If the skin on your neck doesn’t match the skin on your face (glowing and wrinkle-free versus loose and saggy), your true age may be more apparent. Today, there are many options to tighten and smooth your neck—some are even surgery-free. Here, we turn to the pros for the scoop.
According to Torrance, CA, plastic surgeon Linda Swanson, MD, the most important factor in an aging neck is genetics. “Unfortunately, it’s the one factor no one has control over,” she says. “Those with fairer skin tend to have thinner, less resilient skin than those with darker skin types, which shows sun damage and signs of aging more.”
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If your skin is mildly loose, try a nonsurgical treatment.
New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, MD, says the best nonsurgical options for smoothing and tightening neck skin include laser- and energy-based skin-tightening devices, as well as botulinum toxin (Botox). “Among the devices, you can start with no-pain, no-downtime options such as Genesis, ClearLift or NIR (near infrared),” she adds. “If your sagging is more far gone, ask your doctor about Profound, an injectable laser that delivers radio frequency into your skin via hair-fine needles. For neck bands, Botox is my go-to.” It is important to note, however, that these treatments do not provide permanent results.
If your loose skin is more severe, explore surgical options.
For more long-term results, a necklift is the way to go. “A necklift involves making incisions around the ears, elevating the skin of the lower face and neck, tightening the underlying muscles and then re-draping the skin,” says Dr. Swanson. “This can be done under either local anesthesia or general anesthesia administered by an anesthesiologist in an operating room.”
So what can you do to prevent sagging from happening in the first place? “The only help in the prevention department is sunscreen and avoiding radical weight changes,” says Dr. Swanson. But, following a daily skin care regimen can offer some help, too, (although topical products can’t actually lift your skin, they can improve its texture and tone—some can also minimize the look of lines and wrinkles). “I firmly believe that active anti-aging ingredients will eventually make in-office procedures obsolete,” says Dr. Alexiades.
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