You may have heard all kinds of things about the trendiest cosmetic surgery of the year: buccal fat removal. Made popular by celebs and models like Bella Hadid and Lea Michele, the surgery aims to remove a portion of the buccal fat padding beneath your cheekbones in order to create a hollowed-out effect that makes cheekbones stand out more. It isn’t without risks, though. Asymmetry, facial nerve injury, and infection are all possible (especially if you aren’t going to a highly trained and skilled plastic surgeon). If you already lack enough flesh in that area, you could be left with a far more hollow appearance than you had wanted. Not to mention: factors like aging, which results in the natural reduction of facial volume, may send you searching for ways to reverse the effects of the procedure (via filler or fat replacement) years down the road.
There are perfectly non-scary or risky ways that you can tone your facial massages right at home. While there is no data that facial massage and exercise can reduce facial fat, these movements are free (unless you seek a little assistance from a facial massaging tool), feel relaxing, and may help sculpt your jawline and cheeks. Here are four morning facial exercises experts swear by instead of buccal fat surgery.
The All-Over Facial Massage
Celebrity esthetician Joshua Ross, swears by face massage techniques that tighten skin and recommends using Sonage’s mini–Baby Frioz Icy Globes Tool, which he says is the perfect size for cheek contouring.
His steps include:
1. Start at the top of the forehead and work down towards the temples
2. Start at the ridge of the eyebrows and work towards the temples
3. Lightly press under eyes and roll towards the temples
4. Press under nose and contour under cheek bones, then roll towards front of the ears
5. Trace jawbone up to the ears
6. Press firmly under ears and pull down towards collarbone
This massage targets cheekbone muscles and feels so soothing:
Place your fingers over your cheekbones and gently lift your skin upwards
As you do this open your mouth and form an oval “O”
Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds
For a more toned jawline, try this morning exercises:
Tilt your head back and position your lower lip over your top lip
Continue to stretch your neck while you hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds
Given how the effect of buccal fat removal mimics a fish face, this one is aptly named and may help tone cheek muscles for a slimmer-looking face.
Suck in your cheeks and hold the position for 20 seconds
Take a break and repeat the exercise a few times to feel its effect
Add a few facial exercises to your morning coffee-shower-moisturizer routine and your facial muscles will feel toned and relaxed — without costing you a cent.