September 3, 2008

Caring for your neck and some awesome neck-exercises

woman with hands on her neckThe importance of a long, beautiful and elegant neck has been an integral part of conventional beauty from ancient days. In Africa, many tribes have a dreadful custom of putting copper rings around the necks of their baby girls to elongate them and show how prosperous they are!

It is the tendency of many women to neglect their necks, while a firm, young-looking neck is one of the greatest beauty assets, especially when women wear low necklines in summer. In winter, it is very easy to neglect your neck because you are all muffled up in sweaters and scarves and polo necks.

But do not worry if your neck has become discoloured and does not match the skin texture and tone of your face. First of all, clean it thoroughly with mild soap and water – more about cleaning your neck here. Then apply an ubtan (‘Ubtan’ is a body pack usually made of natural and herbal stuff like turmeric, saffron, sandalwood, besan, fenugreek seeds etc. and is used for nourishing and beautifying the skin. Several ubtan recipes are available and the practice of ubtan application existed since ancient times and has been passed on from generation to generation - a legacy of the rich Indian Heritage.) of Besan, multani mitti (fuller’s earth), cucumber juice and rose water (Gulab jal). Now that all the surface grime and at least some of the discoloration have been removed, you can proceed to whiten your neck with an oatmeal and milk ubtan. For more home-remedies to get rid of discoloured/darkened neck, check this post. 

woman cleansing her neckAll necks need deep cleansing with creams as much as faces do. But, as I am into homemade beauty aids, I use milk cream (malai) with a little bit of salt for bleaching and cleansing purpose. The best way to massage neck while cleaning or moisturizing is to use outward strokes, that is, from the bottom to the top as there is less risk of pulling the skin. With firm strokes, smoothen the cream into your neck. After cleansing, splash cold water for toning up. In winter, a fine way of toning up your neck is to splash lukewarm and cold water alternately and it just works great. The best astringent in summer for the necks is cucumber. You can rub its fleshy parts to cool down your skin naturally while cleaning, bleaching and moisturizing your neck.

woman applying moisturizer to neckTo prevent wrinkles around your neck you should start using a rich moisturising cream by the time you are in your late twenties and you should seriously consider neck-care when you are in your early thirties. More so because the skin of the neck is quite thin and hence needs more moisturizing. Also remember to protect your neck from ravages of the sun by using sunscreen. One of the easiest ways to prevent wrinkles from forming is to remember the proper posture of holding up your head. 

If you have a woebegone attitude towards life, keep your head bent always and refuse to face the world squarely, your neck naturally does not get a chance to stretch and breathe and starts wrinkling beyond your age. And if you have the habit of keeping 2 or 3 extra pillows under your head while sleeping, you have to just get rid of that practice to avoid straining your neck muscles and also for proper blood circulation Better use a low pillow. Though some advocate the practice of ‘no pillows in bed’, the Sunningdale Osteopathic clinic does not recommend sleeping without one. At night you want the joints, ligaments and muscles of your neck and upper back to be in a nice comfortable position, with little if any strain going through them. That simply can’t happen without a pillow, say the osteopaths. 

neck exercise-1neck exercise-2Because, the neck gets too little exercise naturally – except when we turn it in different directions to interact with others or to view objects – we need to exercise it properly.

* For a double chin, slap the skin under your chin gently with the back of your hands, one after the other, moving slowly forward after each slap. And if you have a fatty deposit, pretend that you are kneading flour with your knuckles. Start from the bottom of your neck and begin to knead upwards as this breaks up the deposits of fat. Do this as often as you like - these can be done even when you are watching TV.
* Put your elbows on a table, and rest your chin on your clenched knuckles. Then press your chin upwards, hard. The portion between the chin and the top of your neck gets firmer.
* The swan neck exercise is to act like a swan, stretching out your chin and neck as far as possible, pushing forwards and upwards as if you are elongating your neck to grab food.
* Another exercise is to clench your teeth and grin wide. Then purse your lips and say ‘oooh’. (You can also check out some great facial exercises here). If you are suffering from spondylosis, then check out some awesome exercises and home-remedies for curing your neck-pain here.

So, with a little care, it will be your neck which will be giving out the secret of your everlasting youth.

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  1. Anonymous11:05 AM

    Cool. I will try this exercise

  2. Sumati4:56 PM

    Hey Aparna,
    Gr8 blog… hv bn a silent visitor till now but just cudnt sit quiet anymore.. great going… great work. :)

  3. Anubha5:56 PM

    Good post and very informative. Keeps posts like this coming often:)

  4. Anonymous, Sumati, Anubha - Glad you all liked it. Keep visiting. :)

  5. Sarita5:02 AM

    This is a great skincare topic.

  6. Anonymous9:19 AM

    love ur blog

  7. Vaishnavi4:24 PM

    Think of your neck as an extension of your face. Whenever you wash your face, wash your neck too.

    If you use a foundation or a loose powder on your face, remember to apply it to your neck or there will be an unsightly color difference between your face and your neck. Use upward strokes to apply a nourishing cream on your neck and throat every night.

  8. Manjula4:49 PM

    Make a body pack with carrot, few drops of lemon juice, a small pinch of turmeric, oats powder and milk cream (or the thick layer of milk by allowing hot milk to cool down) ' If you can get ORIGINAL sandal wood powder add that also. Before bathing apply this on face, neck, hands and legs. Wait for 15 -20 min. Do it everyday.

  9. Yamuna4:55 PM

    The dark color formation around neck is due to different reasons. That includes acidity Mash the potato. Don't peel out potato. By adding milk make it a paste. Add a little coconut oil or olive oil to it.Apply this pack daily for three months.

  10. Anonymous9:36 PM

    For years women have been plagued by the signs of aging around their neck areas. Wrinkles, scaly patches, dry and flaky skin and loss of texture and tone can really limit outfit selections, and can contribute to a lack of self esteem and overall confidence.

  11. Amrita8:45 AM

    hanks for the tips. nice blog…

  12. Thanks for the tips. nice blog…

  13. Anonymous6:07 PM

    The commonest cause of neck pain is over stressing the neck -- often caused by sitting too long working at a computer or at a desk -- though injuries or medical conditions may also be responsible.

    Massage the neck gently to ease the stiffness and get circulation going again. Also try applying an ice pack or try a muscle relieving balm. If the pain is severe see your doctor about a painkiller.

    Also remember to keep taking frequent breaks while working to avoid pain and stiffness. Regular exercises to stretch the neck and shoulder muscles will prevent neck pain.

  14. Susan5:32 PM

    I heard that scrubbing lime helps you lighting your skin especially elbows so i recommend that


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