I have heard this question so many times. Women complain about wrinkles and discoloration on the neck more than on their faces. At least you can put make-up on the face and concealer under the eyes, but the neck is a big give-away. According to the author of popular book “I Feel Bad About My Neck” Nora Ephron – "Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth." The neck and décolleté areas are highly visible parts of our body, and the most evident indicators of aging skin. Most of us take special care of the skin on the face but often forget the neck and décolleté. As a result, over the years the mismatch between the skin on the face and neck and chest become very noticeable. There are various reasons why the neck and décolleté shows the signs of aging sooner than the face.
- First and foremost is the sun damage. The chest and neckline skin often burns before the face when you are out in the sun, causing blotchy red-brown discoloration, sun spots and broken capillaries on the sides of the neck, and even more on the upper chest.
- The skin on the neck is naturally thinner than on the face, therefore, the damage from UV rays is more extensive and severe. It causes degeneration of the collagen and further thinning of the skin, which leads to the easier formation of fine lines and deeper skin wrinkles.
- The muscles in the neck area are relatively weak. Weak muscles combined with chronic sun exposure cause multiple horizontal lines, sagging and drooping of the neck skin as a person ages.
To help prevent premature aging of the neck and décolleté, it is imperative to include these areas in your daily skin care routine. There are a few recommendations on how to improve the appearance of the skin on the neck and décolleté.
- Always apply sunscreen on your neck and chest, remember that skin on those areas is vulnerable and more susceptible to sun damage.
- Use anti-aging products that contain essential ingredients for the skin such as growth factors and high concentration of antioxidants (Vitamin C & E)
- Use a richer moisturizer on your neck and chest than the one you are using on your face, since the skin on those areas is typically drier (there are 30 times less pilosebaceous units on the neck or chest as there are on the face), and more damaged. Look for products containing ceramides, peptides, omega fatty acids as well as co-enzyme Q10 and Hyaluronic acid
- For the visible redness on the sides of the neck and the “V “ shape area of the chest, use products that specifically address the causes of redness and help strengthen the barrier function of the skin (example: SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex™)
Although, the visible signs of aging cannot be fully avoided, they can be considerably minimized if treated earlier. Start taking care of your neck and décolleté early, so when the summer comes, you do not have to wear a turtleneck.