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Save a thought for the neglected neck this Christmas… and not just on your turkey!

A message from Dr Eithne Brenner, Medical Director and Founder of Manara Skin Clinics

We know we should protect our faces from sun damage and the signs of ageing, but our necks often get overlooked and can look older than the rest of us if we don’t shield them from the elements.

We often rely on the SPF in our foundation for our faces, but then blend it at the jawline, and don’t put the same kind of coverage on our necks, leaving them vulnerable. Most of our skin ageing is due to ultraviolet exposure from the sun every day, even on cloudy or cool days, as UV A rays are present year-round and can penetrate clouds, and glass windows.

The skin on our neck is delicate, thinner and has less sebaceous glands than skin elsewhere, so it needs more moisturising. It also has less fat and shows sagging and loss of elasticity sooner. We’re also seeing more ‘tech neck’ where lines form horizontally on the neck, when we look down at our phones and computer screens for hours each day.

So what can we do to save our necks?

Prevention is key

It’s never too late to improve the texture and appearance of neck skin: use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day of the year, on face, neck, décolletage, and hands. Avoid sunburn and stay in the shade or use a light scarf or cover-up at the hottest times of the day.

Skincare products can really help

Night-time moisturisers and other products containing hyaluronic acid can hydrate and soften neck skin for up to 8 hours. Vitamin A/retinol products are also suitable for neck skin: these stimulate collagen, turn over cells faster and reduce pigmentation. However, they need to be started very gradually on the neck as they cause flaking and irritation otherwise. Vitamin C is brightening and stimulates collagen. Peptides can help support collagen and elastin production.

IPL (Intense pulse light)

IPL reduces pigmentation, treats tiny blood vessels on the neck and helps rejuvenate cells. Many adults develop pigmentation and redness at the sides of the neck, with sparing of the central neck, as the chin acts as a sunshade. This condition is called Poikiloderma of Civatte and is very common in fair-skinned folk.

Treatments for the face can often be used on the neck

This particularly includes light peels, micro-needling, PRP (platelet-rich plasma), Profhilo (injectable moisturiser), and others.

Injectables

Injectables like very soft ‘runny’ hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can be used very effectively and subtly to soften lines and provide hydration under the skin. Injectable treatments can also help reduce those vertical bands on the neck that develop as we get older – remember Deirdre from Coronation Street?

If you’ve any questions, pop them in the comments below, and we’ll get back to you.

Until next time, Eithne x

Want to know more? Get in touch

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