Are you starting to notice neck wrinkles in your early thirties? The right precautions and skincare can easily smoothen your skin, giving it a youthful appearance.
Skin aging is an inevitable biological process. However, with the advancement of medical science, there are various available options to delay its effects on your skin and health. Ayurveda advices the use of anti-aging herbs and oils that can retard the appearance of wrinkles on your neck and keep your skin looking young for years.
Read on to know what causes neck wrinkles and how to best treat them with natural remedies.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Pitta dosha is known to cause premature wrinkling of skin. The hot quality of Pitta loosens the connective tissues. This coupled with the drying action of Vata makes the skin appear loose, thin, dry and toneless. Regular oil massage and neck muscle exercises are the simplest ways to prevent skin sagging.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Causes Neck Wrinkles
Your skin is made up of 2 structural proteins, namely collagen and elastin. While collagen provides strength keeping your skin taut, elastin is responsible for its flexibility and ensures that the skin returns to its original form after being stretched.
Apart from these proteins, there is a fat layer that supports your skin’s structure and along with sebum from the oil glands keeps your skin soft, supple and hydrated.
However, factors such as age , UV ray exposure, tobacco abuse and frequent facial muscle contractions can cause the depletion of these skin appendages leading to premature appearance of neck wrinkles.
According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, the ‘Udakdhara’  layer of the skin (as per sage Charaka’s classification of skin layers) is the seat of the rasa dhatu (nutrient fluid). As the body experiences ‘jara’ or aging, there is an increase in the level of Vata dosha and decrease in the quality of the rasa dhatu leading to wrinkles on the skin.
This is also the reason why people with a ‘Vata prakriti’ (body constitution) age faster than others.
As per Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, “ Pitta dosha is known to cause premature wrinkling of skin. The hot quality of Pitta loosens the connective tissues. This coupled with the drying action of Vata makes the skin appear loose, thin, dry and toneless.”
Let's look at the factors that cause wrinkles on the neck.
Your skin changes as you age, and wrinkles and sagging are just part of the natural aging process. As structural proteins such as collagen and elastin fibers along with the fat layer in your hypodermis begin to deplete gradually, your skin loses its resilience and elasticity giving it a more creased appearance. Thus, neck wrinkles are more common in aged-skin.
2. Sun Exposure
Oxidative stress is a primary cause of neck wrinkles. Prolonged exposure to the UV radiation of the sun increases the number of free radicals in your body and causes an antioxidant/oxidant imbalance. Unchecked levels of free radicals can lead to serious skin tissue damage, pigmentation (sun spots) and premature aging.
Hence, people with fair skin are more susceptible to UV ray-induced aging as their skin contains low amounts of the melanin pigment that provides sun-protection to your skin.
As you age, your skin’s ability to produce sebum decreases. Sebum acts as a natural moisturizer that keeps your skin soft and hydrated. With a reduction in sebaceous gland activity the skin is more prone to dryness and wrinkles. This is more apparent in areas such as the neck where the skin is thinner than the face and has comparatively a lower number of sweat and oil glands.
Time and again the harmful effects of tobacco smoke  have been highlighted by dermatologists and beauty experts. Frequent exposure to the toxins contained in tobacco smoke increases changes of hyperpigmentation and oxidative stress, causing a direct impact on your skin health.
Moreover, smoking also affects your skin’s overall elasticity causing it to crease and sag. This is why smokers are more prone to developing skin and neck wrinkles at an early age.
5. Endocrine Diseases
Certain endocrine disorders can have cutaneous manifestations that may lead to wrinkles on the neck. According to studies, patients diagnosed with hypothyroidism caused by failure of the pituitary gland experience slight wrinkling of the skin.
6. Improper Food Intake
Your diet plays a major role in your skin health. While intake of the right nutrients improves your skin’s ability to renew and repair itself, consumption of fatty foods and excess sugars promote inflammation and skin aging.
Frequent alcohol consumption is also known to deteriorate the skin barrier and lead to changes in your skin texture and appearance.
7. Muscle Contractions
Frequent muscle contractions  of the face and the neck tend to wear out your muscle’s strength and elasticity leading to the formation of wrinkles. This has, in fact, led to an increase in popularity of face yoga. Such exercises help stretch, lift and firm your skin and prevent sagging and neck wrinkles.
Your climate conditions can play a role in the appearance of neck wrinkles. Cold climates have a drying effect on your skin and thus, you may often notice people who stay in colder countries wrinkle faster than those living in the tropics.
How To Remove Neck Wrinkles?
Dr. Zeel says, “Nothing is better than water to pacify the aggravated Pitta dosha’s fiery qualities and the dryness of Vata. Cool watery foods like asparagus, coconut, etc. are balancers of Pitta. Amla is rich in vitamin C and balances Pitta dosha. Salt disbalances water flow through the body.”
“Make sure you just eat enough salt, and never consume it in excess. Sugar is a pure calorie (Calor = heat), and can disbalance Pitta. Thus, excessive use of sugar and simple carbohydrates (like maida) can precipitate skin sagging. Regular oil massage and neck muscle exercises are the simplest ways to prevent skin sagging,” she further adds.
Here are some other ways to reduce or remove neck wrinkles:
A. Herbal & Home Methods
1. Gotu Kola
The biggest advantage of including the ancient Ayurvedic herb gotu kola (Centella Asiatica) is that it aids collagen synthesis and reduces the appearance of neck wrinkles.
Mix 1 tablespoon of gotu kola powder with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil/honey/sesame oil and apply over your neck wrinkles. Leave it on for an hour before washing off.
2. Hibiscus And Castor Oil
Rich in various Polyphenols, hibiscus leaves and flowers  have amazing anti-aging effects on your skin. Its antioxidant properties help reverse UV ray-induced photoaging.
Hibiscus also inhibits collagenase activity and prevents the breakdown of elastin and collagen fibers. Castor oil, on the other hand, is known to possess anti-aging properties that may help reduce the appearance of neck wrinkles.
Add 1 ½ tablespoon of hibiscus powder or 5-6 hibiscus flower petals and a handful of hibiscus leaves blended into a paste to 1 ½ tablespoon of castor oil. Mix well and apply over the wrinkles on your neck and face and leave it on for an hour before washing off.
3. Panax Ginseng
Studies have shown that extracts of panax ginseng, better known as Korean red ginseng can effectively improve wrinkles on the neck and face. Fermented panax ginseng is more effective as an anti-aging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
Mix 1 tablespoon of panax ginseng powder with any light carrier oil or manuka honey to make a paste. Apply over the wrinkles on your neck and leave it on for 40 minutes to an hour and wash off.
4. Amla, Guduchi And Sesame Oil
Ayurvedic scriptures have mentioned various ‘vyasthapana’ or anti-aging herbs amongst which amla  and guduchi top the list. Amla acts as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent by reducing oxidative stress and cell death (apoptosis). Similar to amla, Guduchi also promotes healthy cell growth and reduces wrinkles on the neck and facial areas.
Add 1 tablespoon of amla and guduchi powders each to 2 tablespoons of sesame oil. Mix well and apply over your neck wrinkles and wash off after an hour.
5. Green Tea
Consumption or topical application of green tea  gives your skin a much-needed boost of antioxidants. It also helps reduce inflammation and promotes skin health.
Brew green tea, cool it down to room temperature and apply over the wrinkles on your neck. Leave it on for 1 hour before washing off.
6. Burdock And Soybean Oil
Burdock leaf extracts  have a high content of Polyphenols making it a powerful antioxidant. It also inhibits elastase (an enzyme that breaks down elastin) and tyrosinase (enzyme responsible for melanin production) activities and can thus be a good treatment for wrinkles on the neck and age-related hyperpigmentation. Soybean oil is rich in isoflavones, a compound popular for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Soak 1 tablespoon of burdock root powder in 1-2 tablespoons of cold-pressed soybean oil overnight. Apply this over your neck wrinkles and leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes and wash off. Use as frequently as required.
B. Essential Oils
1. Rose Oil
Rose oil nourishes, repairs and rejuvenates aged skin and may help prevent collagen depletion.
Mix 4-5 drops of rose oil with 10 ml of any carrier oil of your choice and massage your neck daily to reduce your neck wrinkles. Wash off after 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Pomegranate Seed Oil
A popular essential oil added to various anti-aging skincare products for its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Pomegranate seed essential oil helps protect the epidermal barrier and prevents dry skin, premature aging and formation of wrinkles on the neck and the face.
Add 4 to 5 drops of pomegranate seed essential oil to a 10 ml of a non-comedogenic carrier oil such as safflower or jojoba and massage away the wrinkles on your neck. Leave the oil for 20 minutes and wash off.
3. Carrot Seed Oil
Packed with antioxidants, essential fatty acids and vitamin A, carrot seed essential oil can reduce free-radical skin damage, prevent inflammation and help boost collagen production. Regular use can help prevent neck wrinkles and sagging.
Add 3-4 drops of carrot seed oil to 2 tablespoons of a light carrier oil and massage your neck wrinkles using upward strokes. Wash off after 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Frankincense Oil
The anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense oil is owed to the presence of Boswellic acids , a series of terpenoids often used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases. Frankincense oil is also useful in treating the effects of photoaging on your skin including neck wrinkles.
Add 3-5 drops of frankincense essential oil to 2 tablespoons of a nourishing carrier such as sweet almond or jojoba and massage your neck daily for 5 minutes to get rid of your neck wrinkles. Let the oil sit for another 15 minutes before washing off.
5. Rose Geranium Oil
With oxidative stress being a major cause of skin aging, the potent antioxidant properties of rose geranium oil can help remove deep neck wrinkles and give your skin a youthful appearance. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial abilities that protect your skin from environmental aggressions.
Mix 4-5 drops of rose geranium oil to 10 ml of a carrier oil according to your skin type. Massage regularly and wash off after 15 to 20 minutes to remove wrinkles on your face and neck.
The following exercises are proven to reduce neck wrinkles when practiced daily.
1. Tilt your head backwards, bring your lips to a pout and make a kissing action. Repeat 15-20 times.
2. Place your index finger over your chin and pull your lower jaw up to stretch the muscles in your neck and gradually tilt your head back. Repeat 15-20 times.
3. Turn your head to one side and slowly tilt your head backwards. Hold for a few seconds and repeat in the other direction. Continue for 7-8 reps in each direction.
4. Place your hands on your collar bone, pucker your lips and gradually tilt your head backwards. Hold the position for a few breaths and release. Repeat 15-20 times.
5. Gently pinch the skin of your neck starting from your collar bone right up to your jawline. This helps boost collagen production and prevent neck wrinkles.
How To Prevent Neck Wrinkles?
1. Reduce your exposure to direct sunlight. Always wear sunscreen and use hats, umbrellas and long-sleeved clothes to protect your skin when stepping out.
2. Avoid consumption of alcohol and tobacco products. Reduce or completely stop smoking to prevent wrinkles on your neck and face.
3. Sleep well. Sleep deprivation can increase stress and make your skin age faster.
4. Reduce work stress.
5. Exercise daily for better mental health and improved blood circulation. Focus more on face yoga as it can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your skin.
6. Massage your neck daily with anti-aging herbal oils.
7. Follow an Ayurveda recommended skincare routine to holistically improve your skin conditions.
8. Moisturize twice daily and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated to prevent neck wrinkles.
9. Eat a nutritious diet that aids your skin functions. Below listed are essential nutrients  that one must include in their daily diet to keep skin aging and neck wrinkles at bay.
Improves physiological functions of the skin, wound healing and synthesis of skin proteins.
Prevents skin inflammation and pigmentation disorders.
Acts as an antioxidant and stimulates collagen production.
Reduces skin inflammation and DNA damages.
Delays skin aging and improves skin barrier function.
Plays a role in skin collagen and elastin synthesis and angiogenesis.
Regulates the activity of antioxidant enzymes in your skin.
Prevents skin inflammation and participates in the maintenance of the epidermis (uppermost layer of your skin).
Regulates keratinocyte antioxidant activities in your skin.
Can Wrinkles On My Neck Go Away?
Minor neck wrinkles that start to show up during your 30s can be reversed with the right skincare, diet and lifestyle. Pamper your skin with daily abhyangas or herbal oil massages using upward strokes to smoothen your wrinkles. You can even use a face roller or a gua sha stone for better effects. Practise neck exercises and include anti-aging herbs in your daily skincare routine to reduce oxidative stress, prevent skin inflammation and improve collagen production.
Including yashtimadhu or licorice in your diet and skincare can help reduce neck wrinkles and other signs of aging.
When Do Neck Wrinkles Start?
Neck wrinkles can start appearing in your mid 20s or early thirties depending on your exposure to the sun, health conditions and other habits such as drinking and smoking. However, the appearance of prominent deep wrinkles is usually seen when one reaches their 50s.
The Last Word
While wrinkles are unavoidable, you can delay their appearance till your mid 40s or 50s with the right precautions. Avoiding overexposure to the sun or steering away from habits such as smoking or drinking can greatly determine how your skin ages. Though there exists a ton of available cosmetic procedures to reduce sagging and wrinkles on your neck and other facial areas, none are completely devoid of side effects. This is why the use of natural anti-aging ingredients is always a safer option to holistically improve your skin health. Regular practice of face yoga, oil massages, good food and a dosha balancing Ayurvedic skincare routine help delay skin aging and keep your skin smooth, healthy and young.Know Your Dosha Now
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8. Skin Ageing: Natural Weapons And Strategies, 2013 January
9. Inhibitory Effect Of Burdock Leaves On Elastase And Tyrosinase Activity, 2017 October
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11. Diet And Skin Aging- From The Perspective Of Food Nutrition, 2020 March
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