Natural Ways To Prevent Facial Asymmetry As You Age

Symmetrical faces have long been said to be more attractive than highly asymmetrical ones. According to Psychology Today, humans may be hardwired to prefer symmetrical faces because facial symmetry suggests healthy genes. While the connection between symmetry and health has largely been debunked by some researchers, there's no denying that celebrities with facial symmetry like George Clooney and Lupita Nyong'o are beautiful.

But even the most symmetrical faces may not stay that way forever. As we age, our faces change, and it's common for one side to age slightly differently than the other. Injuries, facial expressions, and lifestyle factors can leave an uneven impact on either side of the face. This leads to more asymmetry over time. There's nothing wrong with some asymmetry — imperfections are what make our faces appear human, after all. But too much asymmetry associated with aging can, as dermatologist Mamina Turegano told The MindBodyGreen Podcast, lead to an imbalance both in how your face looks and how it functions.

Thankfully, there are a few natural ways to prevent facial asymmetry over time.

Adjust your sleeping habits

Many experts recommend getting at least eight hours of sleep a night, which is the equivalent of sleeping for one-third of your life. With so much time spent sleeping, it's no surprise that how you sleep could cause facial asymmetry as you age.

One 2014 study showed that people who sleep on one side of their face, such as while sleeping on their stomachs, suffered from more facial asymmetry. An easy fix is to switch to sleeping on your back, keeping your head straight, and facing the ceiling. Some pillows are designed to help you maintain this position using a contoured dip to support the head.

For those who struggle to sleep comfortably on their backs, there's another option: silk pillowcases. When side or back sleepers routinely lay on one side of their face, they run the risk of developing asymmetrical wrinkles and fine lines. Silk pillowcases reduce friction, resulting in less skin damage on one side of your face.

Practice face yoga

You may have attended a yoga class or two before, but yoga for facial symmetry is less about maintaining your mountain pose and more about massaging your face. According to Healthline, face yoga stimulates and relaxes the muscles in the face to relieve tension — and asymmetry. Face yoga may smooth wrinkles, prevent sagging, and improve the fullness of the face. These yoga exercises work by relaxing muscles that are overworked while toning ones that are underutilized, potentially evening out the face.

Face yoga includes a number of poses that each target different areas of the face, jaw, and neck (per Everyday Health). Most require moving your facial muscles in a specific way while using your fingers to massage the skin. While it might sound easy and non-invasive enough, be aware that face yoga might take time. NBC News noted that a recent study showing the aging benefits of doing face yoga required participants to commit 30 minutes each day to doing face yoga exercises. Though it may be time-consuming, it's still a simple and free way to prevent facial asymmetry.

Block the sun's harmful rays

Sun damage is a major culprit of many skin worries, including wrinkles, loss of elasticity, age spots, and uneven skin. And as Medical News Today points out, sun damage usually affects one side of the face more than the other, increasing facial asymmetry. For those who spend a lot of time behind the wheel, it's common to have more visible sun damage on the side of the face that is closest to the window (The New England Journal of Medicine's photo of a delivery driver is a shocking example).

To prevent sun damage, whether uneven or not, it's crucial to apply sunblock every day. Cleveland Clinic also suggests avoiding sun exposure in the late morning and early afternoon, wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes and skin, and shading the face with a wide-brimmed hat. Preventing sun damage on both sides of the face may be key in preventing age-related facial asymmetry.