Many of us spend time applying serums and sunscreens to our faces every morning, and moisturiser and under-eye treatments at night.
We know we need to treat the skin on our face well to help slow down the signs of ageing.
The problem is, many of us forget that there’s an area of the body where the skin is thinner than our facial skin and which could really show our age: the neck.
Why can the neck age faster than the face?
If you think about it, everything our faces experience is also experienced by the neck.
So, they are exposed to UV rays, pollution, or smoking, all of which are sources of the free radicals which attack our skin’s cells and cause ageing.
Plus, as the skin is thinner than the face the effects of the loss of collagen and elastin as we age are more pronounced.
That, and the natural effects of gravity, are the reasons why lines develop.
There’s also a loss of muscle and connective tissue which can make them look a little saggy or mean the neck develops a ‘waddle’, or turkey neck.
If we’re also not doing the same things for our necks as we do for our faces, it’s not surprising that they can look as though they’re ageing more quickly.
What can you do to prevent neck ageing?
Protect it from the sun’s UV rays, making sure that when you apply sunscreen you also apply it to the neck. It should be worn every day.
Apply a small amount of retinoid to your skin every night. Get professional advice on whether this is a suitable treatment for your skin, as some can be irritated by it.
Anti-wrinkle treatments will also help the skin on the neck to relax, reducing the chances of developing vertical lines or softening any fine lines which are already on it. The effects generally last between four and six months.
What can you do if your neck is already showing signs of ageing?
There are several options to help your neck look more youthful, including the use of dermal fillers.
Hyaluronic acid fillers will help plump up the skin and smooth it, reducing the depth of lines or erasing them.
They are created using a substance already present in the body and are gradually absorbed back into it.
The effects usually last between six months and 18 months.
Other types of dermal fillers which stimulate the body’s production of collagen can have effects which last longer, up to four years.
If you have dark spots on your neck caused by sun exposure, you could have intense pulsed light therapy to remove them. The heat it generates destroys the dark pigment which is removed by the body.
Radiofrequency and ultrasound treatments are also available to help tighten sagging skin. They use energy to heat the layer of the skin which produces collagen, stimulating it to produce more.
If you’ve neglected your neck, it’s time to show it some love and give it the care and attention it deserves. That way, it’s less likely to give away your age.