Every year or so comes a new facial symmetry exercise fad that promises to make your face slimmer or more proportional. But do these facial symmetry exercises really work without other supplemental help? We’ll explore where facial exercises have merit and where they do not.
There is no scientific or conclusive proof that facial symmetry exercises work. Most of the success stories online are anecdotal and are not backed by scientific evidence. They might improve muscle tone or other soft tissue to a barely noticeable degree, but exercises done for a few minutes per day can never have an obvious effect on your bone structure.
You’ve probably heard of these facial exercises before. There are tons of variations of facial asymmetry exercises that are available online. While they might have positive effects for some people, they will not work most of the time.
However, that is not a guarantee that it will not work for you. Everyone is different. Some people claim to have had great results through asymmetry exercises. But, those results could also be dependent on other factors such as diet, placebo effect, and not on the exercises themselves. The ultimate consensus is that some people find it helpful. But most of the time, it won’t. That, plus the fact that there is no clinical evidence to back it up, makes it a not-so-reliable fix.
According to this study by Foo et al. (2017), facial symmetry is one of the main signifiers of attractiveness in people. So, it only makes sense that many people like the idea of a symmetrical face.
For the most part, it will probably only make you feel better psychologically. Doing something, anything, to improve yourself is a great morale booster, but nothing more.
What Causes Facial Asymmetry?
First off, let’s talk about what causes facial asymmetry. Why is it that there are people who have faces that look like they were cut perfectly? And why is it that some faces look wonky and out of shape? There are several reasons for this.
Malocclusion is a general term for a wide range of dental issues relating to the teeth’ position. If you have crooked teeth, it could seriously hamper the way your face looks. Similarly, if you have an overbite or an underbite, it could look unseemly as well.
Even though these problems are dental in nature, their effects go beyond that. They could just as easily become perpetrators of low self-esteem and confidence. This is because malocclusions can cause quite a significant difference in the face. For more info on this, check out the Looks Theory episode on malocclusion:
If you are interested in facial asymmetry, check if your bite or teeth are the asymmetry sources. You could combat the problem from its roots instead of trying out tips and tricks that may or may or may not work. While you can add exercises to your routine, getting professional help for any obvious facial asymmetry is always the best way to go.
There are legitimate treatments such as the Myobrace that fix malocclusions that use a less traditional approach. It uses proper tongue and oral posture to facilitate proper growth and straighten teeth.
This one is a no brainer. Certain skeletal deformities make a face look asymmetrical. Hemimandibular hyperplasia and hemimandibular elongation are some examples. These deformities make your jaw look odd. In these cases, the jaw is longer on one side than it is on the other side. These problems with the jaw come from the bone itself, so it’s not the soft tissue that is the issue.
For a lot of people, skeletal deformities play a role in facial asymmetry. Bone is difficult to change, but it is not impossible. What is impossible is for a person to alter their bones through exercises.
Mewing is an excellent tool in this context. But we will talk more about that later.
Exercises work out the muscles on your face and not the skeleton. However, some people have skeletal deformities that use certain exercises, not as a fix, but for comfort. All in all, facial exercises to fix skeletal deformities are a long shot.
Age is also an important factor in facial asymmetry. You may have noticed that the older people get, the less symmetrical their faces get. If you don’t take action regarding facial asymmetry, it will only get worse with age. That is precisely why many treatments are geared towards children. Correctional methods play a large part in ensuring that future facial asymmetry is ruled out.
Yes, it sounds scary. But this should be on this list. There are certain medical issues, such as tumors that can cause obvious facial asymmetries.
If you notice a seemingly quick and noticeable change in your facial symmetry, you might want to get checked out. This change could be a sign of something more serious. Of course, this will rarely be the case. Most of the time, clinical problems that are tumor-related won’t be the reason behind your facial asymmetry.
Is Facial Asymmetry Normal?
To a certain degree, small asymmetries in the face are completely ordinary. Even a slight overbite is normal. Most people will not have a perfectly symmetrical face. That’s honestly a difficult standard to uphold. Even the beautiful faces of the internet and media don’t have perfectly symmetrical faces.
Do not be too overly concerned with the tiny imperfections in your face. Most people have little asymmetries, and it is nothing to worry about.
Take a look at these celebrities for reference.
Here is George Clooney on the left if he had a perfectly symmetrical face.
Here is Emma Watson if she had a perfectly symmetrical face.
As you can see, even attractive faces are not symmetrical. Of course, their faces do not have any major asymmetries. But generally, you can get away with just minor ones perfectly fine.
Unfortunately, you see details on yourself way more intensely than people observing you on the street. So a small facial asymmetry could look like a huge asymmetry in your book even though it’s not.
Mewing for Facial Asymmetries
Mewing is a technique that employs proper oral posture to achieve results. It is merely normal human oral posture. Deviating from it is a possible source of malocclusion and narrow palates that humans now have yet did not back in caveman times.
Mewing is a far better way to tackle facial asymmetries than facial exercises. Mewing does not rely on transient exercises to achieve symmetry. Instead, it focuses on having proper posture 24/7. Symmetry is not the goal of mewing, just a side effect. However, many people report that their facial exercises seem to work better with mewing. But just like everything else, some claim that mewing made their asymmetries worse.
When mewing, you will have to place your tongue on your palate at all times, have your lips sealed, and your molars lightly touching. This is proper human oral posture that you should be doing anyway. This guides your jaw growth up and forward if you’re still growing, though bones can still remodel to a small degree in adults.
For many people, mewing can fix a lot of their major facial problems. The maxilla is the main target of mewing. And since the maxilla is the central bone of the face, changes made to it can bring amazing results.
Here is our ultimate guide on mewing if you are interested in delving further into this topic.
In conclusion, there is no proper proof that facial symmetry exercises work. And in most people, it probably won’t. But if you are truly interested in trying them out, there is little to lose except for your time. However, you are better off finding the root cause of your facial asymmetry so that you can correct it through the proper means. Personally, I would suggest you focus on mewing. It applies force to your bones 24/7, unlike exercises, which means it can actually affect how your bones remodel.