As we get older, many of us are increasingly concerned with how old we look—with an emphasis on the appearance of the skin on our face and hands, which seem like the most noticeable. We slather on serums and potions, hoping to reduce those fine lines and wrinkles. But there’s another dead giveaway for aging: the neck. Unflatteringly called “turkey neck,” as we get older, the skin on the neck can droop largely due to skin losing its elasticity, weakened neck muscles, and even some increased storage of fat, creating a “turkey wattle” look. It affects both men and women alike, and while a “dewlap” may serve some important functions in the animal kingdom, turkey neck is not quite so glamorous for us.
Once there, that wattle can be difficult to get rid of, but it is possible to improve the appearance and feel of this skin, even after time and gravity have started to have their way.
How to Get Rid of Turkey Neck Naturally (6 Easy Steps)
Here are 6 steps to help naturally get rid of turkey neck (or better yet, help prevent it from forming in the first place):
Step 1: Hold Your Head High
Sitting up straight when you’re at your laptop or on your phone can help you train your neck muscles to remain strong and the skin on your neck to remain taut. Think about elongating your neck throughout the day and even at night (using just one pillow rather than two) to reduce the angle between your face and neck. Even if it doesn’t tighten the skin, it will help it visually look that way. One of the reasons wrinkles appear to become so “etched in” is due to repetitive movements/postures.
Step 2: Practice Face Yoga
There are 43 different muscles in the face and 26 muscles in the neck, yet most of us never think about exercising them. Just like the rest of your body, by helping keep your neck muscles strong, you may be able to help lift and tone the appearance of the entire structure. Face yoga has been shown to help improve circulation, help hydrate and nourish the skin, and may even plump up facial muscles.
There are a few movements you can add to your daily routine that specifically focus on the neck (and get rid of that pesky turkey neck).
The first is to lift your head toward the ceiling and push your lower jaw forward until you feel the skin under the chin tighten. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
The second is designed to help tighten the neck muscles and strengthen the jaw line. Throw your head back (as if you’re laughing joyfully), tip your head straight back, and smile. While smiling, push your tongue up against the roof of your mouth, and swallow. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
The third exercise is called “the giraffe.” Simply look straight ahead and then lift the head up again. Lightly stroke the skin on your neck in a downward motion while keeping the head tilted back. Bring the head forward and down toward the chest. Repeat the movement twice. Then, while keeping the fingertips on the collarbone, lift the chin toward the ceiling, jut your lower lip out and hold for 4 nice, deep, calming breaths. Relax. Then using the same motion, pucker out your lips like you’re kissing the sky, and again, take 4 breaths.
The final exercise is a simple neck roll to help tone the neck, throat, and chin. Sitting up straight, tilt your chin toward your chest, stretching the muscles on the back of your neck. Slowly and gently roll your head up and to the right, stretching the muscles on the left side of your neck. Roll back down toward your chest and up to the left, releasing tension in the neck.
As a bonus, these stretches will help relieve tension in the neck area, so you feel more relaxed as you improve the appearance of turkey neck and reduce the appearance of wrinkles in the jaw and neck.
Step 3: Moisturize
While many people remember to moisturize their hands and face, the neck is often neglected. As you use a quality skin rejuvenating serum like Ageless Glow® on your face, remember to extend the treatment to the neck and upper chest areas. To ensure you avoid harsh products with potentially toxic chemicals, use a product that is free from parabens, phthalates, and sulfates as well as synthetic fragrances.
Ageless Glow features several key botanicals shown to help rejuvenate skin, including:
- Vitamin C, a well-known skin-nourishing antioxidant.
- Hyaluronic Acid, a natural component of skin that naturally decreases as we age that helps hydrate and plump the skin.
- Squalane, one of nature’s truly hydrating moisturizers, may also help the skin absorb the other skin-nourishing nutrients.
- Majestem™, from the Edelweiss plant, may help lift and tighten sagging skin.
- Senestem™, from English Plantain, may improve both firmness and elasticity of the skin.
Step 4: Enjoy Self-Care with Regular Face and Neck Massages
Once a week, pamper yourself with a soothing face and neck massage to help stimulate the skin and muscles, while supporting the flow of blood and lymph. Massage may help improve skin tone and aid in the removal of toxins from the pores (to allow your quality moisturizer to penetrate more deeply). And, it just feels really good.
Start with fresh, clean skin and grab either your favorite quality facial moisturizer or an oil that works with your skin type. (For example, if you’re acne prone, use jojoba oil; or, if you have dry skin, use borage seed oil or evening primrose oils.)
You can add essential oils if your skin isn’t too sensitive. Just mix them into your carrier oil (like jojoba), but start with a single drop on a small area to ensure your skin doesn’t react. Some essential oils to consider include frankincense, citrus oils, sandalwood, clary sage, pomegranate, ylang ylang, myrrh, and lavender.
Using just the first three fingers on each hand, massage your face using a circular motion. Start with gentle, smooth motions around the eyes and on the cheekbones; then massage the forehead, cheeks, jawline, neck, and upper chest. Apply just enough pressure to massage the underlying muscles but remember not to pull the skin.
While some people enjoy using facial rollers, there is not yet evidence that they’re more effective than massaging with your own fingers. But if you find that it feels good to use a jade or rose quartz facial roller, then that can also be included in your weekly massage.
Sep 5: Supplement with Collagen
One of the biggest reasons turkey neck can begin to form (or for skin to begin to sag) is because, as we age, our skin elasticity decreases. Collagen constitutes 70 to 80% of the skin, and it provides our skin with its structure and tensile strength (i.e., elasticity). But as we age, our bodies produce less, and our existing collagen becomes weaker.
The solution? It’s simple. Consume more collagen.
While it can be found in food sources, since we no longer eat “nose to tail,” we typically get very little through the diet. Fortunately, quality collagen supplements are available to support healthy skin (not to mention nails, joints, bones, gut health, and more). And collagen peptides, in particular, can help keep our skin elastic and support firmer, smoother, younger looking skin.
Step 6: Chew Gum
Another way to exercise your jaw and thus potentially help tighten and firm the muscles in the jaw and neck is to chew gum. Just remember that you’re not just chewing gum, you’re exercising these muscles, so keep you head up and elongated and even tilt your chin up toward the ceiling as you chew with your lips together. It doesn’t take much; just 20 chews once a week can do the trick.
How to Get Rid of Turkey Neck: A Recap
Of course, it should go without saying that your neck is part of your entire body, so continuing to live a healthy lifestyle—such as maintaining regular exercise and an overall active lifestyle, staying hydrated with plenty of water, getting 7 to 8 hours per night of beauty rest, nourishing your body with healthy nutrition, not smoking, drinking alcohol only in moderation (if at all), and limiting yourself to non-burning sun exposure—are all smart, long-term solutions for preventing and/or reducing the appearance of turkey neck.
You may never enjoy the long, lean, smooth neck of your youth. But you earned those fine lines and have been benefiting from the effects of gravity all your life. Accept and enjoy that you are getting older. After all, it beats the alternative. At the same time, there is much you can do to help your neck look the best it can with just a little time and effort for self-care. Not only will you look better, a little bit of pampering feels good and can help you relax. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain!