Signs of aging on the neck and chest can show as early as in our 20’s, yet the two areas are often neglected. Below, a dermatologist shares the best youth-preserving skin care tips for your neck and décolletage.
We pamper our face with luxurious creams and high-powered potions, while our neck and chest are too often left to fend for themselves. As a result, these areas can show signs of aging in the form of loose and sagging skin, wrinkles, and dark spots, earlier than the face.
There are a few reasons why these areas are so vulnerable. First, the skin on the neck is thin and contains less collagen and fewer sebaceous glands than the face. This means that skin is more prone to wrinkling. The second is due to habits like bad posture and looking down at our phones which can cause horizontal lines that experts call “tech neck”.
Finally, “aging of the neck and chest is primarily from sun exposure,” says Dr. Papri Sarkar, a Massachusetts-based dermatologist. That’s why the very best way to prevent further skin damage on these areas is to simply wear sunscreen.
There are some other easy ways to give your neck and chest some much-needed TLC. Read on for three of them.
Moisturize From the Chest Up
While there are creams specially formulated to hydrate and target signs of aging on the neck and chest, your facial moisturizing products (and even your body lotion if your neck is particularly dry) are fine to use. When applying serum and moisturizer, start at your chest and work your way up. This will help ensure that you don’t forget these areas and by applying in an upward motion, you’ll avoid pulling skin down, which can cause sagging.
Because Koreans understand the importance of taking care of the skin on the neck, K-beauty brands make sheet masks that extend to the area like the Neogen White Truffle Hydramax Knit Mask and the Missha First Treatment Essence Mask. Pat any excess into the chest for a boost there.
Extend Treatment Products Beyond the Face
In addition to moisturizing products, you can also apply products that you use on the face to treat hyperpigmentation and signs of aging such as retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C on the neck and chest, says Dr. Sarkar.
Be sure to perform a spot test before slathering these types of products on the neck and work your way up to using the same amount of product on the area as your face. While the chest can easily tolerate strong ingredients, the neck is more sensitive because the skin there is thinner.
Consider a Professional Treatment
There are various in-office treatments that target signs of aging on the neck and chest. One of them is a chemical peel which can help repair sun damage, improve skin texture, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
“Different laser and light treatments, such as IPL (intense pulsed light) or fraxel (better at treating the textural change), can help with this as well,” says Dr. Sarkar.
For horizontal neck bands, which are typically caused by loss of elasticity and collegen, Dr. Sarkar recommends superficial filler, and for vertical neck bands, which can be the result of genetics or major weight loss, botox can be used.
“Just make sure you’re going to someone who is very experienced at these procedures since all procedures can have side effects,” says Dr. Sarkar. “And the neck scars more easily than the face with procedures like chemical peels so you have to be careful.”
Including your neck and chest in your AM and PM skin care routines requires minimal effort but provides so much pay off. And if you’ve neglected the areas for a little too long, there are so many effective products and treatments out there that can help turn back the clock.