Aging is no fun for anyone. We live in a society obsessed by looks, and while I definitely think that there is more to life that what you see in the mirror, I’m all for taking care of yourself and doing what you can to waltz gracefully along through the passage of time.
I’m quite into cosmetics and skin care, so I’ve always taken very good care of my skin. I eat a vegan/vegetarian diet, exercise daily and avoid the sun where I can and always wear sun screen. Still, at age 32, I have started to notice subtle changes in my face that galvanized me into action. I wanted to see if there is anything more I can do to keep what I have and look the very best I can without surgical intervention.
The solution I came across was simple and ridiculously affordable. Lo and behold, exercise is the secret key – isn’t it always? I exercise my body to stay fit and healthy, but it never occurred to me to work out my face. Why would it? It’s not like you can stroll over to a facial exercising station at the gym, so most people assume that they’re powerless to affect any sort of change in this area. Those that think about it worry that excess movement in the face will result in wrinkles, so they steer clear, focusing instead on immobilizing their facial muscles with Botox – which atrophy’s the underlying muscles by the way.
To get the ball rolling, I ordered a facial exercising book on Amazon, with the best reader feedback: a book called “Facercise” by Carol Maggio. Inside she presents a series of 12 facial exercises that you are instructed to do twice daily. Exercising certain facial muscles plumps them up, fills in hollow areas, improves skin tone and provides an overall lifted, more youthful appearance.
Here are my eyes before and after starting the program. I was trying to figure out why it looks like I have less of a lid in the after photos, but I think it’s because my eyes are a more open in the after photo. That’s how they rest naturally now when I relax, compared to their heavy lidded resting state before. Take a look:
I started off exercising my face with enthusiasm, but I found that it was hard to make the time to do it frequently, so I cut back to exercising in the mornings, doing only about 3 out of the 12 exercises in the evening and still achieved noticeable results. I think the most noticeable change can be seen in my nose! (See below) It’s narrower and more lifted.
I didn’t set out thinking I was going to review this system – it was something I was going to do privately for myself, so when it first occurred to me to take photographs, I was already about 1.5-2 weeks into the program. I took all my before photos then. The after photos are about two months into the program. I am not wearing makeup (aside from some clear lip gloss) in any of the photos.
I don’t have any good before pictures of my mouth to show you guys. The ones I do have are blurry. I notice that the corners of my mouth have turned up slightly compared to before and my lips are a little bit more full, but the changes aren’t dramatic. I don’t notice them so much without makeup, but I do when I put lipstick on.
I wish the before angle was better in the above photo. I didn’t think to take a side view of my eyes in the beginning. I notice that the skin around the orbital ridge of my eye is tighter and more lifted. The outside corner of my eye looks extended because the skin in this area has been lifted. I think my eyes look more toned and awake, but I don’t blame you if you can’t see it in this last photo. I notice a big difference when I put on my eye liner – you’ll have to take my word for it and just try it out for yourself.
What kind of changes can you realistically expect?
The premise of this system is that if you start early you can maintain your looks and significantly alter how you age over time. The differences are subtle – especially if you have good skin to begin with - but together as a whole they are enough to enhance your overall appearance, giving you control over how you age in the future.
The changes don’t seem significant initially, unless you’re taking photographs and recording your progress. You might not think it’s working on you because you see your own face too often to be objective. It is not on par with surgery, but it makes a big enough difference that you’ll wonder why you didn’t try this sooner. I’m hooked!
Does the age you start the program matter?
If you’re significantly older, but still want the chance to make changes, don’t be discouraged. This system is for everyone. People of all ages rave about the results. If you’re dedicated and willing to work at it you will see changes. If you feel you need a serious overhaul you will have to commit to exercising your face twice a day, maybe doing a few targeted exercises three times a day, but it’s worth it.
You won’t look like you’re 20 again, and the results won’t be as dramatic as if you’d underwent surgery, but your appearance will be altered so that you look more refreshed, toned and awake. You’ll also notice that your makeup goes on better – especially around the eye and lip area.
I debated over if I should include this last photo collage (see above). These are the only photos where I’m wearing makeup. In the bottom photo I have on foundation and in the top photo I have foundation, eyeliner mascara and blush. Arg! Again – I’m sorry, but these photos were never designed to be shared. I was doing this for my own records when I started.
It’s kind of useless to compare photos when the angles aren’t exactly the same. Ah well – take a look for yourselves and see what you think. To help you focus only on the change in contours of my features I made everything black and white. I am lucky to have pretty good skin tone to begin with, so I realize that the changes are hard to see, but I notice a difference from the side. My brows are pulled up higher, my cheek area has lifted, the corners of my mouth aren’t turned down (you can’t see a horizontal line at the corners in the after photos) and my eyes appear more open. Overall, I think I look more awake. I relaxed my face naturally for each photo and wasn’t trying to pull my eyes open more afterwards to take a better photo.
I really do think that this system is worth checking out. The book is about $17.00 – you can probably find it cheaper at Amazon- so it won’t break the bank. There is a bit of a learning curve when you first start and it takes about a week before you can do all the exercises effortlessly, without referring back to the book each time. It took me about 30 minutes to do all the exercises in the beginning , but when you get good at it you can do them in about 15 minutes or less.
- I found the book on the left (see above) easier to learn from initially. The new book (the one on the right) has slightly more complicated exercises, but they are probably more targeted and effective. I’m glad I own both.
Are there any cons?
The only con I can think of about this system is that you have to keep it up. Just like working out your body at the gym, if you stop exercising you begin to loose definition and muscle tone. I stopped for about 4 days at one point and started to see a change in my eyelids.
Different people will notice different results during this process, depending on what you need to work on to begin with and what age you are when you start. I have been doing the neck toning exercises, but my neck was toned to begin with, so nothing has happened in that area, aside from the line around my neck fading. I keep doing them now because I look at it as maintenance. I want to keep it looking the way it does well into the future.
There are more advanced exercises you can progress to, once you get good at the beginner ones, so maybe I’ll post new photos down the road, comparing my results once again. If you decided that you’d like to give this system a whirl please take pictures! Don’t put any makeup on and take photos from many different angles. After a few months take photos from the same angles again and compare the two sets. I really appreciated the difference this regimen has made, once I was able to see my before and after pictures side by side. It has motivating me to keep it up!
P.S. I purchased both these book with my own money and the views I express about the Facercise system are my own unbiased opinions. I can not speak about other facial exercising systems because I have not tried them out yet.