Recently, having been complimented on my skin yet again, especially acknowledging my large amount of accumulated years, I repeated an old joke about whipping up a potion – a witchy potion – that I take every night to keep that youthful appearance!
Actually, although I have some fun with this ridiculous notion, I’m pretty serious when it comes to facial care. I usually exhort anyone who brings up facial skin care, particularly young people, with the admonition not to use soap on your skin but rather to use a cream make-up remover and then various day or night products to moisturize your skin, especially around the eyes or cheek lines.
But it gets me in mind of my old yoga teacher with whom I studied for years when in my thirties. He was a silver-haired Russian in his seventies who taught yoga in a black speedo, and whose entire skin and body looked to be that of a man in his fifties. He had studied yoga in a Chinese school, and come to America by way of Australia. He taught us, among all the other bodily postures (asanas), several yoga exercises specific to the face. Regrettably, try as I might, I can’t remember their Hindu names. I do, however, remember what the postures were, which involved making strange, almost creepy, faces such as an extreme pout of the lips, jutting them forward into an “O” shape, and then an immediate pulling back and widening as the lips turned inward toward the teeth and the cheek muscles stretched. I also remember one in which the lower jaw pulled all the neck muscles tight and wide, and then released them.
A quick search of the internet revealed many facial yoga exercises, complete with pictures and videos of most – for around the mouth or eyes, the forehead, above the lips, under the eyes, between the eyebrows, and for sagging skin or double chin, to name a few. I would highly recommend doing any or all of these, along with the regime of moisturizer and cream instead of soap.
But my main point to share is what I noticed when talking to some of my twentyish-year-old friends: how are your thoughts affecting your face?
Many of these young women and men were already unconsciously falling into frowns, putting blade lines between the eyebrows that eventually will not go away but will become permanent. Or, lifting and squeezing the brow so that horizontal lines of concern form. These momentary expressions will wipe away easily in youth, but begin to rigidify in passing years until the only recourse is Botox.
If one realizes early on that the series of unconscious thoughts and moods are reflected in the face, and become the image that one presents to the world when one reaches forties and fifties, the process is relatively easily halted. Be mindful of your thoughts. If you are worried, relax your facial muscles; if you are depressed so that your mouth is turning downwards a lot, let go for a moment and bring your lips upwards into a smile and relax the muscles around your eyes.
The message is pretty simple: more important than your yoga exercises, your facial toilette, and Botox, is your daily ability to keep your thoughts on an even keel and make sure your worries or sadness are not reflected in your face. Sometimes your appearance in your sixties and seventies is due to your genes, but often it can be due to a combination of good facial care and self-aware patterns.
Remember the song, “Don’t worry, be happy!” It’s like the formula for the fountain of youth!
Judi Thomases is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire online magazine.
The online feature magazine, JenningsWire.com, is created by National PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book promotion services to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major high impact radio talk interview shows, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media outlets and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers across the country.