Exercise isn't really my forte, so when Trilogy Age-Proof invited me along to a facial yoga class to celebrate the launch their product dream duo, I was a little apprehensive.
Donning my one pair of leggings (usually reserved for dog walks and slouching around the house), I arrived to Camden Street's Yoga Hub, a tranquil space under an archway off one of Dublin's busy streets. Once you step under the white-bricked arch, the sounds of the city fall away as you're enveloped in the ambiance of the studio.
The temperate, soothing room was decorated with velvet-feel yoga mats and a selection of Trilogy products, most notably the CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate and Overnight Mask.
It's rare to find a skincare brand that actually celebrates and promotes the concept of ageing in a positive way – Trilogy's mantra is all about looking forward and amplifying one's current beauty rather than attempting to artificially replicate the face of your past. This is done with a combination of wellness practices and their high-impact age-proof products.
This is where facial yoga, and my bare-foot presence at a yoga studio comes in, which can be incorporated into a lifestyle that promotes an inner glow.
The class was taught by Lydia Sasse, whose glowing complexion was as visually illuminating as the mindfulness-focused moves she displayed on the mat.
It's far beyond just making funny faces (though Lydia admits that you can't take yourself too seriously while engaging in some of the exercises), it's about working the muscles in the face to create a sculpted, plump look.
As our skincare sensei explained, in the face, our facial muscles aren't as well-worked as they could be, and engaging these muscles and building up their strength can prevent sagging, encourage plumpness and give definition to the face.
This theory isn't just anecdotal, though the evidence seems quite clear with a glance at our wellness-radiating instructor. Facial yoga has been put to the test in a scientific study by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, USA.
The study found that doing facial exercises with a test group for twenty weeks made participants look an average of three years younger.
'As the face ages, skin loses elasticity and fat pads between the muscle and skin become thinner. The fat pads, which fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, give the face much of its shape. As skin becomes saggy, the thinning fat pads atrophy and slide, causing the face to “fall down,” cites the study.
'But if muscle underneath becomes bigger, the skin has more stuffing underneath it and the firmer muscle appears to make the shape of the face more full,' said senior study author Emily Poon.
The methods can be incorporated into a yoga class, as I discovered on my Trilogy Age-Proof retreat. The moves seem simple, but as you continue to exercise the face, you can definitely feel those muscles.
One move in particular, The Satchmo, was very trying. The move involves taking a large inhalation of breath to puff out the cheeks, and then rapidly transferring the air from one cheek to another.
Once you let your breath go after three rounds of 30 second intervals, the warmth in the cheek muscles, which the move tones, is undeniable.
The X and O is another difficult one. As someone who can talk for Ireland, the explanation of repeatedly saying the letters X and O in an exaggerated fashion didn't seem difficult. Initially that is.
The move causes the cheek muscles to contract and relax, and as someone who carries a lot of tension in my jaw, I found this move helped my jaw muscles relax tremendously once the move was over.
Easier moves include the Cheek and Chin Pat, which simply involve patting the cheeks and under the chin rapidly to tone and boost circulation. This is another one where your cheeks need to be full of air.