Nothing gives away your age like your neck. The neck region, or décolleté, often gets neglected. In younger years, its skin tone and musculature are more in-sync with the face, lending a youthful, graceful look. After 40, an almost imperceptible decline leads to fat deposits under the chin, weakened muscles and loose skin. And you can double that trouble if you’ve lost weight rapidly. We’ve all seen, and some of us have had, that turkey wattle. Weight loss, sun damage, diet, and heredity all play major roles in how our necks age. Women do seem to care meticulously for their faces, yet all too often that caring stops at the chin.
Don’t Neglect the Neck Area
You wattle-owners out there, remember that what’s good for the goose is good for the turkey. Don’t forget to carry your facial care routine all the way down your chin to your neck and collarbone area. We’ve all seen women who’ve had face lifts who look years younger, but their sagging, wrinkly necks give them away.
Gravity is not alone in contributing to the aging neck’s sagging and wrinkling. Duke University researchers found that our skull bones still continue to grow in barely detectable amounts as we age, causing bone structures to shift slightly. While the forehead shifts slightly forward, the cheek bones move slightly back, giving less support for muscles and skin tissues, giving the lower face and neck that ‘heading south’ look.
Platysma is the Culprit
The major neck muscle, the platysma, is not connected to any bone in particular and contains no oil glands. These factors make it prone to lose elasticity and become dry and wrinkly. As we age, the accumulated effects of UV damage and pollutants cause insufficient elastin production and the breakdown of collagen fibers.
The Mainstream Approach
Cosmetic surgery is the most common way of dealing with the issue. Liposuction, Botox and neck lifts are the usual recommendations by cosmetic surgeons, who declare, “You cannot get rid of the problem without surgery!” Typical surgeries performed for this are known as cervicoplasty (a procedure to remove excess skin) and platysmaplasty (which removes or alters muscles in the neck). Aside from the risks of anesthesia, there is the chance of bruising, bleeding, infection, and (worst of all) nerve injury. In some cases, we find scar tissue buildup and eventual puckering of the skin.
Consider Facial Exercises
I always had a double chin as long as I was eating cooked food—even in my twenties. Here, take a look at my pictures at 21 and 35 and see what I mean: Before and After. As cosmetologists say, I was “genetically predisposed.” Now—no hint of a double chin. Raw foods truly are the best remedy. But even going 100 percent raw might not be enough to completely eliminate the “turkey neck.” You can address this condition with a simple exercise. It is super-effective, but only if you’re super-diligent, doing it every single day.
Directions…Sit or stand, your arms hanging, relaxed. Tilt your head down an inch. Now, slowly rotate your head toward the right, so your chin is over your right shoulder. Once you’ve turned as far as you can comfortably go, begin tilting your head backward so your chin moves toward the ceiling. Hold this position a few seconds, then reverse the trajectory. Without stopping, do the same on the left side. Now your left ear moves closer to your left shoulder and then up toward the ceiling. Your chin will be making a half circle in the air. Do about 10 repetitions. This exercise is also good for your neck in general. Your neck may feel rather stiff to begin with so start off slow and easy. Be sure your shoulders remain still and relaxed throughout.
I believe neck exercises are essential. My Rawsome Flex program offers some excellent exercises for chin, jaw, neck and throat that can produce toning, firming and lifting results when practiced consistently.
Try the Vitamin Wrap
Spas sometimes offer a warm vitamin wrap specifically for the neck region, which you can easily replicate by yourself at home. Simply soak a large piece of gauze or cheesecloth in an ounce (30 ml.) or so of warm plant oil such as wheat germ oil or evening primrose oil. Apply to your entire neck region, cover with a warm towel for ten minutes (unless you have a thyroid condition), and then rinse. Apply moisturizer. You may also try out the Multi-Herbal Green Clay Masque for delightful detoxifying, toning and moisturizing effects. I also carry the Rolling Bed of Pins in my car, and at stop lights, I roll it on my face and neck for further rejuvenation.
The Hydrating Raw Diet
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Your best aids in preventing and even reversing an aging neck are a slow transition to a hydrating raw food diet. Do this, and you’ll preserve your skin elasticity, boost collagen production, and reap the benefits of antioxiodants. Of course, it’s always up to you whether you choose cosmetic surgery in the long run. But before even considering it, I encourage you to pursue the safer, more natural route, using the same easy, inexpensive methods and tools I do. You’ll stay youthful and experience a glowing complexion. And you’ll send those turkeys packing!