Every time you scowl, squint, glare, glower or grimace, you contract the underlying muscles around your eyebrows and forehead. At the same time, your skin becomes thinner and drier and loses its elasticity with age. Over time, the natural aging process, coupled with repeated facial expressions, creates wrinkles and furrows commonly known as frown lines. Facial exercises targeting the area can help make your skin more pliable and resilient, soften frown lines and restore a youthful appearance.
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The corrugator muscle, also known as the frowning muscle, has long, narrow fibers that cross the eyebrows and extend to the temples. You use this muscle to shield your eyes from glare, show disapproval or displeasure, and to express physical pain and emotional upheaval. As the corrugator muscle weakens, you can develop small lines near the temples and crow's feet at the outer corners of your eyes. Age and overuse of the muscle also produces vertical lines just above your nose -- corrugations -- or furrows between your brows.
To smooth frown lines, firmly press your fingertips on your corrugations and massage the area vertically for 30 seconds. Then massage the area horizontally, over the eyebrows and toward the temples. Finally, place your fingertips directly over your corrugations and massage your lines in a circular motion for 30 seconds. Take care not to dig your fingernails into your skin.
To smooth the frown lines across your forehead, work the frontalis muscle, a large muscle connected to the scalp. Massaging the muscle with the balls of your hands can help reduce wrinkles around the eyebrows and soften frown lines. M.J. Saffon, author of "The 15 Minute a Day Natural Face Lift," suggests performing the forehead smoother exercise on a daily basis for several weeks for noticeable improvement. Place the palm of your left hand on the left side of your forehead to hold the skin tight. Simultaneously, press the palm of your right hand on your forehead and massage the area in a circular motion, always moving away from the center of your face. Repeat on the other side of your face.
The "surprise me" facial exercise has multiple benefits, according to Annelise Hagen, New York City-based yoga instructor and author of "The Yoga Face." It can smooth the brow area, dewrinkle the forehead, and firm and lift the ring muscles around your eyes. Open your eyes wide as in surprise, but do not wrinkle your forehead. Look at a point in the horizon for 10 seconds. Repeat the exercise five times. Not only is this exercise easily mastered, but you can you perform it anywhere.
- "The 15 Minute a Day Natural Face Lift"; M.J. Saffon; 1981
- "The Yoga Face"; Annelise Hagen; 2007
- Mayo Clinic: Wrinkles
- Frownlines: Welcome to the upcoming home of Frown Lines .org