We all have thin skin—at least on our necks, anyway. And even though the skin between our chin and our chest is more delicate than the rest of our body, we still tend to neglect it when it comes to our anti-aging routine.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep this area looking smooth and youthful. In order to find out the best treatment options, we tapped six top experts for their number-one, neck-smoothing tips. Spoiler: You don’t always have to indulge in pricey, in-office procedures to keep your skin looking fresh.
Invest in A-List Ingredients
“For an effective at-home routine, I recommend using topical products that stimulate collagen and elastin, such as Retin-A and the Alastin Restorative Neck Complex ($110). Retin-A is a powerful product that speeds up healthy cell turnover and increases collagen production. Many people don’t realize that using Retin-A on the neck can dramatically smooth crepey skin and wrinkles. The Alastin Restorative Neck Complex, on the other hand, is specifically formulated to address the neck and décolletage areas, which are more prone to redness, wrinkling and dryness.” —Palo Alto, CA facial plastic surgeon Sachin Parikh, MD
Create a Smooth Surface
“Treatment for smoothing the skin on the neck varies by age and skin type. The best thing you can do is use treatments that boost collagen and elastin, [and] stimulate blood flow. The easiest thing a person can do at home is a manual exfoliation followed by a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid or [another] alphahydroxy acid. Often, people are so focused on their face that they don’t think how beneficial exfoliating your entire neck can be. It sloughs off dead skin cells, allowing you to absorb more product.” —Aesthetician and founder of Heather Nicole Advanced Integrative Skincare, Heather Nicole
Shield Your Skin
“Protect your neck from the sun. You must use sunblock—SPF 40 and above—on the neck and wear clothing to cover the area, especially when driving. People forget the sun is the biggest aging element of all. Also, you have to cleanse the neck well, particularly at night. Stretch your neck back and cleanse it to remove dirt, grime, makeup, and sunblock that may be within a fold on the neck. Then, you must massage the neck in upward motion nightly with your neck serum or moisturizer.” —Aesthetician and Educate Your Skin founder, Nerida Joy
Practice a 360-Degree Approach
“When it comes to neck rejuvenation, I often take a comprehensive approach. This area has pockets of fat as well as laxity of the skin on the neck and jowls. Our in-office protocol includes reduction of the fat by SculpSure or CoolSculpting, followed by a series of Morpheus8 microneedling with radiofrequency. Combining the reduction of the fat through deep tissue heating or cooling, along with the skin tightening of Morpheus8, we can achieve impressive results. For maintaining the treatment at home, I recommend Revision Nectifirm ($92), which has been our ‘go-to’ neck cream for many years. And of course, I recommend sunscreen to keep the fragile skin of the neck from aging. People often forget the neck when applying sunscreen, but as dermatologists, we know that prevention is key when it comes to the delicate skin of this area.” —Studio City, CA dermatologist Gene Rubinstein, MD
Don’t Overlook Proper Hydration
“Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Use products that contain hyaluronic acid because it provides the best skin hydration. Also, tighten with Thermage. [It provides] deep dermis tightening and remodels collagen by radiofrequency. Combine this with a chemical peel, which is superficial exfoliation. —Glenn Dale, MD dermatologist Valerie Callender, MD
“I love incorporating microneedling into the skin on my neck. At home, I use Environ’s Cosmetic Roll-CIT ($100). [At-home] rollers create micro-channels in the skin, allowing for better product penetration and efficacy of product ingredients. Following microneedling, I love to use a Knesko Neck & Decollete Mask ($45). My favorite is the Knesko Nano Gold Repair Neck & Decollete Mask Combo ($45) because it contains all-natural ingredients like marine collagen, hyaluronic acid to hydrate and reduce inflammation, and niacinamide to firm and lift your neck.
In my skin-care boutique, we also use microdermabrasion on the neck to lightly exfoliate. By removing dead skin cells, we allow products to penetrate better and minimize lines and wrinkles. Along with microdermabrasion, we also use microcurrent and ultrasonic [technology] which uses a low-level current and ultrasonic energy to stimulate muscles— it’s like a workout for your [neck] muscles!” —Aesthetician and founder of Sarah Akram Skincare, Sarah Akram