After months of following a healthy lifestyle for weight loss, you have finally achieved your goal and shed some pounds. But a new problem presents itself. The skin on your neck is sagging, and your concern now is how to tighten neck skin after weight loss. Do not worry because we will provide you with some simple neck lift without surgery tips that will enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence.
Sagging neck skin can be annoying and disappointing, especially after all the hard work you put into losing weight. Rarely do we think of taking care of the neck area, resulting in unattractive loose skin or fat around that region. These tips on how to tighten neck skin after weight loss will help turn your turkey neck into a beautiful swan neck.
How To Tighten Skin On Your Neck After Weight Loss
Saggy skin is caused by loss of fat and the reduction or deterioration of collagen and elastin in the dermis, especially among people who have lost substantial weight or have aged. It is also prevalent in people overexposed to harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun (photodamage) or those with certain illnesses like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and granulomatous slack skin (11). This poultry-like excess skin around the neck is the most difficult to fix because it is usually the least of our concerns. The good news is that you can have an effective, cost-friendly, and healthy neck lift without undergoing an invasive surgery.
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How To Tighten Neck Skin After Weight Loss
When the skin loses elasticity, it becomes saggy (11). Being overweight or obese for a long time damages the elastin and collagen fibers in your skin, making it difficult for it to snap back after weight loss, especially a rapid one. According to a Columbia Health publication, losing a large amount of weight rapidly, for example, between 50 and 100 pounds in a few weeks or months, may result in loose, excess skin because the skin is less likely to shrink in time (10). Since the neck skin’s natural pace of shrinkage cannot match the weight loss rate, a turkey-neck is formed.
At-Home Methods For Natural Skin Tightening
Luckily, there are several at-home ways on how to tighten neck skin after weight loss without surgery. These are:
Movements that create or tighten muscles, such as facial and neck exercises, may reduce minor sagging (5). Face, chin, and neck exercises may help reduce the appearance of scars, boost blood circulation, and tone the skin leading to fresher and more youthful-looking skin (1). A 2018 pilot study examining the relationship between a 20-week facial exercise program with middle-aged women’s facial appearance concluded that the exercises improved mid-face and lower face fullness, suggesting that they may minimize saggy skin around the jowls, chin, and throat (3).
Facial exercises include baby bird pose and cow face pose (2). The baby bird pose helps tighten the jaw and enhance the signs of aging on your neck. It is done by pressing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and then you smile, all while tilting your face upwards. Cow face pose creates a definition in your jawline and may reduce sagging in the neck and jowls. It is done by allowing your jaw to slack and position your lower front teeth over your upper front teeth. Raise your right arm, rotate your head to the left, and look up, then hold this pose for at least five seconds before relaxing your jaw. Repeat this three consecutive times, then shift to your left arm.
Although tried and tested results prove that facial exercise can help with saggy neck skin, there is not enough scientific evidence to confirm this. For instance, a 2013 systematic review in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal concluded that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether facial exercises effectively facilitate facial rejuvenation (8).
Stretching The Neck
Did you know that by stretching the neck daily, you can make the turkey-like skin firm? Some believe that sagging neck skin can be fixed by stretching, which trains the skin to be taut instead of loose. You can do this by sitting up straight, holding your head up high, or sleeping with your neck long. Use one pillow instead of two to minimize the angle between the face and the neck (5).
Since this unappealing skin is caused by flaccid muscles, loose skin and fat, you may be able to make it firm by exercising your neck with facial yoga moves. Facial yoga is believed to increase the size of facial muscles, creating firmer skin and a more youthful appearance. The first move involves opening the mouth widely, pulling the upper lip over front teeth, smiling, then placing index fingers on the cheek and relaxing the muscles before smiling once again. There may be a visible enhancement in the tightness of your skin after doing this for half an hour every day for over 8-12 weeks.
Other than smiling in the stages above, you can engage your neck with the mouth closed, sitting back on a chair with your back straight, then slowly leaning your head back until you face the roof (5). At this posture, pout your lips as if you are kissing the ceiling and retain this position for a few seconds, then repeat 10 times.
Using Topical Treatments
Since the neck contains fewer oil glands than the face, the skin may quickly get dry and wrinkle. Give your neck some love by applying serum and moisturizer, just like on your face by following the cleanse-and-tone routine, then finishing with some cream application from down up to boost blood circulation.
Creams, oils, and lotions containing ingredients such as retinoids, the chemical derivatives of vitamin A consisting of tretinoin, adapalene, and retinoic acid are recommended because they may boost collagen production (9). Such creams increase maturation, proliferation, and the turnover of skin cells.
Topical Creams And Lotions
Those containing hyaluronic acid may also be used as they attract and hold onto water molecules, thus helping to increase skin firmness, minimize the depth of wrinkles, and minimize skin roughness (9). Apart From retinol or Vitamin A and 0.1% concentrated Hyaluronic acid (HA) to decrease laxity and keep your skin hydrated, another source encourages the use of topical creams and lotions with a mixture of (6):
- 5% concentration of Vitamin B3 or niacinamide to enhance skin elasticity.
- 5–15% concentrations of Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid to boost collagen production and protect it from being broken down by MMPs.
- 2–20% concentrations of Vitamin E or alpha-tocopherol to smoothen the skin and prevent it from photodamage.
- 2% concentrations of Salicylic acid or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) to exfoliate the skin.
- Up to 10% concentrations of Glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to exfoliate the skin and help other ingredients better penetrate the outer layer.
- Peptides, mixtures of amino acids that aid in stimulating collagen growth and making the skin firm.
- Tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, to increase skin elasticity.
Losing Weight Around The Neck Area
The skin may appear loose because of stubborn fat, known as subcutaneous fat, that is underneath. By pinching the area and feeling if there are more than a few millimeters of skin, you can confirm if subcutaneous fat is present in that region (9). The solution here is to lose weight.
Eat Collagen-Rich Foods
What you eat plays a big role in how you look; therefore, eating protein-dense foods filled with collagen and elastin may help firm up your loose skin (4). These include milk, tofu, nuts such as almonds, cottage cheese, lentils, legumes, seeds, and seafood. Also, consuming at least 9 to 13 cups of water daily may keep your skin hydrated, protecting its elasticity.
Using Facial Rollers
Another tip on how to get rid of neck fat is by rolling up the skin on your neck once a day using these quick and efficient mini-paint-like rollers designed to help with blood flow and lymph drainage, eliminate puffiness, plump out wrinkles, and kick-start facial muscles (5). They are also applicable when looking for how to tighten skin on face. Massaging loose skin enhances blood flow and helps evoke the anti-aging response (9).
Basic lifestyle changes such as wearing sunscreen, staying hydrated, and letting go of harmful habits such as smoking and using skin products with harsh chemicals may make your skin look fresher and less saggy (9).
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Non-Surgical Skin Tightening Treatments
Other than the above mentioned home procedures on how to get rid of neck lines, non-invasive, and minimally invasive treatments done by a dermatologist may enhance the tone and elasticity of saggy skin with little to no downtime. These include:
Tightening And Toning Using RF Skin Tightening Facials
Some experts recommend radio frequency skin tightening facials for sagging skin around the neck, face, and body (5). Gentle heat is applied in the skin’s deep, collagen-rich layers to help tighten existing collagen and stimulate new collagen formation over time, reducing the sagging and renewing contours. RF energy bypasses the melanin, making it effective for all skin types. Patients may experience mild to moderate pain with redness and swell for up to 24 hours after the procedure.
RF also enhances the texture and smoothness of the skin surface. This can be done once a week for 6-8 weeks, followed by maintenance after every 6 weeks. Visible outcomes may occur after 6 months of multiple treatments and may last for 2-3 years (7).
This is an ultrasound skin tightening that utilizes the ultrasound energy to send heat deep into the tissue below the skin’s outer layer (epidermis) without causing damage to it (9). New collagen is produced as the tissue heals through the process of fibroplasia. After 2-6 months of multiple ultrasounds, the sagging skin begins to tighten, and the effects may be seen for up to 1 year (7).
Laser Skin Tightening
Laser treatment may be non-invasive (functioning similar to RF and ultherapy) or minimally invasive (sedation required as it involves removing the top layer of the skin) depending on the laser type used, efficiency, and side effects that you can handle (7). It is best for those without a lot of excess skin. There will be immediate skin tightening, but the full effect may occur after about 6 months after the procedure. Side effects include redness, temporary swelling, superficial blistering, with minimally invasive laser treatment requiring 10-21 days of recovery and post-procedure skin care (7).
This is a collagen induction therapy whereby small needles puncture the skin to trigger the body’s wound healing response and stimulate the production of elastin and collagen (7). One needs to be sedated, and the side effects include swelling, redness, mild discomfort, and skin irritation. You may require a day to recover and perform some post-procedure skincare. Results may be visible after 3 months of multiple treatments, and by the 5th month, the outcome will be significant, lasting up to one year later.
Other alternatives include the mini facial toner that firms, tightens, and lifts the skin in as little as 12 weeks, use of supplements, and surgery for significant sagging.
How To Prevent The Neck Skin From Sagging
Prevention is always better than cure. While following a weight loss plan, remember to do the following to prevent loose fat from making your neck sag:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle and skincare routine. Moisturize and use lotions and creams for skin hydration.
- Follow a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and avoid smoking to prevent signs of aging, such as sagging skin.
- Avoid rapid, excessive weight loss. Lose weight slowly and consistently.
- Protect yourself from harmful sun rays.
Loose neck skin is mainly a result of reduced collagen and elastin; therefore, it can be fixed by boosting their production or tightening the area. At home tips on how to tighten neck skin after weight loss produce mild to moderate results, while the non-surgical methods are more effective with temporary results. Surgery should be your last option.
These tips on how to tighten neck skin after weight loss will help you make the neck skin firm. Sagging skin may lead to emotional distress and may cause irritation, chafing, or pain; therefore, see your doctor who will recommend the best way to fix the issue. Consult the appropriate professional for recommendations before trying any at-home methods such as exercises and firming creams.
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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 5 anti-ageing facial yoga exercises you can do at home (2020, marieclaire.co.uk)
- 5 Exercises to Tighten Sagging Neck Muscles and Skin (2019, livestrong.com)
- Association of Facial Exercise With the Appearance of Aging (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- How to Firm Up Underneath the Chin After Weight Loss (2019, livestrong.com)
- How to get rid of a turkey neck without surgery – in 5 easy steps (2018, home.bt.com)
- How To Tighten Loose Neck Skin Without Surgery (2019,dermcollective.com)
- Review of applications of microneedling in dermatology (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The effectiveness of facial exercises for facial rejuvenation: a systematic review (2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Tips for How to Tighten Loose Skin (2020, healthline.com)
- Weight loss and excess skin (n.d, goaskalice.columbia.edu)
- Why Do I Have Saggy Skin, and What Can I Do About It? (2019, healthline.com)