How to Get a Spot-Free Chest, According to Experts

How to Get a Spot-Free Chest, According to Experts featured image
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Unless you resort to wearing high neck tops year-round, hiding the evidence of sun damage from the past isn’t as easy as you may think. While no one wants to put a spotted chest on display for the world to see, these products and treatments make it that much easier to erase signs of aging and any stubborn discoloration.

Featured Experts

“One of the primary reasons the chest begins to show aging first is years of cumulative sun exposure and lack of attention,” begins Omaha, NE dermatologist Daniel Schlessinger, MD. “Many people take care to put sunscreen on the face and ignore the chest, thinking it really won’t matter if it gets exposed. That leads to more damage and skin cancer than you can imagine. The chest is generally not covered by the V-neck of a T-shirt or the open collar of a button-down or polo, sits high on the body and is often forgotten during daily sunscreen application. This all leads to discoloration, crepiness, broken capillaries and wrinkles.”

In-Office Treatments for a Spot-Free Chest

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Broad Band Light (BBL)

The chest can easily get red and spotty. But, luckily, there’s an easy in-office fix. “I like to use IPL or a pulsed-dye laser to diffuse redness,” says Washington, D.C. dermatologist Tina Alster, MD. “For patients who want to address signs of aging on the chest, I recommend the newest form of BBL (broad band light), BBL HEROic, which uses intense pulsed light technology to address laxity and discoloration,” adds Dr. Daniel Schlessinger. “No other IPL device on the market works like this one—it delivers stacks of energy evenly across the skin, making the treatments much more comfortable, more effective and quicker than previously available. In fact, BBL HEROic treatment for the chest typically takes just three minutes.”

HALO and Ultherapy

“For more advanced signs of aging on the chest, I often recommend HALO, which uses a combination of ablative and non-ablative laser techniques to improve deep vertical wrinkles and discoloration on the chest,” says Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD. “It’s a ‘tunable’ technology so it can be deeper or more ablative depending on the patient’s severity of concerns. Typically, patients will need a few treatments to achieve their best results.”

“If lax skin on the upper chest is your primary concern, Ultherapy is a great option as surgery is generally not an option for this area,” adds Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “It’s the only FDA-cleared treatment to improve lax skin under the chin, neck and upper chest, using ultrasound waves to tighten the skin. It is completely non-invasive, takes less than an hour and has no downtime.”

Injectables and Peels

“Zaffiro for skin tightening or the IntraGen for skin tightening coupled with Sculptra as an injectable to build collagen is one of my favorite anti-aging treatment combinations for the chest and decolleté,” says Montclair, NJ dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD. “I also like the VI body chemical peels and laser with either the Fraxel or Lutronic Lase MD.” New York dermatologist Heidi A. Waldorf, MD agrees, adding that “Injections of a hyperdilute biostimulator like Radiesse or Sculptra can improve dermal support, reduce wrinkles and crepiness with repeated sessions.”


“One of the most common concerns for the chest is photoaging: a combination of brown spots, background mottled pigment and wrinkles,” says Dr. Waldorf. “A series of 3-4 non-ablative laser resurfacing with a fractionated thullium 1927nm laser like the Fraxel Dual can improve both color and texture while use of a pigment specific laser like the q-switched Nd:YAG or intense pulsed light immediately before Fraxel can improve the darkest spots for a fresher appearance faster.”

The Best Ingredients for Treating a Spotty Chest

Vitamin C and Niacinamide

Applying a vitamin C–rich serum or cream to photodamaged areas, like the chest, will help brighten the skin while also protecting it against future damage because vitamin C doubles as an antioxidant. “While anti-aging ingredients like retinoids and AHAs are great choices to help with cell turnover and exfoliation for a more even skin tone on the face, they can often be irritating on the décolleté,” says Dr. Daniel Schlessinger. “Vitamin C and niacinamide are also beneficial to help both prevent and treat mild discoloration.”

Hyaluronic acid, ceramides and peptides

“The skin on the neck and chest has fewer oil-producing glands and hair follicles than the face, so showing a little love by applying moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides can go a long way to replenish moisture and support elasticity,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger. “Peptides, which are the building blocks of collagen and elastin in the skin, are also a great ingredient to use to help keep skin looking firmer and more taut. Peptides are also well-tolerated by most, making them suitable for the more delicate skin on the chest.”


In some cases, the spots on the chest can be really difficult to treat, which is when you may need to up the ante and put prescription hydroquinone into play. “For persistent dark spots from inflammation, I would recommend the 4 percent hydroquinone sledgehammer,” says Dr. Downie.

Skin-Care Practices for Reducing Sun Damage Marks on the Chest

Exfoliate, and Often

As Erica Parker, aesthetician at Michael Todd Beauty, points out, exfoliation is key in getting rid of spots. “Microdermabrasion and TCA peels are two services that are typically less expensive than most light-based treatment options. Paired with the right brightening skin-care products, they both increase the rate of exfoliation quicker.”

Wear Sunscreen

No matter where you live, West Palm Beach, FL, dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD says you should always try to use SPF 50 on your chest. “And at night, apply retinol or Retin-A, too.”

The Best Anti-Aging Products for Your Chest

1 / 5

ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen ($70)

All of our derms agree that frequent and consistent sun protection is the best way to prevent signs of aging from taking over the chest, and ISDIN’s Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen is a derm-approved mineral SPF perfect for keeping your face, neck and decolleté spot-free.

ISDIN eryfotona sunscreen

Key Ingredients

Vitamin E, zinc oxide, repairsomes

2 / 5

Obagi Medical ELASTIderm Neck and Décolleté Cream ($198)

If you struggle with both spottiness and fine lines and wrinkles around the chest area, this product is for you. “This treatment uses a Bi-Mineral Contour Complex to support elastin, as well as arbutin and retinoid to address discoloration and fine lines,” says Dr. Daniel Schlessinger.

obagi elasitderm neck and deck

Key Ingredients

Retinoid, arbutin

3 / 5

NEOSTRATA Skin Active Triple Firming Neck Cream w/ Microdipeptide 229 ($88)

A true hero product when it comes to anti-aging the chest, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains that “this formula uses a very small peptide molecule to deeply penetrate the skin to support collagen and elastin, plus bakuchiol, a gentler retinol alternative and NeoGlucosamine to address discoloration.”

neostrata skin active triple firming neck cream

Key Ingredients

Peptides, bakuchiol

4 / 5

Alastin Restorative Neck Complex with TriHex Technology ($142)

“Also utilizing a peptide blend called TriHex Technology, this cream for the neck and chest clears away old collagen and elastin fibers to reduce the look of crepiness,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.

Key Ingredients

TriHex technology, phytoene, phytofluene, flax seed extract

5 / 5

SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum ($295)

Another one of our derms’ favorite products for an ageless neck, SkinMedica’s TNS Advanced+ Serum helps to visibly lift, even and smooth all while supporting healthy skin function and collagen and elastin levels.

SkinMedica TNS Advanced+

Key Ingredients

TNS®-MR, Renessensce (RSC) Advanced

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