OK, we might be exaggerating just a little. But these new face yoga poses promise to relax your fine lines into smooth submission. Worth a shot? We think so...
Ryan Lochte, KStew the "Trampire," and the election are trending right now. You know what else is spreading through the digital world like a cute cat video? Face yoga !
From the Botox-addicted Desperate Housewives to the celebs who will try any and every anti-aging treatment (yes, you, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston), everybody is crazy for face yoga lately. Is one of your eyebrows raised as you read this? That's face yoga! (Kind of.)
Face yoga is a series of exercises that promise to do for your face what yoga does for your body: relax and tone muscles. So, I set out to investigate if making these targeted (not to mention ridiculous) facial expressions can really prevent -- and even reverse -- wrinkles and sagging.
Skip ahead to see the 6 face yoga poses that'll prevent signs of aging.
Some plastic surgeons and derms say sorry, face yoga is absolute nonsense. "The earlier you start face yoga, the earlier you'll get wrinkles," says cosmetic facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey Spiegel, MD. "You don't get wrinkles from loss of elasticity in your muscles; you get wrinkles in your skin. And repetitive movement creates creases in the skin. It's like folding a piece of paper." Translation? Even if you have the facial muscles of the Incredible Hulk, all that flexing and stretching is also stretching out your skin, ultimately causing wrinkles.
But proponents of face yoga say that it can relax your face, which ultimately smoothes those tension-filled expressions we make every day without even realizing it. And just relaxing those usually contorted facial muscles can give you a natural face lift. Who needs Botox to freeze muscles into a smooth, relaxed state when face yoga can do something similar?
"Relaxing the facial muscles, especially where we hold tension -- like the jaw, brow, and forehead -- can counteract the wrinkle-causing grimacing we do on a daily basis," says Annelise Hagen, a New York yoga instructor and author of "The Yoga Face: Eliminate Wrinkles with the Ultimate Natural Facelift."
"Since the muscles on our faces can't lift weights or go on the treadmill, when you apply pressure with your fingertips or make certain facial expressions, you're toning and strengthening the muscles," she says. "I would never say face yoga eradicates all lines, but it can definitely change the downward drift."
Alright, so the jury's still out on just how effective face yoga is. But I was convinced enough to try it myself. If doing these exercises can make me look like I spent a week on the beach reading "50 Shades of Grey," I'm game to give it a go. Here are the six face yoga poses that seem to do more good than harm
Surprise me To smooth your forehead …
Widen your eyes, trying to expose as much of the white in your eye as you can. Hold that until your eyes start to water.
How it works: By holding this expression, Hagen says you're exercising the muscles around your eyes and your forehead, erasing the negative effects of scowling by doing the opposite action.
Get cheeky To firm your cheeks …
Take a big breath through your mouth, then puff the breath from cheek to cheek like a bullfrog; then release.
How it works: This pose strengthens your cheek muscles and prevents them from becoming thinner and looking hollow. "If you look at people who play the saxophone, they always have firm cheeks. When you use a muscle in a specific way, it changes the facial appearance. So do this if you want toned,
Crow, crow, fly away To get rid of crow's feet …
Imagine winking with your lower lid. Kind of hard, right? Hagen says it'll take some practice, but your brain will learn how to do this quickly. First, lift and release your lower lid gently without moving any other facial muscles. Then add a little bit of fingertip pressure in the outer crease of the crow's feet, which creates some pressure for the muscle to work against. Just make sure you don't drag or pull the skin, says Hagen, since that area is very sensitive. You also want to make sure the skin is clean and slightly moisturized so it's not tight.
How it works: By exercising the muscles around your eyes, you're firming the skin to keep it from folding into itself, which creates wrinkles.
Puppet face To lift nasal labial folds …
Smile with your teeth showing, then gently press your fingertips into the creases between your nose and lips. Lift the muscles up and press your fingertips down into the muscles for slight resistance.
How it works: One of the best signs of youth are plump, round cheeks, which is why people use injectables to fill the area. Instead, Hagen says to try this exercise, which will "strengthen the muscle so that it doesn't become slack." "When your fingertips push into facial muscles, the muscles push back, which is what makes them stronger and fuller," she says.
Baby bird To prevent your chin and neck from sagging …
Press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, then smile and swallow while pointing your chin at the ceiling.
How it works: While you may never forget to slather SPF on your face, your neck may often get skipped -- and that's why the neck is one of the first places to show signs of aging. Hagen says this pose is "great at tightening the jaw, since you're working out your chewing muscle and the platysma, which is the muscle that surrounds your upper chest, collarbone, and neck," she says.
Buddha face To reset your face to a neutral, unlined state …
Saying your "oms" can relax more than your mind, it may work to relax those lines on your face as well. Good news: This exercise is the easiest of all of the face yoga poses. Hagen says all you have to do is "imagine the face of Buddha superimposed over your face like a Photoshop filter." Just close your eyes, visualize the point between your eyebrows, and make a very slight smile.
How it works: Hagen says this pose can "reset your facial habits" -- almost like rebooting your computer. "Most people don't realize they're grimacing. It's an unconscious thing. But repeated scowls create wrinkles. This pose helps offset those line-making expressions."
Mom once said “beauty starts skin deep,” and chances are you didn’t believe her back then, but in this age of beauty shortcuts, hopefully you believe those words of wisdom now. Now that your relaxing summer vacation has left you bloated, cramping and plain-out exhausted, sip your way back to gorgeous with these beautifying drinks, recipes and tips you won’t want to skip out on. Bottoms up!
You may already have heard of this super food but if you haven’t, chia seeds should be on the top of that grocery list. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and B-complex vitamins, chia seeds give your skin an instant glow while taming even the worst of skin inflammations and breakouts. You can DIY a chia drink, like this Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca by Oh My Veggies, or you can sip it up the simply way with Drink Chia ($35.95/12 on shophwc.com), a 40 calorie energy drink alternative in juicy flavors like Honeysuckle Pear and Strawberry Citrus. Just shake it up baby!Courtney Levia
10 Nail Myths to Stop Believing You’ve heard of Myth Busters, but we’re about to take it to a whole new level – Beauty Myth Busting! To be more specific, it’s all about your nails and how you take care of them. Here are ten myths that have not been proven true, some seemingly more outrageous than others. It may just change the way you view your nails! We want the best for our nails after all, so hopefully after reading this, you’ll be more informed (and nail-savvy!). (via BeautyPress)
1. Eating gelatin will strengthen weak nails. While it’s true that nails are made of a protein called keratin and that gelatin too is a protein, there’s never been any scientific proof that gelatin does anything to strengthen nails. By the same token, despite the fact that there are trace amounts of calcium in the nail, downing more milk or other calcium-rich products won’t do anything to strengthen nails either. Overall good nutrition, including adequate protein, is the way to go for strong nails.
2. Enhancements should be soaked off every so often to “give nails a break”. As long as your nail tech is using high-quality products and correctly applying them, there’s no reason to remove your enhancements. In fact, this should be avoided, as removing artificial nails can be potentially damaging. Ask your tech how to properly maintain your enhancements between visits, so you don’t get any cracks or other signs of service breakdown. If you decide to take a break from polish or enhancements (which can be removed safely if need be), try a month of regular buffing and applying cuticle oil to add moisture and seal the nail.
3. Avoid nail products that have chemicals in them. This would be literally impossible to do, because virtually everything you see and touch is a chemical (even purified water). There is no such thing as a “chemical-free” nail product (or as an “all-natural” artificial nail product). That said, improperly used chemicals can cause harm, so seek to understand the ingredients in the products your nail tech is using, but don’t avoid them altogether.
4. Enhancements ruin natural nails. Today’s nail products are dramatically advanced and don’t require your nail tech to damage your natural nails during application or removal. If you experience pain, discomfort, or thinned or damaged nails, it’s most likely due to a nail tech misstep. (Look at your natural nails after your nail tech files them, they should NOT be noticeably thinner.) Also, don’t pick, chew, or mistreat your enhancements, because that could lead to natural nail damage.
5. Store nail polish in the fridge to make it last longer. If you constantly remove the polish from the fridge, use it, and put it back, it makes no difference to the polish’s shelf life. However, it is true that if you leave polish in the fridge for at least a few weeks at a time it will slow the over-thickening of the polish’s thickening agents, thereby making it last longer. (Just make sure you bring the polish back to room temperature before opening, or water condensation will affect its quality.) The best way to increase the shelf life of polish is to make sure it’s resealed properly after use to prevent the solvents from evaporating — this means closing it tightly as soon as you’re done using it, making sure all polish is removed from the bottle’s neck, and tightly sealing the cap.
6. That green stuff on some people’s nails is mold. Mold is not a normal nail pathogen. It very rarely can appear on nails, but it will appear brown or black, not green. The vast majority of nail infections are actually caused by bacteria, including pseudomonas, which show up as green discoloration of the nail. It’s illegal for your nail tech to make a diagnosis of what’s causing the discoloration (and she must refuse to service you — at least until you bring her a doctor’s note), but she may be able to recommend a doctor for you to get the greenie checked out.
7. Plunging wet nails into ice water will make them dry faster. Your nail tech doesn’t do this for you in the salon because it wouldn’t work. To get polish to dry requires the evaporation of solvents. This is why your tech puts you in front of a warm fan.
8. Never file back-and-forth on a natural nail. Filing back and forth won’t harm the natural nail plate if the proper abrasives and the correct downward pressure are used, meaning a 180-grit or higher file and a light touch. Don’t use a file with a grit below 180 on your natural nail because it can cause excessive damage no matter what type of filing motion is used.
9. Cutting cuticles is good for nail health. What you’re calling “cuticle” is actually the “eponychium” (cuticle is the dead skin that’s on the nail plate, whereas the eponychium is living skin). Cutting eponychium isn’t recommended, and is actually illegal in some states, because too often the living skin that protects the matrix is cut and infections occur. Plus, over time cutting eponychium can lead to thickened scar-like tissue. Instead, soak your nails in warm water for 10 minutes and push back with something soft (like a towel) or just use a liquid cuticle remover to dissolve the dead skin on top of the nail.
10. I should bring my own implements to a salon to keep myself from contracting an infection. Let’s face it, the environment in your purse (where you’re probably storing your nail implements) is much less sanitary than the environment of a nail salon that complies with your state’s rules and regulations for salon sanitation. Instead of bringing your own implements (which your nail tech would be required to disinfect herself before using, wasting your valuable time), ask the tech questions about her sanitation practices and if she’s compliant with all state board requirements. If you feel uncomfortable about the salon’s cleanliness, then leave without getting a service.
We spend hundreds, perhaps thousands, on professional skin care products in an attempt to repair our skin from the harmful influences of life, stress, and age. However, do we adhere to simple skin beauty tips regularly and consistently? What I am referring to are the basics of skin health: hydration, vitamins, and sleep. While professional skin care products may make good on their promises of younger, smoother skin, they tend to cost a pretty penny. I believe the wonders of water are far underrated. Drinking the typical 8 glasses a day is a start, but go a step further and fill a plant sprayer or mister with filtered water. I spray this on my face frequently throughout the day to hydrate my skin, and to counter some of the environmental dirt and grime that clings to the skin. Have you ever been to a spa or seen someone put slices of cucumbers on their eyes? Doing this feels amazing! Not only do the cucumber slices renew and rejuvenate the eyes but another benefit of this cucumber eye treatment is that the stress relief and relaxation this promotes will reduce your stress thus limiting frown lines and potential wrinkles.
As for nutrition, I think we all now the merits of getting a well-balanced diet and ingesting enough nutrients to influence your skin’s appearance. I like to take a generic brand multi-vitamin daily; while I try and eat well, I feel that this daily supplement gives my regimen a little boost. Also, I try and purchase Vitamin E capsules whenever they are on sale or I have a coupon. These are good to have on hand for any skin burns or skin wounds that need some help healing. Vitamin E also has miraculous scar-fading properties; it will diminish the appearance of scars, soothe burns, and promote healing for literally pennies a day.
Finally, sleep is the secret weapon that the manufacturers of professional skin care products don’t tell you about! Getting a regular, consistent sleep cycle will lend smoothness and that radiant glow that we all seek. Don’t you love skin beauty tips that are virtually free?
Be vigilant about these basic skin beauty tips and you may never spend good money on professional skin care products again!