The face is often the focus of our anti-aging efforts. But there’s a good chance you’re neglecting an area that, when not taken care of properly, can make you look significantly older than you actually are: the neck. Since the skin on the neck is some of the thinnest on the body, it develops signs of aging quicker than most, meaning it needs just as much attention (if not more!) as our faces.
Unfortunately, even the best skin-care experts are susceptible to aging skin along the neckline. However, years of schooling and patient experience have armed them with all the fail-proof knowledge they need to both prevent and reverse signs of aging in this delicate area. From in-office treatments to at-home products, here’s how top dermatologists treat all that visible wear and tear along their own neckline.
“I personally use the SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum ($295) and Alastin Restorative Neck Complex with TriHex Technology ($110). I also use Botox Cosmetic to relax my neck bands and to help smooth my jawline. I routinely use my no-downtime, tissue-tightening devices, nonablative fractional resurfacing, or microneedling combined with radiofrequency or Ultherapy to reduce the laxity and treat the crepey skin.”
—Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby
“It is important to me to treat my neck and chest areas as a continuation of my face. This being said, daily application and reapplication of sunscreen is my number-one priority. In addition to this, I apply my treatments of growth factors, peptides and antioxidants onto my neck to promote and protect the collagen and elastin. A topical hyaluronic acid is also important to keep my neck supple.
My favorite products for my neck include the Alastin Restorative Neck Complex with TriHex Technology ($110) to help remove, rebuild, and replenish collagen and elastin. I follow this with NeoCutis Bio Serum Firm ($275) because it has growth factors and peptides to give proven results of improved firmness, elasticity, tone, and texture which are seen in as little as six days and continue to improve over time. Growth factors are important as we age and our cells need a little extra stimulation. After our early 20s, we begin to lose collagen-building abilities. If I need more hydration, I love to use SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($178) which immediately [moisturizes] the skin. Lastly, but most importantly, I apply Colorescience Sunscreen Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield SPF 50 ($39) which is chemical free.
I use many noninvasive treatments in combination [with my at-home products] to keep my neck supple. Hydrafacials are a regular procedure to cleanse, nourish, and hydrate the face and neck. I do Ultherapy every 12 to 18 months to help tighten the skin. Ultherapy is a customized ultrasound treatment that goes deeply to stimulate collagen and elastin. To help remove superficial sun damage and stimulate skin rejuvenation from the top down, I do laser therapies such as Permea, Fraxel, Pico, or IPL starting in the fall.”
—Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD
“Neck care is just as essential as face care. My number one secret for a youthful neck is to start using a zinc-based sunscreen while young and use it every day! [I use] sunscreen and always reapply. For my skin type, I use the DermaCare Neck Décolleté Cream ($92) as needed. Also, I do [fractional CO2 laser] every other year.”
—Richland, WA dermatologist Sidney B. Smith, MD
“During the day, I cleanse my neck daily, apply a neck cream, and then put on sunscreen daily—rain or shine! At night, I clean the neck area with micellar water and apply neck cream.
The sunscreen I use is the ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen SPF 50 ($55) because it is sheer, 100-percent mineral, and contains a clinically proven DNA repair enzyme. The neck creams I use include Revision Nectifirm Advanced ($133), Senté Neck Firming Cream ($90), and NeoCutis Neo Firm Neck and Decolleté Tightening Cream ($135).
For skin laxity along the jawline, under the chin, and on the neck’s skin, I am a fan of Ultherapy and have been getting treatments regularly since 2011. It really does lift that skin! For sun damage, textural changes, and some discoloration, I had fractional CO2 resurfacing in 2008 and a TCA 30% chemical peel in 2012. I also use Botox off-label for treating my vertical platysmal neck bands, which really makes the neck look more youthful.
The next thing I plan to do is to have some [filler] injected to improve skin quality and optimize the response to future energy-based device treatments.”
—San Antonio, TX dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD
“Applying a skin-tightening cream twice daily, in an upwards movement covering the full neck up to the jawline, [is important]. Currently I use the Revision Nectifirm Advanced ($133). It is my favorite neck cream for skin tightening and collagen production. I use it two times a day.”
—Melville, NY dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD
“For me, a lifetime (55 years) of sun protection has kept my neck’s skin color and texture the same as the rest of my body. I treat my neck exactly as I treat my face—same cleanser and topicals. The ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen SPF 50 ($55) is my daily go-to sunscreen for my face and neck. I love the silky, easily absorbed texture and invisible physical block. For moisture, I vary between Caudalie Premier Cru Anti-Aging Rich Cream ($140) and Alastin Skincare Ultra-Nourishing Moisturizer with TriHex Technology ($70). I don’t use creams labelled for neck because while they might be lovely, it’s easier for me to use one product for both the face and neck.
My biggest issue is volume loss. I went through menopause with chemotherapy at 43 and saw a big change in facial volume and bone density. Tightening the skin by stimulating collagen with my annual Thermage and filling in volume with filler injections work together to keep my jawline and upper neck well defined. Also, [Botox Cosmetic] in my platysma muscle two to three times a year reduces the wear and tear from muscle pull which helps keep the jawline defined and reduces the development of ‘necklace’ line wrinkles.”
—Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD
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