Image Source: Getty / Fabrice Poincelet
For many people, skin care ends at the jawline and body care begins at the chest, but what's in between is important too. People often forget about their neck when applying their daily skin-care products and yet, the neck is often one of the first areas of the body to show signs of aging because the skin is thinner than on your face.
There are two types of wrinkles: dynamic, which are formed by daily movements like smiling and making expressions, and static, which are what you experience from the normal aging process. Sun exposure and other environmental factors can also contribute to when those wrinkles start to form, which seems to be younger than ever before, according to experts.
"The neck, just like the face, is exposed to the damaging effects of UV rays on a daily basis," double board-certified plastic surgeon Smita Ramanadham, MD, told POPSUGAR. "We often see wrinkles, loose skin, horizontal creases, and the appearance of crepe-like skin on this area."
Tech-neck is a newer phenomenon that's causing people to see wrinkles in their neck earlier. "Young people are experiencing dynamic wrinkles faster because they're looking up and down at their phones way more," said board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. That repetitive up-and-down motion of looking at a computer or phone screen can cause dynamic wrinkles to form. These lines would have appeared as static wrinkles later in life but the additional movement causes them to form sooner. "Early treatment is key in this instance because you want to get ahead of the wrinkles before they get deeper," said Dr. Gohara.
No one is saying you need to do a full eight-step skin-care routine on your neck, but you should be giving this delicate area a little TLC if you want to keep away the onset of premature wrinkles. Here are the skin-care products the pros recommend using on your neck.
Skin-Care Products to Use On Your Neck
For starters, you should always apply sunscreen to your neck — and the rest of your body, while you're at it. "Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging and wrinkles," said Dr. Ramanadham. You don't need a special sunscreen for this area — the one you use on your face will do just fine (as long as it contains at least SPF 30). Aim to reapply every two hours.
If you wear makeup daily and blend your products down onto your neck you should consider cleansing that area as well. Just as you don't want to leave makeup on your face overnight, you don't want to leave it on your neck either. You can use a makeup wipe, a wet washcloth, or just your regular face wash and your hands to get the job done.
Many of the serums you use on your face can also be applied to your neck without a second thought — this includes products containing vitamin C and hyaluronic acid — but proceed with caution with harsher products. "Since this skin is thinner and more sensitive than our facial skin, low concentrations or milder forms of retinols or vitamin A should be used conservatively," said Dr. Ramanadham. "This will improve the collagen in our skin and improve fine lines and wrinkles." Last but not least, you can and should apply your moisturizer to your neck, especially if you're using retinol on that area.
If you're looking for a specially-formulated neck cream, which can also offer a more targeted treatment for this delicate area, we recommend the Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum ($82), SkinMedica Neck Correct Cream ($135), It Cosmetics Confidence in A Neck Cream Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($54), and Truly Goodnight Moon Chest/Neck Sleep Mask ($25).