The faces of young people tend to be round and full, but as you grow older, muscle tone will likely diminish, and jowls and eyelids may droop. Illness or weight loss can also cause a face to become more gaunt. A cosmetic surgeon can inject "fillers" to give a thin face a more youthful appearance, or you can practice facial exercises to build the muscles and promote a fuller face.
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In her book "Ageless If We Dare," Louise Annette says the most influential facial muscles to exercise are the cheek muscles. She claims regularly exercising the cheeks not only encourages a fuller face, but also lifts drooping jowls and gives the jawline a more defined appearance, as this area "hangs" off the cheeks. To tone the cheeks muscles, put your thumbs at the back of the fleshy part of the cheeks, under the outer end of the cheekbones. Use the side of your index fingers to grasp as much flesh as possible and pull it outward, away from the face. Using the cheek muscles, suck the flesh back toward the back of your teeth. As you suck in, count to 10. Repeat 20 times, every other day.
Imagine two diagonal lines, running from the corners of your mouth to your temples. Grasp as much flesh as you can along the diagonal by using your thumbs and the sides of your index fingers. Pinch firmly, while moving the corners of your mouth toward your temples. Hold your mouth corners in a raised position for a few seconds. Repeat 20 times.
Senta Maria Runge was an early devotee of facial exercise. Her book "Face Lifting by Exercise" was originally published in 1961. To lift and tone the cheeks, Runge says to place your thumbs inside your mouth with the pads positioned in the center of the nasolabial folds that run from the corners of the nostrils to the mouth. Push your thumbs outward, and grasp the flesh with the side of your index fingers. Pull down a little and slowly attempt to smile, working against the resistance caused by your thumbs. Remove your hands, and repeat five times. The exercise should be performed every day for best results.
- MedlinePlus: Aging Changes in the Face
- “Face Lifting by Exercise”; Senta Maria Runge; 1961
- "Ageless If We Dare"; Louise Annette; 2009