Maybe Meghan Markle's facial exercises aren't so silly

Meghan Markle has a naturally gorgeous glow, and once you notice how radiant she is, it’s hard to unsee it. Aside from her luminous skin paired with her great bone structure, there is another significant piece to the puzzle in how Markle’s face alone tends to light up every event she attends.

Meghan Markle does facial exercises, and we all should probably follow suit. (Photo: Getty Images)
Meghan Markle does facial exercises, and we all should probably follow suit. (Photo: Getty Images)

While sharing beauty tips with Birchbox, the Duchess of Sussex revealed that she does facial workouts from one of her favorite aestheticians, Nichola Joss, to maintain her good looks. “I swear it works, as silly as you may feel. On the days I do it, my cheekbones and jawline are way more sculpted. There’s a reason she is in high demand around awards season when every actress wants to look A-plus.” 

Lately there has been a huge interest in everything from face exercising and yoga to massaging and cupping. Markle may be a reason beauty enthusiasts are stepping up their facial fitness routines, but is it really worth the hype, or just another skin trend that will come and go?

After consulting a few skin care experts, Yahoo Lifestyle was able to get some answers and find out best practices for keeping a toned, sculpted appearance. Read on to see what you can start doing to re-create the “Markle Sparkle.”

Your face needs routine workouts just like your body does. (Image: Giphy)
Your face needs routine workouts just like your body does. (Image: Giphy)

Why should I exercise my face?

Just as you exercise the muscles in your body, your face needs the same kind of attention if you want to keep the skin fresh and taut. “The face has over 40 muscles, so massaging the face is good not just for applying products but for moving energy, addressing sinus issues, and reducing puffiness with lymphatic drainage,” celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It also gives your skin stimulation, which increases circulation and draws blood to the surface to give you a refreshed appearance and feeling.”

In addition to its giving your face a naturally lifted look, let’s not forget that these exercises (whether performed in a spa or at home) can potentially save you from spending thousands of dollars on fillers, plastic surgery, or tons of snazzy overpriced anti-aging products. 

FYI: If you have yet to start massaging your skincare into your face, you should probably start now. Aside from evoking that spa-like level of relaxation in the privacy of your own bathroom, working some circular motions over the contours of your face packs major benefits for your overall complexion. Perhaps this is common knowledge to some, but there's certainly an art to the technique, and celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar advises doing it as often as twice a day. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "The face has over 40 muscles, so massaging the face is not just good for applying products, but for moving energy, addressing sinus issues, and reducing puffiness with lymphatic drainiage," she explains. "It also gives your skin stimulation, which increases circulation and draws blood to the surface to give you a refreshed appearance and feeling."⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Additionally, activating your muscles every day can help to impart a more toned appearance in the long term. According to Pekar, key times to work your skills are before you go to bed at night, and first thing in the morning. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ "You will need to apply a gentle but firm pressure from your fingertips. After applying product as a lubricator, start from the bottom of your face and massage upwards to the cheek area. We tend to hold the most stress on the bottom of our face near our cheeks and jawline, so helping to release the tension here will detoxify and relax your skin," she explains. "As you work your way upwards, use just your ring fingers to massage the eye area. Start on the eyebrows and go around and down, holding and dragging your finger until they're released near the corners of your eyes." ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Once you reach your forehead, Pekar advises tapping in an upward motion to promote blood circulation and cell turnover in that area. – @instylemagazine #linkinbio

A post shared by Natural Skin Care (@ildipekarspa) on Jun 24, 2018 at 7:26am PDT


What are some key benefits of facial exercising? 

Experts agree that the relationship between skin and actively exercised muscles results in clarified texture with a higher level of collagen. “Exercise not only increases circulation, which feeds all cellular tissue, but also speeds up the metabolism and mechanisms in tissue,” says CEO and founder of FaceLove Rachel Lang. “Muscle holds memory, which is why we can sculpt and tone our bodies. With there being so many muscles in the facial area, they need to be consistently strengthened and redirected with routine exercise and massage sessions.” 

Face massage, treatments, and more. What are the options?

In addition to exercising, you can also get a facial massage that is just as beneficial and relaxing. “A massage can free the muscles from restriction, give a more relaxed feel-good state of being in the face, and release a high amount of happy juices or pleasure chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin,” says Lang. “This helps to alleviate pain coming from the jaw, eye tensions, migraine drain, and assist in better sleep.” 

If you can’t get to a spa, you can also try actively massaging your face on your own from the comfort of your own home for free. Pekar advises that the best time to work your skills are first thing in the morning or before bedtime. She suggests using a gentle but firm amount of pressure and to start from the bottom of your face and use your fingertips to begin massaging upward from the jawline to the cheek area, where we tend to hold the most stress.

“Helping to release the tension here will detoxify and relax your skin,” says Pekar. As you work your way upward, use your ring fingers to massage the eye area. Start on the eyebrows and go around and down, holding and dragging your finger until they’re released near the corners of your eyes. Once you reach your way up to your forehead, begin to use a tapping technique in an upward motion to promote blood circulation and cell turnover in that area. For added stimulation, you can use a cool jade or rose quartz roller.


If you are willing to spend a few extra dollars to enhance your DIY facial workouts, there are several pretty high-tech devices you can turn to. NuFace, an at-home microcurrent device, was one of the first FDA-cleared tools to help people work out their faces. “Just like lifting weights, we recommend repeating the lifting glides three to five times or to even hold certain positions to get that extra wow lift. By focusing or holding on certain areas at a time, the facial muscles in that area will be more responsive,” says CEO and co-founder of NuFace Tera Peterson.

Last but not least, Lang points out that facial toning can also happen while practicing yoga. “Upside down postures in yoga up against a wall are nourishing and engage muscle activity.”

Clearly, we’ve got some working out to do with our faces.

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