“I’ve been staring at my neck for too long,” a coworker recently said to me as we were waiting on a Zoom call. The following five minutes we continued to talk about what necks are supposed to look like when you’re under 35. I know this sounds like a weird topic, but bare with me.
Did you know that smooth and bright necks become less common with age? In fact, the neck is one of the more specific body parts to signal aging simply because it’s an area that isn’t treated regularly. Think about it, we prime our faces with sunscreen, cleansing, and treatments, but rarely do we bring product down to our neck and chest. Which means, our necks start to crease, wrinkle, and are prone to more sun spots than the rest of our body. The neck also tends to establish loose skin with time.
To help your neck from aging prematurely, here are some neck-tightening tips.
Retinol — a vitamin that helps increase cell turnover, while increasing collagen production — is the number one product for firming. It’s been backed by scientists time and time again to prevent wrinkles. We must warn you though, it can be quite harsh on skin with first use so be sure to apply a small amount and work your way up as you build tolerance.
Rub upwards only
When you do apply products, whether it be serum, lotion, or moisturizer, make sure to apply it upwards to reduce sagging skin. Unfortunately, because the skin on the neck is a lot thinner than your face, the skin tissue is weaker. So when applying anything on the neck, use gentle pressure and do not tug to avoid loosening and sagging.
Invest in neck patches
As we all know, there is a mask for everything. Feet, hands, bum, and now neck. We love them for the quick results. Some can be kept on overnight and will result into smooth, hydrated skin. They will also work wonders to put water and moisture back into your neck. With one use, reviewers often claim they are free of fine lines.
The jade roller currently being advertised on all your social media platforms is actually useful. By incorporating a face roller into your skincare routine, you will get the same benefits of a facial massage: anti-aging, encouragement of lymphatic drainage, elimination of toxins, increased blood flow, and an overall decrease of inflammation.
ULTRA tip: pop your facial roller into the refrigerator for 30 minutes if you are extra puffy (cough, cough — hungover) and the puffiness and fine lines will start to diminish. Not to mention, the cooling sensation feels lush, a real at-home facial vibe.
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
Hopefully we don’t have to keep drilling this in your head but sunscreen is a must. 365 days a year. Indoor and outdoor. Sadly, sun damage and other damage from external pollutants can affect your neck easily. Apply a mineral-based sun cream daily and throughout the day to protect from UVA and UVB rays. We are big fans of Black Girl Sunscreen, Supergoop! and COOLA.
Ah, stretching. That tedious but highly beneficial thing all of us forget to do. A quick and effective stretch for the neck? Tilt head back so that you are looking up to the sky or ceiling and move your jaw forward — you should feel this in your chin. Hold the position for five seconds and repeat 10 times. This exercise will encourage tightness and lift.
Speaking of your neck, here’s how to do a straight razor shave properly and versatile stretching exercises you can do at your desk.
Photo via Star Wars