Facial Muscles

The facial muscles are a group of striated muscles innervated by the facial nerve that, among other things, control facial expression. These muscles are also called mimetic muscles.


The facial muscles are subcutaneous (just under the skin) muscles that control facial expression. They generally originate on bone, and insert on the skin of the face.


The facial muscles are innervated by cranial nerve VII, also known as the facial nerve. In contrast, the nearby masticatory muscles are innervated by the mandibular nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerve.


The facial muscles are derived from the second branchial/pharyngeal arch.

List of muscles

The facial muscles include:

* Occipitofrontalis
* Procerus
* Nasalis muscle
* Depressor septi nasi
* Orbicularis oculi
* Corrugator supercilii
* Depressor supercilii
* Auricular muscles (anterior, superior, posterior)
* Orbicularis oris
* Depressor anguli oris
* Risorius
* Zygomaticus major
* Zygomaticus minor
* Levator labii superioris
* Levator labii superioris alaeque nasi
* Depressor labii inferioris
* Levator anguli oris
* Buccinator
* Mentalis

The platysma is innervated by the facial nerve. Although it is mostly in the neck, due to its common innervation it can sometimes also be considered a muscle of facial expression.[citation needed]

The stylohyoid muscle and posterior belly of the digastric muscle are also innervated by the facial nerve, but are not considered muscles of facial expression.

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Author's Bio: 

This definition is part of a series that covers the topic of Facial Exercise. The Official Guide to Facial Exercise is Deborah Crowley. FlexEffect Facial Resistance Training is a complete Facialbuilding program involving off the voluntary muscles of the face and neck. Through FlexEffect, the muscles increase in size creating a firm, smooth lift.

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