Face Fitness

Face fitness has become increasingly popular as more people desire to age gracefully and naturally. Facial aging is important because the skin is the primary sign of a person’s health, beauty, and well-being. However, finding the right natural anti-aging regimen can be challenging given the countless number of beauty products and devices that claim to have the secret to a more youthful appearance. The aging process is complex and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

So, if aging is a complicated and individual process how can you determine which solution is right for you?  To answer this question it is important to understand what are the causes of premature aging and what are the most effective ways to slow down and even reverse the effects.

Skin Aging

Skin aging is based on a cumulative and complex mixture of intrinsic factors (e.g.  chronological aging and genetics) and extrinsic factors (e.g.  excessive sun exposure, smoking, inadequate nutrition and poor skincare). Extrinsic factors, which are mostly within our control, contribute to premature aging of the skin by causing wrinkles, dark spots and sagging.  

Skin Layers

The first step in finding your natural anti-aging regimen is to recognize the extrinsic factors contributing to the  premature aging of your skin. To begin let’s quickly review the components of the skin and how it ages. The skin consists of multiple layers and as we age each layer of the skin undergoes distinct changes which provide us clues on what our skin needs to regenerate.

Stratum corneum and Epidermis (upper layers):

The stratum corneum and epidermis both represent the upper layer of the skin which acts as a barrier to the environment and maintains optimal hydration levels. The epidermis also contains important cells such as melanocytes which are responsible for skin pigmentation. As we age, we steadily lose the ability to retain moisture resulting in dry and dehydrated skin. This layer also becomes thicker as the cells change shape and take longer to renew.

Dermis (deep layer):

The dermis consists predominantly of connective tissue such as collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Collagen and elastin fibers give the skin strength and elasticity while hyaluronic acid keeps the skin plump.  Excessive sun exposure causes oxidative damage and inflammation which destroys collagen and elastin and is the primary cause of wrinkles.

Fat, Muscle and Bone (deepest layers):

Fat, muscle, and bone form the framework of the skin and provide structure to the face by helping to maintain a firm facial shape and contour.  As we age changes occur to this framework such as the loss of superficial and deep fat, diminishing muscle mass and strength, and resorption of facial bones. These changes combined with gravity result in the loss of firmness which results in loose and hanging skin.

Anti-aging Regimen

Given that these changes occur at all skin levels your anti-aging regimen should intervene at each level with a goal of achieving a smooth, healthy, blemish-free, and luminous complexion.  I recommend a 3-pronged approach to target all layers of the skin:

  1. Effective skincare
  2. Face exercise
  3. Nourishing diet and a healthy lifestyle

Effective Skincare:

face fitness

Look for skincare products that target and support multiple layers of the skin. Skincare should nourish, regenerate, lift and smooth wrinkles and fine lines to achieve a more natural and youthful looking appearance.  

Products for the stratum corneum and epidermis should exfoliate dead skin cells, improve moisture retention, reduce hyperpigmentation, create an even skin tone, keep pores unclogged and prevent cell oxidative damage.

Products that prevent further damage of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid in the dermis are essential.  You must find products that have the capacity to penetrate into the dermis to synthesize these key substances.  Effective products will contain Vitamin C, retinoids, and copper peptides to promote collagen production, glucosamine to promote hyaluronic acid production, and antioxidants to reduce inflammation.

Face Exercise:

There are over 50 muscles in the face and neck. Facial muscles just like skeletal muscles need regular exercise. Exercising facial muscles has been shown to improve skin tone and lift and tighten sagging skin. These changes results in a more youthful and  brighter appearance. Face fitness typically consists of isotonic and isometric exercises and mainly achieves results through muscle hypertrophy and typically takes 15 minutes per day to perform.

To begin face exercising it is important to find a professional you trust. Similar to finding the right fitness trainer you should be just as thorough in finding a professional face fitness trainer. Your professional face fitness trainer should have the knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and exercise physiology in order to avoid harm and the creation of new wrinkles. Once you have found your trainer remember that performing face exercises consistently and accurately is key to achieving remarkable results.  

Nourishing diet and healthy lifestyle

Nourishing Diet

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in antioxidants and low in sugar is important to protect your skin from premature aging. Several important antioxidants are Vitamin C, E, carotenoids, NAC, ferulic acid, selenium, proanthocyanidins, CoQ10, green tea, pycnogenol, alpha lipoic acid, procyanidins, and omega 3- and omega-6 essential fatty acids.  

Healthy Lifestyle

Approximately 80% of facial aging is due to chronic sun exposure or photo-aging. You can protect your skin from the sun by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen shielding you from UVA, UVB and blue light.  When going outside avoid or limit sun exposure between 10am – 4pm, wear sun protective clothing, use sunscreen indoors since UVA can penetrate glass, and use sunscreen when also using products containing retinoids. Other lifestyle changes to reduce premature aging includes reducing exposure to cigarette smoke, pollution, obtain adequate sleep, lower stress levels, and increase water intake and physical activity.

In summary, remember achieving anything worthwhile requires commitment and work and face fitness is a lifetime journey. Following a holistic natural anti-aging face regimen will not only slow your aging process but it can also reverse many signs of premature aging. 

To learn more about face exercising and aging gracefully and naturally please go to www.bellantz.com.  Bellantz is a company that offers face fitness training, effective skincare products and anti-aging consulting.

References:

  1. Baumann L. Skin ageing and its treatment. J Pathol. 2007;211(2):241-251. doi:10.1002/path.2098
  2. Ganceviciene R, Liakou AI, Theodoridis A, et al. Skin anti-aging strategies. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1;4(3):308-19
  3. Tobin DJ. Introduction to skin aging. J Tissue Viability. 2017;26(1):37-46. doi:10.1016/j.jtv.2016.03.002
  4. Perricone, Nicholas The wrinkle cure: unlock the power of cosmeceuticals for supple, youthful skin., May 2001 ISBN 0-446-67776-0
  5. Van Borsel J, De Vos MC, Bastiaansen K, Welvaert J, Lambert J. The effectiveness of facial exercises for facial rejuvenation: a systematic review. Aesthet Surg J. 2014;34(1):22-27. doi:10.1177/1090820X13514583
  6. Gibson RM. Smiling and facial exercise. DCNA. 1989;33(2): 139-44.

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