Facial exercise are said to reduce signs of ageing, but skin care brands are not yet making the most of the trend
YouTube/Face Yoga Method
Millions of consumers across the globe have rolled out their matts and put on their stretchy trousers this January to beat the winter blues with yoga.
The exercise and spiritual modern phenomenon rooted in 5,000 years of ancient texts and traditions, isn’t likely to dwindle anytime soon. According to a recent Yoga Journal, the wellness practice is currently worth £80bn globally.
But now more consumers are taking the discipline out of the studio and into the bathroom by incorporating face yoga into their daily beauty routine, even Princess to be Meghan Markle is said to be a fan of facial exercises.
Face yogi’s claim the ‘workout’ can reduce signs of ageing, banish wrinkles and sagging jawlines – and now there is science to back it up.
Researchers from Northwestern University in the US found that a 30 minute daily or alternate-day face exercise programme sustained over 20 weeks improved the appearance of middle-aged women.
The first scientific study of its kind assessed 27 women, aged 40 to 65 years-old, who had been taught 32 facial exercises and practised the movements daily for 20 weeks.
Dermatologists then analysed photos of the women (taken before, during, and after the assessment period) with a standardised facial aging scale. The skin experts discovered that upper cheek and lower cheek fullness were significantly enhanced.
Dr Murad Alam, Professor of Dermatology at Northwestern University, said: “The exercises enlarge and strengthen the facial muscles, so the face becomes firmer and more toned and shaped like a younger face.”
The dermatologists estimated the participant’s average over the course of the study, which started at 50.8 years, dropped to 49.6 years at eight weeks and then to 48.1 years at 20 weeks.
“Assuming the findings are confirmed in a larger study, individuals now have a low-cost, non-toxic way for looking younger or to augment other cosmetic or anti-ageing treatments they may be seeking,” Alam added.
In London there is now an exercise studio dedicated to the fad. Face Gym is a boot camp designed to work the 40 muscles in the face, but with each ‘Facecamp’ session costing more than £500, it’s a beauty experience that many consumers cannot afford.
So how can beauty brands benefit from the study and the growing wellness trend? While there are brands advocating the uses of massager rollers or sonic systems for deep cleansing, it’s a struggle to find many that are capitalising on the face yoga movement.
However, face yoga expert and practitioner Danielle Collins (pictured below) has spent over a decade bringing the anti-ageing exercise into the mainstream and argues brands are slowly realising NPD opportunities.
“Beauty brands are understanding that skin care products and treatments can be complimented very well with face yoga,” she said.
“It also adds a holistic approach to any beauty products or treatments as many companies are understanding that great skin comes from looking at the whole person’s body, mind and lifestyle as well as what we see on the surface of the skin.”
While face yoga may be a natural fit for wellness driven cosmetics brands, it would also suit companies interested in the older millennial who are keen to ward off signs of ageing in a natural way.
With more brands tapping athleisure, it will be interesting to see whether sun salutations really have a place in skin care.
“Face Yoga is a trend that’s here to stay,” claims Collins. “People are also understanding that when it comes to exercise, we shouldn’t stop at the neck, the muscles in the face need care too.”