Daily Mail - 29th September 2016

Get the lips of a woman half your age (no needles required) with simple facial exercises

Get the lips of a woman half your age (no needles required)

Article Type: Press, Online

Publication: The Daily Mail

Published: 29/Sep/2016

THIS year, it’s not just the strawberry tarts and soggy bottoms keeping viewers hooked to the Great British Bake Off. No, many of us are mesmerised by contestant Candice Brown’s pursed, cupid’s bow lips.

The PE teacher’s vibrant lipstick means they’re hard to miss — and her constant pouting doesn’t hurt, either.
Sometimes, she even absent-mindedly balances a pencil between her pert upper lip and her nose as she bakes.
And while the stream of air kisses have irritated some viewers, others are simply desperate to copy her look.
But forget lipstick, balm or gloss. The real secret to a youthful pout, according to experts, is doing regular lip exercises.

Celebrities are increasingly turning to this natural form of enhancement instead of the expensive and risky fillers that once left so many famous women with bumpy, uneven lips and fishy pouts.

Not only are lip exercises free and nat­ural, they also dangle the tempting promise of actually changing your lips for the better — whereas injected fillers fade with time and can leave you look­ing worse than before you had them.

Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cindy Crawford reportedly do facial exer­cises to perfect their lips, while Madonna, always at the forefront of any anti-ageing technique, has consulted ‘facial fitness’ expert Eva Fraser, who has a salon in Kensington, West London.

But can a mouth work-out really make a visible difference? Facial yoga expert Danielle Collins insists it can.

‘I have seen interest in the method grow enormously in the past decade,’ she says. As well as being a free alternative to surgery, lip enhancement is based, she claims, on sound anatomi­cal principles.

‘There is a ring-shaped muscle surrounding the mouth called the orbicularis oris muscle. By doing simple exercises, you can strengthen this muscle, firming and smoothing the skin attached.’

This ring of muscle, which is needed to play a trumpet or any other brass instrument, is actually made up of four different quadrants, all of which can be targeted with different exercises.

OTHER key muscles of the face include the buccinator muscle, which makes up the base of your cheek, and the risorius muscle. Known as the ‘laughing muscle’, this is found in the cheek and helps to control the angle of your mouth and your smile.

‘Massage is also important — by regularly massaging the area around your lips, you will increase the circula­tion and lymph flow and remove toxins,’ says Danielle, who counts current Strictly star Louise Redknapp among her clients.

‘This will reduce poor skin tone, puffiness and fine lines, and allow the skin to look healthier and more youthful. The massage techniques will also increase collagen and elastin, natural plumping agents.’

Collagen is a protein found in all our tissues. It forms a sort of mesh that supports our skin, helping it to stay firm — and experts believe both massage and exercise can speed up its produc­tion in our bodies.

Dr Rita Rakus, known by her clients as ‘the London lip queen’, agrees that exercises can help.

‘Ten minutes of daily face exercise targeting the lip and mouth area help to prevent wrinkles — it works the hypo- dermis (the lower layer of the skin), the dermis (middle layer) and the epidermis (upper layer), increasing blood circula­tion and allowing more oxygen and nourishment to reach cells,’ she says.

Salons and spas are fast catching on to the idea that clients can help themselves to a more youthful smile and hold off the dreaded middle-aged sag — for free.

Tanya Rashid, co-founder of Aesthetics Lab, a medical spa, says: ‘Lips tend to give away our age, as they become thinner and less full with time. Exercises strengthen the muscles around the mouth and increase the blood flow to the face, which stimulates the production of collagen and will naturally plump the lips.’

The real draw for many, of course, is the complete lack of risk when it comes to side-effects.

Inge Theron is the founder of Face Gym, a gym studio just for facial exercise at Neville Hair & Beauty in Belgravia, London. She says: ‘When chemical fillers hit the industry, I saw a huge increase of invasive procedures with little regulation being put in place. Suddenly, you could get Botox at the local hair salon, and even skin fillers at the dentist.

‘People already understand the idea of working out the body muscles in the gym, so we have recreated the same familiar routine with the lips,’ she explains. Want to give your pout a workout? Just follow the simple exercises above for a few minutes a day to tone up those facial muscles for that pursed lips look.