Neck skin, like facial skin, is constantly exposed to the elements. UV exposure from the sun's rays and pollution all take a toll on our youthful appearance from the neck up.
When you combine these harmful elements with diminished collagen and elastin production, two compounds that give our skin its elasticity and tone, the skin starts to sag. Loose skin that was once firm and smooth develops wrinkles and folds.
Most people will first start noticing fine wrinkles forming while in their 20's and 30's, with many stating they first noticed them on their necks. However, it's not until people reach their 50's that their neck skin will start developing advanced wrinkles.
Are neck wrinkles inevitable? Yes, they are, but scientific methods to prevent wrinkles exist, so you can at least delay their appearance and reduce their severity. Keep reading to learn more about strategies you can use so your skin belies your true age.
Exercise Your Neck, Shoulders, and Back
A good neck and upper-back workout routine will help to prevent and reduce wrinkles and age lines in the delicate skin around the neck and shoulders.
Neck workouts are particularly useful for office workers who spend long hours in front of a computer screen. Sitting hunched over a computer at an uncomfortable angle can cause muscles to become tense and make the skin ‘tense’ and wrinkled.
Here's a simple exercise to get you started.
Hold your head up, chin tucked in, and contract your abdominal muscles and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat 20 times.
Add Retinol-Based Neck Creams to Your Skincare Routine
There are many high-quality neck and face creams specially formulated to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Some lotions and serums contain retinol, a vitamin A derivative that is clinically proven to improve skin and soften lines.
Vitamin C is also great for skin health. Researchers recommend this ingredient in recipes for neck creams and serums that have anti-aging benefits.[*1]
Exfoliate Your Neck Skin
The skin is delicate and prone to friction and abrasion when wearing neckwear. By exfoliating the skin regularly, we can prevent the formation of superficial lines.
Use gentle techniques, such as cleansing with a sponge, but apply light pressure when rubbing. Only use products specifically designed for gentle exfoliation on your neck, as harsh ingredients will irritate and inflame the skin. Use a gentle cream or face scrub created for weekly use.
Always Apply Sunscreen Down to Your Neckline
People use sunscreen on their faces every day, but many will neglect to treat their neck skin. Any time you plan to head outdoors into the sun, apply sunscreen to the neck area as well.
Sunscreen should be the last step in your morning skincare routine, but it should also be reapplied every 2 to 4 hours. Use sunscreen even when you have foundation on, as these facial products are not designed to protect against UVA and UVB radiation.
UVB rays are strongest on hot, sunny days during the warmer months, but UVA is strong all year round and can penetrate through dark glass. Your skin will still suffer damage from UVA on overcast days and while you are sitting in your office. Unfortunately, skin damage caused by UVA rays is irreversible, so make sure you protect your face and neck by applying sunscreen every day.
Moisturize Your Neck SKin
Dryness leads to wrinkling. Moisturizing the skin can keep it soft, plump, and supple. Applying a mild moisturizing cream or lotion every day can help prevent this from happening.
Washing the face with cold water instead of warm will slightly tighten the pores to lock in the hydration for longer. Doing this will help keep the fine lines and wrinkles away and keep your skin looking younger for longer.
Lower Your Stress Levels.
Stress triggers cortisol, a stress hormone that is released into the bloodstream during the "flight or fight" response. High levels of cortisol in the body break down the skin's collagen and elastin.
Chronic stress also increases inflammation, which accelerates ageing and the onset of wrinkles. This study [*2] revealed that chronic stress can have an accelerated ageing effect on skin because of how stress can cause inflammation and hinder the body's ability to repair itself. Other research [*3] has shown how stress causes a two to four-fold increase in the plasma volume that causes the inflammation.
Red Light Therapy Mask
A red light therapy mask uses red LEDs to bathe the neck and skin in the red spectrum. Research is ongoing, but continued use of a red light therapy mask creates more youthful looking skin through various mechanisms such as boosting cell growth, stimulating blood flow, and enhancing skin rejuvenation through new skin cells.
The red light wavelength has also been shown to stimulate collagen production, increase fibrblast production (the precursor to collagen), and reduce inflammation in cells.
Use a Sauna to Reduce Skin Ageing
Using a sauna three or four times a week provides both direct and indirect health benefits to your skin.
We've told you how inflammation accelerates skin aging, and a sauna can help reduce inflammation throughout your entire body, which includes your neck skin.
Dead skin cells reduce the healthy glow of skin. Saunas make you sweat, which flushes dead skin cells out so they can be easily washed away and new skin cells can take their place.
Saunas Moisturize Your Skin
Saunas moisturize the skin over your entire body without using any products. Moisture in neck skin plumps it out to reduce wrinkles and the signs of aging.
Saunas Increase Collagen and Elastin Production
Elastin and collagen are responsible for youthful, supple skin. The rays created by portable infrared saunas penetrate deep into the layers of skin to improve circulation and stimulate collagen production so the skin can retain some of its youthful bounce.
Saunas are a Great Way to Relax
We know that saunas can reduce the effects of stress on the body, but they are also an excellent way to relax and sweat out the stressors of the day.
You don't have to head to the gym to get the benefits of a sauna because a portable infrared sauna blanket or steam sauna can be used in the comfort of your home while you're catching up with your reading or the latest series on your streaming service.
Saunas are not a remedy for wrinkly skin, and most people will only show modest improvements after weeks of use. However, where they excel is in slowing down the effects of ageing so you can enjoy wrinkle-free neck skin for longer.