5 ways to delay neck ageing
Take care of your neck skin just like you would with your facial skin.
You have your daily skincare routine for your face down to a science and you never leave your house without your sunscreen and moisturiser. Unfortunately, not many people pay equal attention to their necks.
The neck often starts to look older even before your eye wrinkles appear. This is because the neck skin is much thinner than the facial skin but is exposed to the same wear and tear every day. Over time, the skin loses collagen and elastin. Combined with environmental factors such as sun damage and smoking, neck skin typically ages quicker than facial skin.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent neck skin ageing:
- Protection from the sun
If you are too busy to care about any skincare for your neck, use sunscreen at least. UV rays from the sun causes major damage to your skin and accelerates skin ageing significantly. It increases skin pigmentation, wrinkles and skin DNA damage, while reducing skin elasticity.
The single best thing you can do to maintain a youthful neck is to wear sunscreen with SPF of at least 30, whether you are spending the day indoors or outdoors. Avoid unnecessary prolonged or excessive exposure to the sun.
- Quality skincare
Is it necessary to use a dedicated “neck cream”? No. Neck creams are usually as good as your face moisturiser and they do not offer additional benefits unless they contain retinoids.
A general rule of thumb is, whatever skincare products you apply on your face can often be applied on your neck. Take care of your neck skin just like how you would take care of your facial skin.
Retinoids, an ingredient that includes retinol, retinyl palmitate and retinoic acid, can help repair skin damage caused by UV rays. Adding a retinoid to neck skin care helps reduce neck wrinkles, improves skin texture and skin tone. It helps accelerate skin cell turnover, improves collagen production in the skin, and reduces skin pigmentation.
- Healthy lifestyle
A well-balanced diet and regular exercise improve your overall health, and also improve your skin quality and delay skin ageing. Avoid consuming a high carbohydrates and fatty diet. Keep your body well-hydrated throughout the day. Regular exercise improves blood circulation, which provides essential nutrients to the skin effectively.
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. Recreational drug use, which is illegal, is also known to accelerate skin ageing.
- Dump bad habits
Did you know that constantly looking at your cell phone can accelerate the formation of horizontal neck wrinkles and make your neck look older? We often hold our cell phone lower than the eye level thereby bending our neck downwards and creating neck wrinkles. Over time, these wrinkles may become deep permanent horizontal lines. Just like a piece of paper, when folded, can form permanent creases.
Overuse of perfume on the neck can also age your neck skin. Perfume often contains alcohol and aromatisers that dry your skin quickly. Dry skin is more prone to ageing and wrinkles formation. Avoid daily usage of perfume on your neck. Keep your neck skin moisturised at all times.
- Embrace technology
There is only so much we can do to delay neck skin ageing. Often, advanced skin ageing such as sagging skin can only be treated with the help of medical technologies. There are many non-surgical medical treatments that can improve neck skin.
Medical treatments such as ultrasound lifting and radio frequency tightening can help improve neck skin sagging and wrinkling. These treatments use controlled energy to heat up specific layers of the skin and boost the production of collagen and essential proteins. By doing so, they can produce skin lifting and tightening.
Laser treatments such as skin resurfacing laser and pigmentation laser may be useful in improving the neck skin texture, skin irregularities, fine lines and pigmentation.
If you are comfortable with needles, skin hydration injection treatments such as hyaluronic acid injections can effectively provide intense hydration to the skin to improve skin elasticity and fine lines.
Do not neglect your neck. Take care of your neck skin just like you would with your facial skin. Age gracefully!
Dr Sii Sik Liong is a doctor in the field of aesthetic medicine from S Aesthetics Clinic (Dr Tan & Partners clinic).
(** PHOTO CREDIT: Pexels/Edu Carvalho)