An old Japanese saying goes, "A woman's skin should be as tender and supple as the pedicle of a gracious blossom." In Japan, the skin is considered a woman's most sensual physical asset and is cosseted with rice bran packages, creams and white powder.
We work hard to save our necks but still neglect the neck that connects our head to our torso! A wrinkled neck can take away the glow from the most exquisite and cared-for face.
In our part of the world a beauty routine often ends with the chin, the neck being totally forgotten. A youthful face is seldom as beguiling when a lined neck is visible. To keep it unlined and beautiful for as long as possible, a few basic rules need to be observed.
Hold your head high! An erect posture keeps the neck's skin straight and firm. Lowering your chin will accelerate lines and furrows. While sleeping, a flat and firm pillow should be used. This helps the neck's skin to stay tight even while sleeping.
Many of us frequently wash our faces and neck with harsh soaps. This should be minimized as it reduces moisture and irritates the sensitive skin of the area. Instead it is better to use mild cleansers and face washes, especially those with gentle fruit acids - these help activate the skin's natural rejuvenating process. Massage the lotion, using gentle circular movements for about one minute. The neck should be given a weekly peeling treatment to remove dead cells and to stimulate blood circulation. A good DIY scrub for the neck with fruits can be made thus: Take some 2 tsp of ground coffee powder and add mashed strawberry paste to it. Mix the ingredients really well and scrub your neck gently to whisk off that dead cells. You can even substitute strawberry with papaya, peaches or pineapples. All these fruits contain natural AHA's that help in skin renewal. On the other hand, coffee powder is also a good exfoliant that not only has cleansing properties but can also soothe irritated skin and revitalise it. Allegedly it (coffee powder) is good for acne-prone skin too. After scrubbing, follow up with a moisturizer such as this and this.
Daily Care: Pamper the area with cream that is specifically formulated to its specific requirements. A normal anti-wrinkle cream for the face is seldom sufficient. At the neck, the fatty and connective tissues are extremely thin with hardly any "cushions".
As the neck, like the palms, has only a few sebaceous glands, it often becomes dry and tends to develop ugly red spots in stress situations. Around the age of 30, the body starts losing collagen and elastin. As a result the neck loses its major supports and begins to sag and become flabby.
But there's no need to panic. Today's state-of-the-art creams can get your neck out of the "wrinkle-noose" as they contain even more rejuvenating substances than face creams. These keep the skin supple and provide it with a generous dose of rejuvenating moisture. But if you are into natural skin care, look out for creams with natural ingredients such as Cynergy TK, Nano-lipobelle H-EQ10, Phytessence wakame, Vitamin E, Avocado oil, Manuka honey, Shea butter etc. Effective creams should also boost the levels of Hyaluronic acid in your skin - hyaluronic acid, a substance that is also contained in human connective tissue, not just works as a moisturizer, but also rejuvenates damaged skin cells quickly. All these ingredients supposedly have a Turbo effect on cell renewal, thus slowing down the aging process. Read this Mayoclinic article as well.
By the way here are some effective neck toners:
Lip service:Place your fingers lightly on the corners of your mouth. Clench your teeth and pull upper lip downward tensing your neck muscles. Count to 5 and then repeat 3 times.
Exerting Pressure: Make a fist with your right hand and place under your chin. Open your mouth pressing your lower jaw firmly against your fist. Hold tension briefly and repeat 3 times.
Stroking: Gently stroke the left side of your neck with the back of your right hand and vice versa. Alternate 5 times each.
Pushing: Place your fingertips next to the corners of your mouth, open your lips. Then put your tongue out, stretching it as far as you can towards your chin. Hold briefly. Repeat 5 times.
Drum-fire: Drum gently and rhythmically with the back of your fingers upwards against your chin using alternately the right and left hand for about one minute to improve circulation.
A routine massage of the neck from the base upwards to the chin in the front and from the base of the head upwards to the neck is not only beneficial to the skin, but it also relieves headaches and tension. Also read Caring for your neck and some awesome neck exercises.
Above all, a good wholesome diet, simple exercises and adequate rest coupled with sufficient intake of liquids - at least 8-10 glasses of water daily along with fruits, veggies and other antioxidant-rich food can help you combat the process of aging, in a natural way with no side-effects.
(Guest post by S.S)