Tired of seeing a saggy, flabby neck in the mirror each morning? Want to revive your skin so it looks trimmer and younger? No problem. With the right attitude (and advice) anything is possible.
So let’s look at the ways you can remove the ‘l’ from your flab so it’s just straight out ‘fab’.
How does flabby neck skin happen?
One minute your neck is trim, taut and terrific. And the next minute it’s hanging so low that it catches stray crumbs after every meal. How on earth does this happen?
Unfortunately, the most common cause of flabby and sagging neck skin is ageing. According to Discovery Health, as you age your skin starts to lose collagen and elastin, the stuff responsible for making your skin appear plump and youthful. They also suggest that as your facial muscles weaken, the appearance of droopiness can increase. Gravity too plays a part, encouraging the skin to droop and sag down.
Other factors include sun exposure, weight-loss and smoking. Sun exposure can lead to a loss of collagen and elasticity, while smoking has been directly linked to sagging skin. Meanwhile, weight loss can also lead to sagging skin, particularly around the neck area.
But that’s not to say that saggy neck skin is permanent. There are ways you can improve the appearance of your skin and reduce neck flabbiness and sagginess.
Just like you can strengthen your arms for bulging biceps and crunch your way to a six pack (well, kind of), there are exercises you can do to help improve your facial muscles.
As we saw earlier, weak facial muscles is one of the main causes of neck flab. So if you can find a way to strengthen your facial muscles, you should be well on your way to trim neck success.
Here are a few of our favorite neck exercises.
#1. Neck sit-ups
Lay down horizontally on your back (so your head isn’t at the top, but at the side) on your bed. Shuffle down so your head is no longer supported by the bed and hangs over the edge. Then, slowly and carefully lift your head up until it is at the same level as your chest and the rest of your body.
Hold for a few seconds and then gently lower down again. Make sure your movements are deliberate and slow, to avoid injury. Build up to ten repetitions, twice a day.
#2. Cloud chewing
You can either stand up or sit down for this exercise, whichever you’re more comfortable with. If possible, head outdoors so you can get some fresh air while you’re doing it (being sure to wear sunscreen, of course). When you’re ready, tilt your head back to look up at the sky.
Then, with your mouth closed, pretend that you are eating the clouds. Do 25 ‘bites’ and then tilt your head back down. Repeat twice, twice a day. You should feel tension in your jaw and the front of your neck. Make slow, deliberate movements to avoid injury.
#3. Cloud pouting
While you’re outside chewing the clouds, you can add to your neck exercises and include some cloud pouting. All you do is tilt your head back, like when you’re chewing clouds, and then pull your bottom lip to sit over your upper lip, as though you were sulking.
Stay in this position for three seconds and then allow your lips to return to normal. Repeat ten times.
Massage your flab away
Another way to reduce neck sagginess and flabbiness is to choose a powerful moisturizer. A good tip is to look for moisturizers that contain vitamin A and C, as well as beta hydroxyl acid and alpha hydroxyl acid. These ingredients will help improve the appearance of your skin.
Once you have a good moisturizer, spend ten minutes twice a day massaging it into your face and neck. Start with clean skin and then warm your hands by rubbing them together. Then, massage in the moisturizer using gentle but firm circular movements.
We suggest starting at the top of your face and your forehead and working your way down. Pay particular attention to the neck and make sure you include the décolletage.
An invigorating massage will help boost blood circulation and encourage vital nutrients and oxygen to enter the skin.
You may be able to decrease the appearance of ageing and skin sagginess by ensuring you are adequately hydrated each day. This means sticking to water where possible and limiting consumption of fizzy drinks and alcohol.
We recommend aiming for around two litres of water on days that you aren’t exercising. On days that you do exercise, add another litre to account for sweat and water loss.
Boost your antioxidants
By increasing your antioxidants you can improve how your skin looks overall and also potentially prevent and reduce neck sagginess. A good way to increase your antioxidant intake is to eat a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables.
You can also drink two to three cups of green tea a day or take an antioxidant vitamin supplement. And while there are some creams and moisturizers that promise an abundance of antioxidants, we’d advise including them as part of your diet as well.
Prevention is better than cure
If you’re skimming this article and thinking “Bah! Saggy neck fat!? That’ll never happen to me!” then think again, my sweet. All of us are at risk of flabby neck fat – yes, even you.
So to guard against the risk, I recommend taking a preventative approach to skin and neck care. Here are a few steps that can help:
- Include your neck in your regular skin care regime. Too often we can forget to cleanse and moisturize our necks, but if you make an effort to include your neck and décolletage in your skin care regime you will help decrease the risk of a flabby neck.
- Do neck exercises anyway. Just in case.
- Apply a facial mask to your face and neck once a week.
- Follow a healthy diet that is low in sugar and junk.
- Drink two litres of water a day.
- Always wear sunscreen when you are outdoors.
- Avoid getting burnt by the sun.
I have left this one until last because I strongly believe you should try all other avenues (and consult with a dermatologist) before resorting to surgery. This isn’t to say I’m against plastic surgery, but it shouldn’t be your first port of call.
Things like laser resurfacing and liposuction can definitely help eliminate excess, saggy skin but they aren’t without their risks and complications.
I’d recommend speaking to an expert and finding alternative solutions before considering plastic surgery and then if you don’t see results, consult with a qualified surgeon.
And remember, beauty is more than just skin deep. So put yourself and your health first. As long as you feel beautiful, nothing else matters.