Do Facial Exercises Really Work?

Yep. Facial exercising is a thing. You can easily find online videos of the strange faces people claim will help tone the skin. But you don’t have to spend several hours a day exercising your actual face muscles to see a difference in your skin’s firmness and elasticity. Rather than exercising your face muscles via tugging or pulling, there are some massage techniques that estheticians have been using for a long time that are known to lift and tone—and that you can do with your own two hands! There are also some affordable tools out there, such as jade rollers or microcurrent machines, to help with your facial massage journey in case you are new to facial massage techniques.  

Just like anything else in the health and wellness world, you can overdo it. Overworking, tugging or pulling on the face too much can actually have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for. Moderation is the key. Board-certified dermatologist Anna Karp and NYC-based esthetician Anastasia Cupcea of DAPHNE weigh in on the topic.

Microcurrent technology

“I think facial exercises may actually do more harm than good by increasing wrinkles that come from repetitive movements,” Karp says. “I like microcurrent treatments which stimulate the facial muscles, tightening them and bringing increased blood flow to the skin.” She recommends the NuFace toning device for at-home use and the various microcurrent procedures available in-office. “I also like Ultherapy, which is a non-invasive in-office procedure that uses ultrasound waves to help lift and tighten the skin by stimulating our facial muscles and deep layers of the skin.”

Buy it now: NuFace Facial Toning Device from Sephora, $325

Gemstone facial rollers

These aren’t just a trend because they look pretty. Gemstone rollers, gorgeous as they are, are also great for lymph drainage and de-puffing the skin. “I recommend using a roller for the face to help fine lines and wrinkles as well as pressing your fingers to different pressure points on the face,” Cupcea says. “Two by the mouth, cheeks, eyebrows and temples.” Like Karp, she also recommends microcurrent technology. “At DAPHNE and Penelope & The Beauty Bar, we utilize some of the best microcurrent machines in the industry. Our non-surgical “facelifts” are like a workout for your face.” She adds that they plump and tone skin, restoring volume and elasticity.

Buy it now: Jade Facial Roller from Skin Gym, $32

Lisa Bensley is the founder of BeautyByBenz, a health and beauty blog that is really just an excuse to buy too much makeup. When she is not writing, she's probably boxing, obsessing over her Dachshund, Stanley, reading, or binge-watching Law & Order: SVU. Follow her (and Stanley's) antics on Instagram.