The FaceTrainer by no!no!

Monday, 23 February 2009 | Tags: , , ,

While exercising to tone the body is a common workout goal, exercising to tone the face is a less widely known practice. But as you may have guessed, there are exercise gadgets for everything, including your face! We learn more about facial exercise and put one product to the test...

The Promise of Anti-aging Remedies

Feeding into our need to maintain youthful-looking skin, proponents of facial exercise claim it can slow and even reverse skin wrinkles and sagging.

Not surprisingly, within the billion-dollar realm of exercise gadgets, there are some that focus on the face. We take a look at one in particular: The FaceTrainer by ‘no!no!’.

We’re all for non-invasive beauty treatments, and this one promises exactly that. It claims to improve upon the facial exercise regimen by providing extra resistance, thereby forcing your facial muscles to work even harder. It sells itself as an alternative to going under the knife and promises to reduce wrinkles by up to 42%!

Crow’s Feet and Frown Lines

The reason for wrinkles, however, is not directly muscular. The usual culprits are:

Getting older:

As you age, the skin’s inner and outer layers become thinner, collagen levels (which give skin strength) go down, and elastin fibres (which give skin elasticity) wear out. The result: skin begins to wrinkle and sag. What also happens is hormonal changes can result in increased dryness and fragility of skin cells, compromising its repair process. Fat cells also shrink, making wrinkles and sagging more evident. (Fat cells actually help “plump” up your subcutaneous (inner) skin layer.)

Sun damage:

As you should well know by now, premature aging is caused by exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Often most of the damage is done by age 20. The amount of damage you experience depends upon your exposure and your pigmentation. The sun’s rays thin the epidermis, which is the same as what happens with regular aging, but collagen and elastin breaks down much faster. Lesions and solar scars can form, which can lead to wrinkles.

Free radicals:

Not the good kind of free! Typically considered caused by smoking and air pollution, with a bit of damaging UV thrown in.

Turn that frown…upside-down?

Did your mother ever tell you your face would stay like that if you made an ugly expression? Well, appearance aside, habitual muscle formation (e.g. frowning, smiling, squinting, etc.) can cause the skin to wrinkle and tiny muscles in various parts of the face eventually contract permanently.

There’s no escaping gravity:

Gravity works on the skin, no matter what body part, loosening it and causing it to sag over time. Say thanks to gravity for your jowls, drooping eyelids, and turkey neck.

Facial exercises: do they work?

There’s no doubt that patterns form in the skin from repetitive facial expressions. Exercise proponents say that using a combination of stretching and resistance, facial exercise can to combat frown lines, wrinkles, and sagging. There’s even face yoga, designed to relax the muscles.

Doctors aren’t so gung ho about the practice, however, saying that exercise may temporarily reduce muscular stress, but the effects aren’t long term. One beauty expert says that doing exercises may actually cause more wrinkles.


The FaceTrainer from no!no! is a neoprene face mask that comes with a program of exercises meant to provide a “total resistance training workout”. It requires only 10 minutes of exercise per day and promises to reduce wrinkles and sagging, and improve skin tone and colour.

Cost: $227.64 (CAD) with free shipping

First we went to dermatologist Dr. Frances Jang and got her to photograph and observe our faces pre-FaceTrainer.

We had a hard time keeping a straight face (pun intended) when we first tried the FaceTrainer on, but we both went through the 30-day regimen, doing recommended exercises like “the surprised puppy dog” with high commitment and hopes.

Overall experience:

The product itself was uncomfortable and hot to wear, but it was only for 10 minutes day, so it was bearable for a short period of time.


At the end of the 30-days, we went back to our dermatologist, who didn’t see any significant difference in our skin, wrinkles and all. Dr. Jang’s opinion is that muscles alone can’t help with wrinkles because the fat and bone of the face play a large part in the texture of the skin.

Does the FaceTrainer by no!no! get the A&K Stamp of Approval?

No. While we were excited to try it and really hoped it would make a little bit of difference (who doesn’t want a painless facelift?), the FaceTrainer didn’t deliver. We don’t think it’s worth the money.

Our dermatologist says that prevention is the best route:

  • Moisturize

  • Apply sunscreen (year round!)

  • Eat well

  • And get lots of sleep


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