Quickly becoming a bestseller, the book “Facial Gymnastics – The method to keep a beautiful face natural” is back in a new edition enriched with a section dedicated to the different forms of the face. The writer and coach Catherine Pez, to whom we owe this opus, returns to the (many) benefits of a practice that is more and more emulated around the world and deciphers some of these exercises to be carried out daily.
You have a degree in literature and write-fiction. What led you to become interested in facial gymnastics?
Around the age of 48, when I noticed, while inadvertently leaning over a mirror, that the features of my face were beginning to slide down, I became interested in the muscles that we could have under the skin in this place. Helped by my doctor’s husband, I began my research and especially understood the existence and effectiveness of skin muscles. As someone who loved writing, the idea quickly came to me to share my experience with my sisters in a book.
How can facial gymnastics benefit the skin?
Working the 50 muscles of our face assiduously in tension-repeated relaxation has an undeniable effect on the tension of the skin. It’s precisely like working the muscles of the body in the gym.
These exercises help tighten the muscle fibers present under the skin. Still, they will also stimulate the biological elements essential to its good condition, such as rehydration, hyaluronic acid diffusion, and collagen and elastin production.
Does the emergence of facial gymnastics methods mean that our lifestyles and behaviors have contributed to sagging skin?
I do not think so. Quite the contrary. Historically, both our mothers and grandmothers have felt this degradation of their traits since menopause. And a 70-year-old person today has nothing to do with a person of the same age before… I am convinced that knowledge of the nuisances to our beauty and our health – the harmful effects of the sun or the misuse of alcoholic beverages, for example – is a well-established fact. We all know what to expect, and the science about our skin continues to make progress. I think we are much more concerned and perhaps more attentive to staying close to nature… This is mainly where the change lies.
Your method includes an exercise program tailored to each face shape. Why this choice?
Following the release of my previous books on the subject and through my experience in the field, I became aware that each form of the face has its particularity, and it is not always desirable to exercise the same muscles. A square face should not work the jaw muscles too much, while a long look should insist on this place. Thanks to these exercises, we can not only remedy the loosening of the tissues but also correct certain defects related to this relaxation.
Can we say that facial gymnastics is as effective as a botox session?
I don’t think I can say that botox paralyzes the muscle more than temporarily for a good reason. The work of our muscle fibers through the exercises of facial gymnastics does not seek to paralyze the power but to stimulate it so that the fiber shortens and goes up the features. My certainty is that wrinkle sets in when the force that supports the skin in this place is failing. Paralyzing him with botox injections should make the unsightly folds disappear, but in doing so, the face mummifies and loses even his facial expressions. This is not what I am looking for in advocating the practice of facial exercises.
What areas of the face can be worked on?
All! There are no areas that should escape if need be, facial gymnastics. The oval, cheeks, forehead, temples, and even eyes… There are exercises for all parts of the face.
After 40 years, is it (already) too late to start facial gymnastics?
Certainly not! It’s even the ideal age to start with: at the first signs of age… and these signs begin at the time of menopause, between the ages of 45 and 50 most of the time. The loss of female hormones induces relaxation of tissues at all levels, and it is the face that is marked first.
There are dozens of exercises in your book. Do you have to practice them all regularly to get a makeover?
It is less a question of giving ourselves a makeover than of maintaining the excellent condition of our skin daily. The attendance will pay off, and that will guarantee its effectiveness. It is not desirable to do all the exercises. That’s why I established a routine in the book according to each tone problem that arises according to age and deficit.
Which one does seem essential to you?
I have two more preciseness. The first is the one that relates to the oval of the face. It is a question of stopping its relaxation with a work of the digastric muscle. The second is the one that will refocus the beginning towards the middle, that of the cheekbones, resulting from the lifter of the upper lip.
Do you think these manual methods could replace the countless creams that we apply daily in the long term?
Self-massages, like Jacquet pinches, are two essential pillars in maintaining the beauty of facial skin. In addition to forcing you to follow the insertion of the face muscles, self-massage will drain the lymphatic vessels in their path and smooth and relax involuntary tensions, such as squinting between the two eyes, for example. Jacquet pinches will stimulate the muscle fiber to the deepest and give it the impetus necessary to produce hyaluronic acid. However, creams are irreplaceable because they force us to interact daily with our skin. They are an integral part of our beauty treatments. In self-massage, they must be used to allow our fingers to slide over the skin without making it wrinkle, and at the same time, the gestures of self-massage help them penetrate the epidermis.