I recently had a patient ask me a question about the Rio 60 second Neck Toner. If you’re unaware of this product, it is a handheld device that you place against your neck and by using different intensities, it directs low levels of electrical stimulation to the neck muscles. The idea is that it simulates neck contraction exercises which in turn strengthen the muscle and tighten the overlying skin. They even have a catchy slogan – “The Gym for Your Chin!” Check out this video from the company that makes the product. Enjoy the 70’s music in the background!
The product is made in England but I’m not sure what the regulatory standards are in the UK. So I don’t know if you have to prove that it works or, as in the US, you only have to prove that it doesn’t cause harm. I will admit that I haven’t purchased the product and tried it myself but the reviews are positive (unverified, of course). The company recommends that you use it twice per day.
If I try to be as open-minded as possible, I could see how this would work – electrical stimulation of the neck muscles can easily simulate a person contracting their neck muscles on their own and by tightening these muscles you reduce your double chin. But the most important thing to remember, and the way in which to judge anything that suggests improvement in facial or body contours, whether it be surgical or non-surgical, is how long does it last. Unfortunately the results are transient. My guess is that if you didn’t continue to use this product twice per day everyday, the results wouldn’t last you more than a day or so after the last treatment. That doesn’t mean it’s worthless and it’s certainly easier than surgery but for about $64 and the possibility that it will break, maybe you’re better off just exercising your neck twice per day. Also, remember, it will only work for patients that still have good muscle tone and minimal sagging skin. For those of you with the “turkey gobbler” neck, this will not work. And with prolonged use, the results become harder and harder to reproduce.
A 2010 New York Times article discussed various treatments for improving your neck line. The different treatments are compared by cost, risk of treatment and how long they last. A necklift, the most invasive and most expensive up front, will definitely last the longest. But I understand, surgery scares people. But wasting money on short-lived treatments is even scarier. While the necklift may be more expensive, you’ll still be pleased with your results in 10 to 15 years. Ulthera, another product discussed in this NY Times article, produces a non-invasive tightening of neck skin through ultrasonic energy. But based on my research, results only last about 90 days – and it costs anywhere from $1000 to $4000 for treatment!
So what do I recommend? If I recommend a necklift, I’ll appear biased because, as a plastic surgeon, I perform this procedure…but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t last the longest and provide the greatest bang for your buck. But if you don’t have the funds, enjoy this free video on neck exercises for a natural necklift!