The facial muscles are like elastic sheets that are stretched in layers over the cranium, facial bones, the openings they form, and the cartilage, fat, and other tissues of the head. These are the muscles of facial expression, acting singly and in combination. The diagram below shows a simplified view of how the facial muscles are actually arranged. It has a cut-away view of some of the muscles on the right side of the image to show the layers. Move the mouse cursor over the diagram of facial muscles below and
click on a facial muscle of interest to see more information. Most of the muscles have a short video that illustrates the appearances that are produced when the muscle acts. Innervation and blood supply are also indicated. (MPEG 1 plugin is needed to view the videos.) For more detailed depictions of facial anatomy, see the Anatomy pages.