Yes, Shakira said it...the hips don’t lie. Well, unfortunately, neither do necks. It’s funny how the most neglected part of our body is also the most telling. This is due to the fact that the skin on the neck is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on your face, making it just as prone, if not more so, to changes in elasticity, pigment and texture. Neglecting this area can expose your age and even make you appear older. Avoid the dreaded “turkey neck” effect (yes, it’s a thing) by getting on the prevention train now. Show your neck you care by implementing these tricks into your skincare routine.
Spread the Love. Give your neck as much attention as your face. Extend the cleansing and exfoliating to include your neck and décolletage. When applying facial serums or special treatments, be sure to apply these on the area as well. Above all, always apply sunscreen over this entire region, as this will not only prevent sagging, but also the not-so-cute “leather chest”.
Product Recommendations: L'Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Radiance Revealing Exfoliator, Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Sun Damage SPF 28
Invest in Neck-Focused Products. It’s super important to value the neck and décollete area the way you do your face. If you haven’t already, grab a product that specifically treats the region and apply it daily. MDC Quick Tip: Use upward motions as you apply the contouring cream along the neck and jawline.
Product Recommendation: L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Face & Neck; SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest & Hand Repair
Do Your Exercises. Simple neck stretches, along with some basic yoga poses, can help with toning the muscles of the neck as well. An easy exercise to do daily is the “Kiss the Sky” method. All you have to do is tilt your head back and close your eyes and lips. Then, take a deep breath, pucker your lips and stretch your neck simultaneously as if you were kissing the sky. Hold this pose for about 10 seconds. Let the stretch go by lowering the chin and looking straight ahead. For the best results, perform five reps in a row and two sets of these reps before and after bed. Just like the rest of the body, having strong underlying muscle tone helps maintain a firmer appearance.
Massage Regularly. To relax the muscles and improve circulation, massage the neck area two to three times a week using natural massage oils. Massage the neck and jawline gently, using upward hand motions to boost the elasticity and blood flow to the area.
Watch That Posture! The constant hunching over our cell phones and laptops are said to be contributors to the dreaded turkey neck effect. Don’t fall into the hunchback trap! Take your mother’s advice and sit up straight! Also, try to hold up your phone so it’s more at your eye level and you’re not constantly leaning over it.
About the Author: Rachel is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist specializing in television, print and red carpet events.