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Dept of Daft: No!No! FaceTrainer

May 10, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 22 Comments
One of my earliest posts was a confessional on my flirtation with daily facial exercises. I'm a bit of an exercise nut and work out my body most days, so I was drawn to the idea that if I did the facial equivalent of a bicep curl, I would fend off wrinkles. And being something of a stickler for seeing things through, I kept at this routine called Facercise night after night, month after month. I can now tell you that gurning in front of a mirror looks ridiculous, is pointless and, with hindsight, a monumental waste of time.

So when I received an email alerting me to the FaceTrainer with an invite to get to know more over a cup of tea at the W Hotel, my first reaction was no!,no!

Which turned out to be spookily prescient because the company that has brought FaceTrainer to the world is called No! No! Why you would decide to create a brand with two negatives and exclamation marks is beyond me. Anyhow, the company's new product, which can be bought on HSN, is even more bizarre.

FaceTrainer is basically a two hundred dollar ski mask (or think balaclava helmet, if you are English). When I first saw it, I assumed that you had to plug it in, or that it came with batteries. You see, if I was going to put this ridiculous thing over my head - having forked out $199 no less - I'd think it only reasonable that it does all the work. It would send, I mused, little electric pulses to my cheek muscles whilst I do the ironing or read The New Yorker. But no (No!). You still have to physically distort your facial muscles, in other words perform some form of Facercise.

It isn't at all clear to me what value add this thing is bringing. Perhaps sweating in it is deemed to be helpful to anti-aging. I presume you do sweat quite profusely because the instructions make quite a big deal out of wiping it out after use.

Who on earth would say Yes! Yes! to this preposterous waste of money. At least the only thing I invested in for Facercise was a $25 (or thereabouts) book. Granted, FaceTrainer does come with a video, user guide, bag for storage and wipes - as you can see from the sophisticated illustration taken from the No! No! website.

Tempting, isn't it. A word of warning before you rush off with your cheque books. No! No! advises replacing the FaceTrainer every four to six months. Did I say waste of money? And, by the way, did I mention that facial excercises don't work.
  • February 23, 2013

    by fhbc

    Facial exercises must be a joke. First, the results are destined to be ripe with placebo effect. Excaserbated by their authors over the top enthusiasm (coming from the dollars rolling in, hardly happiness for others, as might've been the case if their programs combated some serious disease). Moreover those who say the exercises fight wrinkles, other than speaking against expert knowledge of facial anatomy and behavior, have No way of knowing whether they would've looked the same without the facial exercises. That's why controlled trials are done in medicine. The alleged results of facial exercises are purely anecdotal, by a very limited number of 'similar minded' people, based on sales pitches by a handful profit seekers (as opposed to anecdotal results by millions over centuries with no profit motif involved, such as with some herbal treatments).
    Furthermore the before and after pictures of customers are often taken under different light conditions, angles and with different facial expressions on the 'after' picture, with captions emphasizing 'positive results' thereby skewing the viewer's impression and reducing the programs credibility further. Lastly there is no proof whatsoever, that if the after picture does show an improvement that it wasn't from some other anti aging treatment.


  • January 18, 2013

    by BUNNY

    I nearly had a Dermatologist destroy my skin by telling me my rash, which was a reaction to chocolate, was in fact acne..
    At any rate, if you understand that most of medicine is based on studies of questionable authenticity, yOu begin to understand what is truly going on. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND GOOGLE: NEJM editor: “No longer possible to believe much of clinical research published

  • July 14, 2012

    by Danny

    Just had to say this !! 10 years ago my mum had breast cancer . They removed her lymph nodes and she got lymphodema in one of her arms . They gave her a very special elasticated sleeve that went from her armpit all the way to a hand glove . If she takes off the sleeve you will see the most incredible smooth skin that's pure and white and has not a single mark on it and not a wrinkle in sight . It's like a baby's arm compared to her other arm which is a 70 yr old ladies arm . It's astonishing ! Shocks people when they see it . No cream or surgery or serum could ever make such a dramatic difference . Next question is how can this simple method be used on the face without being so tightly bound like a mummy , well not my mummy but you know the other kind :)

  • July 12, 2012

    by M2

    Hi Ira,

    Like you, I was looking for Ageless you dareduring the 2010 period. They were practically not exixstnt but I keep looking till this year 2012 in June, I found them at their new website: http://www.agelessifyoudare.org/

    I bought it and have been using for about three weeks now and I like the results its giving my cheeks!

    Anyway, some docs may be exercising but they keep it hush hush or else no one will go to the for procedures, haha!

  • June 11, 2012

    by confused

    hello!
    This is a message for NOnie, Ihope you are still reading this!
    I saw your photos on A website and read that you had been unhappy about ''resistance'' training.
    I assume it was the flex effect?
    I purchased the program last year and only opened it yesterday (...) I am really scared of doing something to my face I would regret...
    Any input on that?
    Do you know anyone else who wasn't satisfied?
    THANK YOU!

  • August 31, 2011

    by Violetta

    I bought another facial exersise mask from Japan. I am so happy that finally I can see my mouth area to my jawline smoothing out, lifting up in just two weeks that I could not achieve with normal facial exersizes for about 10 years already. :)

  • June 4, 2011

    by debbie

    I have been using facial exercises for several years on and off, and I can unreservedly say that my face looks better when I exercise it.

    However, from my own experience I think not every exercise in every program will have the same positive effects for everyone, and when starting a program monitor your results carefully. I use several exercises form different programs and have had to make slight variations to get the results I want.

  • January 25, 2011

    by Trish

    I agree that you shouldn't be so quick to judge anything that you haven't tried. Doctors, have you, yourselves, tried facial exercising? Can you honestly tell the rest of us that it's a waste of time? I am with another commenter above...I also tried Carolyn's Facial Fitness a few years ago. I was a few years under 30 and had a few 'things' that I wanted to improve, some premature aging if you will, caused by some hormonal imbalances. I had great luck with the eye exercises, but the cheek exercises unfortunately were just too aggressive for me and did cause creases around my mouth to worsen. Carolyn is excellent at responding to e-mails and advised me to stop the program for 6 weeks and then get back with for only 2-3 days per week. After 6 weeks I saw no improvement and nearly 2 years later still have those same creases. However, the lines around and in between my eyes also returned...which proves that the exercises were in fact very effective for me in this area. I suspect though that it was just more than 'muscle atrophy' that may have caused the skin to start to drop around my lower face. Your hormones have almost everything to do with how you age physically and internally. I went to a Chinese herbalist and after working with him for about half a year, my skin was so much smoother and clearer, and some of those little lines filled in. But I still have the lines around my mouth. So, I'm actually wondering if this mask, by holding the flesh in place while allowing the muscle to contract, might prevent this from happening, the lines from deepening. Might be worth a try.

    Nonie, I think I know who you are...well, I believe I've seen your pictures on a 'popular' facial exercising site! ;-) If it's the same 'you', then yes, you do indeed look very, very good! I could not guess that you were in your 40's...you look like you're in your 20's.

  • January 5, 2011

    by Anne Freeling

    Marta, i agree the face mask stuff is clumsy and ugly... i can't imagine the yukiness of having to wipe it out everytime you use it either...

    face exercises without masks are effective, if they are done properly... for example, to remove fat from your cheeks there are several options, take a look at http://facialexercises.co/cheeky-face-exercises for some examples...

    many women are becoming worried about the effects of cosmetic surgery and the costs, especially nowadays... face exercising is a good alternative

  • January 4, 2011

    by Daisy

    Wow, this thing seems excessive. There are many other ways to do this on your own and have the same results. Another face exercise program I heard was good is at http://www.facercise.com/

  • August 18, 2010

    by ira

    how do you order ageless if you dare, I tried to order it online but didn't get the download link. I've sent lots of e-mails to the owner. No luck. Any suggestions?

  • May 20, 2010

    by Genetically Gifted

    For really practical information and the truth about musculature in the face versus the body (skeletal muscle), see the excellent information at http://www.shapeyourface.com/ which has 5 simple exercises, no product pitches and no outlandish claims...all free.

  • January 14, 2010

    by Nonie

    As a face exerciser for now 20 years, starting at the age of 20, I can vouch for the authenticity of face exercises. If it were just a matter of skin looking better and not muscle, then how would you explain the tone? I don't use copper peptides which help with skin thickness. And I don't have wrinkles that you'd expect in someone my age who laughs a lot and who's lost and gained weight even being 4 sizes heavier than I am now at one time. In fact, for a few years now, my skincare regimen has been oil cleansing alternating with plain water cleansing using a clean face cloth each time, and then just using sunblock. At night I have slept with a bare face except for Vaseline which I use under my eyes. Except for the facecloth, I have not used scrubs or peels or AHAs. I've been curious to see what I can achieve with just exercise, and I have not been disappointed. Any improvement/lift/tone in my face I attribute to face exercises. If it were just a matter of skin improving, then wouldn't people who don't do face exercises but use the best skincare products have the same lift/tone that I and those who do the exercises do? Instead, you see clear skin but maybe a sag here and there on non-exercisers. In fact, a lot of those who use skin remodeling products like copper peptides also do face exercises because they have found how well they complement each other. So something has to be said for that. Coz really if skin improvement is all that was needed, why bother with exercise then?

    As for doctors not agreeing with this... LOL! With all due respect, it doesn't take half a brain to see why doctors would not endorse face exercises? How would they make their living if no one needed their cosmetic procedures? Indeed, if a program isn't well thought out or balanced, or if one does exercises badly, then there might be some disappointment and it takes patience or finding the right program to right that. (I know this from experience.) Anyway, the proof is in the pudding and people will believe what they want to believe until they are proven wrong beyond a shadow of doubt or open their minds and think outside the box.

    When I started face exercises, I was not looking for immediate results/change. I was thinking "long term; how I'd want my face to still have tone when I was older. And I'm so glad I did. Because when you set deadlines, you tend to get discouraged. If you just enjoy the journey and trust that every little bit helps, in due time, you reap the fruits of your labor. Carolyn, Deborah, Eva, Carole, etc would not still be in business if the exercise programs they created didn't make a difference to people's faces. And clients like me would not be as pleased as we are if face exercises didn't work.

  • September 26, 2009

    by Leslie

    Listen to the dermatologist who posted here. I am a licensed esthetician and agree with the doctor. Additionally, the muscles of the face are the only muscles in the body that are attached to SKIN...there are no tendons or ligaments involved here as on the rest of the human body. As we age muscles mass diminishes all over our body. One may assume that the same type of "exercise" to keep a muscle on the body in "shape" is going to do the same for the face. It would if it were attached the same way, but it is not. So, the "success" people have with facial exercises, however good the results may look, are NOT due to the muscle...the "success" is due to the SKIN looking better thereby giving the impression that it is the muscle. If facial muscle exercises really worked the way they were supposed to, no one would ever seek a facelift, which not only lifts the skin but places the underlying muscle, which the skin is attached to, back into position. Understand, I am not putting anyone down here for doing what they feel works for them, just wanted to clarify and give the full picture of what is actually happening to the skin, not the muscle.

  • August 26, 2009

    by Careful of facial exercises

    Hi all,

    I just wanted to put my 2 cents in. I used Carolyn´s Facial Fitness and it did NOT do good things for my face. Maybe that was just me, but it took about a year to recover. She promised me to look in to my results with her doctors and get back to me, but she never did. Every time I contacted her she seemed nice, but not very concerned about my results. That said, I think it must work for some people otherwise why would they all be so fervent about it? From my experience I would say go slowly, ask a lot of questions and stop if it doesn´t look good. I am in my 30s btw.

    PS: great site, great reviews, great comments!

  • July 25, 2009

    by Antonia Rosina

    I would say that the positive experiences of many who are using a facial exercise program proves that those who advocate facial exercise are not "incredibly ignorant." I have a medical background and would not be so arrogant as to suggest that facial exercises "deepen wrinkles." I am 58 and have no wrinkles. I exercise my face using the Ageless if You Dare program daily. Habitual expression causes dynamic wrinkling over time as the face is constantly being pulled into the same position. Facial exercises are performed for a brief period of time and do not mimic habitual expressions.

  • July 21, 2009

    by Clare

    As a dermatologist and cosmetic specialist I find the comments about facial exercises both appalling and incredibly ignorant. Facial muscles and facial vasculature are nothing like the muscles of the body. The two cannot be compared and the people who try to convince customers to believe this are doing so only to sell a product. Please seek professional medical advice before wasting money on ridiculous scams.

    Speaking from a lot of experience, both my own and that of my patients and clients, as well as looking at clinically unbiased evidence obtained in controlled trials I can confidently say that facial exercises do nothing more than deepen the wrinkles that are already present in the skin. Think about it ladies - Botox works by preventing muscle movement exacerbating areas where the skin creases which causes wrinkles. If you increase the amount of muscle movement you do through facial exercises all you will do will be to increase your wrinkles.

    I do not advocate cosmetic surgery for everyone and I have found many other products that are helpful in delaying the aging process. However, facial exercises are a waste of time, money and the deteriorating levels of collagen in your skin. Save all of these by avoiding these silly 'training' products.

  • June 10, 2009

    by monica

    I really can't see any similarity between the products. The FaceTrainer is a DEVICE that combines facial exercises with resistance training using the mask. All exercises are based on this. The Face Flex is actually a book with a list of exercises. It's like comparing running with riding a bike. With both you will have similar results but the effort and the equipment are different. And using more than one type of exercise for our faces couldn’t be so bad. After all, a great body workout includes both running and weights. If the Flex Effect does so many good things for you, imagine how much better things could be with extra exercise with the help of a controlled, medically checked mask.

    m.

  • June 3, 2009

    by Tony

    Deborah Crowley is the originator of Facial Resistance Training. She developed FlexEffect when she was a competitive bodybuilder in 1979. If resistance training for the face were a hoax there wouldn't be so many programs out today using the words (facial resistance training) the program “Ageless if you dare” was started by a FlexEffect Trainer. A FlexEffect trainer started ‘Carolyn’s Facial Fitness’, a FlexEffect Trainer started ‘The Face Gym’, a FlexEffect trainer started ‘Face Flex’ even Cynthia Roland started ‘Facial Magic’ after training with FlexEffect. When people see the changes FE can make in their face they know there is money in it! If you are interested in SERIOUS TRAINING might as well go where the majority of today’s programs begin and that’s FlexEffect http://www.flexeffect.com. You will notice that all of these programs I mentioned will say they have tried ALL the programs out there (naming a few) and then they discovered resistance training and developed there own program (with resistance) but not one will mention ‘FlexEffect Facial Resistance Training’ and if anyone brings up FE on their forums etc. they put it down!!! There is a reason for it. Once someone reads the FlexEffect sites info. Their program is dead in the water! And yes I am a FlexEffect trainer, but I swear if I ever decided to publish my own program I will at least acknowledge where I got my training, doing so doesn’t mean I don’t have some good training ideas of my own and it would also say that I have a good understanding of resistance training for the face.

    Thanks for the opportunity to speak up.

  • May 30, 2009

    by TY Freberg

    The value of facial exercise has been over-looked through-out the text of all these published comments: if the facial muscles are ultimately relaxed (relieved of tension or constriction by stretching contortions and/or anatomically correct "exercise"), the blood circulation improves and that
    is the foundation of strong, supple (firm) facial skin...
    The results of poor blood circulation are worse after ten years than only five: as children or teenagers, most persons do not have much plaque in veins and arteries (not enough time spent eating cheese, ice cream, processed oils, etc.,
    for years and years) nor high blood chemistry levels of arsenic ('vitamin c':
    an instigator of severe dehydration
    thus vericose veins and/or 'ceviche'
    skin) built up internally; consequently, the blood circulation of less compromised persons is better and they appear
    less dehydrated (associated to
    the word 'young')...
    At least, light walking everyday, getting plenty of fresh air and sunlight: plus daily active and tensive stretching through a full range of motion (including the facial exercise) is a number one best skin treatment; add it to avoiding citrus
    yeast and cheese like the plague
    for healthy skin (rejuvination).

  • May 22, 2009

    by bethany

    I have to disrespectfully disagree about Marta's last comment that facial exercises do not work. If you use a program that utilizes resistance, you will see results. Thanks to a $10 program called Ageless If You Dare (5 mins a day, 4 days a week), I longer need filler in my marionette lines, and my eyeliner does not rub off on my upper eyelids anymore....I saw major improvement within 3 weeks. This was the best money that I have ever spent on beauty/skin related stuff EVER (and I have bought a ton of stuff!).

    But I do have to agree that this particular product does look a bit far fetched...maybe the helmet itself is supposed to provide resistance? Regardless, the sweatiness aspect of your review turned me off immediately! Yuck.

  • May 19, 2009

    by monica

    Yes- I DID find it Tempting, easy to use, and very satisfactory results!

    I don't know why you are so angry about the FaceTrainer. I also don't know how a person can be negative about a product without trying it first.

    I realized one thing- NOTHING in this world (or in our bodies) is achieved without hard work.

    One day you wake up, look in the mirror and find out you're not 16 years old anymore. Your muscles aren't the same and surprisingly you find a wrinkle you could swear wasn't there yesterday. You don't like the shape of your body and you realize that something has to be done. So you start with exercise and then combine it with a diet. And if you are consistent and committed enough, you see results. If not, well…

    Same thing with your face - you can't just put your face on a diet, but you can certainly give it the exercises it needs, just like EVERY OTHER MUSCLE in your body.

    This is how I got to know the Face Trainer, which is not only clever workout accessory; it also helps with blood circulation. I already think my face feels and looks younger, tighter, and glowing.

    When you go to the gym you work on all parts of your body, symmetrically. FaceTrainer (I think of it as my private gym for my face) does the same thing, but for my face. The FaceTrainer is made of neoprene that provides flattens the skin (and protects me for more wrinkle creation as in when you pout), adds resistance to the training (like training bands, dumbbells, things like that). But, as with anything else at home, in order to achieve best results, you have to work at it. It's not an overnight miracle. This is the best way to gain results. With any exercise or workout, you don't get real, lasting results without a bit of time and a lot of commitment. (how many of us have bought a treadmill and never used it …?)


    Being an self-proclaimed exercise nut, I wonder how you only expect something to work if it has batteries or a chord. When you go to the gym, do you plug yourself in or do you do have to do the exercises yourself? Of course you have to walk on the treadmill. What is the difference between a body work out and a face work out? I see only the benefits form this workout. I mean, I like the idea that my face has chance to tighten up a bit too!

    Of course the solution can either be provided with the knife (ouch … and PAINFULL, and TIME CONSUMING) or an injection (again, Ouch … and costly) one. I guarantee you, those cost way more than 200$. Compared to those costs, the FaceTrainer made more sense to me. I definitely preferred 10 minutes of face exercise a day to the knife or the needle.

    Having to change levels also made sense to me, though I haven’t had to yet. It's well known that after doing the same routine everyday, an exercise regimen is more successful if you change things around a bit. So they recommend (they don't say it’s a must) alternating between the different training techniques and the 2 (or 3) levels of FaceTrainers. You don't have to buy a new one every 4-6 months, and if you do – it means you are using the mask. Imagine how much you have saved in that altrernative (remember? Knife … injections …). And it is only a suggestion.

    Regarding the brand name- no!no!, I think it's kind of cute – it originally referred to 'no hair, no pain' when they first launched their hair removal device. I bought that as well, and because I used it and liked it, I was ready to try the FaceTrainer. For the FaceTrainer, I guess they mean no injections, no surgery, no wrinkles. But I guess that's just a personal matter of taste and humor.

    My name is Monica and I am 40 years old. I've used the FaceTrainer for a little over 2 months now. I spend no more than 10 minutes exercising a day. 14 days after I first started using it, my face felt more energized than it had in a long time. And yes, my kids laughed (still do) and I get hockey mask and Hannibal Lector jokes from my husband all the time. But you know what, both my family and friends started giving me compliments about how much better I am looking these days. So when they laugh, I do too. I saved a bunch of $$$ on a plastic surgery. I still might do it one day, but if I can postpone it, why not?

    I just wanted to give you another perspective from somebody who has actually tried it. And if my point of view is not enough, I strongly recommend you read what the Time Magazine has to say about face exercise:
    http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1683326,00.html

    Good luck

    M

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