Your neck often shows signs of aging before your face and if you don’t take a few important steps to care for it, you might end up with turkey neck. Flabby neck skin can’t be hidden under turtlenecks or scarves forever, but instead of saving up for surgery, you might be wiser to prevent the premature aging of your neck.

Discover the best tips to prevent turkey neck, from the proper skin care routine to special exercises that keep your neck muscles toned that can help you prevent and fight a turkey neck.

What Causes Turkey Neck?

Premature aging in the neck is usually more visible than on your face, because the neck lacks oil glands, so the skin is more likely to be dry. Couple that with exposure the UV radiation without the proper sunscreen and with a high body fat content (healthy numbers for women range between 14-24%) and the result is the dreaded turkey neck.

The appearance of your neck is also influenced by the platysma muscle, which goes up from the sternum to just underneath your chin. When all factors are considered, the best tips to prevent turkey neck range from skin care to neck exercises and even posture advice in order to prevent sagging of the skin on your neck.

Skin Care Tips to Prevent Turkey Neck

Unfortunately, preventing turkey neck is a life-long process, but the upside is that your neck needs less maintenance than your face. The most important step when it comes to preventive neck skin care is to simply wear sunscreen. You don’t have to use a special product, simply choose a moisturizer with broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB radiation. Depending on the color of your skin, you might need a SPF of 30, but even dark skin needs at least a SPF of 15.

One of the best tips to prevent turkey neck is to treat it just like your face, when it comes to creams and moisturizers. Applied daily, a good product will keep your skin in shape and prevent any environmental damage and dryness that lead to turkey neck.

Using a good moisturizing cream is especially important at night, and ingredients like retinol, for a firmer skin. Look for products with kojic acid if you’re having trouble with uneven skin color on your neck and remember to exfoliate your neck every time you do it on your face, preferably weekly.

Exercises to Prevent Turkey Neck

Even if you’re caring for your skin correctly, there are quite a few simple exercises that can help keep your neck muscles, both the platysma and the sternomastoid muscles, in good shape. One of the best tips to prevent turkey neck is to practice these 4 exercises every day.

1. Place the tip of your tongue at the roof of your mouth and lower you chin simultaneously as much as possible. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2. Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling for 10 seconds before bringing it back to its regular position. Repeat 10 times.

3. Raise your lower lip over the top one as high as you can and hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times.

4. Move the tip of your tongue in a circular clockwise motion with your mouth closed. After drawing 10 imaginary circles in one direction, switch to counter-clockwise movements and repeat.

Even if you don’t feel the need to exercise your neck, at least give it a good massage once in a while, in order to stimulate circulation.

Best Posture Tips to Prevent Turkey Neck

Keeping a good posture is very important for the muscles in your neck. The best tips to prevent turkey neck even include the way you sleep, with the best position being on your back. Try to stretch your neck out when you sleep and reduce the angle between your face and neck: either stick to one pillow or go for a smaller one. Sleeping on your side without neck support will also have long term consequences for your neck.

Remember that any movement in which your chin is titled towards your neck is bad for muscles. Make sure you stand up straight at your desk and don’t spend too many hours at your computer with your head titled down.

If you follow these simple steps, you won’t need to spend a lot of money on treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser therapy and eventually a surgical neck lift in order to repair the turkey neck.