As you age, sagging jowls, wrinkles and less-than-taut neck muscles become a part of life. You may have heard of Botox, injections and expensive facial creams to combat pesky sags and wrinkles, but have you heard of anti-aging facial exercises?
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The scientific jury is still out on whether doing a neck roll, head raise, neck muscle weight lifting and other facial exercises can actually help tighten your neck skin. But it is possible that doing regular neck and facial exercises could have some benefits, like improving muscle tone, reducing the appearance of scars and wrinkles, and increasing blood circulation.
Doing neck and facial exercises can help improve muscle tone, increase blood circulation and give your skin a healthy glow, but cosmetic surgery procedures are the only cure for sagging skin.
Helpful Exercises for Neck Muscles
As you get older, the cells that produce collagen become less active or disappear altogether. Collagen is what gives your skin its youthful appearance (namely, its volume and thickness). The less collagen you have, the more wrinkles you have.
According to a recent article in Marie Claire UK, face, neck and chin exercises can actually help stimulate collagen and elastin production, tone the skin and boost blood circulation, which can, in turn, contribute to fresher, more youthful-looking skin.
Some simple, tried-and-true neck-tightening exercises to try include the baby bird pose and cow face pose. To do the baby bird pose, press the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth and smile, all while tilting your face upwards. This can help tighten the jaw and improve the signs of aging on your neck.
Cow face pose is easy and effective too: Create definition in your jawline and possibly reduce sagging in the neck and jowls by letting your jaw go slack and positioning your lower front teeth over your upper front teeth. Then raise your right arm, rotate your head to the left and look up. Hold this pose for at least five seconds; then relax your jaw. Do this three times in a row and repeat the movements with your left arm.
Read more: Exercises to Loosen Up Face Muscles
Benefits of Facial and Neck Exercises
Aside from toning the skin, facial and neck-firming exercises can help reduce the appearance of scars, according to Harvard Health Publishing. This is because stretching your neck and face can "make a thick scar become thinner and more pliable," says Dr. Suzanne Olbricht, an associate professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School. In addition, facial and neck exercises may also allow more oxygen to flow to your skin cells, which could result in smoother, clearer, healthier-looking skin.
Prevent Neck and Skin Sagging
In truth, prevention is key when it comes to sagging neck muscles and wrinkly skin; anti-neck wrinkles exercises can only take you so far. According to noted skin expert Paula Begoun, to fight signs of aging, daily sun protection is critical. Be sure to slather sunscreen on your neck, chest and hands as well as on your face.
Retinol is a powerhouse ingredient when it comes to anti-aging and anti-sagging, and the same goes for any products with peptides and antioxidants such as serums or moisturizers. Just remember that regular use of these products is key if you want to see results, and it should also be noted that none of these methods can replace what cosmetic surgery can do for your skin.
Read more: Facial Massage for Wrinkles
- Harvard Health Publishing: Does Your Face Need a Workout?
- Total Beauty: 6 Face Yoga Poses That'll Make You Look Like You Had a Facelift
- Marie Claire UK: 5 Anti-Ageing Facial Exercises You Can Do at Home
- Yoga Journal: Cow Face Pose
- Paula's Choice: The Truth About How to Prevent and Tighten Sagging Skin