It might sound a bit wacky but she’s definitely on to something. A new US study has proven that facial exercise really CAN make you look visibly younger, without a skin cream or needle in sight.

In research carried out by Northwester University in Chicago, women aged 40-65 were given a daily face workout using exercises from facial toning guru Gary Sikorski . When their faces were assessed by experts after 20 weeks, they looked three years younger on average.

“It’s common sense,” says British facial exercise guru Danielle Collins , who’s created this video of quick face toning moves to try at home.

Facial yoga (Image: Ray Burmiston)

“We know how exercise tones the body and improves the look of skin, so facial yoga is simply using the same principles on the 57 muscles above the collarbone.”

“It helps plump out the cheeks, reduce mouth to nose lines and tighten up saggy skin under the neck. The massage boosts collagen and improves circulation and lymphatic drainage. People notice their skin looks glowing.”

Make it work for you

It’s important to do facial yoga correctly, says Danielle, because just scrunching up your face can make wrinkles worse (why do you think they’re called ‘expression lines’?).

“Facial yoga moves all the layers of the skin together to increase collagen and strengthen muscles,” she explains. “It also trains you to relax areas of tension that can lead to frown lines. It’s a natural alternative to Botox.”

Ideally do facial yoga 20 mins a day, six days a week, but if that’s not realistic Danielle’s new Face Yoga For Your Busy Life programme breaks it into 2-minute sessions you can do throughout your day, whether it’s your commute, in the shower or before you do your makeup.

Want more exercises?

These five facial toners are some of Danielle’s signature moves

1. The V

The V (Image: Ray Burmiston)

Great for reducing under-eye bags and tightening the muscles around the eyes.

HOW TO: Press your middle fingers together between your eyebrows and apply pressure to the outer corners of your eyebrows with your index fingers. Look up and start to squint, moving your lower eyelids up as much as you can. Relax and repeat six more times. To finish, squeeze your eyes tightly shut, then relax.

2. Eyebrow lifting

Eyebrow lifting (Image: Ray Burmiston)

Helps to tackle droopy brows.

HOW TO: Gently lift your eyebrows with your fingers while slowly trying to close your eyes. Repeat eight times. To finish, gently stroke your forehead with your fingers to smooth the forehead area and stimulate blood flow.

3. The smile smoother

The smile smoother (Image: Ray Burmiston)

Helps sagging cheeks and nose-to-mouth lines.

HOW TO: Press your tongue firmly into one side of your mouth, where your smile lines are, and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Do the whole sequence again. Wrap lips around teeth and pull the top lip and bottom lip apart. Holding that position, smooth your index fingers up your mouth-to-nose lines. Repeat 10 times.

4. Smooth the brows

Smooth the brows (Image: Ray Burmiston)

Good for horizontal lines on the brow.

HOW TO: Place both hands in the middle of your forehead, fingertips facing inwards and slightly spread apart. Sweep the hands outwards across your forehead, towards your temples, pressing lightly. Repeat 10 times

5. Flirty eyes

Flirty eyes (Image: Ray Burmiston)

This helps with eye hollows and lifts the upper eyelids.

HOW TO: Wrap your teeth over your lips as tightly as you can and open your mouth. Place an index finger horizontally under each eye, fingertips pointing inwards. Look upwards and flutter your upper eyelids as much as you can for 30 seconds. Then relax.