Nora Ephron certainly wasn’t the first person to feel bad about her neck. “Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five,” she wrote in her 2006 book of humorous essays, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman.
But one thing she got wrong is that you can take steps to minimize the passage of time — and feel a little less self-conscious about your neck in the process.
“It is never too late, or too early, to start taking care of your skin, and it’s important that you don’t forget about your neck,” says Dr. Kelly Sullivan, MD, FACS, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon and SkinCeuticals Partner Physician. While people think about taking care of the skin on their face, they often forget about taking care of their neck, she adds. Ahead, Dr. Sullivan shares how to get rid of necklines, plus what you can do to prevent them in the first place.
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What causes necklines?
Necklines are wrinkles that appear on the neck, often as horizontal lines across the front. “Neck wrinkles occur as a natural part of aging, just like wrinkles on the face,” Dr. Sullivan says. “The skin on the neck is particularly susceptible to lines and wrinkles because of the characteristics that allow the movements, such as looking down at mobile devices or turning your head.”
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When do women start to see necklines?
The age at which women start to see necklines depends on many factors, including genetics and environmental damage. Dr. Sullivan warns that skin types with lighter tones that are more prone to environmental damage and skin that is severely dehydrated are more likely to show signs of aging, including necklines. However, on average, women report noticing more prominent wrinkles on the neck in their 30s.
How can you prevent necklines?
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that living a healthy lifestyle is key, including good nutrition and drinking lots of water, which are especially key to helping keep skin looking younger. “A patient who also uses a regular anti-aging skincare routine and protects against environmental damage (by using sunscreen, moisturizers, etc.) will develop these wrinkles much later than a patient who is not taking the same precautions,” she says.
To prevent the formation of necklines, she encourages patients to use anti-aging products on the neck and chest area just as they do on their faces. “For this, I recommend using a daily SPF, as well as a product targeted to the thin skin in the neck area such as the SkinCeuticals TriPeptide-R Neck Repair, which contains retinol to stimulate the production of collagen and prevent wrinkles from setting into the skin, as well as 2.5 percent Tripeptide Concentrate which helps strengthen skin to build resilience and firm neck skin.”
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How to get rid of necklines that have set in?
Once lines have set into the skin, it’s important to continue to use a targeted anti-aging regimen on the area. Look for neck treatments that contain collagen-boosting retinol, firming peptides, hydrating ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, and antioxidant-rich vitamin C. But these wrinkles tend to be stubborn, and since the skin on the neck is pretty thin, to begin with, they are often deeply etched. Because of this, Dr. Sullivan says, “I would also recommend taking an integrated approach such as in-office treatments and at-home solutions to stimulate collagen production and remove old dead cells from the skin surface.” (More on this below.)
What in-office procedures can help with necklines?
“Treatments such as lasers, acid peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling (with or without PRP), Botox, and fillers can have a positive, albeit temporary effect on the appearance of wrinkles on the neck,” Dr. Sullivan says, adding that the treatment will vary, depending on the depth of your lines. “It is important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help find the treatment that will be safe and effective for you.”
Neck creams and treatments to try:
If you’re looking for a short answer on how to get rid of necklines, simply scroll through and shop the top treatments below.
SkinCeuticals TriPeptide-R Neck Repair ($120; dermstore.com)
This potent neck cream, which is highly recommended by Dr. Sullivan, targets necklines and crepiness with a combo of skin-restoring retinol, firming peptides, and revitalizing yellow poppy extract.
StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS for Firming & Brightening ($94; sephora.om)
This bestseller has a cult following and countless rave reviews across the web. It’s formulated with a proprietary complex that’s designed to help rebuild the elastin fiber architecture in the skin, as well as strengthen niacinamide and plumping hyaluronic acid.
PCA SKIN Perfecting Neck and Decollete ($84; dermstore.com)
PCA Skin’s neck cream contains retinol and peptides to boost cell renewal and reduce wrinkles over time, as well as a blend of citrus extracts and plant oils to stimulate blood flow and instantly improve the appearance of the skin on your neck.
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No7 Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum ($35; ulta.com)
This affordable option will be quite the bang for your buck. Formulated with a blend of hydration, retinol, and peptides, the lightweight serum has everything derms recommend in a neck treatment, and its ingredients have been shown to penetrate the skin 10 surface layers deep.