Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exercise Your Face Just Like You Exercise Your Body!

There's no disputing that exercise keeps us young. Working out tones muscles, brings oxygen to the skin and keeps it firm, helps the body release stored fat, keeps our joints in working order, strengthens our immune system, aids in the management of illnesses such as anxiety, ADD, arthritis, and a myriad of other extremely beneficial improvements to the quality of our health, bodies, lives and looks.

This is not a secret nor is it controversial in any way.

But when talk turns to exercising the face to get those very same benefits, suddenly the subject becomes taboo to many. We've all heard the warnings about not moving our faces too much, lest all that stretching of the skin causes wrinkles and other permanent damage. We've been told not to touch our faces - that the skin is too delicate or that doing so will cause breakouts.

This is all nothing but propaganda! Not only is moving and stimulating the face absolutely acceptable, it's necessary if you want to look your best. Not only will face exercises lift sagging muscles and give you a youthful and appealing look, but studies show that it is expressive faces that are judged to be the most beautiful. Don't give in to the Botox lie that a woman's face needs to be completely unlined (and immobile). That's not true at all.

Work those muscles with facial exercises, rather than deadening and paralyzing them with injections, build up your muscles to naturally plump your face and skip the injections. And, if you do the right exercises, you can lift your face for a natural facelift that actually looks natural rather than freakish and even cat-like.

I first discovered face exercises when I caught a segment on some morning show over a decade ago. I was only in my early 30s at the time but, having been a true devotee of Cosmo, Glamour, etc., I was convinced that my shelf life was limited and that my best (and most beautiful) years had passed me by. Again, more propaganda that is repeated so often and so vehemently that we can't help but believe it to be the truth.

Yet the woman on television demonstrated a quick and easy movement that instantly lifted the eyebrows. There was a noticeable difference between their before and after shots - with something so simple, quick and easy! The exercise took less than a minute. The truly amazing part was that, when I tried it along with them, not only did I get the same results, but I could feel the muscle in my brows. I hadn't even been aware we had muscles in our face! I don't know what I thought... I guess just that we had skin stretched across bone and we'd all suffer from the eventual sagging that was sure to result as the years passed and gravity took its toll.

The woman also demonstrated an exercise for plumping up the upper lip. This one I was very eager to learn since I'd always felt my top lip was much too thin. Again, I could feel the resistance as I worked the muscle at the base of my nose. Within a week, I was noticing a difference in my lips as well as my brows.

Not long after, I caught a commercial for a complete face workout and knew I had to have it. It turned out to be one of the best things I have done for myself. The program is FlexEffect and I have been doing it faithfully for all these years. I regularly get mistaken for someone much younger and it's all due to this program. Not too long ago I was out with a good friend who is 15 years younger, I met some of her out of town family members and they asked me if we'd gone to school together. I laughed and said that I was much older than her and they then asked if I'd gone to school with her older brother who is 12 years younger. When I told them my age, they were astonished and kept saying that I looked much younger and that, not only did I not have wrinkles, but that my skin had "that illumination of youth." A very nice compliment, in deed.

I owe it all to the FlexEffect Facialbuilding Program. The creator of this wonderful program is Deborah Crowley, she's now in her 60s and doesn't look it at all! You will be amazed at her progress over the years. Take a look, I promise you won't be disappointed.There is also a Before & After section of various people who have also benefited from her miraculous discovery.

She is the originator of the idea that there is more to a facial workout than making funny faces, she bases her moves on resistance - with your fingers and hands providing that resistance. She even takes the time to explain the muscles of the face and the science behind why her facial resistance training works. I can't recommend it high enough.

There are many other programs out there but this is my personal favorite. There are also some that are not reputable at all and actually may do more harm than good, so don't assume any and all face workouts are the same. Two others that I have heard good things about, but have not personally tried, are Facercise and Ageless If You Dare. Many have used these programs in conjunction with FlexEffect to work specific areas they feel need more work. But you won't go wrong by starting with the original and the best - FlexEffect. It has my eternal stamp of approval.

Deborah Crowley has now developed a new and improved program that I have not tried, but it's definitely on my shopping list. I will leave you with this peek at her new program that includes Jolting® and Cross Stretching®.  As you watch, keep in mind that this woman is 62!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Secret To Dewy, Youthful Skin That Glows: Exfoliation!

If you're not exfoliating, you're missing out. Nothing makes the skin feel softer, more energized, or look more youthful. It's also the best buck you will ever spend in your beauty arsonal. The brand doesn't matter, I always grab whichever is cheapest, store labels are usually about 60 cents. And you will get about a month or more of use, depending on how much of your body you exfoliate.

You'll definitely want to use it on your face, but start out slowly because this stuff will really buff away the top layer of dead skin, and you don't want to be too rough. Although, since I've been using baking soda on my face and body for years, my skin has been strengthened and can take very aggressive exfoliation.

What's revealed will be soft, glowing new skin. "Soft as a baby's bottom," as the saying goes.

All you do is pour out a small handful of baking soda, add a little water to make a paste, and then apply in gentle circular motions. I recently suggested this to my sister, and her teenage son noticed her skin was luminous after just three days... and, if you know anything about teenage boys, they're not too observant, at least not about the condition of their mother's skin.

I've had strangers see me from across the room and rush over to compliment my skin. This is no small thing - people will notice!

I also use baking soda on my neck, chest, and breasts. It can also be used on your arms and legs, to not only make your skin smooth, but to strengthen it and firm it up... and who doesn't want firmer upper arms and thighs?

I keep my baking soda in a pretty container with a screw on lid in my shower and fill it up every week or so. But when I'm in a rush and washing my face in the sink, I use a quicker and less messy method. Then I use my trusty Buff Puff. It's a rough sponge that exfoliates just as the baking soda does, and it comes in three variations: Extra Gentle, Gentle, and Regular, and costs about five bucks. Just wet the sponge, add your favorite facial cleanser, and use the same gentle circular motions. You will probably have to stick with just your face at first, if you do decide to try it on your neck, use an extra soft touch since the skin on the neck is much more delicate than that of the face.

So there you have it, my two favorite anti-aging exfoliants. There are many more on the market, some with much larger price tags, but I really do believe these are the two best things you can use to get that dewy youthful glow.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Advanced Skincare

My absolute favorite skincare site is skinbio.com. Most beauty addicts already know how revolutionary peptides are, but these copper peptides work miracles.

You can search by skin problem and find out exactly what it is you should order and how you should use it... so if your problem is wrinkles, loose skin, stretchmarks, scars, etc., SkinBio has a solution for you. You can also look under the body part/s you wish to change - your eyes, lips, breasts... and see all options available to you.

Their prices are not only very reasonable, but you get a free gift with each $50 you spend.

I'm shocked at the outrageously over-priced department store beauty creams that basically do nothing except smell good and give you a fancy container to set on your bathroom vanity. SkinBio charges drugstore prices for creams and serums based on real science. And, best of all, real results! Which you can see for yourself in the before and after photo section.

If you're looking for beauty on a budget, this is the first place to start looking.