So… I was going to write about the 40-plus muscles that we have in our face and why it’s so important to work them out. But then I watched the video I took of my Zoom class with FaceGym’s pro face trainer, Luke Bajjon. I’d only filmed it as a visual note-taking record, but then I noticed my face and the before-and-after changes that were so apparent – not just from the 40-minute class, but even after some individual exercises. All I can say is, they work. (If you need convincing, try the face and brow-whipping exercise immediately – just do one side, look in the mirror and you’ll see instant results.)
Unlike a session in the gym, you can do these exercises as a full workout or as bite-sized sessions during the day. The face-knuckling exercise is great to make a part of your daily cleansing; face whipping is a good way to wake up your face or apply a cream; and the jaw sculpt is a game changer at the end of a day spent staring at a screen. As for the chin press, this hits those tight, back-of-neck muscles like nothing else. Make these facial exercises a regular part of your day, or week – repeating each movement for a count of 10 and ideally repeat for two to three sets – and I promise you will see the difference. Bajjon advises warming up with some shoulder rolls, head circles and neck stretches, and, excluding the first two exercises, using a good face oil on your hands – back and front – for the rest of the ‘workout’.
The antidote to a life spent looking at devices, this exercise targets and releases the neck muscles. “Sitting upright, place a finger in the center of your chin and press it back into the neck – it’s not a great look as it gives you a double chin, but hold for a few counts, release and repeat,” explains Bajjon.
A great morning or end-of-the-working-day eye brightener. “Bend the index finger so it is like a hook and place the side along the bottom of the brow and hold in place. Then close your eyes, hold for a count and open,” says Bajjon. “You should feel a little pull – not a strong stretch on the upper eyelid.”
Make your hands into fists and work the knuckles in circles – moving upwards and outwards from the chin up the jawline; mouth corners to ears; sides of nose to temples; and then in smaller circles to buff over the forehead.
Face and brow whipping
A brilliant all-rounder for lifting and sculpting. Place the fingers of your right hand over the center of your chin and mouth to hold the skin firm, then use the index and middle fingers of the left hand to firmly flick upwards and outwards over the skin on the left cheek – working upwards and outwards from the chin, corners of your mouth and side of the nose, and your entire cheek. Use the same technique to whip back and forth along the brow, flicking the two fingers upwards, working from the inner brow to the outer tip and back. Then repeat the exercise on your right cheek, holding the skin firm with your left hand. “I love this exercise, as clients always see an instant change,” says Bajjon.
Bend the index fingers of both hands into hooks so you can run the knuckle along your jawline while your thumbs run in the groove just under your jawline. Starting from near the chin, repeatedly sweep your knuckles and thumbs outwards towards the ear. “You can get a similar effect using FaceGym’s gua sha along the jawline,” explains Bajjon. Next, lightly cup your chin in the palm of your hand and sweep hands flat along, and just under, the jawline and out behind the ears. The more you work under the jawbone at the top of the neck, the more it helps sculpt. Flip your hands over and, using the backs of your index and middle fingers, sweep your hands from your chin above the jawline up to your ears.
Cheek and eye sculpt
Bending your index fingers, use your knuckles to work under the cheekbone, starting at your nose and running under the bone up to your ears. You can then use the knuckles to work over the eye bone, sweeping out under the eye to the temple. Make sure you don’t work too close into the eye, as the skin is fragile here.
The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown