Posts Tagged ‘facial expressions’
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
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