We go to the gym to tone our arms, legs, butt and abs. But what about…our face?
Enter the face gym, a spa-workout hybrid that’s popping up all over the world. During a session, a masseuse will use his or her hands and some tools (like flat jade) to stimulate blood circulation and collagen production to give the illusion of a face-lift without the needles.
The first on our radar was FaceGym, a British company that now has a location in NYC and plans to expand to other U.S. cities. There, you’ll go through a 30- or 45-minute group class that mimics a fitness session, with a warm-up, a detailed routine and a cool-down. During a session, trainers (yes, they’re called trainers) will knead and massage your face to sculpt and tone muscles. Classes start at a not-insignificant $70. Also stateside are Skin Fit Gym in Santa Monica, California, and Face Love in NYC.
Much like a normal workout, a facial workout can be rigorous. FaceGym founder Inge Theron told Fast Company that, despite the spa feel, “at the end, your muscles hurt just as much as if you’d been to the gym. There are absolutely moments that are very, very vigorous…We call it ‘sweet pain.’”
And apparently, the pain may very well be worth it. Per a 2018 study at Northwestern University, 30 minutes of daily facial exercises can improve the appearance of middle-aged women. These improvements can take the form of plumped cheeks, fewer wrinkles and a more defined face shape. Another study published in JAMA Dermatology found that middle-aged women looked about three years younger after just a few months of exercising.
So, um, meet you at the gym for forehead class?