In this review, we summarize recent literature investigating facial-exercise-induced changes in facial soft tissue. A literature search was performed in PubMed for the terms facial exercise, rejuvenation, muscle, skin, and aging. Four studies were identified from the search and were subject to further assessment. Four studies were included in our analysis. Two of the four studies included compared the experimental (training) group to a control group. The other two studies had no control group. The participants were mainly middle-aged women. Training conditions varied; neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) was used in two studies, the other two studies used an oscillatory movement device and voluntary facial isometric exercise. Two studies measured facial muscle size using ultrasonography before and after 12 weeks of NMES or 8 weeks of oscillatory movement of the face. One study assessed the changes in facial skin elasticity in a single group following 8 weeks of facial isometric exercise, while one study measured strength of labial and lingual muscles before and following 4 weeks of NMES. We found two studies that reported facial-exercise-induced increases in facial muscle size in middle-aged women. It was also reported that facial skin function may improve following facial isometric exercise. Future research is needed to clarify how these changes link with facial rejuvenation. Compared to extremity muscles, the facial muscles are small in size, their shapes are complex, and the boundaries with other tissues may be unclear. Future study is also necessary to examine the reliability of measurements of the facial muscles.
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