We know that exercise is good for our heart and lungs and mental health, but is it really beneficial for our skin? If so, can a facial exercise regime really help tone, firm, lift and reduce wrinkles? Is looking fresh-faced and younger just a matter of pulling some funny faces in front of the mirror every day, and if so, what could be easier?

Exercising your face is a non-invasive alternative to surgery or Botox. Just 20 minutes a day, six times a week, could help banish sagging, fine lines and wrinkles, according to face yoga expert Danielle Collins. By performing specific exercises, you can work the lower, middle and upper layer of the skin. By working all the layers of the skin correctly, blood circulation is increased, ensuring more oxygen and nourishment reach the skin cells. The result is a healthy, clear complexion with a radiant glow. Free radicals are flushed out of working cells, effectively detoxing your skin from the inside out.

A facial workout requires techniques that are designed to stimulate elastin and collagen production in the dermis, producing suppler, smoother, firmer-looking skin. While daily face exercises may seem like a bit of a chore, results are quick. Everyone has different skin and faces, so the time it takes to see positive results varies from person to person, but if you persevere for a fortnight, you should start to see improvements to your neck and face.

It will take around two to four months to see fine lines start to diminish. At this stage, other people will start to notice that you look healthier, hold less tension in your face, and appear more energised.

A regular facial workout will also help tone facial muscles, but dermatologists say this does not have a direct effect on skin. Nevertheless, firmer muscles give you a more toned look overall, helping reduce the signs of ageing.

Reducing stress

Exercise eases stress. Skin conditions exacerbated by stress, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne and rosacea, can see positive results when a person becomes less stressed. Links between stress and skin are still under investigation, but studies have shown that the sebaceous glands that secrete oil in the skin are influenced by stress hormones.

Skin protection

It is important to protect your face when exercising. Therefore, if you are completing your regimen outdoors, remember to apply a high-factor sun cream or choose to exercise in the shade, indoors or in the morning or evening when the sun is less strong. Sunburn will increase your chances of developing skin cancer, and it rapidly ages the skin, erasing any benefits you may have gained from your facial workout.

Make-up free

Avoid wearing make-up when exercising as a combination of products and sweating can clog pores and lead to acne. Wash your face after you complete your workout, and apply a gentle skin moisturiser to prevent any skin irritation. Exercise your face daily, and you can look forward to showing off your radiant, glowing complexion.