“Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth,” screenwriter and director Nora Efron wrote in her book “I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman”.
While most of us are accustomed to caring for our face thoughtfully and consistently, the neck remains a “gray zone”.
I find out if something special needs to be done for her.
How the neck works
Speaking of the neck, cosmetologists usually mean the part of the body to the middle of the chest – it is what they call the notorious “decollete zone”.
There is usually little subcutaneous fat (which means that sagging tissues can become noticeable faster), sun rays and aggressive washing products get there.
In this case, we often forget to moisturize these areas of the skin and protect them from the sun – so that age spots or small wrinkles may appear there earlier than on the face.
The neck is controlled by platism – a thin muscle plate that is attached to the lower jaw from above and can reach the middle of the cheeks, and ends below in the area of the clavicles.
In thin people, the tension of this muscle can be very noticeable during facial expressions or talking, and if it is in hypertonicity, then vertical cords can be seen on the neck. Platism can even pull down the skin of the face.
Even on the neck there may be transverse folds – the so-called rings of Venus. Such an anatomical feature may be present from childhood, and may appear with age if the head is often tilted forward – for example, due to sleep on an excessively high pillow or constant freezing in the smartphone.
The latter is generally not the most useful habit – because of this posture, the muscles of the neck and shoulders can hurt, and a headache of tension can occur.
For the condition of the neck arising from sitting on the phone, they even came up with a separate term, text neck.
What is important in neck care
From the point of view of health, it is most important not to create an excessive load on the vertebrae and muscles, protect the skin from sunlight and consult a doctor if you notice something suspicious: in the neck, among other things, there are trachea, esophagus, thyroid gland, large vessels and lymph nodes.
To unload the muscles and prevent the appearance of horizontal wrinkles, you can do exercises, the main one of which is to live with your head held high. Literally: keep your phone or tablet at eye level so that your neck does not strain.
You need to take care of the skin on the neck in the same way as on the face: to cleanse, moisturize, and most importantly – protect from the sun. Even if photoaging does not bother you, it is best to minimize the risk of melanoma and other types of skin cancer.
What cosmetics to choose
The good news is that all the serums and creams that you apply to your face are quite suitable.
British dermatologist Anjali Mato claims that despite the abundance of neck creams on the market, there is no special ingredient that can work wonders for this area. The best option is to invest in good quality face products and use them for the neck too.
She explains that the active ingredients a person needs are also useful for the neck: ANA acids to exfoliate, hyaluronic acid to moisturize, peptides and growth factors to stimulate collagen production, retinoids to prevent wrinkles, and antioxidants – vitamins C and E, ferulic acid, resveratrol.
There is another opinion. So, the American dermatologist Gary Goldfeiden believes that the neck, as well as the area around the eyes, need separate funds. He argues this with strong differences in the skin in different places (though he does not specify what exactly such radical differences are).
His colleague Sarah Waterman notes that, as with the thin skin around the eyes, you only need to be careful in terms of the active ingredients. If you want to start using acids or retinoids on your neck skin, it is better to start with low concentrations and not every day.
Special care may be required for those who use dense decorative cosmetics on their necks – for example, closes a tattoo or a pigmented spot. In this case, a tool for removing permanent makeup, and intensive moisturizing or nutrition will come in handy.
What can be done at the beautician
The cheapest and most affordable solution for skin on the neck will, as always, simply accept age-related changes. But if you are upset with wrinkles or pigmentation, you can try hardware or injection cosmetology.
For sagging, thin skin, injections of moisturizers and collagen stimulants are used, and platysma hypertonicity is removed with botulinum toxin injections. Non-invasive laser procedures even out skin tone and also stimulate collagenogenesis.
To remove the sagging skin of the neck and chin, ultrasonic lifting is used (it is also sometimes called hardware SMAS lifting).
If excess skin is pronounced (for example, after losing several tens of kilograms), only serious interventions such as an ablation laser and surgical tightening work.