When talking about aging, a lot of focus used to be given on the skin appearance, almost overlooking what is happening beneath. Nowadays this knowledge has been expanded, advancing from a simple focus on gravity and skin laxity to an increasing understanding about how a complex, dynamic and integrated with all the layers of the facial anatomy, the aging process is.
As we age our face is transformed in many ways; wrinkles and folds are only the tip of the iceberg. Transformations are happening to every layer, including; 1) bones, 2)fat pads, 3)muscles 4)skin and 5)blood and lymph flow. Each one of these parameters, not only undergoes its own aging changes, but it is also affected by respective aging changes in the other layers as well, with the deeper layers to be the key factors to this complex relationship.
The facial bones are the basis where the whole structure of soft tissues is supported and defined. Aging process in bones affects the relative dynamics of bone expansion and bone loss, leading to a total bone remodeling, which results in the recession and repositioning of the overlying soft tissue. Moreover, a reduction in facial height is a characteristic of this process, which is mainly due to changes in the maxilla and mandible, and a decent increase in facial width and depth.
Fat is located either on the bone foundation (deep fat) or under the skin surface (superficial). Aging is correlated with loss of fat volume in certain areas (periorbital, forehead, malar, temporal, mandibular, mental, glabellar, and perioral sites) and persistence or hypertrophy in others (submental, lateral nasolabial fold and labiomental crease, jowls, infraorbital fat pouches, and malar fat pad). This is the reason why we see the “youth triangle”, which is characterized by vibrant eyes, high cheekbones, full cheeks and defined jawline, to get transformed into the “inverted triangle” with drooping skin in the cheek area, flattened cheeks, sagging jawline, fullness between the neck and chin (“double chin”).
Our facial muscles lie beneath our facial fat-pads. They support every operation in our face; therefore, they are in a continuous movement. As we age, loss of facial fat, combined with tension and repetitive muscle activity, can lead to deep wrinkles in the face. As a result, crow’s feet form at the outer corners of our eyes, and creases form between our brows. Facial muscles also get weaker over time. The loss of muscle tone and thinning skin can give the face a loose, sagging appearance. Our jawline loses its contour, and our profile becomes less defined.
Skin is the largest organ in our body. It acts as a connection to our environment, filtering all the information in order to be transformed to action by our senses. It is also, the mirror of the pathological and psychological condition of our body. As we age, together with the environmental factors and lifestyle choices that effect our skin (sun exposure, air pollution, smoking, stress, alcohol, diet), intrinsic factors constitute the aging puzzle as well. The metabolic ability of collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for the strength and elasticity of our skin respectively, is decreased reasonably, together with that of Glycosaminoglycans, the hydrophilic molecules that help to draw water into our skin and keep it hydrated (hyaluronic acid is the most known form of them). Besides, the loss of facial glands, which results in less oil production, contributes to less moisture. All these factors affect the skin quality and resilience. Due to repeated facial movement, dynamic wrinkles eventually become static lines that are gradually etched into the skin over time. Additionally, sagging can occur because skin is no longer able to bounce back as it did in our youth.
Blood and Lymph flow
Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the face. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Skin blood flow significantly decreased with increase in age. In calculating skin blood flow at 20 and 70 years of age, it was estimated that skin blood flow is decreased by 40%.
Lymphatic vessels drain extracellular fluid from the skin and contribute to steady-state immune surveillance. Lymphatic collector function generally declines with age, with for example, decreased contractile pressure and pumping frequency. Intact lymphatic drainage from the skin is pivotal for the immune response against harmful agents and to sustain fluid homeostasis.
Having been through all aging consequences across facial layers, we understand that keeping our face in shape is a case that matters all the face’s anatomy; taking care of bones, connecting tissue (fat pads and muscles), blood and lymph circulation and skin as well as their connection and interdependence.
Face Yoga; a dynamic anti-aging method
As Yoga releases the body flow unlocking the blockages and providing the total system of body with energy and balance, the same does Face Yoga for the face.
- Face Yoga breathing helps oxygen and other regenerating factors to get into every layer of the face and neck as well as driving out toxins and stress.
- Exercises and massage techniques help muscles to
- Return to their normal length and release tension
- Get stronger, improve their volume and uplift
- Work better individually and collectively as a system for the face operations and expressions, optimizing the movements and minimizing the wrinkles creation.
- Exercises and massage techniques promote fat pads stability by toning the muscle system which is able to support fat effectively for longer
- Exercises and massage techniques improve the skin condition by pumping up the muscles system that lies above them and by boosting blood circulation and nutrients absorption, reinforcing by this way the regenerating process.
- This increase in circulation affects positively the bones shape, giving a boost to the basis of the face structure.
- Exercises and massage techniques accelerate the lymph flow, helping the face to depuff and be more vibrant
- The face contour and shape is preserved for longer
And the most important:
- Face Yoga as a self-treatment method facilitates self-care and self-love, keeping facial physiology healthy and radiant and psychology uplifted.
After all, as we know: a good psychology returns back a good physiology!