The Neck’s Best Thing

In the war against skin aging, many battles get overlooked. The hands, for one, get typically glossed over (big mistake, btw) and don’t even get us started on the décolletage area – one word: clinkles.

Further north and much closer to the face, comes the often seriously neglected neck area. Why is it so forgotten about when it’s literally right there as an extension to your much-loved face? Beats us.

The fact is, the skin on your neck is extremely thin and weak, making it super-susceptible to drying, aging and environmental damage. It also has fewer oil glands than the skin on your face so requires extra moisturization. But rarely gets it. Go figure.

As if the slings and arrows of time and the sun weren’t war enough, folding your neck down in a repetitive motion from persistently looking down at your smartphone causes further sagging, wrinkling and visible rings around the neck. Hello, ‘tech neck’ as it’s affectionately called in the aesthetics world.

Most of us also fail to gently cleanse, treat and protect the skin on our necks, making the whole sorry business of neck aging, a total nightmare.

Contrary to marketing hype, there are no miracle skincare ingredients that work more effectively on the neck than elsewhere, but there’s nothing wrong with upping the ante with a clinically-proven neck cream containing skin-enhancing ingredients like antioxidants, ceramides and hyaluronic acid. We’re big fans of Revision Skincare Nectifirm and Jan Marini Skin Research Marini Juveneck, in case you were wondering.

For those more serious about dealing with an aging neck, there are plenty of effective options at the doctor’s office to float your boat. A necklift, or lower rhytidectomy, is the surgical solution and often performed in conjunction with a facelift, browlift or cheek augmentation. Necklift surgery works by removing excess skin and fat deposits from your neck area and, depending on the specific procedure, can also restructure the underlying muscle to give you that svelte, ballerina neckline you’ve always dreamed of. Necklifts come in various guises and often use liposuction, cervicoplasty and platysmaplasty. The procedure is usually performed in three or four hours and is relatively straightforward, but full recovery can take many months.

If a necklift sounds a little too hardcore for your concerns, here are some alternative, non-surgical treatments available for your every neck woe…

1. Diminish Lines And Wrinkles With Neuromodulators

Although neuromodulators have not been FDA-approved for the neck, products such as Botox, Dysport or Xeomin are often used in-office for diminishing fine, horizontal creases on the neck known as platysmal bands (or neck bands). They can also help soften vertical bands or folds that become prominent when you grimace. Great caution should always be taken, however, because injections in the neck can lead to difficulty swallowing when administered incorrectly. The procedure requires precision, extreme skill and proper dosage, so employing an experienced, knowledgeable injector is absolutely imperative.

2. Tighten Skin With Ultherapy

Using ultrasound energy to stimulate collagen production and effectively lift, firm and tighten the skin, Ultherapy has been FDA cleared to treat skin on the neck, chin, eyebrow and décolletage area. The treatment offers immediate benefits, but the best results usually appear two or three months later when collagen regeneration really kicks in.

“Ultherapy is ideal for people who seek a gentle lift for their minimally to moderately saggy skin,” explains HintMD partner Dr. Stephen Ronan, owner of Blackhawk Plastic Surgery and MedSpa in Danville, California.

“Clientele are generally in their thirties or forties who do not yet require surgery, or else older patients who would like to revitalize a face or necklift from a few years ago to maintain the best results.”

3. Reduce Unwanted Fat With CoolSculpting or Kybella

Over 70 percent of adult Americans are concerned with chin and neck fat, according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). This is why treatments that treat submental fat continue to be brought to market. We’re particularly keen on Kybella, a fat-reducing injection that harnesses an active, synthetic ingredient called deoxycholic acid. This works to dissolve and destroy fat cells which are then absorbed and eliminated naturally by the body.

You could also try CoolMini from CoolSculpting – a non-invasive medical treatment that uses a controlled cooling system to freeze and destroy fat without damaging the skin.

Kybella is great for younger patients who have good skin but very distinct submental fat, whereas CoolMini is perfect for more mature candidates who are concerned with loose, sagging skin.

4. Target Pigmentation With BBL

Broadband Light Therapy uses short blasts of high-intensity light to gently heat the upper layers of your skin and stimulate collagen production for a smoother, more vibrant complexion. While great for tightening skin or treating acne on the neck area, the photothermal energy produced in the procedure also helps eliminate fine blood vessels that cause redness, and reduces unwanted melanin that produces pigmentation issues.

5. Hydrate With A HydraFacial

The list of benefits of a HydraFacial MD goes on for days. Well, not days, but you know what we mean… Soothing, deep cleansing, exfoliating and hydrating are the treatment’s main modus operandi, but it offers so much more – especially in the fight against premature aging. Ask your skincare expert about including regular HydraFacial face and neck treatments in your monthly plan to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and other signs of aging.