beauty

Quick question: Do you actually need a skincare routine for your neck?

From our butts to our vaginas, these days you can find a skincare product for almost *every* part of your body. 

Like, we wouldn't be shocked to see a moisturiser made specifically for your left elbow. That's where we're at.

It's A LOT. Especially when you don't know what's true and what's not. 

Like, should we actually be using different skincare products for different areas? Is this a thing? Or are skincare brands trying to pull a fast one on us?

Watch: Here are the products and ingredients you need to know about. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

One particular area getting a helluva lot attention from brands is neck skincare. That's right - skincare for your neck

You've probably seen a whole heaps of neck-specific masks and creams kicking around, yes?

Well, given our necks are on show every day (give or take a few skivvy/scarf moments), we all know this is a delicate area we need to care for just as well as our face - SPF being the big one. 

But do we need a whole separate routine for our necks? Or will our power-packed face cream do the job just fine?

Listen: Anti-ageing creams for your eyes and neck are now standard issue, but when it comes to looking younger, there are two often-ignored spots further south that could use a little TLC. Post continues below.

To get to the bottom of neck skin care and answer the 345 questions we've already posed in this introduction, we had a chat with dermatologist Dr Katherine Armour from Bespoke Skin Technology.

Here's what she reckons.

Is the skin on our neck different to our face? 

Let's start with the obvious. Does the skin on our neck need special treatment?

Well, while it may be that little bit thinner, Dr Armour said the skin on our neck isn't really that different to our face. 

"It may be slightly more sensitive to active skincare ingredients when you buy a new product, purely because tolerance hasn't been built up by long-term use of actives in these areas."

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Other than that, it's pretty much, like, same-same.

Here's the thing, though. Despite having a thorough skincare routine all mapped out for our faces, most people often neglect caring for their neck area until it's absolutely ravaged with sun damage and yearning for some love.

So sad.

"With the exception of the area of skin immediately under our chin (which is relatively sun-protected), the skin on our neck is bombarded by sun just like our face – day in, day out. Unless you wear collars, or scarves daily to protect your neck, it’s at risk of environmental damage from the sun and pollution just like the rest of your face."

So, when it comes to looking after ya neck, Dr Armour recommends establishing a thorough routine to protect and nourish this area as soon as possible. 

Like, now is a good day to start.

"We should pay attention to our neck at the same time as we start looking after our face (at birth! Or more seriously, in our 20s)."

So, do you really need a different skincare routine for your neck?

Now that we know that looking after the skin on your neck is an expert-approved thing that we should do, what do we actually put on it?

Should we look for those neck-specific creams and serums that claim to smooth, firm and lift our neck? Or nah?

"I'm going to be brutal and call absolute BS on the idea that we need a different skincare routine, or different skincare products for the neck area," said Dr Armour.

WE KNEW IT. Image: Giphy

Getting all fancy and having 102 products split between your different areas of skin is just not necessary. Like, at all. Unless that's something you just really want to do, because you have some spare cash to throw around, cause who are we to tell you what to do, anyway?

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If this doesn't relate to you, just simply treat your neck and face as one unit. 

Meaning? Use what you're using on your face, and bring it all the way down to your boobs (like, as long as the actives aren't irritating your neck and all the jazz, okay?). 

See? Easy as pie!

What ingredients are the best for fighting off wrinkles and lines?

As always, the number one anti-ageing product you can use on your neck is sunscreen. So, make it a daily practice and extend it all the way down your neck and decolletage. 

Already doing it? A 10/10 for you, friend.

"Our priority should be to apply a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen daily, and to reapply every two hours, whenever possible. Our neck is a hot, sweaty area and may rub on clothing. So, it’s particularly important to reapply sunscreen to our neck area if it’s not covered by clothing."

When it comes to ingredients, you're going to want to opt for cosmeceutical ingredients (hard-hitting skincare products). 

Dr Armour said these will help to stimulate new collagen production, and can be super helpful in the prevention of fine lines and a crepey skin texture.

Cool! What are cosmeceuticals, again?

"Think retinoids (such as retinaldehyde), niacinamide, vitamin C and alpha and polyhydroxy acids," said Dr Armour. 

"Remember that the skin of our neck may not have had the same exposure to active ingredients that our face has. So, care is needed when introducing ingredients which can potentially be irritating."

If there is a rash or the skin is itchy and irritated after applying active ingredients, then... stop.  

Struggling to find something that won't make your neck feel like it's on fire? Niacinamide is a good option for you, pal.

"It's a very soothing ingredient and is well-tolerated," said Dr Armour. "So, this would be a good place to start."

Wanna know what else is good for sensitive skin on le neck region? Other long and complicated-sounding ingredients that we'll let Dr Armour tell you about:

"If you have sensitive skin, I'd suggest niacinamide and gluconalactone (a polyhydroxy acid), which is better tolerated than AHAs. I'd introduce one ingredient at a time and avoid using retinoids and AHAs together on the same day."

Once things are looking good and your skin is tolerating all these ingredients, then you can add in ol' mate vitamin C.

What other things can I do to prevent my neck looking wrinkled?

One of the easiest things you can do for your neck and decolletage is to remember to cover up with clothing and a hat.

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 "Ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure, is absolutely the main culprit in causing ageing of skin in the neck area," said Dr Armour.

Juuust enough. Image: Giphy

"Broad-brimmed hats and scarves offer great sun protection for the neck, whilst caps leave the sides of the cheeks and our necks exposed," she adds.

Also, don't get trapped in a doomscroll. 

There aren’t really any studies quantifying the contribution from 'tech neck' or sleeping with our necks flexed to horizontal neck lines. However, it makes sense to position your device so that your neck can remain in a neutral position," said Dr Armour.

Not only will this help alleviate any strain on our neck muscles, but it'll also stop us flexing our neck to prevent horizontal neck lines.

Lastly, STOP spraying fragrance on your neck. You're literally giving the sun a field day.

"Fragrance plus sun exposure can lead to skin changes on the neck called poikiloderma of civatte, reveals Dr Armour. 

Sheesh. No good.

"These comprise redness, hyperpigmentation, and thinning of the skin rather than wrinkles."

Instead, spray it somewhere on your body that is covered by clothing.

'Kay, we good?

Feature image: Getty

Do you have a skincare routine for your neck? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.