Cheekbones are the scaffolding of the face. If we keep them fit with the right training, we will age slower.
Our grandmothers said: high cheekbones, long youth. And they were right. Faces framed by strong, rounded cheekbones resist the ravages of time for longer, because these natural supports prevent tissue from sagging. Nor is it always the fault of age – sudden weight loss is enough for cheekbones to lose their tone, with the consequences we all fear: our facial contour loses its shape, and those odious nasolabial furrows rear their ugly heads.
How can we solve this problem? For many years it was believed that the only effective remedy was cheekbone prostheses. And TV divas continue to think so, and reappear in public after strategic absences with brand new cheekbones, gleaming like ping pong balls. But apart from such excesses, more often pursued more to please the cameras than to gratify the gaze, nowadays the conservative logic prevails – as in, keeping the cheekbones mother nature gave us. This is why we are increasingly preferring hyaluronic acid-based fillers, which have the added advantage of being less invasive.
Facial gymnastics and self-massages: the handiest solutions.
Sagging cheekbones depends on the action of several factors: on the one hand, bone reabsorption due to age, on the other the reduction in the facial fat compartments. But one of the main causes is the loss of tone and elasticity of the zygomatic muscles. And as we all know, the most effective solution to restore muscle tone is to do gymnastics, preferable integrating it with targeted massages.
Facial muscle exercises: premise.
The zygomatic muscles are located between the ear and the upper lip and literally support the cheek area. These are very thin and delicate muscles, so it is important to exercise them correctly. At the same time it is important to feel they are being exercised, so don’t be scared of a slight stiffness or tingling during the exercises.
These exercises can be practice anywhere and at any time (for example during commercial breaks while watching TV, or when you are driving). But, just like working out at the gym, they require regularity and commitment, especially if you want to see results in a reasonable time.
Exercise 1: the big O.
It is the most practiced exercise in facial gymnastics because, in addition to the zygomatic muscles, it stimulates all the other 56 muscles of the face (for reference, it is the typical exercise actors do before going on stage). Start by lowering your shoulders and straightening your back (do this in all exercises). Open your mouths as if you were at the dentist’s. Push the chin down until it forms an O, then we cover the teeth with the lips. Hold the position for 15 seconds. Relax for another 5 seconds and repeat it three times.
The first time you try this exercise, do it in front of a mirror and try to memorize the correct movements. You’ll later be able to repeat it without difficulty in any situation. Since it does not require the help of the hands, you can easily do it while driving. And never mind if passers-by look at you a little bewildered.
Exercise 2: the big O with massage.
Same position as the previous exercise. Now, however, rest your elbows on a table and open our hands in a V shape. Place our face on this support by pressing the cheekbones against the base of the palms, and push the torso back and forth as if you were crying. The pressure of the hands and the movement will create a massage in the cheekbone area.
This position is also called “Munch’s scream”, because the position of the mouth and that of the hands seem to replicate those of the character in the famous painting. It is important that we only practice this exercise after training with the first exercise (the big O) for at least two weeks: the muscles must already be a little toned and trained before being massaged. Only then can we discard the first exercise and train only with the second.
Exercise 3: the cheekbone-lift smile.
It’s no secret: one of the formulas for staying young is to laugh. By laughing, we exercise our muscles in the correct way: it’s no coincidence people don’t laugh enough also have a sad face.
How to practice the cheekbone-lift smile? Stretching the smile horizontally and straining a little until the cheekbones have lifted to their maximum. As always, hold the position for 15 seconds and then relax the face for another 5. Repeat and complete 5 reps. To get an idea of how much your muscles are working, try to touch them with a finger while practicing the exercise: you’ll feel them tense and turgid.
Exercise 4: the smile with the lower lip pushed in.
The first variation on the cheekbone-lift smile consists in letting the cheekbones go down slightly and moving the lower lip over your teeth, pushing it towards the palate. Hold the position by pushing to the maximum for 15 seconds, and you know the rest.
Exercise 5: the tongue to nose smile.
In this second variant, stick your tongue out and push it up to touch the tip of your nose.
When the zygomatic muscles have acquired tone, you can also increase the number of repetitions. But it probably won’t be necessary: if you perform these exercises regularly at least twice a day, you’ll see the first results already after two weeks.