We hate to break it to you, but if your skin care stops at your jaw, you’re doing it wrong. Just south of your face, your delicate neck and décolleté lie just as exposed to UV rays, pollution and other external aggressors that ultimately have an aging effect on the skin. Because the skin of these areas is thinner than that of the face, they are even more prone to dryness, pigmentation, wrinkles and more. To defend against common concerns like tech neck lines, turkey neck and a sagging jawline, we’ve set out to find the the best neck creams that actually work.
“Whether you are already seeing signs of aging or not, use skin care on your neck daily,” board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Loretta skin care Dr. Loretta Ciraldo says. “I find that neck skin care is too often overlooked, with the net effect being that for many of us our necks show our age before most of the face (with the exception of thin eye skin, which is often the first to show visible unwanted aging changes).”
Thankfully, maintaining a skin care routine for your neck is pretty straightforward and requires only one or two products. Because the skin on the neck and décolletage is thin, it can’t take as much product layering as your face, so you should be set with a nourishing neck cream to use twice a day — once in the morning, once at night — plus an SPF for the daytime.
Ciraldo says to look for products that have glycerin, peptides and botanical antioxidants. Glycerin “is great for all-day moisture,” while peptides assist with filling fine lines and wrinkles (which manifest as tech neck) and antioxidants support collagen, therefore tackling the tightening and toning of the area. Other dermatologist-approved ingredients that help maintain a youthful-looking neck include niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and retinoids.
New York dermatologist Dr. Hadley King also stresses that you should never forget your SPF. “Sunscreen will be the most effective ingredient over time,” she says. Dr. Caroline Robinson, a Chicago-based dermatologist, agrees with King, noting, “The most common pitfall I see with the neck and décolleté area is lack of consistency with sunscreen application. It is important to incorporate treatment products but arguably more important to start early with protecting the area with SPF.”
And while neck cream can be used to prevent and reverse signs of aging, the dermatologists we spoke to acknowledged that skin care can only go so far. Especially when those with mature skin are looking to treat severe skin sagging and wrinkles, a more aggressive treatment — such as injectables, noninvasive tightening procedures and surgery options — might be necessary depending on the desired results.
In the meantime, though, adding a neck cream to your regimen can give you a boost toward having healthier skin all over. Here, six skin care experts share their top recommendations for neck creams, serums and more formulated specifically to treat the delicate décolletage.
Firming neck creams
Dr. Brandt Skincare Needles No More Neck Tightening Cream
Caffeine, hyaluronic acid and glycerin help wake up and hydrate the neck and décolleté in this neck cream. Reviewers love how it absorbs into the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and hydrated, delivering visible results after a couple of weeks.