Turkey neck, neck waddle, gobble neck, sagging neck… Whatever you call it – at some point we all get it, and we all hate it!
Can we agree that 'Turkey Neck' is just not the most flattering term? I'd rather say loose neck skin.
Whatever you wish to call it, it is possible to improve the look and health of your neck skin with natural and gentle at home care.
At-home solutions, like neck exercises and massages, can help improve the area, as you can see from my before and after pictures below.
But at-home solutions take time.
I know that's frustrating to hear, since you can't hide a turkey neck with jewelry or makeup.
But, if you're looking for inexpensive home solutions to a firmer neck area, give these suggestions a try for a few months.
Full Disclosure: If you have very loose, hanging skin on the neck and jowls, you may not see dramatic results. Keep in mind, nothing short of surgery will give you that super tight look of a surgical neck lift. But check out my before and after neck pictures to see what is possible.
According to Carolyn Cleaves, owner and Founder of Carolyn's Facial Fitness program, the best natural way to get rid of sagging neck should involve a two-pronged approach:
WHY? Because not only are we dealing with saggy neck skin, but many of us have issues with neck wrinkles or dry, crêpy, parchment-like skin.
Facial Exercises for a Firmer Neck? In order to firm up loose skin on the neck, you have to exercise the whole face and neck to create a good solid facial foundation first because all facial muscles are interconnected.
Facial Muscles are Interconnected
All the muscles from your scalp to your upper chest are interconnected. So trying to firm only the sagging muscles of your neck won't work very well.
It's important to engage, exercise, and firm-up all 57 muscles of the face and neck to establish a good foundation.
Here is what I did to help firm my sagging neck:
1. Start with a basic Face and Neck Exercise workout
Below is a sample of the complete Carolyn's Facial Fitness (CFF) workout I use. It includes all muscles of the face and neck (see exercises 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26).
Do the whole program (which takes 15 minutes) about 3 times a week, every week. Later, when you achieve the results you want, you only need to do them about 1-2 times a month for maintenance.
Once you start to see results (usually in about 8 weeks) you'll be so motived, it won't be hard to discipline yourself to do them... Trust me! :-)
I tried many exercise programs but didn't like them because they're too hard, confusing, or too time-consuming. Years ago, I found Carolyn's Facial Fitness (CFF) and loved it and have been using it ever since.
2. Stick with it
Don't stop and start the exercises, or pick and select only the ones you like.
3. Take pictures
Continue with the weekly face exercise/neck program and take pictures weekly to track your progress. This is important because in the first 4-6 weeks you won't see much difference in the mirror,
But, your pictures will pick up on the slightest changes. This will keep you motivated to continue.
Note: When taking pictures, make sure to take them at the same time of day, in the same place each time. This gives the best comparison.
4. OPTIONAL - Bonus Neck Exercises
This is optional, but some people might need or want additional improvements after doing the basic face & neck exercises.
After about 16 weeks, I saw improvements in my neck, but I wanted more. So, I added the following exercises to my weekly routine:
Bonus Exercise 1: The Brush
Bonus Exercise 2: The Neck Ring Eraser
Since everyone is different, this might be all you need to get your turkey neck firmed up. But, some might need more firming.
I started to see changes in about 8 weeks, but I still required more, and that's why I added the bonus exercise.
The bonus neck exercise only take a few minutes a week!
But the beauty of this workout is that it address the underlying neck muscle - the platysma muscle - and helps thicken and smooth the neck skin, which helps address those pesky neck rings.
You'd be surprised how one group of muscles actually help lift and firm other surrounding areas of the face and neck.
The beauty of improving all the underlying face and neck muscles is that you'll also address other aging facial issues like:
As stated before - depending on the severity of your sagging skin, the condition of your neck and skin muscles, and your age - results will vary.
The sooner you start to address your sagging neck, the better the results.
And, the more consistent you are with face and neck exercises, the better chance of seeing improvement.
But, just keep in mind, results with neck exercises will never be the same as a surgical neck or face lift procedure.
How to Find a Facial Workout Program
How do you find a facial workout program that's right for you? Visit several different facial workout websites and look for the following features:
You can view some samples exercises by Carolyn's Facial Fitness to see if this is something you'd enjoy doing.
Non-surgical options include popular treatment plans utilizing cutting-edge technology, including radio frequency and ultrasound, to stimulate collagen production. These methods aim to reduce fine lines and firm up the delicate skin on the neck.
Ultherapy treatment - This laser treatment uses ultrasound energy to heat the deeper layers of the skin to stimulate collagen production and lift and improve skin tone for a more youthful appearance.
Keep in mind that most ultrasound therapy treatments provide mild to medium results.
If you have a lot of excess neck skin or very lax skin, a neck lift surgery would be the best way to go. Most people will require several Ultherapy treatments before seeing significant results.
Botox - If your issues are due to vertical neck bands, then Botox is an excellent treatment plan.
But for best results, you will have to repeat Botox injections every few months or those vertical bands will come back.
For a long-lasting solution, vertical bands can be fixed with neck surgery. This is where the surgeon tightens the platysma muscles, eliminating vertical bands. Results are usually permanent.
Most people who have issues with turkey neck, will often have problems with sagging jowls too.
Neck Wrinkles - See how to reduce them.
Sagging Neck - What causes the neck to sag over time?
CROWLEY, D., ed. The
FlexEffect, Facial Resistance Training. FlexEffect Publishing Eureka, CA.
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