When it comes to skin aging, the neck and décolletage region is just as susceptible as the face. Whenever I have a skin consultation with a client, I often refer to the neck and chest as the “forgotten zone” because we forget to care for our neck and chest on a daily basis. Signs of redness, brown spots, vertical lines, and rough skin texture can show up years before signs of aging ever show up on our face. This is because the skin in the neck and chest region is quite thin, and this skin lacks the dense fatty tissue and oil glands we have in our face, thus making this region more susceptible to aging, and difficult to reverse damage that occurs to the delicate skin in this area of the body.
Does this mean we give up on our neck and chest area?NO! But it is something you will need to work at if you want to avoid this area showing signs of premature aging. With the right skincare ingredients, professional treatments, changes to your modern lifestyle/habits, and adding in exercises that can sculpt and strengthen your neck and chest area, you CAN make a noticeable difference treating this area on your own.
Professional Non-Invasive Treatments:
Adding neck and decolletage non-invasive professional skincare treatments can help minimize the damage and improve signs of aging. One of the most effective treatments for the neck and chest is microcurrent, it tightens the skin and fascia tissue, and helps reeducate muscles in the neck area.
Microdermabrasion is also helpful for cell turnover in this region, as well as mild peels to help with smoothing out rough texture caused by sun exposure. By doing these treatments monthly, and treating this region, you can avoid costly invasive medical procedures later on in the future.
Sometimes the damage can be extensive to this region due to sunburns or overexposure to the sun. If this is the case, then a series of IPL sessions can be performed by a nurse or doctor to help aid in fading redness and brown spots, but keep in mind this is not a curative treatment, and the signs of aging will come back, so best to begin taking care of this delicate skin area now with good skincare and SPF used on a daily basis along with modifications to our modern lifestyle and habits.
Skincare Ingredients for Neck and Chest:
Keep in mind that what you apply to your face, i.e. antioxidant serums, moisturizers, and SPFshould always be applied to the neck and chest region as well to help keep it moisturized and keep skin plump, and if your skincare is loaded with antioxidants this will also help keep the neck and chest from prematurely aging.
I have seen many neck/chest cream formulations with super high price points, but most formulations have little effect on this region when it comes to reversing the signs of aging. But a good neck and chest cream formulated with the following ingredients can help make the difference to plump, hydrate, and rejuvenate, and some of these ingredients to look for in a good cream formulation are:
- Matrixyl and Matrixyl 3000, containing oligopeptides and cell-messengering complex.
- Eyeliss, a blend of skin-strengthening flavonoids and elasticity-enhancing peptides reduce slackened skin tone and visibly re-firm skin that has laxity.
- Uplevity™ is a tetrapeptide specifically developed to improve skin firmness and elasticity.
While no neck and chest cream formula is magic and will reverse all signs of aging you should at least see the skin become plump, hydrated and slightly contoured.
Keep in mind you also need to apply SPF to both face, neck and chest since the neck and chest is exposed daily to harmful UV rays just as the face is.
Changes to modern lifestyle and habit:
Sleeping position does matter. I know it can be hard to change this, but side sleeping does cause damage to this region. When we lay on our side, it causes the skin to fold over and compress, which will eventually create vertical lines on the chest, so if you can, try to learn to sleep on your back.
But sometimes this is difficult and will cause sleepless nights, so another work around if you cannot change your sleeping position, but still want to avoid vertical neck lines from forming is to invest in a good undergarment you can wear at night that prevents the skin from folding and compressing while sleeping on your side.
Have you heard of tech neck or text neck? The seemingly harmless task we perform daily while using our cell phones contributes to aging of this delicate skin by pulling down on our neck muscles training the skin and fascia tissue underneath to sag prematurely and cause the creases in our neck to deepen.
If you text and read from your phone try to elevate the screen so your head is lifted upright and not curved looking down at your screen. Try to be mindful about how long you spend on your devices as overexposure to harmful blue lights also contributes to aging.
Exercises Can be Performed to Help Keep Muscles Tight and Scuplted:
Yoga and pilates experts agree that when done regularly, facial and neck exercises help tighten neck muscles and create a more sculpted look. There are exercises you can perform to help with this by reversing the position of the neck so do some good research, talk to a Yoga Instructor or certified Personal Trainer in your community to begin learning how to protect your neck muscles and begin strengthening this area of the body.
Written by:Wendy Malla Licensed Esthetician