One of the first signs of an aging face is a hollow look under the eyes and in the cheek area. This is caused by the combined factors of weakening muscles and the effects of gravity over the years. Cosmetic surgeons attempt to recreate a youthful-looking face by inserting facial implants into the sunken areas; many prefer, however, to regain a fuller appearance to the face by performing facial exercises.
The Cheek Developer
The "Cheek Developer" forms part of the "Facercise" program formulated by Carole Maggio. The cheek developer exercises and strengthens the buccinator muscle, which forms the round part of the cheek. The exercise also develops the orbicularis oculi muscle, a circular muscle surrounding the entire eye area.
You can sit, lie down or even move around to perform this exercise. However, Maggio recommends performing it lying down for an extra "push." Place your index fingers horizontally on top of your cheekbones, and form an "O" shape with your mouth. Imagine there is a dot in the center of each lip, and position your lips wrapped over your teeth, in a manner that would allow the two dots to face each other. Push the corners of your mouth up into a smile, while still maintaining the position of your lips over your teeth. You will feel your cheeks lifting under your index fingers. Release the smile and repeat quickly 35 times.
Maggio recommends performing this exercise twice daily to add fullness to your upper cheeks.
The Lower Eyelid Strengthener
"The Lower Eyelid Strengthener" is another exercise devised by Maggio to strengthen the orbicularis oculi muscle. It firms the lower eyelid and diminishes hollows under the eyes, whilst also reducing puffiness.
When performing the exercise, alternate your sessions between sitting up or lying down. This allows you to work the muscle differently. Place your middle fingers at the inside corners of your eyes and your index fingers on the outside corners. Apply a little pressure. Look up toward your hairline, and make a squint with your lower lids. You should feel your eye muscles pulsing beneath your fingers. Squint and release 10 times, each time holding the pose for around five seconds. Your upper lids should be held wide open throughout the exercise.
In her book "Flex Effect" Deborah Crowley acclaims an exercise she calls "The Lip Press" to add fullness to the lips and the surrounding area. This exercise is very simple to perform and builds the orbicularis oris muscle that surrounds the entire mouth.
Curl your lips over your teeth, and bite down as though blotting. Applying enough pressure so the exercise is on the verge of feeling uncomfortable, and work from side to side for around one minute.
- Seattle Face: Cheek Augmentation
- "Carole Maggio Facercise"; Carole Maggio; 2002
- "Flex Effect Facial Resistance Training"; Deborah Crowley; 2002