Your neck is an essential part of your overall appearance and this maintenance should begin in your twenties.

Did you ever stop to think about how your neck can reveal your age and how important it is to keep it looking young and beautiful? Taking care of your neck with the proper exercise and skin care treatment is just as important as taking care of your face. So many women forget to add their neck to their beauty routine each day.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure your neck stays looking young and healthy and to have a tightened, lifted and firmed appearance more than ever before.

 –  Sleep on the right pillow

Consider the size of pillow you sleep on. High pillows result in neck wrinkles over a long period of time, but a small pillow maximizes the angle between the face and neck, thus slowing down the skin’s ageing process.

 –  Keep your body hydrated

Because our skin loses its ability to retain moisture as we age, it is important to keep hydrated from within, by drinking water throughout the day and getting hydration from fruit and vegetables.

 –  Exfoliate the neck once a week

Exfoliate the neck and chest area at least once a week to keep the skin free of ingrained dirt and dead skin cells. This area is delicate, so avoid products that contain sharp particles, and use a gentle, non-abrasive exfoliant.

 –  Use sunscreen

A recent study revealed that older skin that hadn’t been exposed to the sun had about 3,800 genetic mutations whereas skin that had been exposed had around 10,000 mutations in the same genes.Thanks to all the skin cancer prevention messages, many of us include some form of SPF protection in our skincare, but not enough of us are protecting our necks and chests. Apply sunscreen to your neck every day. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and re-apply it if you are outside for long periods of time, even when it is overcast or cloudy.

 –  Moisturising- don’t neglect your neck

The skin on your neck and chest is as delicate as your face, and the best way to delay the ageing process is to boost its suppleness. The skin here is very thin and has fewer sebaceous glands, fewer lipids (essential to protect the skin from external factors) and fewer melanocytes (cells that produce the pigment that gives colour to your skin and protects it from sunlight).It needs as much love and attention as your face, so if you have been neglecting your neck and chest, now is the time to remedy that situation.

   – Cleanse your neck in the morning and night

After the morning cleanse, apply moisturiser, using an upward, circular motion from under your chin to the top of your cleavage. You might discover that your neck skin requires a richer product than the one you use on your face. Massage it in, to help it penetrate the skin and to boost the circulation in that area.

In the evening, apply anti-ageing cream, either the same one you use on your face or one specifically for the neck, depending on how rich your facial product is. Most night creams now contain vitamins and antioxidants, such as Vitamin A, C and E and beta carotene, which are powerful anti-ageing ingredients. CoQ10 is a powerful nutrient that helps prevent cell damage.

 –  Neck exercises

Lastly, give your neck an exercise workout. Keeping your neck muscles toned will help to prevent sagging skin and wrinkles. You just need to follow this instruction and you will never get old!

 – Six neck exercises to get you started:

1. Jut out your chin and move your lower jaw forward – Repeat ten times.

2.  Look straight ahead. Now look up to the ceiling and hold for five seconds. Slowly return to your starting position –  Repeat 20 times.

3. Form an ‘O’ with your mouth. Pull down the sides of your mouth until you feel the muscles underneath your neck working. Repeat this three times in quick succession –  Build up to 20 sets of threes.

4. With your mouth open, pronounce the vowels A to U without closing your mouth at any time –  Repeat ten times, three times in a row.

5. Press the tip of your tongue against your palate for a few seconds and release. Do this throughout the day. Make circles with your tongue when your mouth is closed, first in one direction then the other –  Repeat often.

6. .Place your lower lip over the top lip and hold for a few seconds –  Repeat ten times.