Facial Muscles

  • Facial muscles are skeletal muscles that control facial expression among other functions.
  • They are also called mimetic muscles.
  • Facial muscles are subcutaneous which means 'located just under the skin'.
  • Points of origin and insertion: Many facial muscles have points of origin on bones. In many cases their points of insertion are attachments to the skin of the face.

Here is an anterior view of some of the muscles and tissues of the head, including some required for Indian head massage courses.

Above: Diagram Facial Muscles

The muscles / tissues listed below are included in the diagram above.

The links indicated by pink text are to pages about individual facial muscles including detail about their points of origin, points of insertion, and actions.

  1. Epicranial Aponeurosis (also known as Galea aponeurotica) - covering of skull from forehead, extending backwards. Shaded pale blue.
  2. Frontalis - on the forehead on both sides of the head/face extending upwards and backwards from the region of the upper eye-socket. Shaded yellow.
  3. Temporalis - two such muscles, one on each side of the head forwards and upwards of the ear. Only shown on RHS of face above, shaded purple.
  4. Orbicularis oculi - one of these circular muscles is located around each eye. Only one is shown above, on the RHS of the face, shaded pale pink.
  5. Zygomaticus Major - a zygomaticus major muscle is located across each cheek from near to the corners of the mouth, extending upwards and backwards towards the corresponding ear. Shown shaded dark blue (immediately below the zygomaticus minor).
  6. Zygomaticus Minor - a zygomaticus minor muscle is located across each cheek from near to the corners of the mouth, extending upwards and backwards towards the corresponding ear. Shown shaded red-brown (immediately above the zygomaticus minor).
  7. Platysma - covering of the sides of the neck and the lower section of the outer-surfaces of the front of the face. Shown above on RHS of face only, shaded brown.
  8. Thyroid Cartilage ('Adam's Apple') - located in the centre of the front of the neck, shaded pale blue.
  9. Corrugator - a corrugator muscle is located above each eye socket. Shown above on LHS of face only, shaded pink/purple.
  10. Levator palpebrae superioris - a levator palpebrae superioris muscle is located in the region of/above each eyelid. Shown above on LHS of face only, shaded snot green.
  11. Nasalis - two such muscles, one on each side of the nose. Shaded dark pink.
  12. Levator labii superioris - two such muscles, one on each side of the face extending upwards from the upper lip (on each side) towards the region of the lower eye-socket. Shaded dark brown-black.
  13. Masseter - at both sides of the face but only shown above on LHS of face, shaded grey/green.
  14. Levator anguli oris - above upper-lip on both sides of the face, shaded bright green.
  15. Buccinator - on both sides of the face between the corners of the mouth and the ears but closer to the mouth. Shown above on LHS of face only, shaded mid-dark blue.
  16. Obicularis oris - circular muscle surrounds the mouth, shaded blue above.
  17. Depressor labii inferioris - below the lower-lip on both sides of the face. Shown shaded red.
  18. Depressor anguli oris - extending down from the corners of the mouth on both sides of the face. Shown shaded yellow.
  19. Sternocleidomastoid - on both sides of the neck. Shown above on LHS of neck only, shaded brown.
  20. Mentalis - on both sides of upper chin, shaded green.
  21. Scalenes - on both sides of the neck. Shown above on LHS of neck only, shaded in two shades of green.
  22. Trapezius - lower part of diagram (the part of this muscle shown here is at the top of the shoulders).
  23. Omohyoid - neck muscle, shown shaded orange.
  24. Sternohyoid - towards the centre of the neck, shown shaded purple.
More about Muscles

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