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Man touching his double chin

How to Get Rid of a Double Chin

There’s nothing worse than putting on a big, cheesy grin for photo, only to be shocked by your drooping jowls and chunky neck. Indeed, the dreaded double chin is a sad reality for many guys, particularly as they get older, but it isn’t all bad news. Getting rid of your double chin is possible, albeit with a little hard work and a lot of dedication.

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Man pinching his double chin
What is a Double Chin | Image: Viktor Koldunov

What is a Double Chin?

A double chin, or even a triple chin is a highly common condition. In most cases, having a double chin is nothing to worry about, offering only cosmetic concerns. In this instance, a double chin, also known a submental fat is just a layer of excess fat that has collected beneath the chin around the jawline. When this layer becomes substantial enough, it can form a wrinkle or bubble effect that has the appearance of a second chin. Medically speaking, having a double chin is rarely a cause for major concern, however, a surplus of excess fat is never a sign of positive health.

More often than not, the primary issues relating to having a double chin are psychological. Many people consider the condition unsightly, which may cause a loss of confidence or poor body image amongst sufferers. A double chin is often associated with weight gain, but not everyone who has one is overweight. Instead, some lifestyle, genetic and medical conditions can result in a double chin.

Double Chin Causes

While it may seem straight-forward, double chin causes are more widespread and varying than you may think. A number of people are who aren’t overweight suffer from the condition, indicating it isn’t just weight gain that is to blame for our double chin issues. Here are the main causes of a double chin.

1. Ageing Skin

It’s no surprise that as we get older, our skin loses tension and begins to sag. The process has much do with our body’s collagen production, which starts to decline in our mid-20s. When this happens, our skin begins to lose elasticity, with collagen creation continuously deteriorating as we age. The older we get, the more pronounced the effect, which generally results in a collection of sagging skin beneath the chin. This can create the same effect as if we were carrying extra fat beneath our jawline, however, certain lifestyle factors can significantly speed up the process.

Smoking, poor diet and sun exposure can all contribute to premature ageing, leading to sagging skin. Practising positive skincare habits and leading a healthier lifestyle can help to stave off the effects of ageing.

2. Posture

With the advent of smartphones and laptops, we consistently find ourselves in a hunched position, which can have meaningful impacts on your overall health. We know that poor posture sets you up for back and neck issues down the track, but failing to maintain an upright stance can also lead to a double chin. By craning over our necks, we put excess pressure on the platysma muscle, which connects the neck to the chin. When this muscle weakens, it can reduce the elasticity of the skin around the jowls, resulting in the aforementioned sagging.

3. Facial Structure

As human beings, we all have different face shapes and structures. Just like our body shapes have us predisposed to certain conditions, our face shapes can be flattering and unflattering depending on factors outside of our control. People with recessive chins and weak jawlines will find themselves more susceptible to developing a double chin, irrespective of whether they are overweight or not. This is simply because, for these individuals, the skin is stretched over a smaller area. As this skin is less tightly drawn over the face, it requires only a small increase in fat or a decrease in skin elasticity to cause a double chin. This is one of the primary reasons why people who are not overweight may suffer from double chin.

4. Being Overweight

While some external factors will certainly play a part in whether you have a double chin or not, by far the most common cause of the condition is being overweight. When you gain weight, the excess fat is distributed around the body, often collecting in some less than desirable areas, such as the face and chin. Depending on your body type, this weight gain may be noticeable. For example, those with a larger frame can afford to add a few extra kilos around their waist or legs without the increase being noticeable. However, if you are slighter in frame or have a weaker jawline, even a small increase in fat can see a pronounced layer of excess fat collect around the chin area.

Man with a double chin
How to Get Rid of Double Chin | Image: TLC

How to Get Rid of Double Chin

If you want to get rid of double chin issues for good, the steps you need to take aren’t particularly ground-breaking. In fact, for the most part, you will follow the same process involved in general weight loss. As a double chin is primarily the result of excess fat collecting beneath the chin, reducing your overall bodyweight and fat percentage will be a contributing factor in helping you to lose the chin fat. Here is how to get rid of double chin.

1. Diet

The most obvious method for getting rid of your double chin is through diet. By eating a calorie deficit, you can reduce your overall bodyweight, which can help to cut excess fat around your body. Simply by eating well, you can help to cut excess body fat and slim that double chin, however, certain foods can actually increase your body’s collagen production. These include;

  • Bone broth – As it is made of bones and connective tissue, it contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, amino acids, and many other nutrients.
  • Fish and shellfish – These marine bodies have bones and ligaments made of collagen, which has been claimed to be some of the most easily absorbed.
  • Citrus fruits – Vitamin C is pivotal in collagen production. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are high in this vitamin.
  • Cashews – These nuts contain zinc and copper, both of which boost the body’s ability to create collagen.

Further, increasing your hydration can stimulate greater collagen production as well. By drinking more water, you can strengthen muscle memory and improve your body’s ability to produce the protein, tightening your skin and reducing the effects of premature ageing.

2. Exercise

In a similar vein, improving your exercise regime can help you to get rid of your double chin. In this instance, greater energy expenditure can lead to weight loss, removing the excess fat collecting around your jawline. Further, cardiovascular and strength training has been proven to increase your mood, improve the immune system and boost your overall health.

3. Lipolysis

Also known as liposculpture, lipolysis uses liposuction or heat from a laser to melt away fat. This is a process that is often referred to as ‘contouring’ the skin. In most cases, a local anesthetic is all that is required during lipolysis to treat a double chin, however, it bears reminding that lipolysis only treats fat. This procedure does not remove excess skin or increase skin’s elasticity.

4. Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is a procedure that delivers small amounts of fat-dissolving compounds through a series of minimally-invasion injections. In America, the Food and Drug Administration approved deoxycholic acid (Kybella), an injectable drug used in mesotherapy back in 2015, with the acid reportedly also helping your body to absorb fats.

This procedure is not quick though. Mesotherapy may take 20 or more injections of deoxycholic acid per treatment to treat a double chin, with most people taking up to six treatments to knock it out. Like most small procedures, you will have to wait at least one month between treatments. Before you jump on the mesotherapy train, however, it is important to note that deoxycholic acid can cause serious nerve damage if not injected properly. You must have this procedure performed by a qualified medical practitioner.

Close up of man's chin
Double Chin Exercises | Image: Jeff B.

Double Chin Exercises

If you want to elevate the process and get rid of double chin issues faster, you may find yourself searching for double chin exercises. While there is little science to suggest that chin-specific exercises have a significant impact on your double chin, strengthening your jaw and lower-facial muscles can certainly help to tighten skin. Here is a list of 5 double chin exercises you can test out.

1. Chin Scoop

  1. Open your mouth, roll your bottom lip over your lower teeth.
  2. Dip your chin as if you are scooping water with your lower jaw.
  3. Move your head down in a scooping motion.
  4. Close your mouth while lifting your head.

Reps: 5-7

2. Clench Smile

  1. Clench your teeth with your mouth closed.
  2. Stretch the corners of your lips as wide as possible.
  3. Push your tongue against your hard palate, increasing force gradually.
  4. Hold until you feel a strong tension in your chin muscle, then relax.

Rep: 5-8

3. Under-Bite Stretch

  1. Turn your head to the left.
  2. Pull your lower jaw forward, straining the muscles of your neck.
  3. Turn your head to the right and do the same movement.

Rep: 5-7

4. Ball Under Chin

  1. Place a tennis ball under your chin.
  2. Press your chin down against the ball.
  3. Repeat 25 times daily.

Reps: 25

5. Pucker

  1. Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling.
  2. Pucker your lips as if you’re kissing the ceiling.
  3. Stretch the area beneath your chin.
  4. Hold, before bringing your head back to its normal position.

Reps: 5-7

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General FAQs

Do double chin exercises actually work?

While there's no scientific evidence that chin exercises work to get rid of your double chin, there's anecdotal evidence.

Does chewing gum reduce chin fat?

While some people have noted that chewing gum has helped to reduce chin fat, there is little science to support the claim. Chewing gum does, however, burn calories, so if you chew gum all day, every day, you may drop weight the conventional way.

What causes double chin?

While the most common cause of a double chin is excess fat, it can also be a result of; ageing skin, poor posture, facial structure, genetics, diet and a lack of exercise