Welcome to “Ditch that Turkey Neck,” a blog dedicated to empowering you to embrace your beauty and age with confidence. I wanted to talk about neck ageing, as it’s an area that’s often missed when talking about how skin changes as we get older.
The aim of this blog is to give you some insight into what happens to your skin as you get older, and how you can navigate this period with confidence to look and feel your best.
Getting older is inevitable, but looking older isn’t! These days, society’s views of what old looks like is changing. There are better representations of older people in marketing and media. It’s thankfully no longer shameful to be older. There are plenty of examples of older men and women in the media who have embraced their natural beauty as they get older. Think of Helen Mirren, George Clooney, Angela Bassett, and others. Why shouldn’t you be the same?
However, there might be some things that still bother you about getting older. I often get asked about saggy neck skin (the dreaded turkey neck).
What happens to your neck as you get older?
As we get older, we lose more collagen and elastin in our skin. This is due to several factors.
Our collagen and elastin production slows down considerably, leading to looser skin.
We lose fat pads around the neck, as well as some reduction in bony tissue. This means that underlying structures recede and make the skin look looser.
Sun damage over the years worsens the quality of the collagen we already have, and also causes age spots.
Skin around the neck is also naturally thinner than elsewhere. This means that the loss of collagen and change to underlying structures is more visible.
This all results in skin becoming looser and more lax, hence Turkey Neck!
All is not lost though, as we all can make these small changes to improve skin health.
What can you do?
- You should aim to have a balanced diet with lots of water, fruit, vegetables and plant-based protein. This means that you can support your skin cells from within, making them healthier and more resilient.
- Try to reduce stress levels (if you can!) with mindfulness exercises. You should take time out for self-care and regular exercise. This results in healthier skin, as the damage to collagen caused by the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Enjoy a pampering treatment at a spa or create your own spa treatment at home. Factor in some “Me Time” into your day, so you always time to recharge and relax.
- You should use sun protection as part of your skincare routine: everyday, regardless of weather conditions. UVA rays from the sun cause the most damage to the skin. This results in age spots, saggy skin and dried out skin. Use a high broad-spectrum SPF daily for maximum protection.
- You should use prescriptive skincare with active ingredients to encourage cell turnover and collagen production. Vitamin C and Retinol are essential to improve skin quality. Develop an effective daily skincare routine that includes cleansing, exfoliation, nourishing serums and sun protection.
- Use gentle exercises daily, such as chin tucks, neck rotations, and resistance exercises to strengthen and tone your neck muscles. These will also improve flexibility and elasticity in your neck, improving firmness and appearance.
- Talk to a skin expert about specific treatments that will firm up and tighten loose skin around the neck. There are several non-surgical treatments which are effective in this area. These include skin peels, microneedling (with or without radiofrequency) and injectable skin boosters.
Talk to a skin expert to help you assess what your priorities are. The skin expert can identify the best way forward to achieve your priorities, and keep you on track with a personalised routine and plan. They will also help you to monitor progress as you go. If you’d like to discuss your concerns around neck ageing, please book a consultation via the link below.
Remember that it took a long time for your neck skin to age to this level, and so it may take a while for the results you want to become noticeable. Patience is key, and you must be consistent with your plan to see results. The plan may need to be amended as you progress, so make sure that you regularly check in with your skin expert.
Also, remember to love the skin you’re in!