How to get rid of a double chin – causes and treatments

Try a few of these facial exercises

a black woman holding her hand to her chin in a close up shot
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

There's no miracle quick-fix cure. But these tips from the experts can help you get rid of a double chin over time.

You may have accidentally opened your front camera on your phone and spotted some unwanted chin fat. Or, looked at photographs taken from a bad angle and are wanting to lose weight in your face and décolletage region.

While it’s important to remember you should love your body and not dwell on ‘imperfections’, sometimes there are areas we’d like to tone up. Which is why we've sought some expertise in the area. As is the case when wanting to lose belly fat, a double chin can be just as stubborn to shift and involves certain targeted exercises to help burn fat in the area.

Do I have a double chin?

People with a double chin usually have an excess layer of fatty tissue that appears under their lower jawline. It's medically known as 'submental fullness'. With scientific research defining submental as the anterior triangle or area underneath your chin.

It's important to know that men and women of all ages can get a double chin. And this is for a number of reasons. It's often linked to genetics, the aging process and carrying extra weight. Though you don't have necessarily have to be overweight to have one.

a diagram showing a double chin

Credit: Olek Remesz/Wiki Commons

How to get rid of a double chin with facial exercises

There are several facial exercises and face yoga techniques that are touted by skincare experts to strengthen and tone neck muscles, tighten skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

“You can use facial exercises and face yoga to strengthen facial muscles so the skin appears more taught, and the slack skin and double chin less pronounced," explains celebrity facialist and Time Bomb Skincare Emma Brown. "Try to be as consistent as possible and do each of these facial exercises morning and night to see results."

Facial exercise 1

Place your fingertips on your collarbone. Lift your chin towards the ceiling and use your fingers to use pressure so as to feel the stretch in the neck muscles. Hold at the top for five seconds before returning back to the centre. Repeat this facial exercise five times.

Facial exercise 2

Create a fist with one hand and place your chin on your fist. Slowly open and close your mouth using your fist to create resistance against your jaw so you’re neck muscles have to work against it. Repeat this facial exercise five times.

Facial exercise 3

Open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue with enough force that you can feel your jaw muscles working. Hold your tongue out for five seconds before relaxing to a neutral stance. Repeat this this facial exercise five times.

Facial exercise 4

Look up to the ceiling. Keep your head in position and pulse or jut chin repeatedly. You should be able to feel a stretch in the jaw muscle. Repeat this 5 times. Then swap the jutting for opening and closing of the mouth. This again will work the muscles in your neck and under your chin. Repeat 10 times. Feel free to carry out this exercise looking up and over to the left and then right if you want to exercise the area more.

How to get rid of a double chin with lymphatic drainage massage:

A lymphatic drainage massage is used to often reduce puffiness in your face. And the good news is you can also perform a variation of this on your chin and jaw area too.

"Facial massage techniques are a great way to relieve tension in the jaw, tone and lift the muscles and aid lymphatic drainage so your skin appears lifted and your double chin less pronounced," says Emma.

Performing a lymphatic drainage massage in circular motions aims to increase blood circulation, drain toxins and reduce fluid retention in your face.

"We have lots of lymph nodes along our jaw line, so by massaging from your chin upwards towards your ear, you’re assisting the lymphatic draining process," Emma adds. "When we massage our face we are increasing the blood flow to the area we are working on, which in turn increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients which reach the skin as well as boosting collagen production.”

Follow Emma simple steps to an at-home lymphatic drainage massage:

  • Tilt your head upwards. Starting in the centre at the base of the neck work your cream in quick, upwards strokes towards the centre of the chin.
  • Then move to the right side of your neck, using the same technique working towards the jaw line.
  • Next, place your knuckle of your index finger underneath the jaw line and the knuckle of your middle finger on top of the jawline so your two fingers form a V. If you're able to pinch the skin in between the knuckles you're doing it right.
  • Run your knuckles with a decent amount of pressure from the base of the chin upwards towards the ear lobes. Then run down the base of the neck.
  • Do this five times on each side.

Emma recommends that you perform this DIY massage three times a week. And this is totally achieveable when you consider it'll take you about 5 minutes in total.

Similarly if you have a jade roller to hand, you can also use this to stimulate lymphatic draining. Roll it upwards on the skin under your neck - never downwards as this can drag skin and increase wrinkles.

a woman having a professional lympathic draining massage on her double chin

Credit: Getty

Do double chin straps work?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that double chin straps help you get rid of a double chin.

Double chin strips are a product that have been created as a 'magic cure' to the problem. As is often the case in the health and beauty sphere. But don't be fooled by the promotional results and reviews online.

"Some websites claim that the pressure of the strap helps to reduce fat and a double chin because it stops the skin from sagging," writes Holly at Harley Ultrasound, London. "However, there is no evidence that this works, and to suggest that the chin remains tight once the strap is removed."

What causes a double chin?

Factors like age, weight and genetics can all cause you to have a double chin. Though the main cause is in fact to do with your genetic make-up. 

A 2018 study deemed that "distinctive facial features (such as, shape of the chin, cheeks, eyes, forehead, lips, and nose) can be identified or estimated using an individual’s genetic data." So if a double chin runs in your family, you’re likely to develop one yourself.

As for aging - our skin looses elasticity over the years. And thanks to not-so-kind gravity, you may acquire a double chin through excess skin sagging or build-up of chin fat.

Dr Ross Perry from Cosmedics also credits "bone structure or facial anatomy, fat accumulation and loose skin – or a combination of these" as factors that can cause a double chin.

"So, some people may be quite slim with low body fat, yet have a double chin appear easily, due to the lack of projection in their chin and jawline. Others may have a good jaw or chin projection yet weight gain causes an accumulation of fat cells, creating a double chin," he explains.

a profile picture of Emma Brown
Emma Brown

Emma Brown is a celebrity facialist and skincare expert, with over 20 years’ experience in the beauty industry and a reputation as one of London’s top facialists. Her approach is unique, specialist, and totally results-driven, and Emma is renowned as the go-to facialist for red carpet events.

a profile picture of Dr Ross Perry
Dr Ross Perry

Ross qualified at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in 1994 and pursued a surgical career that now comprises NHS skin cancer reconstruction and private cosmetic skin treatments.

He is the Medical Director of Cosmedics Skin Clinics, which he established in 2003. 

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.