Tightening Saggy Neck Skin - The Dermatology Review

Tightening Saggy Neck Skin



Nora Ephron famously said, “I feel bad about my neck.” If you’re reading this, you might be feeling bad about your neck, too. Sagging of the neck skin is inevitable as we all age. Neck skin is thinner than the skin on your face and elsewhere on your body. As collagen and elastin deteriorate with time and sun exposure, neck skin begins to sag. It’s obviously a natural process and harmless overall, but it can do a number on one’s confidence. Thankfully, there are ways to tighten saggy neck skin, and they don’t all have to do with invasive surgery, either. Let’s dive in-depth into the causes of saggy neck skin and how you can treat and prevent this problem.

Causes of Saggy Neck Skin

The main reason neck skin can become saggy is due to two proteins called collagen and elastin. Both of them keep skin firm and taut, but as time passes, they slowly become depleted. The reason we develop wrinkles and sagging as we age is because these two important proteins deteriorate. Part of the reason is simply the passage of time that nobody can prevent, but another reason is sun damage. Free radicals (unstable atoms that attack and damage skin cells) from UV rays can also deteriorate collagen and elastin, resulting in premature aging. Both wrinkles and sagging can result from loss of collagen and elastin.

Tightening Saggy Neck Skin

Another reason one may develop saggy neck skin is simply from the process of aging. In addition to losing collagen as we age, our skin ultimately gets thinner and we also lose the fat that keeps skin plump. Aging skin also gradually loses moisture, making it drier (this is one reason wrinkles may form, and why adequate moisturizing is so important). The way your skin will change as you age is dictated by your genes and referred to as intrinsic aging. This has nothing to do with sun damage or pollution damage.

Constant sun exposure can also eventually lead to saggy neck skin and other signs of aging like wrinkles. This can happen even if you are relatively young, particularly if you have indulged in tanning or simply never really protected yourself from sun exposure. Sun damage is cumulative, meaning it all adds up even if you only expose yourself to it for 15 minutes a day. That’s why it’s imperative to wear sun blocking or protective clothing rain (sunlight penetrates clouds) or shine.

Preventing Saggy Neck Skin

If you’re looking to prevent saggy neck skin, there are some lifestyle habits you can develop to help. Being proactive about your skin health can help you avoid lots of grief in the future.

  • Use Sun Protection – Using sun protection at all times is crucial. Sunblock that protects against both UVA and UVB rays can keep your skin looking youthful for a long time. It can also prevent the collagen degradation that causes sagging in the first place.
  • Neck Firming Exercises – There are a few neck firming exercises you can try to strengthen your neck muscles, which will in turn keep skin firmer for longer. One of the most popular exercises is the neck lift, which involves lying on a bed and hanging your head over the side, then lifting your head using your neck muscles. Note: Stop if you experience neck pain.
  • Moisturize – We tend to focus on our face skin more than our neck skin, for whatever reason. The neck just seems like an area to neglect. However, instead of only moisturizing your face, make it a habit to moisturize your neck and décolleté as well. This can help keep neck skin supple and plump.

Fixing Saggy Neck Skin – Less Invasive Options

Surgery to tighten saggy neck skin is available, but it’s not an option for everyone. Before you go that route, you can try these other far less invasive treatments. These treatments are so-called because they don’t involve punctures or incisions in the skin. Downtime is usually either nonexistent or very short. Results appear gradually and tend to look more natural, less obvious that you’ve had work done.

  • Botox – Botox is a popular injection that can temporarily tighten neck skin. Results can last for months and there’s really no recovery time.
  • MST Operation – This technique involves placing barbed threads inside the skin to tighten it.
  • Laser Treatments – Laser treatments work by heating the skin to tighten it. These are best done on saggy skin that isn’t too severe.
  • Ultherapy – A new procedure recently approved by the FDA, this technique involves using delivering ultrasonic energy to the skin to trigger new collagen creation. It also helps boost weakened collagen to make it stronger.

Fixing Saggy Neck Skin – Topical Treatments

For many, even non-invasive laser treatments or injections are not necessarily the right route to take to tighten saggy neck skin. There is also cost to consider, of course. Luckily, there are topical treatments via serums and creams that can help tighten saggy skin. Here are some active ingredients to look for when searching for the best topical creams.

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is mostly known for its brightening effects on skin that is plagued with dark spots or hyperpigmentation. However, it can also increase collagen in the skin. The production of new collagen can help tighten skin to give it a more lifted look.
  • Glycolic Acid – Although typically used as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores/soften wrinkles, glycolic acid can also trigger collagen synthesis in the skin. You can use a glycolic acid serum on your neck about 1-2 times a week to not only smooth away any wrinkles or crepiness, but also to encourage collagen formation.
  • Retinol – Milder forms of retinol are now available without a prescription, and you can find this ingredient in plenty of skincare products. Like vitamin C and glycolic acid, retinol encourages collagen synthesis in the skin, and can potentially improve the looks of saggy neck skin. It is also used for acne and wrinkle treatment.
  • Peptides – Certain peptides can also help increase collagen in aging skin. Peptides are basically chains of amino acids that help build proteins in the skin. Look for peptides called copper tripeptide or hexapeptide in your skincare ingredients. For example, Formulyst’s Pro-Collagen Serum contains tripeptide-1 and tripeptide-10 citruline as key ingredients to help with collagen production. Formulyst’s Youth Concentrate is also loaded with five unique peptides (including oligopeptide-1 and polypeptide-11) to smooth away fine lines and produce a tightening effect on skin.
  • Vitamin B3 – Also known as niacinamide, this ingredient has been shown to improve elasticity in the skin. It can potentially help treat saggy neck skin to make it more taut. This is not a difficult ingredient to find in skincare products. In fact, it continues to increase in popularity.

References: American Academy of Dermatology, “Many Ways to Firm Sagging Skin”; Nutrients, “The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health”; Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, “Glycolic Acid Peel Therapy – A Current Review”; Clinical Interventions in Aging, “Retinoids in the Treatment of Skin Aging”; Dermatologic Surgery, “Niacinamide: A B Vitamin That Improves Aging Facial Skin Appearance”;




The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many of the Formulyst’s products harness the power of plant and citrus extracts as well as gold-standard workhorses such as retinol. Read More

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The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. This award-winning system can help diminish wrinkle appearance, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, fade away redness, even out skin tone and improve the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. Some of the standout products in this line include the Super Youth Serum, Complete Age Defense and Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment. Read More
  • User Original review: Jul 21, 2020. Reply

    Perhaps you have a job where you’re constantly looking at a computer or phone. Or maybe you are a big fan of scrolling through social media every night. If so, you may be concerned about the development of tech neck lines and wrinkles. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent tech neck. The obvious way to prevent tech neck is to stop constantly bending your head forward, which is known as neck flexion. One way to reduce neck flexion is to use a monitor stand for your computer. Set the stand up so that the screen is at eye level. 

    You can also consider investing in a standing desk to prevent tech neck. If you opt against a standing desk, make sure you sit in a chair with a headrest. The back of your head should stay in contact with the headrest while you sit. Doing so will help you avoid flexing your neck forward.

    A final way to prevent tech neck is to use the right types of skin care products. First, always use a moisturizer with SPF 30 during the day to prevent sunburn. Remember, free radicals from excessive exposure to UV radiation can degrade collagen and elastin, making the skin more vulnerable to lines and wrinkles. If you already have tech neck wrinkles, we’ll discuss the best skin care products to help improve the appearance of these wrinkles in the next section. 

  • User Original review: Jul 21, 2020. Reply

    How to Remove Turkey Neck without Surgery

    If the exercises and the neck tightening creams aren’t exactly getting rid of turkey neck, there are a few non-invasive medical procedures available before making the leap to surgery. These type of turkey neck treatments typically involve some sort of laser technology that works to penetrate deep into the skin to stimulate collagen production and dramatically improve the appearance of turkey neck. Laser therapy for turkey neck treatment is quick and the results are often immediate. There are many different types of lasers that can be used for this kind of turkey neck treatment which can affect the cost and the length of results. Not only are these kinds of medical turkey neck treatments less invasive, they are generally much less expensive as well. Although they may not offer the same results for the same long-term benefit, they are definitely worth looking into.

  • User Original review: Jul 21, 2020. Reply

    So what causes turkey neck? Well, the neck is home to one of the most delicate areas of skin on your body. Supported by muscles, after constant use over many years, the skin around the neck begins to lose its firmness and elasticity and ultimately begin to sag. This sagging is one of the main causes of turkey neck and it is one of the most frustrating signs of age to treat. Due to the weakening muscles and loose skin that occurs around the neck with age, it can be extremely hard to get rid of turkey neck. This leaves most people turning to turkey neck surgery to help tighten the skin and achieve a more youthful appearing neck. While surgery to get rid of turkey neck is a viable option, it isn’t the only way to help remove the appearance of turkey neck.

    There are a few other turkey neck treatment options that can be explored before making the decision to opt for surgery but be advised, it will take a lot of work. With commitment and a combination of turkey neck tightening creams, exercises, and non-surgical turkey neck treatments, you may be able to get rid of turkey neck without the surgery.

  • User Original review: Jul 21, 2020. Reply

    How to Get Rid of Turkey Neck With Surgery

    When all else fails, the last result to get rid of turkey neck is with surgery. Turkey neck surgery is known as lower rhytidectomy and it directly diminishes the characteristic sagging, loose skin that accompanies turkey neck. Turkey neck surgery is much more expensive than any of the other treatments listed with an average cost of about $7,000. Though techniques may vary across physicians, the standard turkey neck surgery consists of a small incision behind the earlobes, with neck fat suctioned and muscles tightened diminishing the signs of turkey neck. The entire procedure lasts a few hours and includes a recovery time of a couple weeks. If you have very pronounced turkey neck and are looking for serious results, talk to your physician about the possibility of turkey neck surgery.

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