The neck, chin and jawline are hit hard by the hands of time—think sagging skin, lines and wrinkles. Loss of firmness and definition in the lower part of the face can create an aged and weathered appearance. The right mix of products and treatments can help lessen the effects of aging on your lower face and neck.
Applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on your face and neck daily can help prevent premature aging. Anti-aging serums and creams designed for the neck area can help contour the lower face as well. La Prairie Anti-Aging Neck Cream ($225) draws on the age-defying power of peptides and plant extracts to purportedly revitalize skin and minimize heaviness in the chin area for a more defined, chiseled look.
If you want to reduce the look of sagging skin on the lower face and neck but don’t want to commit to surgery, look to an ultrasound based treatment, like Ultherapy. “Ultherapy is good for those who are starting to experience sagging and loss of firmness of the skin,” says San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD. Ultrasound energy tightens and lifts without downtime and “targets the deep layer below the skin without cutting or disrupting the skin’s surface,” says Dr. Bucay. While results are not immediate, in two to three months you should see a noticeable improvement in the quality of the skin—it should be more elastic, resilient, lifted and firmer—from the increase in new collagen.
If you are seeking a longer-lasting solution, Houston facial plastic surgeon Cecil Yeung, MD, suggests a deep-plane facelift (if the jowls aren’t as pronounced, a necklift may be more suitable), which repositions and tightens the facial tissue, hand-in-hand with submentoplasty, a neck-resculpting procedure that involves just one incision under the chin.
According to Dr. Yeung, the results are permanent but you will continue to age from the point of correction. While the recovery period can take up to two weeks, repeat procedures in the future are highly unlikely. Keep in mind that while the neck and jawline will be more youthful looking and definition will be restored, the texture of the skin itself will remain the same. “The skin is a completely different factor,” says Dr. Yeung. “Fractional CO2 laser will help resurface the skin, which restores collagen and provides an even skin tone.”