How to tackle 'gym face'

·2-min read

When we reach a certain age, we know that we have to work harder at exercising to get the figure we want.

But by our mid-30s, there comes a tipping point when excessive working out may melt fat away from your thighs, but it will also disappear from where you don't want to lose plumpness - your face. Medical Director Dr Preema Vig has given us her advice to help conquer 'gym face'.

What causes it?

"Exercise is crucial for a healthy body and skin, but too much can leave you with a hollow saggy cheek area," Dr Preema explains. "This effect is known as the 'gym face' look, and can be caused by excessive cardiovascular exercise, like running, cycling and endurance training which raises the heart rate and can cause dramatic weight loss."

How does this happen?

"When you start to exercise your face goes red as blood vessels widen to get oxygen flowing around the body," she comments. "But after about 15 minutes, when muscles need more oxygen, blood starts to be diverted from the face, which causes fat pads in the cheeks to be deprived of oxygen and to slowly diminish. This causes facial volume loss, particularly in the cheek area, which then makes your face look prematurely aged.”

Which exercises help avoid this?

"The 'gym face' phenomenon has led to many women varying their workouts and to have a more facial friendly fitness regime. This means not doing back-to-back cardio exercise, but doing different types of exercise like weight training, Pilates, and high-intensity training,” Dr Preema suggests.

What skincare solutions are there?

"A regime of effective daily skincare such as iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, Youth Eye and Active Serum encourage skin cell turnover and increases the penetration of skin-plumping actives such as sodium hyaluronate into the skin, which helps to deliver a youthful appearance," she advises, noting that another option is getting dermal fillers applied to the cheek area.

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