Crow’s feet, smile lines, eye bags and more, all vie for the title of "least desirable age-related feature." But they all take a backseat to turkey neck.
Turkey neck is responsible for the sale of more neck scarves than winter weather itself as well as countless jars of skin cream. But while some level of turkey neck is inevitable, it doesn't have to come on as early as it often does. And, once it does, you don't have to simply accept it as a permanent feature.
In this guide, we're going to look at its causes as well as how to get rid of turkey neck.
What Causes Turkey Neck?
The causes of turkey neck are well understood and generally easy to identify. Here are the most common:
- Aging - As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen. By the time we’re 70 we’re producing only about 5% of the collagen we produced at 20.
- UV light - Excessive exposure to UV rays can undermine the integrity of the collage in our skin. This causes skin to dry up and lose its elasticity.
- Dehydration - Dehydration plays a prominent role in any discussion of the skin. One of the easiest ways to bring on unwanted skin conditions is to not drink enough water.
- Genetics - Some folks are genetically predisposed to carry more fat under the chin than others. They are the most likely to develop turkey neck at an early age.
How to Get Rid of Turkey Neck?
To get rid of turkey neck permanently, you’ll need to undergo a neck lift or similar procedure. But you can mitigate the worst aspects of the condition through a combination of exercises and OTC creams.
Exercises That Claim to Reduce Turkey Neck
A good way to fend off the development of turkey neck or to lessen its appearance is to perform neck exercises on a regular basis. This will help tighten up the tissue in the neck and prevent it from sagging. Here are a few of the most effective exercises for that purpose:
- Chewing - That’s right. The mere act of chewing is actually good exercise for your neck muscles. So if you're in the habit of swallowing food without chewing it properly, it's time to rethink that approach.
- The lift and turn - This is an easy exercise that will strengthen your neck muscles all around. Lie on your back and slowly lift your head a few inches off the floor. Then turn it slowly from side to side before returning to center. Lower your head to the ground and repeat 10 times.
- Lip stretch - Sit up straight and tilt your head back until you’re looking at the point where the wall meets the ceiling. Then push your bottom lip out toward the ceiling and hold for 5 seconds. Then lower your head to a normal position and repeat 10 times.
Top 3 Clinical Treatments for Removing Turkey Neck
There’s no doubt that if you’re after a long-term answer to how to get rid of turkey neck, some form of clinical treatment is your best bet. Yes, some may leave you with a scar or two, but they'll also rid you of the loose, unattractive skin on your neck once and for all.
Here are the 3 most popular clinical treatments for turkey neck:
- Botox - Botox treatments involve injecting a small amount of a neurotoxin into the skin beneath the wrinkle. This substance then goes to work slowly paralyzing the muscles and causing the skin above the treated area to relax, smoothing out wrinkles and fine lines. While Botox is great on things like crow's feet, it may not be the best option if your turkey neck is far advanced. But for mild cases, it might be the way to go. Bear in mind that you'll need follow up treatments every 4-6 months.
- Neck lift - A neck lift involves pulling the excess skin toward the back of the neck where it is trimmed away. The remaining skin is then stitched together and your neck is restored to something resembling its pre-turkey neck state. A neck lift will eliminate most cases of turkey neck although you'll have a scar back there that you'll need to deal with. For many women, this is a price worth paying.
- Laser treatment - Various laser treatments are available that will tighten up the skin without leaving scars. Lasers are non-invasive, and in the right hands, they can produce some pretty remarkable results. Like Botox, however, you'll need to go back for follow up treatments.
“Aloe Vera can help to tighten pores, the antioxidants in aloe vera prevent damage caused by free radicals and help to firm the skin.” - Cassandra Burns, nutritionist
Best 5 Products That Can Help Reduce Turkey Neck
Clarasome Radiance Restoring Moisturizer approaches the problem of turkey neck from both inside and out. It uses hyaluronic acid to exfoliate and promote collagen and elastin production. And almond oil and aloe vera to soothe, moisturize and smooth out surface wrinkles.
Clarasome has been subjected to rigorous 3rd party testing by BioScreen who determined it produced significant results in more than 90% of test subjects.
- Clinically proven to restore damaged skin
- Exfoliates and rejuvenates while removing lines and wrinkles
- The combination of aloe and almond oil moisturize and protect
- None to speak of
2) L’Oreal Paris RevitaLift Face & Neck Moisturizer $25
RevitaLift by L’Oreal has a lot of positive critical wind in its sails and does a good job earning all that praise. While it’s not a long-term solution to turkey neck, it routinely produces some very noticeable short term smoothing and soothing of tired turkey neck. No doubt due mostly to its own proprietary version of retinol.
- Makes the skin feel tighter after just a few applications
- Restores luster and tone
- Most benefits are short-lived
3) NeoStrata Triple Firming Neck Cream $88
NeoStrata is known for their pioneering use of stem cell technology. But their Triple Firming Neck Cream is more than just a skincare curiosity. It provides glucosamine, amino acids, citrates, and more to stimulate collagen production and reverse the effects of sun damage and age.
- Helps restart collagen production
- Does a good job restoring a more youthful skin tone
4) Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Cream $25
Olay Regenerist Advanced Anti-Aging Cream was not made specifically for use on turkey neck. But it’s been found to do a pretty good job nonetheless. Repeated use can help smooth out wrinkles and restore tone to skin that’s fallen victim to time and sun damage.
While it’s not going to eliminate serious turkey neck, it will do a decent job on fine lines and loose skin.
- Soaks deep into the skin to regenerate damaged layers
- Makes your skin feel silky to the touch
- Softens wrinkles as much as it eliminates them
5) BareMinerals Extra Firming Neck Cream $49
BareMinerals takes a slightly different approach to turkey neck. It provides a number of earth minerals gleaned from supposedly unsullied soil that are absorbed by the skin and bolster its internal structure. The result is, in theory, tighter more supple skin.
The product does a decent job tightening the skin of the neck. If you’re looking for a great moisturizer though you can do better.
- Rich in antioxidants
- Free of harmful additives, fragrances and problematic oils
- Not a great moisturizer
Where Can I Buy Products to Remove Turkey Neck?
Most of the products we profiled above can be found on any number of beauty supply websites such as Sephora. You can also purchase them at fine department stores as well as high-end brick and mortar beauty retailers as well as in Amazon. However, we do urge caution when buying beauty products through the online retail giant.
Final Tips: How to Prevent Turkey Neck
Unfortunately, most of us let good skin care habits slide until we’re in our 20s or later. Still, the fight to prevent turkey neck can be joined at any time and includes the following tactics:
- Wear Sunscreen - This should be at the top of everyone’s basic skincare routine. Few things aside from smoking are as harmful to the health of your skin as UV rays. You should always make sure you apply sunscreen before you leave the house. Every time—no exceptions.
- Use a good moisturizer - This is another must if you’re to practice proper skincare. Applying a good overnight moisturizer will go a long way toward preventing damage from your pillow. And having one on during the day will help offset bad habits like staring down at your phone.
- Maintain awareness - Any motion that forces the chin downward toward the neck is going to be bad for the skin on your neck. Likewise, sleeping without proper neck support or with too many pillows will cause creases in the skin of the neck that can develop into turkey neck.
- Drink water - The importance of proper hydration can’t be overstated. Our bodies are 70% water after all so denying them sufficient amounts of water to compensate for sweat, evaporation, and urination is never going to lead anywhere good.