The neck. Remember that part of you? That body part that we rarely show any love but are quick to bemoan when it inevitably shows its age? We are so invested in slathering on expensive face creams and undergoing rejuvenating facial treatments and yet are wholly negligent of our necks. “Don’t draw a line at the jawline, skincare should start at the hairline and end at the nipples,” world-renowned facialist Nichola Joss reminds us.
Neck wrinkles, and loose, sagging skin or ‘turkey neck’ (charming, thanks for that), are amongst the most prevalent signs of ageing and consequently the reason why the polo neck became such a wardrobe staple. Katherine Hepburn might’ve made high necks iconic but the likelihood is that it originated out of necessity.
What causes neck wrinkles to form in the first place?
The poor neck was always ill-fated; a vertical column of incredibly fragile skin, tasked with counteracting gravity and holding up the entire weight of the skull. The gradual degradation of collagen and elastin that form the structure of skin are simply yet another ‘perk’ of the ageing process and sagging neck skin is inevitable. However, there are two behavioural factors that hugely accelerate the formation of neck wrinkles.
Body? Check. Face? Everyday. Neck? What?
Be honest, when was the last time you applied sun protection to your neck? When we sit out in the sun, the neck and chest take a huge amount of the solar impact, fully absorbing UV rays, so require the lion’s share of the SPF slathering.
The affliction of the digital age and the reason that so many of us are encountering neck wrinkles at 30, tech-neck is entirely self-imposed. Tilting the head downwards at laptop screens for hours on end, causes the skin to form folds and those creases stick around for the long term. It’s easily solved with a stack of hardback books or shoebox to get the screen up to your natural eye level.
How to get rid of neck wrinkles – what are your options?
Facing the scalpel and undergoing surgical neck lifts can yield excellent results for those suffering extreme turkey neck. However, requests for surgical neck procedures have gone down in recent years due to the huge advancements in laser capability and the application of Botox and fillers that can competently reduce the appearance of lesser neck wrinkles and fine lines.
Botox injections to treat neck wrinkles work by paralysing the neck muscles, stopping those that pull downwards causing sagging and smoothing out fine, horizontal lines. A very effective treatment for wrinkles and lines and initial sagging. Down side? Requires regular top ups and someone to insert a large needle into your neck in the first place.
Fillers for neck wrinkles
Recommended for extremely dehydrated skin or those with skin conditions that rule out Botox and lasers. Hyaluronic acid gel is injected into neck creases with the aim of plumping them out and creating tension for a smoother appearance. The logic is there and results are immediate but vary in how long they last. There’s also a huge variant in who administers it and poor quality injections often cause lumps.
Laser treatment for neck wrinkles
Anyone who’s desperately searched ‘laser treatment to get rid of neck wrinkles’ will usually be met by reams of Fraxel, Erbium, CO2 laser treatment results. These lasers all work to improve the tone and texture of skin but pronounced sagging, (that turkey neck term again) and deep neck bands will still be apparent. The good news is that the results last years, the bad news is you have to go through the experience of zapping, crackling and burning laser on such a delicate and vital area, not forgetting the associated downtime that follows. Also, the fragile nature of the neck skin means it cannot take the laser beam intensity that the facial skin can, meaning more treatments at a lower power which further increases the cost.
The LYMA laser for neck wrinkles
Yes it’s another laser, no it’s not like any of the others. The LYMA laser is a completely new prospect for neck wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin. Harnessing world-first technology adapted from rehabilitation hospitals, this coherent laser beam is able to travel down to the deepest layers of skin to transfer light energy into skin cells, giving them the verve to rejuvenate and repair. The heat from the 500-megawatt laser is diffused by lenses, so there’s no pain and no down time. And the best part? It’s completely safe to use yourself at home so once you’ve purchased the laser, you get to be your own aesthetician and carry out treatments daily from your sofa.
Here are some before and after photos of the LYMA laser results on chest wrinkles (the skin on the chest is as fragile as the skin on the neck)
Alternative treatments to lasers and cosmetic procedures
The neck products worth investing in
- Nurse Jamie Beauty Bear Age Delay Pillow, £64 (from CultBEAUTY)
Just as with tech-neck, your sleeping position can have an impact on your accumulation of neck wrinkles and side-sleeping is the worst culprit. If you’re not already acquainted with the excellent Nurse Jamie range, become so. This is a cult favourite and often sold out. Ergonomically designed memory foam sculpted to cradle the face and neck for the ultimate supportive sleep position and none of the sagging.
- Natura Bisse Tensolift Neck Cream, £176 (net-a-porter)
Tightening, firming, lifting, smoothing, there’s a lot going on in this ultra-luxe formula which is why it’s recommended by beauty editors worldwide. Hero ingredient Kombuchka extract is an excellent plumping active and gives instant visible results.
- Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion, £75 (Harrods)
Applying acid to your neck may seem like the actions of a crazy person but this is the real deal. A potent combination of Retinol (vitamin A), lactic and ferulic acids work wonders on cell regeneration to target crepiness and transform the appearance of skin. Up the ante on SPF though, as all that chemical romance significantly increases skin’s photosensitivity.
- 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Neck Lifting and Firming Mask, £18 (LookFantastic)
The perfect pre-event hydrating neck treatment that you can do yourself. This wrinkle busting wrap is impregnated with a unique biometric peptide that simultaneously plumps and lifts skin whilst giving a blurring effect to horizontal neck creases.
What’s the rub: How to massage away neck wrinkles
Arguably, it’s not so much the cream as what you do with it that makes the biggest difference to neck wrinkles. Warm neck creams in your hands first and then, either with a flat palm, or by creating a wide ‘C’ shape between your thumb and index finger, work in upwards waterfall motions overlapping your hands so as one reaches your jawline, the other is already starting at your collar bone. Regular and repetitive massage will get blood flow to the skin, improving texture and increasing the performance of the products you’ve invested in.
Originally published Sep 15, 2021.
Written by Jess Lacey.