While thinning skin, gravity, sun exposure (along with tech neck) are in part to blame for the signs of aging, the primary culprit for sagging neck skin is the platysma muscle.
The platysma muscle gets shorter, stiffer, and weaker as we age.
This major muscle in the neck is a power horse when it comes to lifting/firming the neck area and the whole lower part of your face.
The platysma muscle is a flat, broad muscle.
This muscle stretches across the entire upper chest, shoulders, collarbone, up the sides of the neck, under the chin and wraps across the lower whole jaw bone.
This muscle is also used to move the mouth and lips up and down and sideways.
To keep your lower face lifted the platysma muscles are essential.
The problem is this muscle starts to sag pretty early in life because it is a “floating muscle.”
A floating muscle means it's not attached to facial ligaments or bone. And, to make things worse, the platysma is naturally pulled forward by its own contraction.
Also, with age, the platysma bands become stiff and fibrous and begin to separate in the center of the neck.
This separation contributes to vertical neck bands (sometimes referred to as turkey neck, turkey wattle, or neck cording.1), crepey skin, horizontal lines, and premature aging of the entire neck area.
All of this combined with the reduction in collagen and elastin (thinner skin) causes the look of a sagging neck.
Can a non-invasive treatment fix or firm-up a sagging neck?
That depends on how on much loose skin you have or how badly damaged your neck skin and muscles are.
If you have a fair degree of skin laxity, muscle atrophy, and/or excess neck fat cosmetic surgery is probably the only option.
Usually situations like this will require multiple procedures to reduce stubborn fat, tighten muscles and trim excess skin.
You would need to consult a plastic surgeon on which medical procedures will offer the best results.
But, for those with mild skin laxity, good muscle tone, and good health, there are some in-office procedures and at-home treatment options that might help improve the look of a sagging neck and reduce the visible signs of aging.
Nefertiti Neck Lift
A Nefertiti Lift is where small amounts of Botox are injected directly into the muscle bands in your neck.
These muscle bands are responsible for pulling your whole lower face/jawline downward. And paralyzing these muscles causes them to relax and lift upward giving your face the appearance of a slight lower face lift.2
Not everyone is a candidate for this treatment, especially if you have excess loose neck skin. Besides being evaluated by a physician, you can get an idea if this is right for you by taking this test.
Look in the mirror and say the word "Eeeeeee" very strongly.
If you see bands of muscles protruding from the middle and sides of your neck, chances are this procedure might be right for you.
Ultherapy - best for saggy skin
Unlike radio frequency (RF) and laser treatments, which focus on improving the outer texture of thin skin.
Ultherapy uses sound waves to find and deliver a focused beam of sound to a certain level in the skin to prompt the body to develop more, improving collagen production and elastic tissue around the area.
This results in a noticeable lifting of the skin... smoothing out of creases, wrinkles, and folds on the neck.
While Ultherapy is somewhat painful, no general anesthesia is needed aside from some topical numbing cream. Recovery time is usually for a few days.
General side effects include: bruising, swelling, redness and sunburn like pain and sensitive skin.
There are other ultrasound energy based options when it comes to laser treatment to tighten sagging neck skin.
Here are just a few of them:
The above treatments would be the best way to address severe saggy neck skin.
Your doctor can help you decide which would be the most effective treatment for your individual case.
Note: None of these office procedures will do much for a double chin.
Again, depending on the individual situation and the degree of aging some at-home, neck rejuvenation treatments might help improve the look of your neck.
Today we have some revolutionary at-home skin rejuvenating skin equipment that uses cutting edge technology that’s’ worth looking into.
Radiofrequency (RF) Treatments
Radiofrequency machines can offer some tightening effects for sagging neck skin. RF treatments use radiofrequency energy to heat the deeper layers of the skin, which helps stimulate collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin.
Heating the skin cells causes them to pull closer together, thus tightening the skin over time.
It takes several treatments before results are seen (about 4-6 weeks). Then repeated maintenance treatments are required every few months to maintain best results.
This skincare routine delivers low levels of electrical stimulation, which helps stimulate collagen and elastin production.
Some say they can see results right away, and results may last about 7-10 days. But, for long-lasting results, you’ll continue treatments on a weekly basis.
Exercise Neck Muscles
Neck and facial exercises can help neck muscles from becoming stiff and brittle.
Exercises also keep the muscles and connective tissues from atrophying, which helps prevent loose skin (because skin is draped across a firmer, built neck muscle) giving it a smoother look and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
Plus, your face and skin will have a more refreshed, youthful appearance. Bottom line is we age better with facial exercises.
Massage Neck Skin
The skin loves to be touched and massaged, contrary to what most people think, it increases skin elasticity and improves blood circulation, tone, and firmness.
Massaging the skin adds to your anti-aging efforts and helps reduce visible signs of aging. 3
Massaging benefits include:
Here is a good neck massaging technique that helps reduce neck wrinkles and firms up the muscles too.
Try this sample neck massage
Carolyn, the developer of this neck massage, is over 74 yrs old in the pictures below.
Take a good look at the skin of her neck. Notice the lack of platysma bands? No old neck skin for her! Her skin texture is that of someone 20 yrs younger.
You have now performed 1 slide/round. Now, go back to the top of your jawline and move your hands over about an inch and do the same 10 slides again.
Keep repeating until you've reached the other side of your neck.
Do this about 3 times a week.
Note: If you have issues with your hands like arthritis, you can use a massaging tool like the Kansa wand (as shown below) to help tone and massage the neck skin and muscles.
Hydrate and Feed Your Skin
To help further improve the quality and look of your delicate skin hydrate it with a nutrient rich cream or oil.
The neck has fewer oil glands and applying a good skin cream can really make a temporary difference and give your neck tighter skin tone with a more youthful look.
I use CFF Moisture Plus on my face and neck. It's organic and very rich and a little goes a long way.
Also, consider add an anti-aging, anti-wrinkle serum or creams like gentle retinol serums.
Short of surgery, nothing will make your neck look like it did when you were 20.
But the good news is, it’s fixable to a degree.
1. A comprehensive Face and Neck exercise program is a natural and effective solution to help firm the neck area - and the rest of the face.
2. Massage and stretching the skin and muscles keeps them in shape.
3. Hydrating the skin makes it look smoother and softer - temporarily, while feeding it with a good anti-aging cream may help slow the aging process.
How do I know these tips work?
Because I've been doing them for a while. And you can see the improvements in my before and after neck firming pictures.
Final sagging neck skin care routine tip
As always, don't forget to apply sunscreen all over the front of the neck and chest to protect against sun damage and dark spots.
What have you tried to fix a sagging neck? Did it work well?
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