(WJBK) - Have you heard of face yoga? It's the latest anti-aging craze online that doesn't cost a dime. A quick YouTube search will pull up several videos featuring odd expressions and poses that promise to tighten up your skin and make you look younger.
"It's becoming a popular way for people to try to reverse the years by doing various massages and facial expressions to try to lift and tighten the skin in the face," explains Beaumont Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Anthony Youn.
But does it actually work? Dr. Youn says when it comes to fighting the signs of times, the face yoga premise falls flat.
"The aging process isn't caused by muscles that have gotten too lose, but they're gotten by skin that has become droopy," he explains. And as a matter of fact, when you work on tightening up your facial muscles -- you're doing the opposite of smoothing.
"When those muscles flex, and you make these expressions, whether it's smiling to create crow's feet, whether it's frowning that creates wrinkles down here, the more you do that the deeper those wrinkles will be. Botox works the opposite; it causes those muscles to relax and that's why it smoothes our face," Youn says.
Dr. Youn does understand some good karma comes from face yoga, and if you pick and choose your moves there's no harm.
"I believe that there are parts of face yoga that are great: relaxation, increase in circulation by massage - go at it. That's great for your skin. But what's not so good is when you're making these odd weird facial expressions that are causing these muscles to contract when they maybe shouldn't," he says. "So our moms are actually right when they say, 'Oh, if you make that facial expression it's going to stay there!' It's true -- those wrinkles will stay there."
Dr. Youn says the only muscle you would want to tighten is the neck muscle to prevent it from drooping and appearing older. However, he says no amount of exercise can make it less stretched out. You can tighten it, though, with sugery.