Face Yoga : Incredible Edible Face Masks

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know I spent last week sampling face masks – Incredible Edible Face Masks.

I combined plain yogurt with ingredients easily found at the supermarket. You can’t keep them for any length of time, so after slathering the mixtures on my face, I either directly ate the leftover or prepared something with it.

Why plain yogurt?

Yogurt boosts the beneficial bacteria on our skin.

Gross as it may sound, we have over 500 species of bacteria crawling around on our skin. Our biggest organ hosts a Far West of “good” and “bad” bacteria fighting it out. The beauty of our skin depends on the delicate balance of these microorganisms.

The healthy bacteria, or skin microbiota, help stop pathogens from entering the skin, stop inflammation, control infection, and kill off the more harmful strains.

I recently read that cosmetic companies are exploring this idea of pro-biotics for the skin. But you need look no further than that pot of plain yogurt sitting in your fridge.

I used plain Greek Yogurt in my recipes. It is a personal preference because it’s a little thicker.

I had never tried these masks before. Here’s what I found.

*I have what is considered “normal” skin and no particular skin issues, nor do I have any food allergies. Should you want to try any of these masks and have any doubts about the ingredients or how they may affect you, do some research first.

I kicked off the week with a Greek Yogurt & Matcha Powder brightening mask. The Matcha’s strong anti-oxidants promote elasticity, even skin tone and reduce inflammation.

This mask did not disappoint – even smelled “healthy.” It tingled while on and stayed rubbery. Afterwards, my glowing skin felt like it had a protective layer on it and stayed supple all day.

Unless you like that full-on vegetal taste, add the leftover into a smoothie or shake.

Tuesday’s Greek Yogurt, Egg & Olive Oil mask was liquid. Maybe needed more yogurt. The olive oil smell was pleasant and the mask tightened as it dried (so no smiling). My skin felt taught and bright, especially in the under eye area.

The skin easily absorbs the amino acids in the egg, while the oil softens and hydrates.

Scramble up the leftover for breakfast or lunch.

I combined Greek Yogurt, Honey & Oats for Wednesday’s  mask. The oats provide gentle exfoliation and absorb excess oils, while the honey moisturizes and softens.

This mask was a bit messy. It was liquid when applying and sticky while on. But the results were, as promised, luminously, smooth skin. This mask is a facial and breakfast rolled into one.

The Greek Yogurt & Coco Powder Mask on Thursday came highly recommended. The coco contains minerals like potassium, phosphorous and manganese, plus tightening caffeine. It is definitely a firming mask. To me it felt a bit itchy as it was drying and I had to moisturize a little more afterwards.

If you like the taste of dark, unsweetened chocolate, eat this off the spoon. If not, add it to your smoothie, cereal or oatmeal.

Friday I mashed up Avocado, Olive Oil & Greek Yogurt for a super-hydrating mask – because of the lubricating qualities of the oil and the healthy fats from the avocado. Great for flaky or peeling skin. Perfect for coming out of the Winter months.

My skin felt baby smooth after rinsing, and fine lines were reduced.

Have the rest of the avocado for lunch.

Finally Saturday’s Grated Orange Peel & Greek Yogurt mask promised to repair, lighten and erase blemishes. It smelled like orange sorbet and tasted less bitter than you would think.

The vitamin C from the oranges help heal the skin and fight free radicals . It also plays a role in collagen production.

The mask dried stiff and took some time to rinse. There was some exfoliating going on. My skin was super soft all day, all evening, and still so at midnight, after taking off my makeup.

Do-it-Yourself, edible masks make your skin feel great and allow you to take care of your skin on the inside and out. The perk is that YOU control the quality of the ingredients in them. Incredible.

Are you tempted?

Face Yoga : Make Me Smile

Smiling is an instant-anti-aging tool.

Doesn’t that make you want to smile already ?

This simple movement is often considered the most powerful gesture. Because it works on a feedback loop with your brain. When our brains are stimulated to feel good, they send a signal to smile. When we smile, we send a signal to the brain that stimulates it to feel good. It’s a virtuous circle – of Happiness.

Smiling is an expression of joy and plays a role in social interaction. People who smile more often are perceived as being both younger and more attractive.

Unfortunately, with age, things like tooth and gum problems, loss of bone mass, and reduction of collagen (to name a few) can affect the broadness of our smile. We stress and get in the (bad) habit of letting the corners of our mouth sag. It becomes the norm for our face muscles to droop.

Also when we forget about just HOW we smile, we develops different types of lines around the mouth and in the nasolabial area.

Start with identification. Notice the times during the day (activities, thoughts, feelings) when you are letting gravity pull the mouth down. Then CONSCIOUSLY remind yourself to lift those corners ! Do this as often as possible. It really helps.

Add in Face Yoga exercises to strengthen the cheek muscles and exercises that hold the mouth in one position. You will purposefully work towards reversing your habits and make grinning the norm. The action of the exercises will also center the jawline and lift and prevent sagging jowls

Don’t like your smile ? Change it.

Yes. It’s possible.

With Face Yoga you’ll also identify which muscles you are using. You may need to relax certain muscles or re-train them, or use others. You can even create a more symmetrical smile or correct a gummy one. Other exercises plump and color the lips. With regular practice, you can get more lasting results .

Ask yourself, “How do I want to smile?”

Face Yoga can help you achieve that.

Our mouths not only show our age, but also our emotions. Smiling is not just mechanical movement. Think of all the different types of smiles out there – the closed-lip smile, the sweet smile, the flirtatious smile, the smug smile, the “botox” smile, the naughty smile, the forced smile, the know-it-all smile… But nothing can replace a sparkly-eyed, lit-up face, ear-to-ear, genuine S. M. I. L. E.

Even if it causes a few laugh lines around the eyes.

 

 

 

 

Face Yoga Workshop : Face Yoga at Your Desk

Where : Club Haus Am Brill, Capellen

When : Saturday May 20th, 10h – 11h30

This workshop combines soothing and relaxing exercises that can be done at work, in front of your computer, at a table, or any time you need a little pick-me-up.

For more information or to sign up for the workshop contact the Club Haus Am Brill on : 30 00 01

For more information about Face Yoga contact: kim@faceyogaluxembourg.com

Face Yoga : Posture & Asymmetry

Everyone has some degree of facial asymmetry. It’s natural. It’s part of what makes us so unique. It can even be what makes us beautiful.

Most of the time we don’t even notice it. Our brains are conditioned to instruct the eyes to see both sides of our faces as being equal as we gaze in the mirror wondering, “Who’s the fairest of them all?” Others may not notice it either. That’s not to say we are all walking Quasimodos either. But one eyelid could be droopier, one corner of the mouth lower, one marionette line deeper and longer etc…You get the picture.

With age, our natural asymmetries can augment, and a big part of that is due to our daily habits.

As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about with skin aging, sun damage, pollution and free radicals, our posture affects our faces too!

Posture is our body’s position when standing, sitting or lying down.

Are you guilty of always carrying your handbag, or propping the phone between your shoulder and ear, or sleeping, or chewing on the same side? Do you slouch over your desk or round your shoulders when driving, eating or watching TV? These are just a few of the habits that tilt your head/face down or to one side, lift one shoulder higher than the other, round the back, and put pressure on certain areas of the neck and spine. You are helping gravity do it’s worst for a certain amount of time every day. Multiply that by your age. It adds up.

Another facet of Face Yoga practice calls attention to these habits and posture and to consciously correct them whenever we can.

This is hard. They are things we do without thinking. And we will never achieve perfect posture 100% of the time. But by creating an awareness of how we carry ourselves, we can win a few battles, if not the war. Every little bit helps.

Another opportunity to correct your posture is when practicing your Face Yoga Poses. The more you practice your Face Yoga in one day, the more you check-in with your posture.

 

The Face Yoga exercises also have been used to achieve more facial balance and consciously correct more visible asymmetries. They can help with recuperation from injuries* and paralysis* and Bells Palsy* too. (*in connection with patient’s doctor recommendations and medical protocols)

We know that proper alignment contributes to spinal health. It also aids in breathing, which facilitates circulation and oxygen flow to the cells, resulting in better skin tone. It also helps us adopt a more positive attitude. It opens us up, boosts our mood and makes us feel more powerful. We become more attractive to others too.

Think about it. Who do you want to talk to? The person slouching at the table with their hand propping up one side of their face or, the person sitting up, heart facing out to the world, ready to receive you? Which person do you want to be?

Forget perfection and exact symmetry. Search for balance. Stand tall. Be proud of yourself. Practice Face Yoga. The rest will fall into alignment.

Oh, and, your Mother was right. Don’t Slouch!

Remember that the next time you catch yourself. You’ll be doing your body, face and mind a favor.

Face Yoga Workshop – Smile!

Where : Club Haus Am Brill, Capellen

When : Saturday March 17th, 10h – 11h30

Smile! combines lower face exercises that plump, lift, shape and erase lines around the mouth and lip areas. Our mouths show our age and our emotions. Smile at the world, see how the world smiles back at you. Places are limited.

For more information or to sign up for the workshop contact the Club Haus Am Brill on : 30 00 01 or by e-mail : clubsenior@mamer.lu

For more information about Face Yoga contact: kim@faceyogaluxembourg.com

Face Yoga : Self-Compassion & Self-Love

In the past two weeks we celebrated Valentine’s Day, and here in Luxembourg, both Carnival and Buergbrennen (sipping mulled wine and hot soup around a huge bonfire to Burn Away Winter). They’re all holidays full of fun and mischief and fiery emotions and love.

You may be thinking, “Celebrate Valentine’s Day? Fun? I don’t even have a sweetheart.” But you are wrong. You have Yourself!

 

So during this time, I didn’t post much about the facial exercises. I wanted to remind everyone to take the time to appreciate life’s little pleasures and, above all, practice some self-love. It’s not selfish. Really.

 

One way to do that, you knew this was coming, is to practice Face Yoga.

Face Yoga is not just about pulling a few faces (though it may look like that sometimes). With Face Yoga you are focusing, strengthening and retraining your face muscles. You are taking a break, however brief from the day to day obligations and releasing tension. You are getting air into your lungs and oxygen into your systems. And you are reminding yourself to sit up tall, open up to the world and embrace it.

 

Even by repeating one pose, at any given moment in time, you are completely focused on you, what feels good to you, what is helping you to achieve your goal.

The subtle changes lead to more noticeable ones. You become more optimistic. You become more confident. And it shines on in all areas of your life – just like with body exercise, or loosing weight, or a flattering, new outfit, or a great vacation, or anything that impacts you favorably. Other people will take notice too.

It’s being able to look in the mirror and reconcile the real self with the ideal self. And realizing that you are fabulous. You have the power to bring about those physical and mental changes.

Our minds are prone to pay attention to what’s wrong. Women especially are so good at finding the slightest flaw that no one else sees. So much of the world is focusing on the negative right now. Fight back.

Tweak your lifestyle. There are so many yummy & healthy foods out there. So many products and home remedies that help your skin, your hair, your body, look their best. So many techniques to relax and unwind. So many things to enjoy, even on a budget.

The next time you’re about to criticize yourself, pause. Practice self-compassion. Practice Face Yoga! Love Yourself!

Face Yoga : Water Reflects the Face

This week’s snowfall here in Luxembourg was a welcome change from what seemed like 2 months of non-stop gray skies, winds and drizzle, if not   flat-out rain.

photo courtesy of Guy Mathey

Even though we’ve had our fair share of precipitation, I’m going to talk about – WATER.

What I’m not going to talk about is the percentage of water in our bodies, or how much you should consume per day. You know this.

My point is – Just Drink It.

 

Now. I want you to grab a mirror, or your smartphone, or physically get up and get to the nearest looking glass.

Seriously. Do it. Look at yourself.

Do you see lines on your lips? Yes? You are dehydrated. Even if you don’t feel thirsty right now.

If you want to plump up your skin, erase fine lines and increase elasticity, drink more water.

Water is not a replacement for topical moisturizers since it reaches the skin cells last. You need to take in enough water to maintain moisture, deliver nutrients to the skin cells, and enhance and soften the complexion. Drinking an adequate amount of water is still more effective than applying creams.

Cold water or Hot water?

Both have their arguments. Face Yoga Luxembourg strongly recommends drinking hot water – especially first thing in the morning. It rinses the system, activates digestion, and rids the body of toxins from the get go.

 

 

Drinking hot water any time of day gives your internal organs a break. Instead of wasting time warming the water to body temperature, they are free to get on with whatever they are designed to do.

Hot water fills you up and warms you up.

Still can’t stomach the idea? Tweak it with a little lemon, ginger, mint or apple cider vinegar. Each adds it’s own benefits. Or spice it up with turmeric (a dash of black pepper allows the body to absorb the turmeric). Or think of all the delicious flavors organic honey can add, especially the Big Kahuna of all honey, Manuka.

 

 

Sometimes we need cold water to bring down the body temperature. Sometimes we just have a hankering for it. Drinking water at any temperature is like showering on the inside and it helps to shed weight. Like I said, Just Drink It!

What can I recommend to do with cold water? Have you ever tried splashing your face with it?

In the morning, this simple gesture will temporarily constrict pore size, making them appear smaller. It reduces redness and may help products penetrate better. You’ll have no problem believing that it wakes you up. From there, it’s not a stretch to boosting your mood. By the time you are ready to walk out the door, that puffy-faced grump that rolled out of bed is no more.

We need water on the inside and outside of our bodies. And in our environment.

So don’t dread those days and days of rain either. Raindrops attract pollutants, purifying the air we breathe. They also charge the air with negative ions, attracting free radicals and protecting us from their harmful effects. And high humidity keeps skin fresh and supple.

Rain. Laugh at the clouds. The sun’s in your heart. Just sing. Sing in the rain.

Water. Just Drink It.

Face Yoga : Detox

Ahhh January – the month of good intentions. “Detox” has been a buzzword for the past couple of years and 2018 is no exception.

A quick Google search will yield Detox Juices, Detox Food, Detox Diet, Detox Express, Detox At Home, Detox Plan, and even, Sexual Detox? Anyway…There are also articles popping up claiming that a “Detox” is nothing but marketing bunk. After all, your kidneys, liver, lungs and skin are detoxing your body as you read this.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I’m guilty too. I even capped off my week, with a great group of students, with a Detox Your Face Workshop.

So WHY did Face Yoga Luxembourg succumb to all the “Detox” hubbub too?

I have done them. And I know how disciplined you have to be. Especially since, like most of the people on the planet, I love to eat. Anyone who has ever seen how much pizza I can put away will attest to this.

My first experience was with a 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse. Three yummy smoothies replaced the day’s main meals with unlimited snacks of fruits & vegetables & nuts. Oh, and a hard-boiled egg if you were craving protein (Best eggs I’ve ever eaten!).

Yes. I DID feel good. And yes. I did discover which foods have a more negative impact on my body, like bloating.

Since then, I do this periodically, to give myself a break from those foods that affect me personally. I haven’t given them up, I just try to eat them in moderation.

I digress and I still haven’t answered the question, have I?

According to the Oxford Living Dictionary, “Detox” is a process, or a period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.

Face Yoga Luxembourg’s Mini Detox Week was not about “abstention” or “deprivation,” or buying products that claim to detoxify the system, or even to make you suffer for a week, only to throw yourself on the nearest chocolate cake the second it is over.

It was just a gentle reminder that healthy choices are out there. We don’t have to choose them all the time, but our bodies and minds, our skin and our faces, benefit from them. And not just with regards to food. Exercise, Face Yoga included, breathing in more fresh air, drinking more water, and taking a break from social media (your tired eyes & turkey neck will thank you), no matter how brief, have positive effects. Effects that just may incite you to practice them more often.

 

Tap into the natural resources available to feel and stay young.

And, please, eat some chocolate cake, if that’s really what your body is telling you it needs.

Workshop February 24th – Face Yoga Basics

Where : Club Haus Am Brill, Capellen

When : Saturday, February 24th, 10h – 11h30

Face Yoga Basics helps you discover core exercises that strengthen and relax  all areas of the face. Your face will radiate confidence & composure.

For more information or to sign up for the workshop, contact the Club Haus Am Brill on : 30 00 01 or by e-mail : clubsenior@mamer.lu

For more information about Face Yoga contact : kim@faceyogaluxembourg.com

Face Yoga : How long does it take to see results?

I proudly posted my one-year before & after photos on Facebook and the webpage today. That got me thinking about the second most frequently asked question I get : “How long does it take to see results ?” The first is, “Face Yoga ? What’s that?”

It seems such a cop-out to respond, “Well, everyone is different,” and thank the universe we are, but it doesn’t help when we’re looking in the mirror and not liking what we see.

We live in a quick-fix world, and if that’s what you’re seeking (and have the money to blow on treatments and procedures) Face Yoga probably isn’t for you. And that’s OK.

But back to the question at hand.

Ahem. With regular practice of at least 5 minutes per day focusing on the area(s) they want to improve, some people will see results within two weeks. The operative words here are “with regular practice.” Translation. It needs to become a habit.

private photo can not be copied

I usually recommend to practice in the morning to energize and get in tune with your daily facial movements, then again in the evening to relax, rewind and get a better night’s sleep. Stress can make us frown even in our sleep. Not to mention how we contort and mush up our faces tossing and turning or depending on our sleep position. But that’s a subject for another blog.

Add in an afternoon practice for a little pick me up, like a coffee break, but hold the coffee. Drink (hot) water instead.

And if you can do a full 5 to 20 minutes, or more, at a time, go for it.

Realistically, not everyone always has an extra 20 minutes, so ask yourself at any given moment, “Is this a good time to fit in one or a few face exercises?”

Many students practice in the car, in bed, in the shower, while cooking, cleaning or walking the dog, and, yes, even every time they go to the bathroom! The list goes on.

What’s YOUR ideal moment?

Banish the words “I have to” and “I should.” Just do it. Make faces. Be a kid again. Enjoy it. The key is to practice daily.

Your commitment will help you find those moments. After a month or so, what seemed like it took discipline becomes less of an effort, and,Voila! Face Yoga becomes a part of your lifestyle. The positive, physical changes come from you. Your resolution. Your realistic goals. Your efforts. How do you think you will feel when you look in the mirror then?

private photo can not be copied

So doing the exercises is one thing. The happy, confident feeling that comes with it is another.

The time it takes will be as unique as you are.

Thank the universe.