Beautiful young woman doing face yoga poses

We all know that exercise and physical fitness improves our overall health, increases our energy level and boosts our mood. But can daily facial exercises –– sometimes referred to as facial yoga — reverse the signs of aging?

A study published in JAMA Dermatology followed a small group of middle-aged women for 20 weeks and measured improvements in the appearance of their faces after daily and alternate-day face-toning routines.

In the study, 27 women, age 40 to 65, performed a series of facial-toning exercises daily for eight weeks, and then every-other-day for another 12 weeks.

When dermatologists in the study reviewed before and after photos of the study participants, they saw improvements in upper and lower cheek fullness and estimated the average age of women (who stuck with the program) as younger at the end than at the start.

However, Dr. John Chi, a plastic surgeon and assistant professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, said the study raises more questions than it answers.

Chi, who was not involved with the study, said he would recommend facial yoga to patients who found it relaxing and enjoyable, but not for the purpose of facial rejuvenation.

“While the premise of facial exercises to improve the facial appearance or reverse signs of aging is an appealing one, there is little evidence to suggest that there is any benefit in this regard,” he said.

Read the full Reuters Health article here.

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Dr. John Chi is a board-certified, fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon in west St. Louis County with a clinical practice focused only on the aesthetics and function of the face, head and neck. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 314-996-3880.