Sadly, as we age, so do our necks. When the thin and delicate skin on the neck loses elasticity, it begins to sag and become crepey. Add to the mix, certain lifestyle factors, and sagging accelerates. While you can’t drastically alter the appearance of your neck, there are certain things you can do to help tighten the skin — or even prevent your skin from prematurely sagging. Here are some all-natural ways.
The link between sagging skin and collagen
Youthful skin is taught and supple for a reason — an abundant supply of collagen. Collagen is the glue that holds the body together. In fact, it’s your body’s most abundant protein, making up approximately 75 percent of the dry weight of your skin. Collagen also gives skin its volume, keeping it plump and wrinkle-free. It’s also rich in proline and glycine, two amino acids needed to maintain and repair tendons, bones, and joints. The problem is, as you age, collagen production decreases, making your skin less elastic. Wrinkles become visible, and the skin begins to sag.
Then there are those lifestyle choices that unintentionally affect collagen production. For instance: smoking, excessive alcohol use, sun damage, extreme weight loss or gain, a diet high in processed foods, and skincare products unsuited for the sensitive skin on the neck all exasperate wrinkles and promote sagging skin.
So, if you really want to know why your neck skin is sagging, look no further than your collagen production and lifestyle habits. As your natural collagen levels decrease, so does the fat beneath the deeper layers of your skin — making it droop and sag. That said, there are some natural ways to tighten up that crepey-looking skin on your neck, and even some preventative measures you can take to stop the sag.
Boost your collagen production naturally
One of the top reasons you don’t have enough collagen is a poor diet, suggests the Cleveland Clinic. Your body makes collagen by combining amino acids — nutrients derived from protein-rich sources like poultry, beef, fish, eggs, legumes, and soy products. But you also need vitamin C, zinc, and copper to complete the process. Your best sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, and peppers. And your best sources of minerals come from meats, shellfish, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
Another great way to boost collagen naturally is from drinking a collagen-rich brew — organic bone broth. You can buy bone broth at the grocery store or make your own. Bone broth is made by extracting collagen out of bones (beef, poultry, or fish.) Sip it or use it to flavor dishes. Either way, your skin will benefit.
Aloe Vera gel
Although the use of aloe vera gel is supported mostly by anecdotal data, according to research, the gel contains malic acid, which is thought to improve the skin’s elasticity. So, if you have an aloe plant at home, simply extract the gel from the leaf and rub it on your neck and face. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Apply the gel on your neck three to four-times per week to see results.
Dry oil massage and acupressure
Dry oil seems to be the new buzz word in cosmetics these days. But what exactly is dry oil? Simply put, dry oils are highly absorbable oils that instantly sink into the skin without leaving any residue. These oils, generally high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, are not only highly absorbable but also lightweight. So they don’t leave a residual sticky or greasy feeling on the skin.
Using them as a base for a facial and neck massage benefits sagging skin in a couple of ways. Beyond providing a moisturizing base, they also allow the fingers to glide over the skin’s surface. Sure, you can find dry oils at the cosmetic counter, but you may also have one or two in your kitchen cabinet. Some of the best dry oils for the skin include avocado, sesame, grapeseed, safflower, borage, rosehip seed, evening primrose, camelina, and sunflower.
- First, wash your face with cleanser and warm water. Dry face thoroughly and apply a dry oil of your choice. Now with your mouth closed, stick your chin out.
- With the backside of your hand, slap on the underside of your jaw and all along the jawline. Keep your hand rigid and move around the jaw bone while slapping steadily. Do not slap so hard that you feel discomfort. Rather, you should only feel a tingling in the lower face. This will strengthen your chin and jaw area, creating a firmer neck.
- Next, place each index finger on either side of your windpipe, halfway between your collarbone and chin. With your face tilted upwards, move your index fingers up and down the length of the windpipe, making sure you can feel the muscle tissue shifting a little. Make sure not to constrict your airflow. As the muscles underneath become toned, the skin will become more taught.
- Finally, with index fingers, press just below the ears for a few seconds. Next, move index fingers half an inch down to the jaw bone, and push for a few seconds. Now place an index finger on the base of your windpipe where the neck begins. Make small, tight circles with the fingertip — not too hard to stop airflow. This rejuvenates skin cells, by opening the meridian lines of the neck. Rub the remaining oil up and around the neck.
Skin tightening coffee mask
This coffee mask will help firm and rejuvenate the skin, and improve circulation.
- 1/4 cup of ground coffee
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Use your fingers to apply the mask to your face and neck.
- Keep it on your face for about 20 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Prevention is the key
If you want to slow the progression of sagging skin, incorporate some preventative measures. Quit smoking, start using sun protection, limit your alcohol consumption, and stay hydrated by drinking enough water. Although you may have a genetic predisposition for how your skin looks as you age, your lifestyle habits also have a huge impact on how you’ll weather the years. Be good to your skin.
-The UpWellness Team