Wifty’s menopause consultant Leen Steyaert on facial yoga and facial gymnastics for tight skin.

We train our body muscles but often forget our facial muscles. If you don’t train the muscles in your face, they become limp. After all, your facial muscles are the ‘carriers’ of your facial skin. Strengthening and stretching the facial muscles ensures better blood circulation, a firmer facial structure and a firmer skin.

I know from experience that it takes a lot of discipline and perseverance to do facial gymnastics every day. In addition, if you don’t do it the right way, it can actually cause wrinkles rather  than avoid it, because you’re going to make exaggerated grimaces. That is why I do not want to overwhelm you with a whole series of complicated exercises. I limit myself to the exercises that I have found to be effective. I do them very regularly and not always at the same time, but just when I have the time (for example, in the toilet or in the car).

To relax your neck and shoulders

This is a stretch for your neck, shoulders and jawline. It reduces the effort required to keep your head upright, improves posture and reduces a double chin.

  • Raise your right arm with your palm inward. Grab your head on the left and gently pull it to the side so that your right ear bends to your shoulder. Keep five to ten numbers.
  • The same on the other side.

To strengthen the floor of the mouth

Facial yoga exercise comes from ismakogie. A firm mouth bottom is important if you want to prevent a double chin. Exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor and exercises that you do with your arches also have a positive effect on your mouth floor. The arches, pelvic floor and corners of the mouth influence each other (both positive and negative).

  • Imagine having a candy in your mouth. Feather it against your palate. Feel what happens to your mouth and under your chin as a result of that movement. Feel along the outside with your fingertips.
  • Stand up straight and spring up with your arches (your big toes). Feel how your pelvic floor tightens and your tongue and mouth bottom also moves upwards. Do this while exhaling. You will notice that your diaphragm also comes up.

To strengthen the double chin and neck

  • Stand in front of the mirror, Do this rhythmically and quickly. Start doing this ten times and build up to twenty times. Be careful not to fold your lips.

To prevent wrinkles above your mouth

  • Wrinkles around the mouth are a typical feminine phenomenon. For starters, always try to relax your lips as squeezing the lips together enhances these lines even more.
  •  Gently stretch your lower lip over your lower teeth. Place your thumbs side by side under your upper lip.
  • Using the upper lip muscles, try to push your thumbs as hard as you can against your gums and teeth. Use your thumbs to apply an outward pressure, as if to push the upper lip forward. Start with your thumbs together and work your way up to the sides of your upper lip little by little.
  • Be careful not to push your upper lip up and the corners of your mouth outward.

Against drooping corners of the mouth

  • Take a look in the mirror and see if the corners of your mouth are hanging down. Hanging corners of the mouth make you look different from what you feel inside. They give you a sad, sometimes grim or even bitter look.
  •  Imagine smiling with the inside of your mouth or imagine you are pulling a string around the corners of your mouth and pulling it up towards your eyebrows. Over time, this becomes a habit and your corners of the mouth will hang less.
  • You can also help with the thumb and index finger of your right hand. Slowly push both corners of the mouth up about two centimeters. Release them and start over. Do this ten to twenty times a day.

To prevent drooping eyebrows and forehead wrinkles

  •  Place the sides of your index fingers horizontally against your forehead, just above your eyebrows. The tips of your index fingers touch.
  • Raise your eyebrows as far as possible, with the intention of forming horizontal forehead wrinkles. Stop the movement of your eyebrows by applying just enough downward pressure with your fingers.
  • Pay attention! The skin on your forehead should remain immobile during this exercise. Existing folds or wrinkles should not be accentuated. Do not compress your skin at the eyebrows. Also, be careful not to push your upper eyelids down.

To avoid wrinkles between the eyebrows

  • Place your fingertips side by side vertically against your forehead. Your little fingers are at the base of your eyebrows.
  • Frown your brows to the maximum, as if you want to form vertical lines on your forehead. Stop the movement of your skin by applying an outward pressure with your fingers.