Beauty techniques such as face yoga are increasingly catching the attention of social media-savvy users for being a natural solution to regaining one’s youthful appearance. Or is it just another fad?
Make a fish pout. Push back facial fat with fingers. Pinch the jawline in backward motion to sculpt and sharpen it. These are some of the classic face yoga techniques going viral on Facebook and Instagram with claims of giving the face a natural facelift.
Videos showing step-by-step procedures of face yoga and face sculpting techniques have flooded the Internet. The viral videos have also acted as a marketing tool for products like gua sha, a traditional Chinese healing method that uses a smooth-edged tool to press on the skin and stroke it, and face rollers that have now easily become available on several e-commerce platforms with a promise of helping the skin heal.
Owing to the trend, popular fitness chains like Cult.fit have introduced face yoga exercises through initiatives like a seven-day face yoga programme for glowing skin, anti-ageing, acne and pigmentation, facial fat, frown lines, wrinkles and removing dark circles and puffy eyes.
Jinali Sutariya, co-founder of travel, beauty and wellness blog TravelStoriesByUs, who was a part of the programme, shares that it has shown great results for her. “It’s tremendously slowed down my ageing process. I got rid of facial fat, acne and pigmentation. There has been a visible difference in my wrinkles too. My skin feels much younger, firm and healthier. I would definitely sign up for face yoga classes again,” adds Sutariya.
Cult.fit’s YouTube channel shows videos of exercises like kriya kapoldhauti, spinning water pose, balloon hold breathe pose, pulling pose and more to reach a wider consumer base.
Another practitioner of face yoga, Tarini Peshawaria, who is also a beauty blogger and influencer, shares that she noticed short-term results with face yoga and feels that it helps with her morning puffiness by increasing blood circulation. “I prefer the gua sha to jade rollers because of the way it’s shaped. It’s very easy to fit into the contours of the face. Once again, I either prefer using it chilled out of the fridge in the morning to de-puff my face or at night time with a facial oil to calm down my muscles,” she adds.
According to popular yoga acharya and author Ira Trivedi, if face yoga is practised consistently over a period of time and done correctly with the guidance of a teacher, it can really help make a difference. She shares that even something as basic as pressing the energy points on the face for two minutes after applying the morning lotion, can help with circulation and absorption of the product. She adds that it doesn’t have to be a long procedure but a short and handy one.
“Make sure you practise face yoga in daily life. It then becomes very simple and no separate routine is needed. While working on the computer, make sure you stop every hour and do some cupping, that could be good for dark circles. Use face rollers after applying the products for the better absorption of products. Use the gua sha tools for three minutes before sleeping. These can make a big difference. Incorporating three basic steps in daily routine becomes sustainable for you to practise,” adds Trivedi.
Fad vs fact
Face yoga is being promoted as a natural means and an alternative to facelifts and botox treatments, which are popular but come with risks of side effects and are artificial ways of looking younger. Several models and influencers on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook endorse the method and so, face yoga is catching up as a trend.
In January this year, actor and yoga enthusiast Malaika Arora, who co-owns wellness start-up Sarva Yoga, shared three facial exercises for a sculpted face —the balloon pose (for facial muscles to increase blood circulation), face tapping pose (for a flushed natural glow to the skin and to prevent ageing and wrinkles) and the fish pose (that stretches the neck and helps tone the jawline and chin).
Mira Kapoor, who recently turned a YouTuber, also put out a video on her channel showing her face sculpting routine for a tighter and glowing facial skin.
Yoga and meditation teacher Jenny Parmar explains that when any muscle of the body is exercised, over time with consistency it shows the results and it is the same with face yoga. “Face yoga is done to boost the blood and oxygen supply to your skin, which extends the cell’s life. This results in skin that is radiant and revitalised. By toning the muscles in your face with proper facial exercise training, one can reduce apparent indications of ageing,” she says. Parmar calls face yoga “safe for everyone” while adding that it is affordable as compared to the more expensive botox treatments and can be done in one’s own time.
However, dermatologists are wary of any permanent results of face yoga and feel that it could cause early wrinkles.
Dr Chytra Anand, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder of Kosmoderma Skin & Hair Clinics & skin care brand SkinQ, feels that face yoga is just a passing social media trend. “Face yoga is basically a set of muscular exercises for the face, which is a method for face toning. Due to the onset of the online content into our daily life and DIY concepts, face yoga has caught the attention. Face yoga increases the local circulation in that area to a certain extent because of the movement of the muscles needed to make the expressions,” she explains, while warning that the muscles on the face are extremely thin and yoga or other exercises will not strengthen this to the degree of causing anti-ageing benefits for the skin.
“It would boost circulation and lymphatic drainage in a localised area but it will not help one remain wrinkle free or delay the wrinkles. In fact, it’s the opposite. Face yoga would accelerate facial wrinkles and folds because of constant movement and these are called dynamic wrinkles,” adds Dr Chytra.
Dr Chytra suggests protecting the upper layer of the skin from UV radiation or sunrays through a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 40 on a daily basis and vitamin C serum or a vitamin C built into sunscreen for anti-ageing needs.
Fact or fad, face yoga has definitely interested the social media users but it is important to note that such things must be practised under the prior guidance of a professional.
Popular face yoga tips
- Try different face yoga poses like the balloon pose, lion’s breath, fish pose, face tapping pose
- Massage the cheek bones, brows in the upward directions with two fingers
- Hold the jawline with the index finger and thumb and sculpt it pushing it upwards from the chin towards the ear
- Use face rollers to massage face once a day or before going to bed
- Smile while making an ‘O’ with your lips so that the teeth are not visible to smoothen smile lines
- Stretch the forehead skin using fingertips from the middle of the forehead towards the outside (hairline) to smoothen the wrinkles on the forehead