Why Your Platysma Muscle Could Be the Reason For Your Dull, Puffy Face

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We’ve all heard of tech neck and the benefits of having a good skin care routine that goes beyond the chin, but do you know it is also important to look after the muscle in your neck, known as the platysma, to benefit your overall appearance? “Without taking care of your neck and platysma, your face could be affected,” Dr Mariano Spiezia, doctor of medicine, medical herbalist and founder of Inlight Beauty tells POPSUGAR UK. “It can causes puffy eyes, dark circles, and opaque, tired, dull skin.”

But what exactly is the platysma, how can you look after a muscle, and can it really change the way you look? We’ve asked the experts and were surprised by the answers.


What Is a Platysma?

Ever wondered how you can open your mouth to shout? Well that’s down to the platysma. “Our platysma muscle is in our neck and allows us to talk, eat and make facial expressions,” explains Dr Spiezzia. This muscle runs from your chin to your collarbone and it is known as a superficial muscle as it lies close to the surface of the skin. Because the skin in your neck gets thinner as you get older it tends to become more prominent and hence gives you wrinkles and lines. “This muscle is pivotal in various facial expressions, particularly those linked to emotions like surprise or fear, as well as in movements of the mouth and lips” says Dr. Gina Schoeman, Aesthetic Doctor at Creo Clinic. “Moreover, the platysma is integral to swallowing and speech production, contributing significantly to the neck and lower facial appearance and functionality.”

How Does the Platysma Affect Your Face?

“The condition of the platysma muscle can significantly affect your appearance,” says Dr Schoeman. “It plays a key role in maintaining neck and facial contour. Weakness or laxity in this muscle can lead to sagging skin and a less defined jawline. Strengthening the platysma is essential for maintaining a youthful and attractive appearance. It is also an area where we can hold a lot of tension, thanks to sitting on a desk, looking down at our phones, poor sleep hygiene and lack of movement. “If there is tension in our neck and the platysma muscle, the lymphatic system is affected,” says Dr Spiezza. “The lymph can’t drain away like it should and therefore there is a bottle neck which can contribute to issues like puffiness, dullness, and dark circles in your face.” This is why she it is very important to look after the neck area, with regular massage of the skin and muscle to help lymph drainage from the top down avoiding the lymph getting ‘trapped’ on the face.

How Do You Strengthen the Platysma Muscle?

Caring for the platysma muscle is essential for maintaining neck and facial health accroding to Dr Schoeman: “This muscle contributes to facial expressions, swallowing, and speech. Strengthening it can prevent sagging skin and enhance facial tone while supporting natural movements and reducing the risk of neck stiffness or discomfort.” Dr Spiezzia recommends using a neck firming serum like Inight Beauty (£68) with a Gua Sha tool to help get the lymphatic system going and ensure deeper absorbtion of the serum.

Step-by-Step Gua Sha Routine For Your Platysma?

Naz Khaliq a holistic therapist and founder of Revive Room, which offers an at-home facial yoga subscription service, has devised this guide for strengthening your platysma depending on your needs. “Initiate your neck work by releasing tension: utilise your Gua Sha to deeply relax the tissue initially, before emphasizing drainage and lifting,” she tells POPSUGAR UK. “Maintain a 40-degree angle for deep work, and a 30-degree angle for drainage and lifting. Start with deep neck work to target tense areas, then complement with gentle drainage and lifting strokes. It’s a transformative approach. Neglecting it could have cascading effects on the face due to its interconnectedness and significance.”

Tension Release Protocol:

Hold the tool at a 50/40 degree angle and apply firm pressure.

1. Begin on the décolleté, gliding out towards the underarm using firm pressure. If tension persists, opt for smaller strokes. Repeat six times.
2. Progress to the shoulders and back of the neck, gliding upwards towards the base of the neck. Repeat six times.
3. Utilise the curved part of the tool to glide over the collarbone, working on one side at a time. Repeat six times.

Drainage Protocol:

Hold the tool at a 40 degree angle and apply feather-light pressure.

1. From the décolleté, glide out towards the underarms using feather-light pressure. Repeat six times.
2. Beneath your ear, glide down to the collarbone. Repeat six times.
3. Under your chin, glide out towards the ear and then down the neck to the collarbone. Repeat six times.

Lifting Protocol:

Apply medium pressure and hold the tool at a 30 degree angle.

1. Starting on the décolletage, glide up the neck past the jawbone until you reach under the cheekbone. Wiggle your tool and release. Repeat 6 times.

So next time you wonder why your face is looking puffy or you can’t shift your dark eye bags maybe you need to give your platysma some attention and see if it helps.

Lauren Ezekiel is an associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, where she writes about all things beauty and wellness. With a degree in journalism and 12 years’ experience as a beauty editor at a leading Sunday supplement, she is obsessed with skincare, hair and makeup, and is often found offering advice to innocent bystanders. Her work has been published in Grazia, OK, Health and Beauty, The Sun, ASDA, Dare and Metro.

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