“Your face finishes at your breasts.” As an aesthetic doctor, I’ve recited this phrase to my patients countless times over the years. Your skin doesn’t stop at your chin, so why should your skincare? A surprisingly delicate area, the skin on our neck and decolletage is much more vulnerable to ageing than its facial counterpart yet is often neglected. Many cleanse, exfoliate, hydrate, protect, and they may even treat their face to in-clinic treatments, but the neck and decolletage are often forgotten. That is until the signs of damage are already there.
The neck and decolletage is a topic that’s being discussed a lot at the moment – online, in the press and in my patient consultations. People are becoming increasingly concerned with the effects of ageing in this area and want to discover new ways to either combat existing concerns or preserve youthfulness for longer.
So, what’s behind the hike in concerns about neck ageing, and what skincare habits should you implement now to preserve youthfulness for longer?
The rise of Zoom face
So much time spent on video conferences – attempting to focus on what others are saying whilst being perpetually distracted by the way our face looks when it moves – has had a significant impact on our relationship with our appearance.
Usually, we view our face straight on when we look in the mirror, often in good lighting or in an upwards tilt, which is more flattering to our features. But this brave new digital world has revealed facial expressions and contorted features that we have never encountered before.
Patients, both new and old, have come to see me with complaints of ‘zoom face’ over the last several months – jowls, double chins and neck ageing being the most common concerns.
Many patients feel underconfident and have suffered from low self-esteem, so they are now seeking facial rejuvenation to feel better about themselves. People are also beginning to realise that they don’t need to accept and live with the effects of ageing if they don’t want to – there’s a slew of options available that can help.
Pursue a dedicated neck-care routine
The skin on the neck and chest is one of the most delicate areas of the body. It has a thin dermis layer, meaning less collagen and elastin and fewer oil glands to keep the skin supple. This makes it more prone to wrinkles, sagging and hyperpigmentation. The most important thing you can do for your neck and decolletage is to apply sunscreen daily. UV radiation leads to wrinkles and laxity over time, as well as uneven skin tone. Clothing often exposes the neck and chest to the sun, making these areas especially vulnerable. Keeping it protected all year round is the single best step you can take to keep this area of your skin looking smooth and youthful for years to come.
I’m a big believer in dedicated products. It’s important to remember that the skin on the neck and decolletage is different from facial skin, so if you apply your facial products to this area, it can react differently. When it comes to a hydrating moisturiser, look for a product that’s formulated specifically for the neck with restorative properties. My go-to product is the Revision Nectifirm Advanced.
Consider cutting-edge neck treatments
To take neck care a step further, there’s an array of professional treatments that can treat sagging and wrinkled skin and relax the neck muscles so that the lines appear softer and the neck more lifted.
For lifting and tightening
The Profound is a radiofrequency microneedling device that’s a little more invasive but provides truly dramatic lifting and tightening to the lower face and neck. After anaesthetic injections, the treatment is essentially pain-free, and we can use it to stimulate collagen and elastin in the skin and even reduce the fat beneath the chin to lift and refine the jawline. It’s a one-off treatment that delivers 1/3 of a surgical facelift result in a single treatment and results last for several years.
For eliminating vertical lines
For vertical lines or ‘neck bands’, we can inject the platysma muscle with Botox to relax it. As we age, the muscle often gets stronger as the shrinking jawbone allows it to pull downwards more forcefully. Botox stops this problem in its tracks and, when maintained, is an excellent preventative method for future signs of ageing.
For smoothing and refining
Profhilo can produce truly beautiful results for anyone with slightly crepey skin on the neck. It stimulates natural collagen production and long-lasting hydration within the skin, improving crepiness for a smoother and tighter appearance.
For restoring structure
For many people, dermal fillers can make a tremendous difference to the neck’s appearance. When strategically placed, they can help restore the structure in the cheeks, chin and jawline, and pull the tissues back into place to improve the neck. I often combine facial fillers and the Profound RF, so that not only are we tightening and smoothing the surface of the skin, but we’re also replenishing lost volume and adding structure.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can combat ageing in the neck and decolletage, click here to book a consultation with me at my Kent or London clinic.