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The Face is not a booty!

Gymnastics for the face has been very popular for several decades. It would seem that this is good.  No aggressive interventions, everything is natural and simple.  The internet is flooded with videos of beautiful girls holding a cork in their mouths doing facial exercises.  But not everything is so simple.

The effectiveness of any method must be confirmed by science. Unfortunately, there are no scientific studies confirming even the safety of facial exercises. 

Proponents of facial exercises due to the lack of basic knowledge of anatomy, don’t even think that a person can be hurt.

Their logic is simple: the buttocks look nice when they are pumped up. So, with the face, you need to act in the same way. After all, all the facial muscles are basically the same. The mistake is that the muscles of the face are treated like other muscles of the body.

 Meanwhile, the mimic and bodily muscles are arranged completely differently. Yes, they belong to the striated muscles and consist of bundles of muscle fibers. This is where their similarities end.  

What is the difference then? 

The skeletal muscle always has two points of fixation on the bones: the beginning and the end. These anchoring points, like a lever, ensure the movement of the bones to which they are attached.

Therefore, with the help of physical exercises, we can increase the strength of the tendons and create a powerful muscle relief.  Mimic muscles have only one attachment point – the bone.  

The other end of the mimic muscles are woven into the skin or another muscle. So, no matter how hard we try, we can’t build up the muscles of the face like we can with the press or biceps. These muscles don’t have a “foundation” like bones or fascia to which they could be attached from both sides.

To build muscle mass, fixation is needed, and the skin and subcutaneous tissue are too weak support for muscle contraction.  You think you’re building muscles, but you’re actually spasming them.

Furthermore, facial muscles lack thick fascial sheaths. They have a fascial membrane, but it is the thinnest, most tightly fused to the muscle fiber, and nearly inseparable from it. The gentlest vibration of the muscle fiber is immediately reflected in the fascia, causing it to move in response. The facial fascia serves as a “veil” for continuous sliding rather than a fulcrum. This is another of the differences between facial muscles and skeletal muscles.

There are some muscles in the face that are attached to the bone on both ends. These are the temporal, chewing muscles, as well as the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles.  They are involved in chewing and direct the movements of the lower jaw. Does that mean they can be pumped up? Unfortunately, in order to pump up a skeletal muscle, we also need a long lever: the levers on the limbs are long, so the force applied to them is significant. However, chewing muscles act on a small lever: jaw movement in the temporomandibular joint region. Significant force cannot be used here. 

Many will argue that there is a clear lifting effect after face fitness. Unfortunately, this is a false positive caused by muscle swelling and inflammation, which can lead to myofascial pain syndrome or facial nerve damage, which will require treatment from a neurologist. You would not wish for such “rejuvenation.”

In addition, the majority of “natural” face lifting methods rely on the incredible contraction of the muscles of the head and neck.

Take a closer look: during each such exercise, the neck moves into an unnatural position: it moves forward, its back surface shortens, and the occipital region spasms.  Particularly affected is platysma, the superficial muscle of the neck, the fibers of which eventually turn into strands. It makes no sense to deal with the face if your neck is in a deplorable state.  To maintain a youthful and healthy appearance, the neck muscles must be relaxed and healthy.

 So why make things worse?

If you still want to “pump up” your face, please consider the risks. 

When performing face fitness, it is important to consider the risks: inflammation and injury of the facial and trigeminal nerves, increased spasm of the muscles of the face, which means aggravation of circulatory disorders and deprivation of tissues of necessary nutrition.  It should be also noted that all exercises that “train” the masticatory muscles or the lower jaw lead to dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint, hyperfunction of the masticatory muscles, and therefore provoke neurological problems. 

Therefore, think carefully about whether you need such exercises. After all, in order to get rid of wrinkles and tighten your face, you do not need to pump up facial muscles, but systematically work on releasing muscle spasm and restoring blood circulation.  Face exercises are now hiding under a lot of names such as -face fitness, face-forming, face yoga, face-gym or other “unique  lifting methods “. 

Sometimes it is difficult to figure out where the truth is. But you must clearly understand: any technique must be based on well-conducted trials and have proven effectiveness.

The bottom line is that gymnastics is good for the body, but the face needs a massage.


Rose Minasian is a licensed esthetician with over 20 years of experience in the beauty industry, beginning her career in Israel. She is the creator of the Reconstructive Facelifting (RFL) massage - an effective, non invasive method of aesthetic face and neck correction, based on fundamental knowledge of the biomechanics of facial aging. In Hollywood, where looking your best is not just a personal goal but a job requirement, Rose caught the attention of celebrity actors and models, who have since relied on her assistance to get events, photo shoots and red carpet ready. The time-proven method has had the widest interest among professionals and served as an occasion to start teaching the method to professionals.