Take a look at your neck. Do you see any? Necklace lines that is.
So-called because they effectively look like a necklace, these lines are actually wrinkles and can be caused by a host of factors from genetics to looking at your mobile phone.
Yes, that constant looking down at your phone to reply to the family’s WhatsApp group or play Candy Crush could be making neck lines worse.
Expert dermatologist Dr Hadi, founder of the Vivderma skincare line, explains: “Neck wrinkles happen as we age due to the loss of skin strength and elasticity. There are two types of neck wrinkles: horizontal and vertical wrinkles.
“The horizontal wrinkles occur as a result of reduced collagen production in the skin due to natural ageing process combined with less oestrogen produced in women, long-term exposure to the sun and aggravated by smoking and poor hydration.
“The second type is the vertical wrinkles caused by keeping the head in the same position over long periods of time, which usually occurs when working with a computer, or when you sleep.”
Another reason the neck shows the signs of ageing before other parts of the body is due to the make-up of the skin.
Dr Gary Goldfaden, a US-based dermatologist and founder of Goldfaden MD, explains: “The neck skin is not attached to any bones, and therefore will be one of the first areas to display the natural progressive pull of gravity.”
So what can be done to combat and reduce necklace lines? Here are some ideas:
1. Start with cleansing
Treat your neck as you do – or should do – the skin on your face.
When cleansing your face, carry on cleansing down to the neck too. This will help to remove built up dirt, toxins and any other nasties that your skin might have collected along the way.
Avoid using soap, as this can alter the PH balance of the skin; instead look for a gentle, creamy cleanser with a milky consistency and sweep upwards.
2. Exfoliate the neck once a week
Just as you would your face, work on exfoliating your neck once a week. This helps to encourage cell renewal, removes dead skin cells and freshens the skin up.
It doesn’t have to be with a physical exfoliator, like a scrub. You can always use a cleansing brush, like the FOREO Luna or Clarisonic, or an acid exfoliator like Pixi’s Glow Tonic or B Revealed Glycolic Cleanser.
3. Treat it to a neck-specific serum
Even if you don’t manage to cleanse and exfoliate your neck, one thing that will help immensely is a neck-specific cream or serum.
Many people swear by simply taking the product that you’re using on your face onto your neck too, but that could be doing more harm than good.
Cathy Kangas, CEO and founder of PRAI Beauty, says: "The skin on the neck and décolletage is so thin, fragile and delicate, that using ordinary creams and lotions will only pull and drag the skin and create even more creasing and sagging.”
If it’s a product created just for your neck you’re after, you’re in luck, as the rise of the ‘tech neck’ – so called because of the effects staring at your smartphone, tablet or computer is having on your neck - has spawned hundreds of products onto the beauty market.
No7 recently released the Restore and Renew Face and Neck Multi Action Serum, promising users a smoother and less fragile neck.
If it’s instant results you’re after, Transformulas Line Filler targets, fills and erases lines with the swipe of a wand while Biotulin Supreme Gel (said to be Kate Middleton’s favourite) is often dubbed Botox in a bottle.
4. Use sunscreen regularly
Protect that neck from the sun’s harmful rays and take your face sunscreen down to your neck. Remember, it should be at least SPF 30 and you should apply it every single day. If you’re in the sun for a long time, wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade it.
5. Move your computer
Try and place your computer higher up on your desk, so you’re not looking down at it all day. Same goes for your phone or tablet – hold it up so the neck isn’t creased. You might look a bit strange but you’ll definitely be helping prevent any neck wrinkles.
6. Skip the spritz
If you regularly spray your neck with perfume, try to stop. Fragrances can dry out the skin and cause the skin to wrinkle; instead, spray it directly onto your inner wrists, dab a little behind the ears and even behind the knees.
Natural perfumes generally contain no alcohol, so are less drying.
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