Beauty goes much further than skin deep, despite the old saying. And the most recent movement in skincare proves just that - as beauty professionals hail muscle-boosting facial massage as the secret to plump, glowing skin. In fact, the Duchess of Sussex is an advocate of face yoga (and body yoga, for that matter!). The royal was once quoted saying, "I do facial exercises taught to me by one of my favorite aestheticians, Nichola Joss, who basically has you sculpt your face from the inside out. I swear it works, as silly as you may feel. On the days I do it, my cheekbones and jawline are way more sculpted."
Glowing Meghan is a fan of facial massage
What is face yoga?
Face yoga, or facial massage, is a series of exercises that does to your complexion what working out does to your body - smoothing, toning and boosting elasticity in the skin. The motions can be performed by a facialist or expert, or you can do them on yourself at home. Regular practice of twenty minutes a day can result in a visible difference in the face and neck within just two weeks. Celebrity facialist Nichola Joss - who prepped Meghan for her royal wedding day - is a big fan of the technique, even massaging inside the mouth to sculpt the complexion.
READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s skin tips from celebrity facialist Nichola Joss
The trend for 'AthBeauty' - blending fitness with beauty - has only grown, most notably in the UK with the launch of FaceGym, the innovative facial studio that specialises in complexion 'workouts' using kneading and knuckling techniques to tone and tighten the facial muscles.
"No topical creams can deliver the incredible lifting and firming results I achieve from muscle manipulation and facial massage," says Inge Theron, founder of FaceGym. "Your muscle is the scaffolding of your face, so as you get older things naturally start going south and you have to do more than just slather on creams. You have to treat your face just like your body, and take your face to the gym."
READ MORE: 10 ways to get rid of dark circles under the eyes
How does it work?
Face yoga expert Danielle Collins, or @faceyogaexpert - who has built a following of thousands with her sculpting techniques - explains that it's about working the hypodermis (or the lower layer of the skin), the dermis (the middle layer) and the epidermis (the upper layer) in different ways.
Face yoga expert Danielle Collins demonstrates one of her techniques
“By working all these layers correctly, it will increase the blood circulation, allowing more oxygen and more nourishment to reach the cells of the skin. The result is a clear, healthy complexion with a beautiful glow which has less toxins and has a better ability to absorb moisture,” says Danielle.
"Facial massage, combined with specific face exercises, will increase collagen and elastin - the natural plumping agents which give a firmer and healthier complexion. It's a key way for the skin to look younger and healthier.”