Is facial yoga for real? Episode 14

Will exercising your facial muscles with yoga really reduce wrinkles?  Also, does eating ice cream make you a murderer? Tune in and find out! Bonus: You won’t believe Perry’s wacky push up challenge! 

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Today’s show opens with a discussion of Buzzfeed’s article on the 10 Most Bizarre Correlations which includes “Ice cream consumption leads to murder” and, my personal favorite,  “A pirate shortage caused global warming.” Remember: correlation does not imply causation!

Then we answer a question from Katie about whether or not doing facial yoga can really reduce wrinkles and boost collagen product. Perry and I found that dermatologists and plastic surgeons seem to agree  that such claims don’t make a lot of sense since heavily used face muscles tend to cause wrinkles rather then remove them.

The only expert counter point of view we could find came from Dr. Neil Sadick, a cosmetic surgeon and clinical professor of dermatology at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, who reportedly has conducted facial stimulation studies and claim that they can improve muscle tone and make the skin appear more supple.

However, we found that what Dr. Sadick actually did was study the effect of electrical stimulation on facial muscles. (See the references for a link to his paper.)  The study was done on 108 women from their late 30s to late 50s who received electrical facial stimulation for 20 min/day, 5 days/week for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, ultrasound measurements showed their zygomatic muscle increased in thickness.But,  this study does NOT prove that facial yoga works. The bottom line is that that the experts who understand skin and the structure of facial muscles say there’s no reason facial yoga should increase collagen and elastin production. And while there is some legitimate published data which indicates that prolonged electrical stimulation of facial muscles may have skin toning effect we could find no evidence that facial yoga really works.



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