Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Case of Vanity

After yesterday’s post about maintaining a youthful look by exercising our facial muscles, today I wanted to share an article I read last year on NPR about what causes our faces to sag as we age. Not only does it have to do with our muscles losing their tone but our bones droop as well.

As we age, our cheekbones can drop, making our eyes look more deep set and hollow and our jawbones can deteriorate and recede. This also means that a face-lift to fix sagging skin will not hide sagging bones. Have you ever noticed that taut skin on someone may still not make them appear young, depending on their age.

How does this happen? Our bones are not static. They are living, dynamic structures that are constantly being remodeled. The texture also changes as we get older, from hard and smooth to more rough. And although the article offers little advice for preventing this from happening, it does suggest that keeping our teeth is one effective way to prevent sagging bones since the socket of a lost tooth will disappear. That means, brushing, flossing, eating a balanced and healthy diet, and drinking lots of water to keep our teeth and gums healthy.

And although I haven’t found any evidence to back up the theory that exercising our facial muscles will help preserve the structure of our bones, I’m going to bet my money on this being true. Since we already know that weight bearing exercises help maintain bone density, I predict that exercises that stimulate movement around the bones in our face will help to maintain their integrity. And if I find any evidence for this, I will report back. In the meantime, in the name of vanity : ) I’ll do my facial exercises and brush/floss regularly. I hope you do too…

P.S. The book Face Culture by Frederick Rossiter discusses this topic. I’m going to search for it at the local libraries…

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