Archive for the ‘Face Muscle’ Category
When the face muscle moves, it creates dynamic facial expression lines on our face.
For instance, raising the eyebrows induce horizontal lines across the forehead, whereas pulling in the eyebrows produce the vertical frown lines between the brows.
We don’t normally worry too much about facial lines created as a result of moving the face muscles. Most times, we are not aware of these dynamic facial lines.
On the contrary, we can’t help but notice the lines and wrinkles showing on a face that is ‘at rest’. We certainly pay more attention to the forehead wrinkles or crow’s feet that’s looking back at us in the mirror.
Will facial expressions lead to facial lines?
Yes. This happens over time, and the effect is accelerated with aging. The fine lines you see on your face is often associated with a certain facial expression or facial activity.
Repetitive, everyday facial expressions or facial activity(eg. smoking) can produce permanent facial lines in the long run. For instance, think about laugh lines, frown lines or smoker lines.
How did dynamic expression lines become static(permanent) facial lines?
This happens because a facial expression often have one set of face muscle constantly contracted, and the antagonist muscle remains constantly relaxed.
Take the all so common problem of the frown lines between the brows. Even though you might object and say, “I am a happy person, I don’t have the habit of frowning. Yet I have the 11 etched between the brows.”
Well, the 11 can be a result of your work habits. Do you tend to knit your brows together in deep concentration while looking at the computer or when reading important documents?
Poor lighting(too dim or too bright) at your work station might also cause you to squint your eyes while you are at work.
What happens when the face muscle stays contracted in the same position?
To hold the brows in a knitted position, groups of face muscle have to remain contracted constantly. Over time, the repetitive contraction cause these muscles to lose tone.
In other words, a face muscle that can previously pull back(smooth out) a frown has now lost the tone and strength to do the job. As a result, the frown lines become apparent.
Babies have no problem with frowning or smiling too much. When a baby is upset, he frowned and wailed to get your attention. Once pacified, his scrunched up face relaxes. The face muscles spring back and the skin is smooth again
There are of course extrinsic factors like sun damage, alcohol, stress and lifestyle that also contribute to facial lines and wrinkles. However, we keep the discussion here focused on the relationship between expression lines becoming static facial lines, along with the aging process.
How can you minimize facial lines caused by your everyday facial expressions?
There are three ways you can reduce facial lines.
1. Eliminate Bad Habits
Get rid of bad habits associated with any facial expression or facial activity. Top on my list are squinting, frowning and smoking. Examine your everyday routine. You might come up with other detrimental behavior.
Hey, you don’t need to keep an expressionless face. Laughing, smiling is good for you. You just need to kick the bad habits that are not doing you good.
2. Use Skin Care Products
Good skin care can keep your skin healthy and supple and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
3. Improve Face Muscle And Skin Tone
Prep up the muscle and skin tone. In order to maintain muscle tone, we need to use all of our muscle fiber to optimal.
A face muscle that is in a constant state of contraction or relaxation will degenerate. You want to get every face muscle moving to the optimal. One way to do this is by doing face exercises.
The important thing is to have a well rounded workout, so that every face muscle and neck muscle get to be toned and strengthened. Skin tone improves naturally when you exercise your face.
So get going. Keep the lines off your face.
Image Credit: striatic
Poor face muscle tone and saggy skin become more prominent as you grow older.
And if you add drooping facial fat pads to the above(problems), you can end up having jowls.
The once attractive triangular shape face has now turned into a square face.
You would probably notice the clean straight jaw line has disappeared. And the jowly face makes you look older and overweight. Sigh … time to get to know about jowls.
So what are jowls?
Jowls are the areas of facial skin or facial fat that have sunk to hang along or below the jaw line.
Taking a simplistic view, jowls can be caused by a combination of factors: saggy facial skin, droopy facial fat and loss of facial volume.
In fact, one of the earliest sign of facial aging is the development of jowls. Jowling can happen as early as your mid 30s. You might not notice the subtle changes at first. But slowly and surely, the jowl problem becomes more prominent as the face muscle sag worsens. Sagging jowls and drooping jaw line become apparent after 10, or 20 years.
What causes jowling and why do the jowls sag?
1. Time And Gravity
The constant downward pull of gravity can change the appearance of the face over time. Gravity causes jowls to form and other parts of the face to sag. For eg. the tip of the nose droops and the ears elongate. Often, facial sagging is noticeable in people in their 50s.
2. Loss Of Face Muscle Tone
With age, the face muscles weaken due to wear and tear. The muscles lose the firmness, causing your facial features to sag. Jowls form when the cheeks sag. The sexy cheekbones disappeared, and you now have a flat, wide face with cheek pouches.
3. Reduced Skin Elasticity
The skin loses elasticity with age and sun exposure. Loss of skin elasticity causes skin to sag. Since the lateral and lower cheeks are not tightly attached to the facial bones, the cheek muscles tend to droop along with the sagging skin.
4. Loss Of Facial Volume
We have less facial fat as we get older. The face is less full and the overlying skin can become lax and sags.
Also, facial fat is positioned up in the cheek when we are young. With aging, the facial fat descends. Fat pads hide the jaw line and gives an unattractive square shape to the jaw instead of a more attractive triangular shape.
Smoking cigarettes can speed up the normal aging process of your skin, causing wrinkling and sagging skin.
The nicotine in cigarettes causes narrowing of the blood vessels near the skin surface. This restricts blood flow to your skin. With less blood flow, your skin doesn’t get as much oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A, which provides protection from skin damage.
Many of the over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke also damage collagen and elastin. These are fibrous proteins that give your skin its strength and elasticity. Wrinkles and facial sag develop prematurely and this can contribute to jowling.
6. Weight Loss Or Weight Gain
Overweight individuals usually have more facial fat. Hence the jowls are noticeable.
On the other hand, a rapid weight loss can leave excess facial skin that droops and form saggy jowls. So do watch your weight and state of health. Choose your diet program wisely. Losing too much weight too quickly can leave you with sagging jowls.
In some cases, your genes from your mom and dad play a role in the development of jowls. If older family members have developed jowls, you might be predisposed to getting them yourself when you grow older. It can be a hereditary facial feature.
How to get rid of sagging jowls?
The jowls can be treated by a number of surgical or non-surgical procedures. You have options like: facelift, liposuction, filler injections, and skin tightening using laser or heat generating devices.
If you want a DIY solution, consider doing specific face exercises that target the jowls. It might take some time before you see results. But it is safer and a less expensive approach.
Face exercises strengthen the face muscle tone and keep your skin healthy. It helps to firm the jowls and give you a leaner, younger looking face overtime.
Image Credit: claudiogennari
Prior to face exercises, I didn’t realize the intricacy of the face and face muscle. A cheek is a cheek … ok … the cheek is made up of flesh. But I never thought of it as cheek muscle.
Nowadays I get curious about every other face muscle on my face. It seems like each muscle of the face has a job to do. Some describe the face muscle actions as a ‘tug of war’ between elevator and depressor muscles.
An elevator function is to raise a face muscle while the depressor role is to pull down a face muscle.
For instance, if the Frontalis(elevator face muscle) is activated, we have raised eyebrows. Conversely, if the Procerus or Corrugators(depressor face muscles) is activated, the brow is pulled downwards into a frown.
As you can see, it is the movements of the face muscles that creates facial expressions. And these facial expressions in turn produce the dynamic expression lines on the face. As such, face muscles are sometimes called the muscles of face expressions.
The elevator and depressor muscles work as a team. When one set of face muscle is activated, it contracts(shortens); the other set of muscle relaxes(lengthens).
Another way to understand the working of face muscles is to categorize the muscles as agonist and antagonist. The agonist is a contracting face muscle whose action is opposed by another muscle(antagonist) that acts in opposition to it.
For example, one set of muscle open the eyelid, and another set of muscle get to close the eyelid.
I find that by learning how the face muscles work, I become more aware of my own face muscle movements. This has been helpful when I am doing my face exercises or when I am engaged in everyday activities.
Now, I am able to catch myself in the moment I’m about to frown, squint or turn my lips down. And for each self alert, it brings a smile to my face.
Yes, gotta have more smiles and less of the other undesirable face muscle actions.
Image Credit: FranUlloa
I must confess, it’s so much easier to do a face exercise than to learn the name of a face muscle.
For example, have you heard of Orbicularis Oculi, Buccinatorius or Mentalis?
If you read Latin, then not a problem for you, but for the rest of us, it can be difficult to remember the names.
Each of the term refers to a specific face muscle. In this case, it is the muscle around the eyes, cheek muscle and chin muscle.
We have more than 50 muscles in the face and neck, so it can be a pretty challenging task to master the names of all the facial muscles.
But why do you need to know about facial muscles?
Actually, you don’t have to. Even if you have no knowledge about the face muscles, you can still go ahead with facial exercises.
However, many face exercises make reference to specific face muscle in their training instructions. So, if you are familiar with the name and location of each face muscle, you can quickly and effectively focus on the target muscles. No more hit or miss, or worrying whether if you have place your fingers on the correct positions on your face.
If you are doing face exercises, it’s good to have a basic knowledge of the facial muscles. You will have a better understanding of your face structure and a greater awareness of the relationships between face muscles, facial expressions and facial lines.
The more you know about the working of the face muscles, the more confident you have in performing the face exercises correctly and each specialized exercise becomes more meaningful.
Come with me if you are interested to know more. I found an interactive website where you can teach yourself the name and position of each face muscle. Once you are on the website Artnatomy, click on “Application”(on the lower right hand side), and you can start right away. Have fun exploring.
Image Credit: Patrick J. Lynch