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Can face and neck exercises shave off the years?

The next time you go to the gym, don’t be alarmed if you see someone winking at you. A new trend in the world of beauty has emerged, and it’s a peculiar one – facial and neck exercises. In an effort to stave off wrinkles and keep the face and neck looking youthful, some people are working these muscles much like you might work your biceps and quads at the gym. But do these exercises work?

Probably not, according to The Toronto Star. The newspaper reports that there have been no scientific studies to back up the theory that facial muscle exercises translates to a more youthful appearance.

Working out your arms, legs, back and torso makes sense, because when you are sedentary, these muscles fall out of use. In other words, use it or lose it. But facial muscles are a different story. The muscles around your eyes, forehead and mouth work spontaneously, and you’re likely using these muscles throughout the day, meaning they run no risk of falling out of disuse.

The exercises aren’t completely useless, however. Joanne Dorion, a physiotherapist at the Personal Best Independence and Wellness Center, told the news source that while they won’t do much to reduce flabby or sagging skin on the face, they could “positively influence general appearance, however the changes to the muscle contours would be less obvious.”

Some exercises for the neck may help strengthen and tone the skin under the chin, however. Dr. Catriona Steele of Toronto Rehab told the Star that the “Shaker Exercise,” which is essentially a “chin sit up” could make subtle improvements to the neck…if done three times a day.

If that doesn’t appeal to you, there are other ways to help reduce the sagging skin and wrinkles that are a natural part of aging. Injectable cosmetics like Botox and fillers are some of the most popular forms of cosmetic surgery procedures, and they can help lessen the appearance of crow’s feet and laugh lines.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports that facelifts are another way that individuals can tighten the skin on the face and neck. According to the 2011 Statistics on Cosmetic Surgery, facelifts were among the top five surgical procedures for men, with over 10,400 performed over the course of the year.

16, October, 2012Dr. Richard Schwartz

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