Facts Checked By Freewill Beauty Experts - Written by Rithi Choudhury (Journalist) on 13th Oct 2020
How To Keep Your Neck Looking Young
Did you know the initial signs of the aging show on the neck?
The neck is often overlooked in our skincare routine. But it needs as much tender loving care as our visage because the skin on the neck is very different and delicate from the skin on the face.
Even when you have a smooth, wrinkle-free face due to the excellent care you take and the right ingredients you use, if you ignore extending the same respect to the neck, you cannot hide the signs of aging forming and show up on the neck.
This is why we have got you covered and have assembled a list of tips and tricks to help you achieve a smooth, wrinkle-free neck and keep signs of aging at bay for as long as possible.
Why Does Skin On The Neck Age Faster?
The layer of the dermis on the neck is thinner than the dermis layers on the face. So, the skin on the neck is more delicate than the skin on the front and the other parts of the body.
Apart from that, the sebaceous glands (oil glands beneath the skin that lubricates the skin) are much lesser on the neck than the face. Therefore, it is prone to dryness and subsequently wrinkles as the body ages.
Then, sun exposure and free radicals are the top causes of collagen destruction and premature aging, leading to wrinkles and saggy skin. And unfortunately, even sunscreen is frequently skipped on the neck.
Finally, our lifestyle and diet are also a determining factor when it comes to premature aging.
It is crucial to eat a well-balanced diet and get the necessary proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants to rejuvenate our body. This also helps in scavenging the free radicals, an excess of which causes oxidative stress and leads to a plethora of diseases along with signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dullness and hyperpigmentation.
Did You Know:
The sebum produced from our skin has an anti-aging effect.
A surprising factor that leads to lines and premature signs of aging on the neck is the gadgets we use throughout the day. This is termed as 'tech-neck' or text neck. Yes, your cell phones, tablets, etc.
The frequent motion of straining the neck to look at the devices' overtime leads to horizontal creases. Repetitive motion from grimacing can also lead to creasing, loosening, & eventual sagging of the skin on the neck even in the 20s and 30s.
Preventive Measures and Hero Ingredients For a Young Neck
So the truth is wrinkles are not limited to your face and show up even on your neck. Therefore you need an anti-aging regime even for our neck.
Moisturize your neck every time you would moisturize your face. Well, hydrated skin looks not only beautiful and supple but also keeps fine lines and wrinkles away.
Dryness will make the skin susceptible to lines and wrinkles; when choosing a moisturizer, look for ingredients that suit your skin concern. If your skin needs only hydration, then an essential moisturizer with emollients and humectants will do.
If your problem is to repair lines and wrinkles on the neck, you need to look for active ingredients, often marketed as anti-aging ingredients in your creams and lotions.
Retinoids are the derivatives of vitamin A. They come in Over The Counter (OTC) variants like Adapalene, Retinyl Palmitate, etc. which are of weaker strength than the prescription retinoids like Tretinoin. Retinoids are proven to be extremely useful in delaying the signs of aging by promoting cell turnover, boosting collagen production, and thereby smoothing out lines and wrinkles.
Generally, retinoids are recommended to be used in the night skincare regime. Since retinoids promote cell turnover, the newly revealed cells are delicate and susceptible to sun damage. Therefore following up with sunscreen (SPF 30 or more) is a must the next morning.
Hyaluronic Acid is a natural acid present in our body that keeps the skin supple and joints lubricated. But as we age, its natural production decreases. Facial products with Hyaluronic Acid, often labeled as Sodium Hyaluronate, help keep the skin plump and supple by retaining moisture. Hyaluronic Acid is a powerful humectant that is a moisture drawing magnet, and therefore it pulls moisture from your environment to your skin.
But it is crucial to remember that if you are using Hyaluronic Acid as a stand-alone serum, you must follow up with a moisturizer to allow the Hyaluronic Acid to draw moisture from it. Otherwise, it will start pulling water from your dermis.
Similar to Hyaluronic Acid, glycerin is a humectant, that is, it helps the skin to retain moisture. The only minor difference is that it is cheaper and sticky in consistency than Hyaluronic Acid. But the stickiness should not be an issue if you are using glycerin in creams or lotions as the formulators often formulate it so that it does not feel sticky upon application. Think of cetyl alcohol, a hydrating emollient commonly used in skincare, derived from coconut oil to moisturize the skin, but without the sticky feel.
Because the skin on the neck is so delicate, it is also prone to irritation, especially from the makeup used for coverage. Products with panthenol are great to soothe irritated skin, calm down redness, smoothen and nourish the skin.
Panthenol is a versatile ingredient in skincare because it is both an emollient (for moisturizing, sealing in moisture) and a humectant. It is also known as dexpanthenol, pro-vitamin B5 (being alcohol of vitamin B5, pantothenic acid), pantothenol, etc.
You should be familiar with the different names of panthenol so that you can recognize it while reading the ingredient label, as different products may use one or the other synonyms of panthenol if not 'panthenol' itself.
Peptides are short-chain amino acids, similar to yet different from proteins. There are several types of peptides. They help enhance collagen and elastin production, slow down collagen's degradation, reduce the release of chemicals that cause contraction, and thereby smooths lines and wrinkles.
Some peptides can be obtained through a protein-rich diet.
Rather than going with an essential moisturizer, go for a moisturizer formulated with peptides and other active ingredients like antioxidants if you already have developed lines and wrinkles on the neck.
Ceramides are the substance (lipids) that hold your skin cells together and form a protective layer on the surface. It prevents moisture loss and saves the skin from environmental aggressors like pollution. But sun exposure and aging deplete the protective ceramide layer, which is why we need topical application.
Look for moisturizers or serums with ceramides to shield the skin on your neck against environmental aggressors.
The most crucial step in skincare is putting on a broad spectrum SPF. No amount of expensive creams can repair UV damage, and therefore prevention is the key to ensure smooth and supple skin on the neck (and of course, the face).
Remember that for maximum efficacy, you need to reapply your sunscreen every two hours. Do not ever forget the back of your neck, that is the nape and also your ears.
Other Treatments For Neck Wrinkles!
While the corrective and preventive treatments for neck wrinkles mentioned above work slowly and steadily, they cannot wholly erase deep lines, creases, or static wrinkles. It is where clinical therapies come to the rescue.
- Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: As the name suggests, it is a temporary dermal filler that plumps the skin with injectable Hyaluronic Acid.
- Botox: Botox needs no introduction as it has been making headlines since the 90s as a scandalous celebrity secret to staying young. It is a neurotoxic protein that weakens or paralyzes the facial muscles when injected and thereby reduces wrinkles.
- Neck Lift: Neck lift, also known as Platysmaplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess fats from the neck and smooths lines, wrinkles, and creases from the neck, giving a tighter and lifted appearance.
- High-Frequency Micro focused Ultrasound Therapy: This procedure involves applying microscopic ultrasound energy to the areas of the neck where lines and creases are visible. Without injuring the rest of the skin, it leads to new healthy skin tissues and fills the old damaged skin tissues' place on the neck.
Lifestyle and Diet!
The topical application of products will take care of the existing lines and wrinkles. But if you continuously follow an unhealthy lifestyle, then your lines and wrinkles will keep coming back to you.
- Avoid a diet high in processed sugar and deep-fried junk foods. Refined sugar cross-links collagen fibers, and you do not want that if you need a smooth, supple neck.
- Avoid smoking as toxins from tobacco smoke degrades collagen and causes lung cancer and several other respiratory ailments.
- Include green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and proteins in your diet regularly to repair cells, aid in making new ones, and scavenge free radicals.
- Do not spray perfume/cologne on your neck to avoid irritation to the skin.
- If possible, limit screen time when unnecessary or try to hold your phone or devices at eye level always to avoid looking down. Limiting screen time is also beneficial to improve your sleep cycle as the blue light from devices interferes with melatonin production/release. This hormone signals us to sleep.
Set the display settings on your smart devices to a warmer tone.
- Get regular eight hours of sleep as it is at night when you sleep that your brain signals the body to start the repair process.
The Bottom Line
Aging is a natural process, and one should accept it gracefully rather than running away from it. However, taking good care of the skin and keeping it in optimal condition is suitable for personal satisfaction and peace of mind. Taking care of oneself and getting cosmetic procedures does not indicate insecurity or narcissism, but rather the self-love one has to show themselves from time to time.
Stay, Happy Beautiful!