When it comes to anti aging, we often have a set routine for our face. Cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and most important sunscreen. You’re making sure to care for your face, but what about your neck and chest? The skin on our necks are just as prone to aging as our face, if not more. The fact is the skin on your neck is thinner than the skin on the face, therefore requires care and attention and a routine to protect it.
Your face may look plump and youthful, but if your neck isn’t, it is definitely noticeable. In reality, the skin on our neck can show aging way before our face. So as you’re caring for the crows feet, forehead lines, and the rest of your face, you need to take it a step further and have a plan for your neck as well. AEDIT.com did some digging and found out 8 simple ways to get a younger looking neck. “Over time, skin loses collagen and elastin,” says New York City plastic surgeon Benjamin Paul, MD. Dr. Paul explains smoking and sun damage can also further accelerate aging of the skin on the neck. Those aren’t the only causes of neck aging.
As we get older, laxity in the neck occurs due to a loss of support from connective tissue and muscle. This leads to what we commonly call a “waddle” or “turkey neck” and looks like loose skin under our chin. The appearance of sagging skin on the neck area, affects men and women alike. Repeated tugging on the platysma muscle, which is the muscle under our neck that men pull on when shaving, tugs on the overlying skin cause it to wrinkle over time. According to Dr. Paul, thyroid or neck surgery also loosens the neck and can contribute to an older appearance. While there isn’t a way to truly stop the clock, there are ways to slow down the process to make yourself look and feel better and more youthful. Here are some ways to a younger looking neck.
We all know that sun protection is the most important way to protect against major damage to your skin. The skin on your neck is very delicate and is one of the first places that shows aging. According to Dr. Paul, the single best thing you can do to preserve a youthful neck and prevent sagging skin, age spots, and fine lines is to wear sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology, recommends using an SPF of at least 30 because it blocks 97% of the suns damaging UVB rays. Applying sun screen to your face and neck daily, before your makeup, even if you’re spending most of the time indoors, and reapply every few hours to stay protected.
If you’re a pro at your anti-aging skin care routine, you’re cabinet is stocked with products that promise tight skin, reduced wrinkles, and a smooth complexion. There is a huge variety of creams that promise tightening and smoothing of the neck, but do they really work? “In my experience,” says Dr. Paul, “the benefit of neck creams is quite limited.” Unless it contains a retinoid.
Retiniods are a class of ingredients, including retinol, retinyl palmitate, and retinoic acid, may repair sun damage by reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, hyper pigmentation, smoothing the texture and evening your skin tone. They do this by promoting collagen production, which stimulates cell turnover deep in the skin.“Retinoids are potent, but they may be irritating,” says Dr. Paul.
To minimize irritation, apply a retinoid to clean skin, let it soak in, then wait a few minutes before layering on your moisturizer. Remember the skin on your neck is thin, it could get irritated very easily so start with a small amount, build up slowly. If you have never used one, consulting a dermatologist will help you pick the right product for your specific skin type.
Shrink Your Double Chin
You might be thinking, how can I shrink my double chin? There is a non-invasive procedure called Kybella, which could restore the youthful neck and profile you desire. Kybella is a non-surgical treatment that involves a series of deoxyholic acid injections that targets and destroys fat cells in the chin.
There are no incisions and most patients experience minimal downtime. While the acid in Kybella does destroy the fat cells which your body then gets rid of, it will not help with a turkey neck. “Kybella does not change the skin of the neck or laxity that may be present in the platysma,” Dr. Paul explains. To remove sagging skin after Kybella treatment, a skin-tightening or surgical procedure may be necessary.
Reduce Wrinkles Caused By Sun Damage And Aging
We know Botox works to help remove fine lines and wrinkles to the face, Botox can also be injected into the jawline area to give an aging neck a lift.“Botox may reduce vertical cording or banding on the neck that is caused by platysma muscle contraction,” according to Dr. Paul.
The treatment can promote a more youthful looking neck by relaxing the muscles that pull on the overlying skin which creates wrinkles. The procedure lasts only around 15 minutes, and the results last between 4 to 6 months. It works best on the verticle lines, horizontal lines are formed on the neck due to skin creasing.
Technology Can Improve Saggy Skin
It can be challenging treating saggy skin with products alone, and most people are hesitant to go under the knife to lift their loose skin. Luckily there are several professional skin tightening procedures that can lift sagging skin without surgery. “Radiofrequency and ultrasound devices aim to tighten the neck with energy,” says Dr. Paul.
The treatments have been shown to use tighten the skin by using energy to produce heat, which then boosts the production of collagen and important proteins. However, Dr. Paul cautions that the effects of these devices is limited and patients may need multiple treatments to see results. You can check out my article here about an at home device you can use anytime in the comfort of your own home. Always speak to a licensed dermatologist before trying anything first, so you know if it is right for your skin.
Go Under The Laser Not The Knife
Lasers have been known to remove unwanted hair and tattoos, but this incredible technology can also be used to promote a youthful look and rejuvenate the skin. Laser resurfacing, involves directing short, concentrated, pulsating beams of light to the face or neck to remove damaged skin layer by layer.
With laser resurfacing, “the goal is to improve lines, texture, and surface irregularities,” says Dr. Paul. There are two types of lasers commonly used in skin resurfacing: ablative CO2 lasers and non-ablative (fraxel) lasers. “There is more tightening with ablative lasers, though there is a higher risk of neck scarring,” Dr. Paul cautions. “Choose your laser doctor carefully.”
Intense Pulsed Light For Dark Spots
If you have dark spots on your neck, you are looking at sun damage. Luckily you can get rid of these age spots using Intense Light Pulsed ( IPL) Therapy, which is similar to a laser treatment. It uses energy treating wrinkles, sun damage, and dark spots.
The difference between laser and IPL, is that it releases many wavelengths of light which is more scattered and less targeted. During an IPL treatment, the pigment in the skin absorbs the light, which is converted to heat. The heat then destroys the unwanted pigment to fade the appearance of brown and red spots. According to Dr. Paul, it may take between three and five IPL treatments to see the results.
When Is Surgery Your Best Option?
Non-surgical treatments can dramatically improve the appearance of wrinkles, age spots in the neck and a double chin, as well as fine lines in the neck. Sagging or loose skin , however, may be best treated with surgery. Options for cosmetic neck surgery include liposuction of the neck to reduce fat or a neck lift to tighten the skin and muscle (platysmaplasty).
According to Dr. Paul, a neck lift in conjunction with a deep plane face lift is the gold standard in restoring a youthful neck and jawline. In this procedure, the deep tissues of the neck are dissected and supported to lift sagging skin on the neck and jowls. A deep plane face and neck lift is performed under general anesthesia in an operating room.
The results are natural looking and can last up to 12 years. I hope you found this article helpful in your quest of anti aging to look and feel your personal best. Check out AEDIT.com for the latest in beauty and anti aging. Thanks for reading and please comment with any questions or thoughts.