When it comes to protecting and caring for the skin on our faces, diligence is our middle name. The process of slathering on SPF and moisturizer is a deeply ingrained daily process that’s practically second nature. But what about your neck? Unless we’re referencing the decolletage, it definitely doesn’t get the same skincare attention as, say, the skin under your eyes.
It turns out that we shouldn’t neglect our necks, as they show signs of aging even more quickly than our faces do – and between wrinkling, sagging and sun damage (not to mention the ever-present fear of “tech neck“), we’ve been thinking a lot more about how to care for this essential part of the body. Here’s what you can do to protect your neck from prematurely aging!
Sunscreen is crucial.
If you only take one thing away from this story, it’s that you MUST put SPF on your neck. Over time, pesky, uncomfortable burns can have some unappealing cosmetic—not to mention dangerous medical—effects. Many people remember to use sunscreen on their faces but forget their necks. Over time, the skin on the neck develops signs of photodamage – brown spots, mottled pigmentation, broken capillaries, lines, and possibly skin cancer – especially if you are wearing v-necks or button down shirts that are exposing the skin to sun.
While procedures like botox and laser resurfacing can help improve the appearance of photodamage, any difference in skin between your neck and face will be a sure-fire sign of your age.
Be vigilant about dryness.
Did you know that your neck has fewer sebaceous glands than the skin on your face? Because of this, the neck is more susceptible to things like dryness and irritation, and is more prone to scarring. That’s just yet another reason to apply SPF to protect your neck. Use a daily SPF of 30 or more and use very gentle cleansers. To make it even easier, she says you can use a facial SPF on this area, too.
Many neck creams contain antioxidants and ingredients to stimulate collagen, and coincidentally, those are things you frequently see in facial products. For this reason, using your facial serums on your neck may work just as well, but you have to be careful if the products contain retinol or AHAs – these ingredients may cause more dryness and irritation on neck skin.
Limit your screen time.
After all, that’s the biggest cause of tech neck. Tech neck refers to skin laxity and lines that occur from looking down at your computer or phone for long periods of time. Any repetitive movement or contraction of underlying muscles has the potential to cause skin lines and wrinkles over time, though some of this is also determined by genetics and age.
And while watching how much you text or type may help, once again, SPF is your best frien – the premature lines caused by hunching over your Instagram feed are only made worse by sun damage. Using daily SPF will also help protect the skin from sun damage, which causes collagen breakdown and eventually lines and laxity. And in this day and age when sunscreen is in practically everything, you really have no excuse. Protect your neck.