Q. Having never really thought about my neck, I now notice a distressing tendency to lines, a bit of sagging and crepiness. Plus my upper chest (décolletage I think it’s called by beauty brands) is looking weary. Is there a solution other than polo necks and scarves?
A. The skin on your neck and décolletage is thinner than that on your face, has virtually no fat cells and fewer UV-protective cells (melanocytes), plus it is subject to the usual age-related drooping, due to reduced production of collagen and elastin. So you are in good company with the rest of womankind.
Years ago, we read that ballet dancing and yoga help to keep your neck swanlike, jawline sharp and, because both activities discourage hunching your shoulders, help keep your upper chest stretched out wide and thus less prone to wrinkles. If you look at women who practise yoga and dance, this seems true.
However, that is a longterm strategy. For much more rapid results (and maintenance), targeted topical products can make a huge difference. (Using your facial moisturiser or body lotion will help to some extent but remember the skin of the neck is different so if your budget can stretch, specifically formulated products are worth the investment.) It is really worth using them twice a day, to give your neck a kickstart. Here are some products we rate:
iS Clinical Neckperfect Complex, launching 1st February on victoriahealth.com, this largely botanical cocktail of plant ingredients with super-powerful antioxidants, this gently exfoliates the skin (that helps the appearance more than you can believe), while nourishing it to improve the tone and texture.
Clarins Extra-Firming Neck Anti-Wrinkle Rejuvenating Cream/£45 for 50 ml: brand’s neck products are a long-standing favourite with Beauty Bible testers. Although this is non-oily (great for not marking collars) and lightweight, this packs a punch with seaweed extracts and Clarins’ own patented Extra-Firming Complex.
Dr Levy Intense Stem Cell Décolletage Regenerating Silk/£290 for 50 ml: the price is eye-popping but we heard about this via a very gorgeous indeed octogenarian who swears by the range and this balm-like product in particular. It works – superbly. It costs – hugely.
Liz Earle Superskin Bust & Neck/£33 for 50 ml pump: one of Jo’s favourite products from the multi-award-winning Superskin range designed for middle age dry and very dry skin, and on, this helps to plump and smooth neck and décolletage, as well as bust. Stuffed with botanicals including kigelia and a blend of mangosteen, quince, green algae and white lupin.
Finally, as with face creams always apply these products stroking the skin tissue upwards (and outwards on your décolletage) to give it a little bit of extra lift. To push topicals into skin as well as lifting temporarily, do consider Crystal Clear Rewind 10, currently £79.99 (with moisturiser). A genius little sonic gizmo that really helps boost your neck and jawline, as well as your face.