Most plastic surgeons know how facial exercise alone can achieve a firm, ageless looking face, but neglect to tell their patients about non-surgical facelifts.
As we age, gravity tends to win and we start sagging. A good and regular facial workout, however, will reverse your tired look.
Do these exercises daily. The difference will be noticeable within a week because facial muscles are so small.
If you find doing them in one go is tedious, slot them in while you watch television, when the kettle boils, each time you look in the mirror, while lying in the bath, sitting on the toilet or driving. Incorporate them into your day because it is like having a non invasive facelift with the only cost being your time, and without the swelling, complications and price tag of a surgical face lift.
For the under eye lid
Place an index finger at the outer corner of each eye and your middle fingers at the inner eye corners.
Squint strongly with your lower eyelids, trying to move them up. By squint I do not mean roll your eye balls in, I mean clench your lower eye lid with your eyes open wide.
Squint and release ten times.
Now hold the squint and think UP. Keep your lower eyelids taut as you count to 40, and focus on the outer and inner eye muscles flexing.
Strengthen and lengthen your neck
Sitting upright, tilt your head back and look up at the ceiling, with your lips closed and relaxed.
Start puckering your lips together in a kiss and stretch the kiss, as if you were trying to kiss the ceiling.
Keep your lips puckered for ten counts.
Relax and bring your head back to normal.
Repeat five times.
Tighten the skin on your forehead, smooth frown and worry lines
This exercise trains the forehead muscles to work together instead of rippling. It might not feel like anything is happening, but if you look carefully in the mirror as you do it, you can see the muscles twitching:
Cover your forehead with the palm of one hand, holding it firmly.
Pushing against the resistance of your hand, push the forehead muscle toward the top of the head.
Hold for a second, then relax.
Repeat ten times.
Eradicate frown lines
Sitting or lying down, place both your index fingers on the forehead so they are parallel to the top of each brow.
Pull the fingers down so they are half a centimeter above the brows.
While your fingers are pressing down, concentrate on pushing the eyebrows up. Then release.
Push up and release ten times.
Now hold your eyebrows in the up position, continuing to keep your fingers pressed down, and do eyebrow push-ups until you feel a tight band of pressure above the brows.
Hold them up and build up to a count of 20.
Get rid of your double chin
Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and feet flat on the floor. (I do this on the bed when I wake up.)
Slowly raise your head and tuck your chin against your chest.
Hold this position for a second, then slowly lower your head.
Start by repeating for 10 times and work up to 50 repetitions.
Smooth out crow's feet
Place your ring and middle fingers of each hand at the outer corners of your eyes.
Pull the corner towards the hairline and hold.
At the same time squeeze your eyes shut and hold.
Repeat five times.
Smokers -- prevent your lips from puckering as you age
Sit upright and purse your lips together.
Lift your pursed lips towards your nose and keep them there for five counts.
Relax and repeat five times.
Keep your smile wrinkle-free
This one I do when I am driving:
Sit upright, lips closed and teeth together.
Smile as broadly as possible without opening your lips.
Hold for five counts.
Relax and pucker your lips into a pointed kiss.
Hold for five counts and relax.
Repeat ten times.
This alternative to a surgical facelift cannot remove excess eyelid skin, but it can do pretty much everything else. Do it every day for 30 days and people will be commenting on how well you look.
The biggest chore is making it a habit. But think of it in the same way as you brush your teeth; it is something you do without thinking to yourself, "Should I do it or not?" And unlike brushing your teeth, you only exercise your face once a day.
Make the effort. It is worth it.