With more than 2 billion views on TikTok alone, face yoga (#faceyoga) is the latest anti-aging practice to capture attention on social media.
The promise of relaxing wrinkles and lifting cheeks and jowls without resorting to more invasive and expensive procedures such as Botox injections has immense appeal for individuals looking to restore a youthful glow and a firm jawline on a budget.
Danielle Collins, a well-known face yoga instructor, says on her website that face yoga “focuses on toning and relaxing our facial muscles for a natural holistic facelift.”
But does it work?
So far the scientific evidence on whether a daily routine of puckering, puffing and massaging one’s facial muscles will shave off the years is scant.
There has been little research into the topic, and one study that showed positive results for a group of middle-aged women was very small, with 16 participants over the course of 20 weeks.
Northeastern Global News talked to a physical therapy professor – who is also a yoga instructor – and a nurse who specializes in aesthetics about why face yoga can deliver a glow, at least in the short term, and if the effects are long lasting.
Don’t call it yoga
Whatever its benefits or drawbacks, face yoga is not actually yoga, in the traditional sense, says Neha Gothe, an associate professor at Northeastern who studies the health benefits of yoga and is a long-time practitioner.