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How To Use Face Yoga To Get Rid Of Forehead Lines From A Pro

Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
Image by Olga Kozicka / Stocksy
January 7, 2022

I'm no stranger to a midday scalp massage. Working out all that tension I hold in the area, releasing tight muscles, encouraging circulation hair growth, and allowing myself a moment of pause in the middle of a busy workday? Yes, please, sign me up. But recently I was chatting with Fumiko Takatsu, face yoga instructor and founder of the Face Yoga Method, about the facial exercise practice, and I couldn't help but ask for some go-to moves. Straight away I asked about forehead lines, as I'm seeing some faint etchings start to settle in. And the routine she showed me became my new favorite afternoon treat. She literally calls it the "instant pick-me-up" as if you need any more encouragement to give this a try.

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This mood-boosting move will help with forehead lines, too.

Forehead wrinkles are a kind of expression wrinkle. "Expression wrinkles happen when underlying facial muscles are activated to create facial expressions," board-certified dermatologist Cynthia Bailey, M.D., founder of Dr. Bailey Skin Care, once told us about the kind of wrinkle. It's not necessarily the movement that's the problem—creases and lines are part of a well-functioning face—but as you lose vital skin components like collagen, your skin isn't as able to bounce back from these movements. They manifest as horizontal etches from raising your brows or vertical lines from furrowing them together (also known as the "11s").

Anecdotally, forehead wrinkles are most often associated with stress. This makes sense when you think about how we move and hold our face when tense: tense scalp and forehead muscles, a furrowed brow, rubbing the area. And this association is spot on: "We hold stress in the shoulders and forehead," says Takatsu, noting that this is why she addresses the skin and muscles for not only aesthetic purposes but the feeling of anxiety itself. (We're all for getting to the root of the problem around here, too!) 

"It's a fun exercise," she says. "And for me, I like to combine with affirmations. Do it for three sets and see how you feel after—you can always do more if you want." 

Here, her simple routine. 

  1. Center yourself and adjust your posture. For Takatsu, posture is everything. So you'll want to sit with your feet flat on the ground, your back tall, and shoulders relaxed and even. 
  2. Find your affirmation. For this exercise, she uses "I love my life. I love myself" but notes that you should "feel free to change it to whatever you want to say," and that once you select it "think about it in your heart so your body starts to feel it." (Here's a list of 50-plus affirmations, if you need inspiration.)
  3. Place your hands on your head. For this position, "you'll put the thumbs on the top of the head and the four fingers on your forehead," she says. Once here, push your shoulder blades down, relax your neck and the rest of the face, and take a deep breath through your nose. 
  4. Pull your fingers up toward your hairline. "Keep your thumbs secured on your scalp, and then move your fingers toward your hairline," she says. "It should feel like you're not just pulling the skin, but you're moving the muscles." 
  5. Slowly move your hands around and down your head. In one continuous, smooth movement "place both palms on the sides of your head, moving down toward your neck," she says. "Continue to your neck, your shoulders, and your chest." 
  6. End by speaking your affirmations. While taking a deep breath, place your palms on your chest, and recite your selected affirmations. "You should feel relaxed and rejuvenated," she says. 
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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.