I have poured out many words recently about the dangers of chemicals in cosmetics. So I don’t suppose that I can, with integrity, go and have my face injected full of botulinum toxin and hyaluronic acid. At least, not without first taking advice from my oncologist. Apart from the hypocrisy involved, about which I do not give two hoots, I’m just too skint to contemplate expensive facial procedures at this time.
And yet... I’ve had cancer, been through all the treatments, had my heart broken and coped with grief and depression. I cannot bear to start looking o-l-d on top of it all. It’s not fair! What am I to do?
Ring. “Anton, do you remember years ago when we watched your mum’s video about face-lift exercises?”
“You mean when you collapsed laughing at that mad old trout and I had to pick you up off the floor?”
“Yes! Do you still have the video?”
Unfortunately Anton’s mum’s VHS collection has been consigned to the dustbin of obselete technology. But a quick search on google produces some promising leads.
Here is a distillation of exercises designed to keep the face looking fresh and youthful:
Start with a tapping routine. This helps to boost circulation and eliminate toxins.
Tap quickly and lightly under your chin with the backs of your fingers.
With the soft pads of your fingertips, tap along the jawline, towards the ears.
Tap around your mouth a few times from the chin to under the nose and back again.
Tap along your eyebrows, down the temples and then along the cheekbones to the sides of your nose. Don’t tap the delicate skin around your eyes.
Starting from the temples, tap backwards and forwards to the centre of your forehead.
Place your fingertips under your cheekbones and massage back towards your ears with circular movements.
Do some limbering up before you start the facial exercises. Shrug your shoulders to your ears then down. Circle your shoulders backwards and then forwards.
Repeat each exercise 5 times.
Hold each movement for 6-8 seconds, then slowly release.
Breathe deeply and slowly as you go.
For a double chin: Keep your teeth together and slide your chin forwards. Lift your bottom lip over your top lip. Press tip of your tongue against roof of your mouth.
For lip lines: Slide your thumbs under your top lip, thumbnails resting against your gums. Contract your upper lip muscles in small movements to press against the thumbs.
For your jawline: With your head up and chin jutting forward, grip your upper lip with your lower teeth. Feel a stretch in the front of your neck. Slowly smile without losing the grip of your top lip.
For eyelids: Lie your index fingers under your eyebrows, thumbs on the side of your head. Whilst firmly holding the sides of your fingers against the eye socket bones, raise your eyebrows and then gently close your eyes.
Now place your fingertips on the outer corners of your eyes. Move your fingers slightly upwards as you close your eyelids downwards.
For crow’s feet: Keep your upper eyelids still whilst raising your lower lids.
For your forehead: Place two fingers on your forehead above your brows to fix the eyebrows in place. Press your fingers downward whilst trying to raise your eyebrows. Release and look down.
For your whole face: Open your mouth as much as it will go and stick your tongue out as far as you can. Open your eyes wide.
I’m not certain if it is the exercises that do the trick or rather the fits of hysterical laughter that they invoke.