How can I tone my facial muscles on my own?

While it is important to take care of your skin with the right skincare regimen, toning your facial muscles is just as important to help your face stay defined.

However, it is not easy to perform facial toning massages on yourself, especially if you do not know which areas to target. If you do not have time to go to the spa for a lifting facial, you could try one of these new face-toning gadgets for a D-I-Y fix.

Think of the Pao Facial Fitness exercise tool (photo 1, $200, available at from tomorrow) as dumb-bells for your face.

It consists of a flexible rubber strip with a mouthpiece at its centre and two weights on either end. The weights are interchangeable; pick from three levels - 18g, 23g and 28g. To use it, you grip the mouthpiece with your lips and gently nod your head up and down to give the weights a swinging momentum.

Trust the Japanese to come up with something so bizarre. It is based on the idea that while there are about 40 muscles in the face, only 30 per cent are used regularly.

Muscles that are not used often will become weak and sag. The Pao Facial Fitness claims to work such muscles to define facial contours, make marionette lines look less obvious and turn up the corners of the mouth.

It is recommended that you use it twice a day, for 30 seconds each time, to achieve the best results. The device also claims to help boost blood circulation as the face gets a workout.

ReFa Active (photo 2, $450, available at from tomorrow) is an improved version of the hand-held ReFa Carat massager. Both have platinum-coated faceted rollers that produce kneading movements which closely mimic those of a therapist's hands while solar-powered low micro-currents stimulate facial muscles. Such currents were first used in the 1980s to help stroke victims correct drooping facial muscles.

Also made in Japan, the new ReFa Active comes with a flexible two-pronged handle that lets you customise the distance between the rollers. The massager works well on the torso and limbs too. It can be used as many times and for as long as it is comfortable for the user.

Developed by an American aesthetician, NuFace (photo 3, $536, available at Sephora stores from October) also uses low micro-currents - administered through two metal spheres on a charged device - to stimulate facial muscles and increase blood circulation. It claims to produce visible results - such as lifted facial contours - after it is used once for five minutes.

The metal spheres can be replaced with two metal prongs called the Trinity ELE (photo 4, $253, sold separately), which specifically target crows feet, laugh lines and brow furrows with micro-currents.

This article was first published on August 15, 2014.
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