Friday, July 25, 2014

The real key to having a great facial structure (and it's not contouring).

When you flip through the pages of high fashion magazines, one thing that you might notice is the striking bone structure of the models featured on those pages.  Well defined cheek bones and a strong jaw are regarded as an attribute of beauty in our society.  Heck, you can browse through dozens of videos on Youtube on how to contour your face with make up to create the illusion of a face with a strong bone structure. While contouring is a great method, it's not a substitute for the real thing. 
What if I told you that, if you are older than 30, your facial bones are diminishing. Take a moment of reflect on the celebrities who spend good money to ward off wrinkles with botox, fillers and face lifts only to look like a middle aged person who's had work done.   As we age, there's less collagen to maintain the structure of their skin.  Our muscles atrophy which causes sagging and wrinkles. And, most importantly, our bones shrink.
A progression of how our facial bonus change as we age. On the far right, an infant. The farthest left is an elderly person.  Notice the minimal cheekbones and the size of the hollows of the eyes compared to the adult skull. Tooth loss contributes to a thin jaw.
The market place offers creams and lotions in an attempt to address the wrinkles.  There are fillers available to help build the loss of volume but nothing to deal with the root cause.  The strength and integrity of our bone structure is just as important (if not more so) than making sure you take your collagen and apply eye cream.  Those who engage in strength building resistance exercise are able to maintain a strong "young looking body" for years beyond their youth.  But, often times, the appearance of their face gives them away.  Their body (and bones) remained strong, but aging in the face progressed.  When we see a celebrity and proclaim, "wow, they haven't aged,"  We aren't only talking about the lack of wrinkles, we are impressed with how much they look like we remember them years (or decades) ago.

So what is a person to do to keep our bones strong?  First off, resistance train.  We already talked about how strength building exercises helps maintain muscle. It's been proven that our bones respond well when resistance/pressure is applied. Now let's talk about what we can do to help maintain a strong facial structure.  Let me start by saying that (at this point) there isn't a lot of info online on this topic so much of what I will be sharing is pure speculation crafted from the wild theories conjured up in my mind.

From what we know for sure, our bones respond to resistance, pressure, and vibration/stimulation.  We know this because of how exercise affects the bone.  Regarding stimulation, there are vibration plates on the market meant to stimulation bone density. The vibrations cause muscle contractions which makes the brain think we are engaging in resistance exercises.  This, in turn, promotes the creation of stronger bones.  There aren't any strength training machines for our face.  You can find examples of various facial exercises that help strengthen the muscle. One could assume that the facial bones will benefit from this. But we don't know for sure.  I have begun to find creative ways to apply pressure & stimulate my facial bones as much as possible.  For example, my Clarisonic Plus,(unlike the regular Clarisonic) is so effective, that I feel the stimulation well below the surface of my skin. I can feel the sonic vibrations all the way down to my bones.  I also love my Panasonic facial massager.  At first I wasn't sure I liked it because of how "heavy handed" it was on my face. But then I realized how I could feel the stimulation down to my facial bones which none of my other facial massagers/rollers could do. Now it has become a staple in my regimen.    When I conduct a facial massage, I try to press down really firmly to apply pressure on my facial bone. I just want to stimulate it as much as possible to prevent atrophy from setting in.

Let's not forget about the role of nutrition in maintaining strong bones. And, no, I'm not talking about drinking a glass of milk.  The true way to strong bones is to prevent our bodies from leeching calcium from our bones.  The leeching happens when our bodies are acidic.  Since calcium is alkaline, we are designed to utilize available calcium to neutralize our blood when our internal pH is outta wack.  We've got to keep ourselves as alkaline as possible by drinking lemon water, super greens, alkaline water, eating right.  Maybe that's why Elle Mcphearson maintains her youthful look her bone structure might look like someone in their thirties, not a 50 year old.

  Lastly, there is a information out there that suggests we can remineralize our bones through nutrition.  That's one of things that attracted me to fermented cod liver oil (FCLO).  Lot's of people shared their results of how FCLO was integral in refilling cavities in their teeth.  I suspect the natural vitamin D in fermented cod liver may have something to do with it.  I watched a 2 hour presentation once from the folks responsible for this all natural cod liver oil.  They showed images of various tribes who enjoyed a diet rich in raw milk and all natural omega 3 (like the kind found in FCLO).  These individuals had common trait of having a strong bone structure. Their mid-face was described a broad in appearance. Then, as the diet of the tribes evolved to resemble a western diet, there was an obvious change in the facial structures. Their faces became narrower which lead to "crowded teeth" perhaps due to less space for the teeth to form.    It was as if, their bones didn't form "properly" during their development.  Anyone who is pregnant or is in child bearing age should learn more about this.  It's quite interesting. 

I'm gonna stop here, before I bore you with all my nerdy ramblings.   Just remember that anti-aging is more than just avoiding wrinkles by applying topicals. It's about having a strong foundation of health. For us that means ensuring our internal environment is alkaline and taking action that directly benefit the strength of our bones. 

  1. There are people who believe in exercising your facial muscles. They believe that if you have trained muscles in your face it will help keeping the face elastic and firm.

  2. There is a lady named Eva that has a facial exercise program. The lady is well into her 80s and looks like she's in her 60's. I truly believe in the power of facial exercises. I started doing them 3 months ago. I am keeping photos of before, during and after. I have given myself 6 months. I am already seeing results. You can over do facial exercises though so definitely in moderation but they are extremely helpful.

  3. Nadege what was the name of the documentary you watched on raw milk and cod liver oil? As always your posts are timely and speak to so many needs of women.

  4. Hi Anon! Acutually, it's a presentation. I went back and linked to it in post. The talk is 2 hours. You can probably find more info in the related videos as well.