Doctors say demand for jawline-tweaking treatments (from neck exercises to plastic surgery) has exploded, too.

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How to Get Rid of a Double Chin, According to Derms
Credit: Getty Images

Between virtual meetings, happy hours (please don't make us do those again) and FaceTiming friends near and far, we've all been staring at our own faces quite a bit for over the past nineteenth months. It's prompted a post-quarantine plastic surgery boom, and one area in particular that's been under a microscope is the neck — just check out the hundreds of thousands of views on TikTok hashtags like "how to get rid of a double chin" and "jawline check". 

"This issue has become a bit of a hot topic recently due to more Zoom calls with the camera pointing up at the face and neck; it really highlights this area, so we are seeing an uptick of consultations for the neck area," says Sheila Nazarian, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Nazarian Plastic Surgery

You might be wondering what causes a "double chin" in the first place. Often, it is tied to weight gain, but carrying extra fat around the neck could also be genetic, Dr. Nazarian says (just like some people might naturally carry weight in other areas of the body). The skin in this area tends to get looser as we age, too. For the record, it's completely normal to have fat here  — and having what you perceive to be a "double chin" isn't something you should feel the need to change. 

But clearly, people are looking for answers: Google searches for "how to get rid of a double chin overnight" and "double chin treatment options" have grown by more than 5000%. And for those looking for solutions, it can be hard to know what's actually worth your time. If you search "how to get rid of a double chin" on TikTok, you'll get a variety of answers, ranging from makeup contouring tricks for the chin area to plastic surgeons talking about double chin injections and surgery. (And FYI, if you're suddenly experiencing swelling in your neck, that could be a red flag of another health issue such as swollen lymph nodes or a thyroid condition,  Dr. Nazarian says, which is something you should definitely talk to your primary care doctor about.)

From in-office derm procedure to at-home techniques, here are some of the ways people are attempting to get rid of a double chin — and what doctors have to say about their effectiveness. 

1. InMode Tightening and Contouring Treatments

One popular method is called InMode Evoke, a non-invasive treatment that plastic surgeons recommend frequently in place of liposuction. Basically, the applicator device releases radiofrequency energy to the layers underneath your outer layer of skin to offer "fat reduction and skin tightening benefits," Dr. Nazarian says.  "Evoke tends to be a good option for people who want a non-invasive procedure," she adds. People often do at least three and sometimes as many as six treatments with one or two weeks in between to get more tightening results, she explains. The treatments come in a package of three treatments, and start at around $2,000, she adds. 

For those looking for more long-term results that will be more immediate, plastic surgeons might level up with a one-time, minimally-invasive procedure (it only requires local anesthesia) called InMode Facetite. It's another, slightly more expensive radiofrequency contour procedure, Dr. Nazarian explains, and one she often uses in combination with Morpheus 8, a radiofrequency and microneedling technique that helps remove fat and tighten and remodel skin. 

2. CoolSculpting

For those who don't want to go under a knife for a procedure like neck liposuction or under any kind of anesthesia, CoolSculpting is a popular procedure. It uses a cooling applicator and vacuum-like suction to freeze fat cells, which the immune system then clears. "Coolsculpting is an effective treatment for neck fat if it is very soft fat," Dr. Nazarian explains (the more fat cells that are there, the more difficult it is to freeze them). The cost of CoolSculpting in the neck area starts at around $700.

ICYMI, the procedure's been in the news recently after supermodel Linda Evangelista shared that it caused her to develop a condition called Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH), which makes fat cells enlarge rather than shrink. "The risk of PAH, as highlighted recently with Linda Evangelista, is very rare, but it can happen," Dr. Nazarian says. 

3. Kybella Injection

Kybella is a popular injection for treating a 'double chin'. Data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shows that in 2020 alone, plastic surgeons performed over 135,500 Kybella injections, and over 150,000 pre-pandemic in 2019. Sometimes it's used in conjunction with Botox to dissolve fat cells and then relax the neck muscles with a goal of a tighter jawline. It typically costs between $900 and $1,000 per injection, which means it runs a bit cheaper than other procedures out there that treat the neck area, but you may need multiple treatments to see long-lasting results.

That said, while studies have shown that it's safe and effective, you can expect intense swelling, bruising, and pain right for a couple of weeks after each injection, so Dr. Nazarian explains her patients often opt for a minimally-invasive procedure like FaceTite instead, which only requires one office visit and very little downtime afterward, she adds. 

4. Skin Sculpting Tools 

For people who want to skip the plastic surgeon's office altogether, there are at-home tools, like those that use microcurrent technology. "Microcurrent is an ideal at-home treatment, because it uses low levels of electricity to stimulate facial muscles and cell growth for an instant lifting and sculpting effect," explains Mona Gohara, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist.  Dr. Gohara recommends the Trophy Skin RejuvatoneMD, which you can order for just under $200, for toning and tightening the skin of the face and neck. You can also adjust the intensity if you're hoping to turn the sculpting up or down a notch, she adds. 

5. Face and Neck Yoga 

TikTokers are also trying facial and neck yoga exercises, including one dubbed the 'anti-double chin exercise'. It involves tilting your head back and pressing your tongue firmly against the roof of your mouth to help strengthen your neck muscles, Dr. Gohara explains. Needless to say, this isn't a replacement for an in-office procedure. While these exercises might offer some preventative benefits when it comes to tightening the neck muscles, don't expect them to do much of anything when it comes to treating an existing 'double chin'. (It's the same theory behind why you can't spot reduce fat with exercise in any other part of your body). "If neck exercises and massages worked, we would be out of a job!" Dr. Nazarian jokes. Point taken. 

6. Neck Skincare

This applies to everyone, regardless of age: Make sure your neck is part of your skincare routine. "Consider the neck like the face — put on antioxidant serums and sunscreen in the morning and a little dab of collagen-building retinol in the evening," Dr. Gohara suggests. Before you apply your topical creams, you can stimulate blood flow in the neck area with small, gentle pinches, starting at the top of your neck and working vertically towards the bottom, she adds. 

7. Lymphatic Massage Techniques or Gua Sha 

How you apply product to your neck can also make a difference. Dr. Gohara suggests a lymphatic massage technique while you apply your cream: "Rub upwards and out to maximize circulation and drainage," she says. Don't be afraid to add pressure with the help of a Gua Sha tool, which can be useful to achieve some of that lymphatic movement (it feels great on the skin too, especially when you're puffy).