7 Facial Exercises To Tone & Tighten
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photo credit: Gia Canali Photography 

We all know how beneficial yoga is for our mind, body, and spirit. But did you know it can actually help in the beauty department, too? Just as it sculpts your body--certain exercises can have a major impact on the elasticity and tone of your face.

So how does it work? Facial yoga is designed to stimulate collagen, increase blood circulation, and provide more oxygen which gives you that supple, tighter-looking skin. To put it simply, it's an non-invasive way to prevent or treat fine lines, sagging, and wrinkles with no down time. All you need is 20 minutes a day, six times a week, and patience.

Depending on the severity of your skin, some people start seeing results within a couple weeks. In my opinion, it's also a great preventative measure. I wish I would have known about it in my twenties! You better believe I would have taken full advantage.

The added bonus? You can do these practically anywhere. All you need is clean hands and a sense of humor. I say a sense of humor because you'll probably feel ridiculous at first. But, trust me--it's worth it.

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For added benefit, I also like to add in some essential or anti-aging body oils. My must-have is the Absolute Anti-Aging Body Oil by the natural skincare line, UMA Oils. It's formulated with nature's most potent botanicals to transform and treat aging skin. Read more about it here.

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Depending on your need, UMA Oils also carries a line of other calming and wellness oils that can be used for your stress relieving or other aromatherapy needs. To use in your facial yoga routine, massage 2-3 drops between your palms and rub gently with each movement.

Here are 7 facial exercises to get you started:  

1. Wake your face up: Reach back with your tongue as far as it will go and breathe evenly through a few breaths. It will feel a little strange at first—but it’s totally worth it. This action helps your whole body become alert, especially your face muscles, which makes it a good choice to start with.

2. Crease out fine lines: Spend some time creasing out fine lines in the face, like the vertical lines between your brows. Use your forefinger and thumb to push your eyebrows away from each other, which is the opposite direction that they go when frowning or squinting. I find this works best when using a few drops of face oil with the motion.

3. Stretch your eyelids: Eyelids tend to get heavier with age, so a little bit of stretching can help keep them healthy. Look upwards and raise your eyebrows at the same time. Then gently close your eyelids, while still looking up.

4. Smooth out crow’s feet: Place your forefinger on the temple, and thumb on the top of your cheekbone, to gently stretch out crow’s feet. This is another exercise that pairs well with the application of face oils.

5. Erase laugh lines: This is a fun one to do in front of the mirror. Suck the insides of your cheeks in, almost like you’re making a fish face. Hold for a few seconds, keeping your eyes wide open. Once your eyes start to water (which shouldn’t hurt!), you may blink and release the pose.

6. Define your jowls. Put two fingers to your closed lips to prevent air from escaping, and then fill your cheeks with air so they puff out. Hold for a few seconds then release with a soft exhale. This will raise everything in your face preventing the sagging in that area that comes with age.

Another great exercise to firm neck skin: Use the four fingers to massage upwards, starting at the collarbone and ending at the chin. Massage the neck alternatively with each hand using firm upward strokes. Repeat for about 20 quick strokes.

7. An all-over facelift: Place the index and middle finger of each hand firmly under the lower lip, and the thumb under the chin. (Your fingertips should be touching and creating a slight V that your chin can rest in). Move each hand up towards the ear with a firm sweeping motion along your cheeks. End with your thumbs on the dip just behind your ear—where the jawbone meets the bony part of your skull). Press the point gently but firmly with your thumb, applying even pressure for about 30 seconds. This stimulates the marma point attached to facial muscles and nerves, helping tone skin fight the appearance of wrinkles. Repeat 5-10 times.

For more information on how facial yoga can be beneficial to your beauty routine, check out this video from jewelry designer, Ranjana Kahn on Into The Gloss

Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.