Have you heard of “turkey neck”? No, it’s not an overlooked delicacy you should add to your Thanksgiving table. It’s a way to describe a wrinkled, spotted, aged human neck. Many people spend a lot of time and effort keeping their facial skin looking young and healthy. But they don’t extend the same care to their necks. Because of this, their necks can quickly give away their true age.
The good news is that there’s quite a bit you can do to avoid and even reverse turkey neck. And it isn’t groundbreaking. You just need to engage in the same healthy habits that you apply to the rest of your body. Eat right, apply topical remedies where appropriate, and exercise.
Wait, exercise? Yes, you read that right. But this isn’t exercise that will make you huff and puff.
Believe it or not, there are exercises you can do to help keep your neck looking young and healthy. A major cause of “turkey neck” is weak neck muscles. Exercising these muscles will help your neck appear more toned, just like the rest of your body. And exercise can help improve blood flow in the neck. This will help make sure your skin cells get the circulating oxygen and nutrients they need to conduct repairs.
So how exactly do you exercise your neck? Let me tell you about four moves you can try. Then I’ll tell you about a way to avoid moving your neck if you don’t want to undo all your hard work.
4 Exercises to Prevent Turkey Neck
Exercise number one is the forehead push. Simply place a hand against your forehead and try to push your head forward for 10 seconds. Don’t actually move your head forward. Use your hand to apply enough pressure to keep your head in place. Then move both of your hands behind your head. Repeat the process for another 10 seconds, this time pushing backward with your neck.
Number two is a chewing exercise. Sit up straight in a chair, then tilt your chin up toward the ceiling. Keeping your mouth closed, make a chewing motion. Do this 20 times, then move on to exercise three.
For this third exercise, stay in the same position: straight back, chin pointed up, lips closed. Then make a kissing motion with your lips. You should feel the muscles under your jaw tighten and relax as you purse your lips up. Again, repeat this movement 20 times.
Finally, try a neck lift. Lie down on your bed, but let your head hang over the edge. Then, slowly lift your head as high as possible, engaging your neck muscles. If you don’t experience any neck pain with this movement, repeat the motion five times. If this is painful for you, go ahead and skip this exercise.
Try doing these movements every day. They’re a great way to fit in a “workout” during a commercial break. You won’t even have to break a sweat!
Avoid Modern Tech Neck
Now let’s talk about what not to do. We’ve been talking about “turkey neck.” But a major contributor to an old-looking neck is what we call “tech neck.” You guessed it: all the devices we stare at are making us look older. If you’ve been trying to maintain your youth by keeping up with the latest gadgets, you might want to rethink your strategy.
When you look at your smartphone, tablet, or even your computer, you're typically looking down. You tilt your head at about a 45 degree angle. But of course, that's not a natural position for your head, and you're constantly looking up and down.
That repetitive motion is wearing on your skin. The skin on your neck is very thin, so it's highly prone to wrinkles. If you're frequently folding and unfolding this skin, the elasticity is going to begin to break down.
Time to Repair the Damage
If you're realizing that you're already showing signs of tech neck, there are some laser surgeries that can help repair the damage. But the best way to avoid tech neck is to prevent it in the first place. Try to move your smartphone or computer up so you're looking straight at them, not down. And limit the time you spend looking at your devices in the first place—you don't need to respond to each and every notification you get right away. Try taking a break and responding en masse at set intervals.
And of course, don't sit for too long. This can cause a whole other set of issues. Every hour try to get up and move around for at least two minutes. You can do deep breathing exercises, jumping jacks, touch your toes, or just walk around. It's good for your circulation, and what's good for your circulation is good for your skin, including neck skin.
Exercising your neck and avoiding the repetitive motions that cause “tech neck” can help keep your muscles smooth and strong. But they can’t change the appearance of the skin when it comes to discoloration or age spots. So you still need to be sure you’re treating the skin on your neck well from the outside too.
In general, what’s good for your face is good for your neck too. If you do more vigorous exercise and can’t jump in the shower right away, make sure you’re cleaning the sweat off your neck, not just your face. And you definitely want to make sure you’re extending your sunscreen to your neck.
When many women apply skincare products, they stop at the jawline with their facial care and at the shoulders with their body moisturizers and sunscreens. This leaves the neck, which is already just as vulnerable to UV exposure and other environmental pollutants as the face, completely untreated. And the skin here is even thinner and more delicate than the skin on your face. It has trouble holding moisture and doesn't have a lot of collagen to begin with. This creates the perfect storm for signs of aging: crepey skin, dryness, sagging, wrinkles, leathering, sunspots, and discoloration.
You might be thinking, "But wait! I do apply my facial moisturizer to my neck!" That's a good start, but it doesn't mean you're in the clear. It’s true that the healthy habits that are good for the face are good for the neck. But that doesn’t mean using the exact same products will get you the same results.
Why You Need Products Specifically for the Neck
Because the skin on your neck is different than facial skin, it needs unique, more powerful products to actually reverse the signs of aging that show up so quickly in this area. While body and face moisturizers can provide some immediate relief for dryness, they won't offer any long-term protection, tightening or restoration.
Despite all this, you've probably not seen too many neck and décolletage products available. That's because, to be honest, for years we didn't know what to do for this unique area. But new discoveries and breakthroughs are changing that. You may have heard about peptides, small portions of proteins that can do amazing things for your skin – everything from tightening and toning to lightening and brightening to smoothing and softening. And peptides, it turns out, are perfect for the neck.
Two Peptides That Protect the Neck
Two of these newly discovered peptides, Botaniceutical CS and ChroNOline, can increase collagen production by up to 175% and boost elastin as well, impressively fading wrinkles. Several studies of these proteins have gotten remarkably rapid results.
These peptides are perfect for the extra-delicate skin of the neck and décolletage — especially when combined with a few other breakout stars, like Tego Pep-4. This is another peptide that can even fade away scars, redness, irritation, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. Then there's grape stem cells, which reduce inflammation, improve skin tone, and restore rough, crepey skin.
We combined these peptides with red algae extract and my exclusive Zand Hydro-Lipid Complex for strong antioxidant skin brightness and clarity. Aquaxyl and ceramide NG improve moisture almost immediately and BV-OSC, a patented form of vitamin C that hydrates skin while reducing dark spots and hyperpigmentation by 80%, evens the complexion. It is hard to find anything equivalent that is natural, non-toxic, safe for women (even if they're undergoing chemotherapy and radiation), and EFFECTIVE.
You’ll find all of these powerful ingredients in the Système 41 Neck Treatment. But you won’t find any toxic chemical emulsifiers, silicones, petroleum-based oils, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrance. Your neck doesn't need to deal with any more chemicals. It deserves its own special treatment from powerful natural ingredients.
We work so hard to incorporate healthy habits into our lives. Of course, these habits are essential for helping us feel our best. But we appreciate that they help us look good too. But overlooking just a small portion of the body can have a big impact on our overall appearance. Adding a few short exercises and a dedicated topical product to your existing routines can help make sure your “turkey neck” doesn’t reveal quite how many Thanksgivings you’ve celebrated.