It wasn’t too long ago that I read Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck. After getting through her all-too-real essay about what women deal with in terms of aging, I gazed at my décolletage in the mirror and, well, realized that there was one. more. thing. that needed “taking care of” on my bod.
As a result, I started catering to my neck like it were a precious object, and the star of my skin-care routine. Like your under-eyes, your neck gets its own beauty products—and, according to dermatologists, for good reason. “The neck is easily exposed to the environment and gravity,” says Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare. “The skin there doesn’t have the same amount of sebaceous or oil glands that the face does, and it can age faster than the face.”
Besides that, the good ol’ trunk is also susceptible to similar woes that can occur on your face. “The neck’s more susceptible to irritation and scarring, and, like the face, the neck skin can develop brown spots, fine lines, and wrinkles,” says Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, MD, a board-certified dermatologist.
That’s why it’s pretty important to keep your neck nourished and moisturized. If you think about it, your neck’s a vulnerable place: Besides holding up your noggin, it’s turning all the time and—modern update—bending down so you can look at your phone (hello, tech neck). “With all the devices we use, the neck is sometimes a huge giveaway,” says Dr. Patel, who stresses the need for putting not only skin care but sunscreen on the oft-forgotten part of your body.
The thing is, you could use the same facial products on your neck. “But the neck requires more moisture and constant sun protection, since fewer oil glands are there to protect the skin,” says Dr. Patel. “You want to look for skin-care ingredients to tighten and hydrate.” Plenty of neck-focused beauty products exist that are meant for this sole purpose. “Like the face, the neck benefits from antioxidants that can help fight free radicals that contribute to premature aging,” says Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip. “Firming peptides and growth factors that stimulate collagen and elastin are also helpful.”
Your application technique can also help you maintain a pristine neck as well: “When using neck skin care, gently rub the product in an upwards direction from the décolletage to the jawline,” she explains. “This motion doesn’t pull on the neck skin and it promotes absorption.” And so begins my journey to have a firm, radiant neck for life.
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