: We love looking after our bodies, skin and hair. That’s why we occasionally like to look at the wider picture and keep an eye out for trends, new developments and preferences. 

Unlike the rest of the body, where muscles work directly with tendons and bones, the facial muscles interact directly with the skin and soft tissue of the face. This inevitably means that these muscles have a role to play when it comes to skincare. This time around, when we cast our gaze over consumer trends it was face yoga that caught our eye. 

Good for the soul

While many people may not know it yet, it’s safe to say that we all practice it subconsciously in some form or fashion – hopefully on a daily basis. Take laughing, for example. It’s not only good for the soul, but it also exercises many facial muscles. In effect, you're in training for a good mood and looking great. It's simple, and you don't even have to make an effort.

Face yoga, or exercising facial muscles, is all about simultaneously strengthening, building up and stretching muscles and tissue, while relaxing the skin. In addition to their positive effects on the lymph vessels, these exercises stimulate better blood circulation. 

Face yoga enthusiasts swear by its anti-aging or reduced aging effects, with regular exercises allegedly helping to slow the skin's natural aging process. One reason for sagging skin and wrinkles in old age is that the facial muscles become less effective. When they become too weak, your skin sags. 

Of course, if we look at skin care in general, we can see that it isn't just weakening muscles that are responsible for sagging skin and deep face wrinkles. Lack of hydration, harmful environmental influences, a slowdown in the production of collagen and elastin as we age, and a general lack of care are other reasons why your skin’s appearance and condition may suffer. The psyche also plays a role. In other words, face yoga is not a silver bullet in the battle against aging skin.

Laughter is a bodily exercise precious to health.

Aristotle (384 – 322 BC), Greek philosopher

Persistence is important

That said, you don't need any special tools to do a wide variety of face yoga exercises. Although you can indeed use a jade roller or gua sha stone as part of a facial massage, usually all you need is your hands and fingers to exercise and to relax your skin. Gentle pressure, calmly stroking the skin and massaging different parts of the face can breathe life back into the muscles. However, you will only see results if you do these exercises regularly. In the same way that going jogging once and going to the sauna once aren't enough to lose weight, discipline and persistence are important. 

Theoretically, we could now explain some face yoga exercises, but as some face yoga experts recommend, getting the right guidance and support means you will make a better start. This might take the form of relevant YouTube tutorials or courses at a local yoga studio. If performed incorrectly, the exercises can have the opposite effect, with the facial muscles ending up even more tense than before.

Do you do face yoga? Tell us about your experiences and workouts. Send us your experiences and the results on Instagram. We look forward to receiving them. You can find us here

We shouldn't lose sight of the general feel-good effect. After all, if you do something that is good for your body, you are also doing your soul good. But let’s return briefly to the best form of muscle training. As Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted”. And as laughter is known to be healthy: make sure you practice. A good mood is guaranteed – both for you and those around you.