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Carole Maggio's Facercise
2002

facercise carole maggio Why is there still a debate over the benefits of facial exercise? Look at it this way: say you have flabby upper arms. What do you do to firm them up — go to a cosmetic surgeon to have the extra skin removed? Maybe, if the flabbiness is the result of a 150-pound weight loss. But the rest of you will take care of that arm flab with a variety of triceps exercises. Building muscle in your upper arm will give it shape and keep it from jiggling. The same thing goes for the other muscles in your body, so why should your face be any different? The human face contains 57 muscles, so why wouldn't exercise improve its appearance? Skin does sag as you age, but muscle tone can correct a lot of this. Yes, you get wrinkles, especially if you abuse your skin by spending loads of time in the sun without sunscreen. But facial exercises help fill out those wrinkles. Exercise can also help retrain the face so that it doesn't keep making those creases that appear as a result of your unconscious expressions. These exercises have also been used by those who have conditions affecting their faces due to illness or accidents. Those who speak out against facial exercises either 1) don't know what they're talking about; 2) are plastic surgeons who are afraid it will cut into their business (pun intended) or 3) are people who did not do the exercises properly (and the latter is a very small number compared to those who do successfully learn how to exercise the face).

But enough of this harangue — onto this book by skin care specialist Carole Maggio. Maggio is an esthetician who started designing these exercises a little more than 20 years ago, and hers are arguably the best exercises out of all the ones you will find floating around. Maggio knows that beauty is more than skin deep - the muscles underneath can make a huge difference. Her exercises not only work the muscle groups of your face, she also encourages you to go for the burn — in other words, work the muscles until they create lactic acid. This kind of effort is what produces results in all muscles, no matter where they are located in your body. Maggio understands the workings of muscles in addition to her knowledge of skin care, which is what makes her program so valuable. Her main exercise program consists of 14 exercises, done for about 11 minutes twice a day. There are also nine progressive exercises for those who have specific areas they want to improve on. In addition, Maggio has a chapter on doing Facercise in the car — something you would only see in a book written by a resident of southern California. Unless you're in a real gridlock you may want to think twice before trying the car variations. The bottom line is that these exercises work your muscles without a lot of pushing and pulling on the skin (a no-no whether you're doing facial exercise or not). And they get results.

Maggio also includes some basic, sensible information on diet (your facial skin and muscles need proper nutrition just like the rest of you), supplements, the importance of a good night's sleep and other skin care basics. There's very little new information there; the important part of the book, after all, is the exercises. Yes, many of the exercise photographs look pretty strange (another reason to not do them in the car), but you're most likely doing them in the privacy of your own home anyway, so who cares? Incidentally, the book photos of Maggio actually don't do her justice — she appeared on CNN to promote the book when it first came out and she actually looks better than her pictures. Considering how good she looks in her late 50s, that's a pretty impressive endorsement right there.

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