Are Neck Creams Worth It?
As discussed below, I don’t believe there is anything special or different about a “neck cream.” These creams all appear thick, which has a tendency to clog the pores. The products that are applied to the face can and should also be applied to the neck, especially sunscreen.
What differentiates the skin of the neck from the skin of the face? Can it actually bounce back from the aging effects I mentioned before sans cosmetic procedure?
The skin of the neck is much thinner and very sensitive to age-related changes from the sun, or photoaging. Fewer oil glands result in the neck skin being more sensitive to irritation than the skin on the face. We tend to put things on our necks, such as perfumes, and creams with fragrances, which don’t really belong on such thin skin. This leads to chronic irritation (even if not obviously apparent) and can accelerate the aging process.
Age-related volume loss becomes more apparent at a younger age than the face. You can develop lines, “crepiness,” and “bumpy” textural changes (follicles become prominent). As the skin becomes looser, “jowls” can form from gravity and other factors that can be bothersome.
Are neck creams necessary, or is it okay to just apply your face products to your neck as well?
I don’t believe in a “neck cream” that is separate from creams, serums, and sunscreens that you apply to your face. The one product that we often neglect on our neck is SUNSCREEN! The main factor that contributes to aging is ultraviolet radiation, and due to the thin nature of the neck skin, our necks should always have sunscreen on them, even when indoors. A condition known as Poikiloderma of Civatte is characterized by ultraviolet radiation-induced light and dark spots that form on the neck associated with broken blood vessels (telangiectasias). Hydrators and anti-aging products that are applied to the face can and should also be applied to the neck.
Posture has a huge effect on the neck. The way we hold our heads and back are
paramount to maintaining a youthful appearance to the neck.
If someone really cares about the appearance of their neck or it’s a source of insecurity, what are some things they can do outside of a neck cream to maintain a youthful appearance?
The most invasive procedure to address the neck would be a neck lift by a plastic surgeon. This comes with significant downtime and recovery, so people often try non- invasive treatments first.
Non-invasive treatments can significantly improve the appearance of the neck, but aren’t as dramatic as surgery and are temporary. Therefore, realistic expectations should be discussed.
Resurfacing lasers can address and improve texture and tone, while also strengthening and boosting the underlying framework of the neck skin. Radiofrequency/thermage offers subtle results by tightening the deeper layers of skin. Neuromodulators (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin) can be used to relax the thin muscle of the neck, the platysma, which can soften and prevent the formation of lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers can be used to gently fill existing horizontal neck lines. Fat dissolving treatments (deoxycholic acid) can be used to dissolve the fat in “jowls” and tighten the jawline. Collagen stimulating treatments (Sculptra) can be used to stimulate your own body to produce more collagen. And as previously discussed, the serums and sunscreen that you apply to your face should also be used on your neck, every day!