"I tried face yoga to see if it could give me a 'faux facelift' - here's what happened..."

face yoga facial review
Does face yoga really sculpt your face? I try itHearst Owned

Buccal fat was everywhere last year – well, technically it wasn't because everyone was removing it. In case you missed it, buccal fat pads are that cushiony layer of tissue in the cheek just under your cheekbones. Buccal fat is key to muscle movement, but everyone in 2023 seemed to be ditching the fat in favour of a more sculpted look. I'm pretty attached to my fat pads, thank you very much, but I had to admit the idea of hollowing out my cubby cheeks seemed tempting, although not surgery-worthy.

Enter: Face yoga (AKA, buccal massage). The idea is to lift and sculpt your face, without breaking up with your fat pads – phew. It's essentially a deep-tissue massage for your face and involves going inside the mouth to target the muscle. This (in theory) should stimulate blood flow, promote lymphatic drainage, release toxins and aid collagen production, leading to firmer skin and a more contoured look, thanks to the muscle workout. It sounds like a lot to do in one facial.

face yoga facial review
Hearst Owned

I suffer from TMD, so not only was I excited to see the aesthetic results of slimming down my chipmunk cheeks, but I was also hoping to see some improvement in jaw tension.

Did it work though? I headed to Skin Loft in Kensington to try 'The Yoga Facelift' treatment to find out...

My face yoga facial review

"I call this the 'masochist facial'," cosmetologist and facialist Daiva Kamysova tells me. I immediately get the sense this isn't going to be one of those treatments that involves a jade roller, a sheet mask and me taking a nap.

She explains that the anti-wrinkle injections I've had in my jaw to treat my TMD paralyse the muscles, therefore shrinking them. This facial does the opposite and stretches them out – similar to what yoga does to your limbs.

The first 45 minutes are heavenly; I imagine this is what my cat feels like when being petted. She spends a while massaging my shoulders and stretching my neck muscles, which is unusual for a facial, but I'm told this helps promote lymphatic drainage. "Everything is connected. Tension can block your blood flow and lead to problems in other areas, so when you feel tight in your shoulders, it could result in puffiness on the face," Kamysova says.

The gristle in my jawline is worked on first and then my lips. She tells me I "need to kiss more" to stretch out the muscles. *Opens Hinge immediately*. Then, finally, the internal buccal massage.

The last fifteen minutes are the tough part. I'm told I "may cry" but she quickly caveats that everyone "always comes back asking for more", so it sounds like your typical toxic relationship, only this one will (hopefully) leave me glowing and relaxed.

I've got several tattoos and too many piercings to count but even I found the the internal massage intense. This is my own fault, I'm too tense (quelle surprise). She goes easy on me (thank God) and reassures me that I can stop at any time. I admit, it feels odd to have a stranger's fingers in your mouth – get your mind out of the gutter.

She tells me that the left-hand side of my face is tighter, probably due to that being the side I sleep and chew on. The pressure does cause my eyes to weep, but once it's over my mouth feels...bigger, somehow.

Unlike most facials, I'm told I should see results two or three days later. However, I look in the mirror directly after and my skin looks rejuvenated; kind of like I've just come back from a run – minus the sweat. My muscles feel a bit tender afterwards and sore the next day – similar to how you would feel after an intense workout – but they also feel looser.

For optimal results, Kamysova recommends a course of roughly six treatments once a week to really see a long-term lifting effect. After that, once every six or so weeks is needed to keep those muscles in tip-top shape.

skin yoga facial review
My face before my skin yoga facial vs. one and three days afterHearst Owned

You can see my before and after pictures above. The sculpting and lifting 'facelift' effects aren't exactly dramatically obvious (although, after just one session this would be unlikely anyway), but I think my skin appears glowier and my muscles feel so much more relaxed, I almost can't believe it.

Finally, a workout I might actually be able to stick to.

'The Yoga Facelift' at Skin Loft is £190 per session BOOK HERE

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