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This Facial Exercise Can Chisel Your Cheeks, Jawline & Plump Your Lips In One Fell Swoop

Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
By Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and wellness. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Image by Vesnaandjic / Istock
September 2, 2021

Many swear by a daily face yoga practice, and given the skin care benefits (and striking before-and-after photos), it's not hard to see why: Intentional facial exercises can tighten an area, similar to how a regular gym session can strengthen your muscles. Plus, the movements can stimulate blood flow in your face, which delivers nutrients to the skin cells and spurs the production of collagen—which, as we know, keeps your skin firm and taut. One 2018 study even found that the daily exercise could reduce signs of facial aging

We've covered a few beginner-friendly face yoga exercises (check them out here if you haven't already), but we recently came across a simple exercise to simultaneously carve the cheekbones, plump the lips, and tone the jawline. In other words: Sign us up. 

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Below, find the one-move demonstration. 

A facial exercise to target your cheeks, lips & jawline. 

For an exercise that targets quite a few regions of your face, it's surprisingly simple: All you need to do, says face yoga expert Parmita Katkar in a TikTok video, is puff some air in your cheeks, then smile and lift your cheeks 50 times. That's it! You'll just want to "avoid squinting and contorting other facial muscles," says Katkar, as this unintentional movement can demolish your progress. (Face yoga is about intentionally isolating the movement, remember?)

Don't be fooled by its simplicity, though: This exercise can be hard, especially once you hit 30 or so pulses. Because your facial muscles are so small and delicate, it's difficult to isolate and activate the exact muscle you're trying to target, particularly more fragile areas like the eyes and mouth. That's why it's pretty common to unintentionally hold your breath or tense up (or in this case, squint) as you hold a pose during face yoga. 

As for when to practice, many experts suggest once in the morning to wake up your facial muscles and once again before bed to release all the tension you've accumulated during the day. You don't need to practice for very long—just a few minutes will do; again, your facial muscles are much tinier and more delicate than, say, your biceps—so they don't need as much time and effort to tone. 

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The takeaway. 

This facial exercise may look easy, but it simultaneously tones the cheekbones and jawline, as well as spurs collagen production—which can keep your complexion supple and your lips plump. Even if you're a face yoga novice, if there's one exercise to add to your morning routine, Katkar's triple-whammy move may be it. 

Jamie Schneider
Jamie Schneider
mbg Beauty & Wellness Editor

Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.