By Stephanie Stahl

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s a different kind of exercise that can help keep your face looking younger and one fan is Meghan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex.

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Markle is quoted as saying she does face exercises, also known as face yoga. She credits facial exercises for helping her cheekbones and jawline look so sculpted. Now, the first scientific research on the practice says it can work.

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Sunnye Goldston, a face yoga certified instructor, says just like with any other kind of workout, improving facial muscle tone can help delay the signs of aging.

“Everywhere from college students to people in their early 60s, the fact is everyone wants to improve their face,” said Goldston.

A recent study from Northwestern University found that middle-aged women looked up to three years younger after doing face exercises.

“It had a significant benefit for the entire cohort of people we studied,” said Dr. Murad Alam.

It’s the first scientific study to test the premise of facial exercises improving appearance.

“Their central face, their upper cheeks became substantially plumper and fuller,” said Alam.

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Participants in the small study met with Gary Sikorski, the creator of the Happy Face Yoga method, learning exercises they could do at home.

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After 20 weeks of doing 30-minute daily or alternate day exercises, dermatologists noticed improvements.

“That can be quite helpful for women who are just beginning to see the signs of aging maybe before they consider other methods,” said Alam.

It’s an inexpensive alternative to fillers you can do anywhere.

“You are brushing your teeth, you are getting coffee, we all go to the bathroom, there’s time,” said Goldston.

Sitting in traffic is Goldston’s favorite time for face yoga.

For a cheek lift, place your lips over your teeth and smile. To improve the look of your jawline, kiss the sky.

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The researchers said cheek fullness was significantly enhanced as a result of the exercises. The people who participated in the study noticed improvement on nearly all the facial areas that were rated.

Stephanie Stahl