When it comes to ageing we all naturally focus on the ever increasing number of lines that seem to appear on our forehead and around our mouth, or the crow’s feet that one day popped up around our eyes. However one of the first places to show signs of ageing is the neck yet it is frequently neglected. There’s no need to add any more worry lines, we’re here to make sure that your neck doesn’t give away your age.
Why use a separate neck cream?
Why the skin on your neck is different to the skin on your face...
The skin on your neck and décolletage is thinner and often more sensitive than on your face. It also has fewer oil glands which can cause dryness leading the neck to show signs of ageing faster than other parts of the body. As the skin is so thin any damage, such as from the sun, will be more apparent and harder to repair so you need a product with a formulation that is strong enough to help with the regeneration process.
The properties of the skin on your neck combined with the daily twisting and turning that it endures means that your neck is more likely to have visible fine lines and sagging. As a result the neck requires richer, age repairing products that are also gentle to sensitive skin.
While you can use your existing anti-ageing facial products on your neck, be careful that they aren’t too harsh for the thin, delicate skin on your skin. Products that are specifically formulated for your neck will be specially designed to treat its unique needs without irritation. In the same way that you have a separate eye and face cream and body and face wash, it is a good idea to use a separate neck cream.
Ingredients to look for
Peptides are compounds containing two or more amino acids. They have been found to help the skin repair itself as well as to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.
Exalt - Progeline (a peptide that prevents sagging and encourages elasticity), ChroNOline (a collagen improving peptide that smoothes and firms), Revonage (an active ingredient that hydrates, fights wrinkles and facilitates structural recovery of the ageing process).
Vitamin C and E are beneficial ingredients to look for as they protect skin against harmful and ageing free radicals, brighten skin tone and improve the appearance of dry or damaged skin. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is also a good ingredient as it helps to strengthen skin.
Vitamin A (retinol) helps to stimulate collagen production, speed up cell regeneration and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol is a great ingredient to use at night as it helps with the skin’s renewal process. When using retinol make sure to protect skin against UVA/UVB rays by applying SPF during the day.
As the skin on your neck is prone to dryness it is a good idea to look for a neck cream which will replenish and nourish skin. There are three types of moisturising ingredients emollients, humectants and occlusives which together can boost moisture, smooth and soften skin and plump fine lines. Emollients are agents in moisturisers that help to soften and smooth skin, they include beeswax, aloe vera, shea butter, jojoba oil and coconut oil. Humectants help to hydrate by attracting water from the environment and from lower levels of the skin, examples of humectants include glycerin, lactic acid and hyaluronic acid. Lastly, occlusives help to form a protective layer over the skin which seals moisture in, they include cocoa butter, lanolin and dimethicone.
Don’t forget to cleanse your neck as well as your face at night to remove any makeup or SPF. When applying a neck cream massage in upward strokes rather than circular motions and don’t forget your décolletage as this area is also exposed to the elements.
Tips for keeping your neck looking youthful
It is important to exfoliate your neck as well as your face as exfoliating helps active ingredients to be absorbed effectively and it will help keep your neck looking smooth with an even tone. As the skin on your neck is delicate it is important to gently exfoliate.
Don’t neglect your neck when you are applying a face mask, it too can benefit from the treatment. All of the Temple Spa masks are ideal to use on both face and neck, whether you want hydration, to treat breakouts or to soothe irritated skin (link to specific masks- eg. hydration- quench, breakouts-purification, soothe-BeCalm).
Delicate and thin skin is more prone to sun damage so ensure that you apply SPF to your neck as well as your face in order to protect it from the ageing effects of the sun.
Looking down at your phone or being hunched over a computer can cause the neck to sag so adjust your computer screen to ensure that it is straight ahead of you and try to hold your phone at eye level.
Ensuring that you get enough sleep is key in helping the body to regenerate and repair. Sleeping on your back also helps to minimise wrinkles on your face and neck.
There are many stretches and exercises that you can do to help firm the muscles in your neck but exercise in general is beneficial for skin as it increases oxygen and blood flow helping to nourish skin cells.
As the late Nora Ephron said “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t if it had a neck.” It’s time that your neck stopped being an afterthought in your skincare routine. Due to the unique nature of the skin on your neck it is beneficial to use a separate neck cream that is specifically tailored to meet the needs of your neck. There are also an abundance of good practices that you can incorporate into your daily routines to ensure that your neck looks as youthful as the rest of you.
We would love to know what tips and tricks you have for keeping your neck looking youthful.