Q. A friend swears by facial exercises to strengthen the muscles, saying it makes her look younger. What do you think about that and what is your recommendation?
A. Tell your friend that I totally disagree with her! In addition to the exercises, all those machines that stimulate the facial muscles to energize and make them stronger are counterproductive to rejuvenating the face. The $1 billion Botox and Dysport industry is built on injecting muscles to relax them so that they do not form wrinkles.
Unlike strengthening the muscles of the body when you exercise, exercising facial muscles creates creases and makes the neck look older. Botox and Dysport are used to relax the wrinkles of overactive muscles. These products are also used in the neck to decrease prominent muscle bands that form to make the neck look older.
Although it is counterintuitive, strengthening the muscles in the face makes the crow’s feet more prominent, increases forehead wrinkles and makes the neck muscles pull the skin away from the neck contour, giving you an aging look.
Also, tell her if she exercises a lot, she should moderate her routine If she is a very active person, does a lot of exercise and has lost facial volume, she would also be better off using fillers. Fillers that would be good for her include Voluma, Radiesse, Restylane and Juvederm. In addition, your friend can better spend her money on products that offer good skin care and sun protection for her to maintain a more youthful look.
Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com.