Saturday, May 24, 2008

Beauty Talk: Tips on How to Minimize Expression Lines

My sister, who will turn 18 in a month, was visiting me last weekend. Knowing about my passion for skin care, she inquired pointing to her forehead, : “I already have wrinkles. What should I do?” I explained that those are not yet wrinkles but light expression lines but if she continues to express all the array of emotions with her forehead, wrinkles will follow soon. “But how can I be expressive otherwise?” she asked. “I can’t just have a frozen face”.

The fact is that we wrinkle foreheads, squint eyes, furrow eyebrows and crinkle noses a lot out of a habit, we don’t even notice or realize it. Very often we don't feel that our facial muscles are tightened. Remember the feeling before and after a massage session? Before a massage you don’t even realize that your muscles are so stressed. However, after the session your body feels so much more relaxed and just a tone lighter. The same with the facial muscles – we often tighten them habitually and just get used to it.

It is not necessary to completely stop expressing your emotions and wear a “mask” for a face. However, if you invest some time and effort, you will slow down the process of expression lines formation.

What you need to do is
- learn to relax your facial muscles
- don’t wrinkle your forehead or raise brows for every reason either you are thinking hard or are just telling an interesting story
- learn to make up for less forehead wrinkling by expression of you eyes, tilt of your head or hands gesticulations
- don’t squint your eyes, wear sunglasses or, if you do it for the reason of a bad sight, get lenses

Here are a couple exercises and tips I came across that will help you get started.

1.Place a mirror on your work desk so that from the corner of your eye you can see your reflection. You will look into the mirror from time to time and notice if you start wrinkling your forehead or frowning etc. Just relax the muscles. Soon you will start noticing the difference between tightened muscles and the relaxed ones.
2.When at home, wear a thin silk ribbon on your forehead. When you raise eyebrows you will feel it move.
3.Do the following exercise daily: Stand in front of the mirror and relax your facial muscles, concentrate on relaxing your forehead and eyebrow muscles, just let your eyebrows be heavy and all of your facial muscles to just “fall down”. Keep relaxing until you see almost no expression lines anymore. You can help yourself by tapping lightly on your forehead and along the eyebrows. It also helps to prepare for the exercise by doing a light massage when applying your moisturizer.
Do this exercise for at least 1 minute. Later, when you are better at relaxing your muscles, you can bring it down to 30 sec. I would recommend for the beginners to do it minimum 2 times a day in the afternoons and evenings.

I started to be more careful about my facial expressions some time ago and have been doing the 3rd exercise regularly. I do feel it when I frown or wrinkle my forehead so I just try to relax as much as I can. It has been very helpful up till now. I’m turning 29 soon – no lines yet in sight. I do get forehead lines by the evening and on stressful days but after the abovementioned evening exercise and a night’s sleep, I wake up with a smooth forehead ready to face another stressful day. :-)


Cath's Blog said... are great!! i think i have the same problem like your sister and i will try (from today)this exercise. btw, i hv been to Rheifall last weekend. breathtaking!

Anonymous said...

This is good advice. I read the same advice about 40 years ago, I believe it was Merle Oberon or another beautiful movie actress, who recommended minimizing facial expressions in orer not to etch lines into the face. I have pretty much not raised my brows unless there was good reason to do so, and at age 62 my forehead has only faint lines. My friends and sisters have much deeper grooves, furrows even. My other tips for preserving facial skin is Don't Wash your face much. I do a quick light wash with very mild cleanser every two days when in the shower. It has worked well for me. I always apply moisturizer, morning and night, without washing, but then I don't wear make up.

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