A double chin, also known as submental fat, is the result of the accumulation of extra tissue below the mentum or lower jaw bone. This chunk of unwanted flab gives the illusion of an extra chin, a sight not easy on the eyes, either for you or the beholder.
No matter how hard you try, given its location, it’s almost impossible to camouflage that nasty wobbly bit hanging just below your jaw for everyone to see. And even if it doesn’t stick out in the most obvious way all the time, the double chin has a knack for making an unwelcome appearance when you let your guard down.
What’s more is that all this worrying and fretting over your double chin only add to your list of woes in the form of new wrinkles and frown lines, making you look old, fat, and tired.
So, it’s better to nip this problem in the bud before it goes out of hand.
Causes of a Double Chin
Double chin is often used as a basket term for three different categories of submental deposition: deposition of excess skin, excess fat, or a combination of the two. Some common factors that lead to this condition are:
- Age: Our skin loses a lot of its natural buoyancy with advancing age, causing the skin around the jaw to sag and form a double chin.
- Smoking and sun exposure: These can accelerate the process of depletion of collagen from the skin, which is responsible for the loss of its elasticity.
- Weight gain/fluctuations: With rapid weight gain and loss, the facial skin tends to pull and stretch resulting in getting slacken over time. In the case of sudden weight gain, fat commonly accumulates below the lower jaw, depending upon the fat distribution pattern of the individual.
- Genetics: While a double chin is most commonly associated with being overweight, it is not restricted to them alone. For an unlucky few, a double chin is a burden that they must carry irrespective of their perfectly balanced diet and exercise routine as they are genetically predisposed to develop it. Their genetic makeup and family history thwart any hope they might have for a perfectly sculpted facial structure.
- Poor posture: Poor posture can cause the muscles in front of the neck and chin to weaken, thereby making the skin appear loose and pool below the jaw in the form of a double chin. So, it’s a strict no to slumping and slouching and a resounding yes to sitting upright and keeping your chin up and forward.
A double chin only becomes more prominent with advancing age and persistent unhealthy lifestyles.
While people’s confidence takes a beating due to the self-consciousness that is synonymous with unwanted face flab, they often lack the motivation and the money to invest in a fix to what is an otherwise medically inconsequential facial feature.
In fact, according to the results of a survey presented at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, it was found that many people were concerned about their double chins and many of them are using clothes or facial hair to hide it.
In this survey, researchers interviewed 1,996 men and women between the ages of 18 and 57 about their concerns with submental fullness or excess fat underneath their chin.
Treatments for a Double Chin
While Diet and exercises play a crucial role in getting rid of double chin, some people opt for surgical methods to get a quicker result.
Current Surgical procedures are:
Lipolysis: Treats double chin by liposuction (removing the extra fat by applying suction) or with the help of a laser.
Mesotherapy: Involves injecting the double chin with fat dissolving compounds. It’s a long procedure which may require up to 100 injections in a span of 6 months.
While these surgical procedures can eliminate a double chin, they can be expensive and invasive and may have side effects. Noninvasive and painless options to minimize double chin are simple exercises and home treatments. They are your best bet for getting rid of that dreaded chin flab.
Natural Treatment Options to Get Rid of a Double Chin
Here are a few remedies that you can follow to treat a double chin.
1. Start with Rolling the Neck Warmup
When it comes to exercise to help lose a double chin, it is important to warm up and relax the muscles around your chin and neck area to avoid injury.
Rolling and rotating your neck is an amazing warmup exercise. It particularly helps in toning your chin, jawline, and neck muscles.
- Sit or stand keeping your spine erect.
- Look straight ahead and close your eyes.
- Now, tilt your head to one side, keeping in line with your chin.
- Slowly roll your head back so that your face points toward the ceiling.
- Go, gently roll your head to the other side and ultimately to the starting position. This completes one circular rotation.
- Repeat this 10 times in both directions.
- Perform this exercise twice daily.
2. Straight Jaw Jut Exercise
One of the best chin exercises that can help stretch and tone your face, neck, and jaw muscles, thereby helping you get rid of your double chin, is the straight jaw jut exercise.
- While keeping your spine erect, slowly tilt your head back until you are looking at the ceiling.
- Then, push your lower jaw forward until you feel a stretch under the chin.
- Hold this position for 5 to 10 counts.
- Relax your jaw and return your head to its original position.
- Repeat this 5 to 10 times in a row.
- Do this 2-3 times.
3. Pucker-Up Exercise
Saying ‘’cheese’’ to put your best face forward when getting clicked seems like ancient history now. It’s the age of ‘’pouting’’ and it’s here to stay.
When you pout or pucker up, the bone structure of your face is accentuated and the camera captures you looking like the star that you so want to be.
We’re all such experts at pouting that here’s an exercise you can do in your sleep. It targets the fat accumulated around the chin area and helps get rid of it.
- With your head tilted back, look at the ceiling.
- Pucker your lips as if you are kissing the ceiling, and soon you will feel a stretch around the area beneath your chin.
- Hold this position for 5 to 20 seconds.
- Stop puckering and bring your lips back to its normal position.
- Repeat this 10 to 15 times every day for a few weeks.
4. Ball Squeeze Exercise
Another simple yet effective exercise for a double chin is the ball squeeze exercise. This exercise is done best from a seated position with a straight back and relaxed shoulders.
For this exercise, you need a small tennis ball. One nifty trick is to keep a ball handy in your desk drawer at work so that you can slip into exercise mode between breaks without moving from your chair.
- Place the tennis ball under the chin.
- Use your chin to push down against the ball in a steady, firm motion.
- Repeat this 10 to 30 times while sitting.
5. Develop the Habit of Chewing Gums
To get rid of a double chin, it is essential to flex your facial muscles from time to time in order to keep them toned and the skin around your jaw tight.
One of the best ways to do this is to chew a sugarless gum, which serves as a nice workout for the muscles of the entire face, especially the jaw.
Sugar-free gum chewing may even aid in appetite control and thereby facilitate weight loss. Given obesity is one of the main reasons behind a double chin, managing your weight is key.
A 2011 study published in the journal Appetite found that people who indulged in chewing gum for at least 45 mins felt significantly more satisfied after each meal, thus curbing hunger pangs to a minimum.
By cutting down on snacking, your calorie intake is inadvertently reduced, which only brings you a step closer to eliminating the fat accumulation under your chin.
So, chew on that sugarless gum every chance you get and watch your double chin disappear. It can’t possibly get any easier than that.
6. Massage Your Chin and Jawline
A regular oil massage, focusing more on the jawline and the chin area can also do wonders for your double chin.
Massaging improves the blood circulation to your jaw area, which helps do away with the excess fat. Furthermore, packed with antioxidants and vitamin E, these oils help nourish and tighten the skin, protect it from damage, and improve its elasticity. The result is the facelift you’ve always wanted.
For massage, it is recommended to use vitamin E oil, olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, or wheat germ oil.
- Apply a little oil on the chin and around the jawline.
- Using gentle but firm strokes, massage the area in an upward direction.
- Perform massage for 5-10 minutes, two to three times a day. Preferably leave the oil on overnight.
7. Adopt a Proper Posture
Poor posture is a common reason behind a double chin. It has been found that if you are prone to slumping and slouching, your neck muscle or platysma tends to lose its tenacity, which in turn accentuates the appearance of a double chin.
Rectifying your posture is, therefore, vital to the process of eliminating your double chin and cannot be taken lightly.
When standing or walking, keep the backbone straight and hold your head up. If you are sitting, sit upright and keep your head up, and try to lift your chin a little higher than normal.
Avoid sitting for long periods of time with your head down and shoulders slumped forward.
In case, you work at a desk for extended periods of time, make sure to invest in a suitable ergonomic chair to help you maintain a correct posture.
8. Follow a Proper Diet Plan
In many cases, double chins result from sudden weight gain or obesity. To keep weight gain in check, the best step is to keep a close eye on your nutrition as obesity is often linked to poor eating habits.
In a 2013 study published in Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, researchers found that bad eating habits such as snacking on highly processed and calorie-rich foods between meals, eating in front of the TV screen, skipping breakfasts, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, eating out frequently, and emotional eating can lead to the development of obesity.
Some healthy dietary guidelines are as follows:
- Eat at least 3-4 servings of vegetables and fruits daily.
- Replace refined grains with whole grains.
- Avoid processed and fried foods as well as sugary items.
- Include more lean protein, such as poultry and fish, in your diet.
- Incorporate olive oil, avocados, and nuts into your diet because these are rich in fat but only the nutritious kind.
Also, drink plenty of water as it helps remove excess fat from the body. A 2011 study published in the journal Obesity found that people who drank water before meals lost more weight compared with those who did not.
Backenting a Double Chin
- A healthy diet is incomplete without proper exercise; hence, it is time to give up the sedentary lifestyle and do some exercise and sports.
- Do more cardio exercises and weight training in your workout routine.
- Because getting rid of a double chin takes its own sweet time, it may be smart to opt for a hairstyle such as layered waves, a long bob, or maybe an angled haircut to make your double chin less conspicuous.
- Green tea is the go-to product for anyone who wants to lose the extra pounds without working up a sweat. In addition to increasing your metabolism, which naturally helps melt away the fat, green tea contains the optimum amount of caffeine that helps reduce water retention owing to its diuretic properties-just another reason to include green tea in your diet, if the other one million and one reasons weren’t enough. Just sit back, sip on your tea, and watch your troubles, along with the double chin, slip away.
- Who needs a fairy godmother when you have the magic of egg whites to bring out the best in you? Not only do they unclog pores and give your skin that instant glow, but they also enhance your skin’s elasticity and help diminish the appearance of a double chin.
- Whisk the egg white from two eggs and mix it with 1 tablespoon each of lemon juice, milk, and honey. Apply the concoction on your neck and around the chin, and leave it on for 30 minutes. Following which, wash it off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry. For maximum effect, do this regimen once daily.
- Nearly half of survey respondents bothered by submental fullness. Healio Dermatology. . Published March 15, 2017.
- D’souza R, Kini A, D’souza H, Shetty N, Shetty O. Enhancing Facial Aesthetics with Muscle Retraining Exercises-A Review. Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research. . Published August 2014.
- Gerstner GE, Fehrman J. Comparison of chin and jaw movements during gum chewing. The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry. . Published February 1998.
- Hetherington MM, Regan MF. Effects of chewing gum on short-term appetite regulation in moderately restrained eaters. Appetite. . Published October 2011.
- Kuźbicka K, Rachoń D. Bad eating habits as the main cause of obesity among children. Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. . Published 2013.
- Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Comber DL, et al. Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention in Middle-aged and Older Adults. Obesity Silver Spring. . Published February 2010.