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When it comes to anti-aging treatments, your neck skin might feel a little neglected. While this area doesn't get as much attention as your face, incorporating preventive measures in your beauty regimen earlier in life will ensure the skin on your neck ages gracefully, as well.
Another step in your skin care routine might seem pointless, but it will win you back a few extra youthful years. We talked to three dermatologists about their go-to tips and recommendations for decreasing the appearance of neck wrinkles once and for all.
What causes neck lines?
Most neck wrinkles are caused by "a degradation of collagen and elastin that happens over time and with age," said dermatologist and professor Dr. Angela Lamb. However, other environmental and lifestyle factors can also contribute to an increased amount of neck lines.
A modern reason why additional wrinkles could appear in this area is because of "tech neck", which stems from spinal cord strain and inadequate posture as we sit and go through life. "Tech neck is a major factor in our modern world as we spend so much time looking down on our phones. The thin and fragile nature of neck skin, combined with an active muscle layer and looking down, results in deep lines and wrinkles," commented dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi.
Another thing that goes into oblivion when it comes to neck care is sun protection. Dr. Marisa Garshick mentioned the chest and neck area are often forgotten when it comes to SPF application, so "we tend to see changes associated with cumulative sun exposure including fine lines, dark spots and wrinkles."
Unfortunately, most neck wrinkles are caused by "a degradation of collagen and elastin that happens over time and with age," said Dr. Lamb.
What ingredients should you look for in neck skin care?
First, neck skin needs enough hydration to combat the aging process. According to Lamb, hyaluronic acid and retinoids are good ingredients to start. However, Garshick advised to use a small amount of each active ingredient and increase the frequency as the skin tolerates it. "While it is still important to apply anti-aging ingredients to the neck, the frequency and amount may be different to minimize irritation to the skin as it can be more sensitive," she said.
"The neck skin is thinner and more sensitive than facial skin," added Shirazi. "Retinols or other powerful exfoliants can cause irritation and redness when applied to the neck, so it’s best to use gentle formulations that focus on stimulating fibroblasts to produce collagen such as bakuchiol, growth factors, collagen [or] peptide boosting serums and antioxidants."
How to apply neck creams
Most products come with directions, but misusing it can lead to slow results or irritation. Garsick said to "always apply skin care products to the neck in an upwards motion to avoid enhancing the effects of gravity pulling down on the neck."
While you can use some face products on your neck and décolleté, Lamb advised on "making sure to apply moisturizer first before applying your retinoid" to avoid irritability.
Best neck creams, according to shoppers and experts
For those who don't want extra steps in their skin care routine, use this multifunctional product for one-step hydration. This RoC cream is powered with SPF 30 to protect you from the sun. With a 4.5-star average from over 3,000 verified ratings, this cream has proven to work for different ages and has proven results as early as four weeks. "I feel like my skin hasn't 'aged' since I started using it," commented one reviewer.
No7's multifunctional serum works for the face and neck and delivers an amazing formula for maturing skin. Aside from containing unique anti-wrinkle, firming and brightening complexes, this serum is also ideal for sensitive skin. You can even layer your moisturizer and sunscreen on top of it thanks to its lightweight formula. "After a week of using this I noticed the frown lines on my forehead had cleared up and my smile lines had lessened," said one verified buyer.
Boost your collagen and smooth your wrinkles with Clinique’s firming cream. This one is ideal for people with very dry, combination or oily skin. Aside from adding density to your dermis, one reviewer confirmed this cream “fills creases and makes me appear younger.”
StriVectin's formula targets anti-aging, uneven skin texture and dryness. "This lightweight serum contains a combination of polymers, peptides, moisturizing ingredients and NIA-114 technology to help tighten, firm and lift the neck area," said Garshick.
If contouring isn't helping with disappearing your lines, this Caudalie serum can help. What makes this formula unique is its patented resveratrol — a combination of micro hyaluronic acids and a vegan collagen alternative — that has been clinically proven to be twice more effective than retinol, according to the brand. Aside from its powerful ingredients, this serum is also infused with chamomile for a soothing experience.
No need to get your hands dirty with this neck contour serum from Dermalogica. Its packaging comes with a rollerball applicator to evenly distribute the formula around your neck, while its formula contains a flex lift contour technology comprising of a blend of peptides that provides a visible lifting and tightening effect on the skin.
Hydrate your skin with Revision's serum, a refreshing and ultra-light formula packed with vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and a blend of natural fruit extracts for a soothing feel. With a 4.8-star rating, this product has become a customer favorite due to its silky texture.
Plus, according to Garshick, "this product combines technology to utilize the microbiome, as well as a peptide blend smart antioxidant technology and red microalgae extract to help the skin appear firmer and lifted while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles."
Selling out four times since its initial launch, SBLA's popular sculpting product contains a fat-burning Macro-Sphere technology that helps to improve the lines on the neck, chin and jawline. One reviewer called it the "magic wand" and said this product "works instantly to tighten and tone the neck and jawline. Can’t live without it!"
With nearly an outstanding five-star rating, Neostrata's formula is sure to become a beloved favorite. It is formulated with a complex of three ingredients — neoglucosamine, neocitriate and pro-amino acid — to deliver a lifted, firmer appearance. "I noticed a difference in my skin's tightness around my jawline, neck and clavicle!" praised one reviewer.
This multitasking powerhouse from Perricone MD contours the jawline and neck area to improve the skin's appearance. According to buyers, the cream soaks into skin quickly and results are noticeable after a week. "I have very sensitive skin and I haven't had any adverse reactions," added one very satisfied customer.
If nothing seems to work at this point, try Alastin's TriHex technology — a clinically proven peptide formula that helps remove old elastin and collagen while restoring and rebuilding these components. This cream aims to build healthy collagen fibers and fibroblasts for a younger appearance.
This Skinceuticals cream is specifically formulated for the neck while targeting early to advanced signs of aging. Most customers agree this cream improves neck skin firmness, with one reviewer noting, “This cream is making a difference in the wrinkle department and at 71, I do have some. It’s also improving the texture there and on the backs of my hands!”
SkinMedica's cream also helps to improve skin texture on the neck and décolleté while reducing crepey-like skin and sagging. According to clinical results, this product helps to smooth skin by 98% and improve texture by 88%.
If discoloration is an issue, this cream can help you get back that radiant finish. "This product contains a moisturizing complex including peptides to help firm and tighten the skin by supporting collagen and elastin, as well as antioxidants and glycolic acid to help diminish the appearance of age spots and uneven skin tone," said Garshick.
Garshick notes that this cream "uses a patented NOw Complex to hydrate and strengthen the neck and décolleté. It’s particularly helpful to address the many different concerns that exist in the neck area."In a study conducted by the brand, 96% of the subjects saw firmer and tighter skin after using this cream for eight weeks.
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