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People have been taking better care and are more focused of their facial skin but a face that looks youthful paired with a neck and chest that show the signs of sun damage and photo-aging can make people look unnatural and ‘done’. The truth is, one can always tell someone’s age, but looking at their neck and hands – two areas that are constantly exposed and often forgotten about. Discover the science behind how the neck ages and tips on how to reverse skin aging.

We sat down with Dr. G to get the 411 on how to properly care for our neck.

Why does the neck area age so quickly?

The neck skin is not attached to any bones, and therefore will be one of the first areas to display the pull of gravity. That also means that it is aging both vertically and horizontally causing sagging and lines all over. The neck is often forgotten when it comes time to protect the skin. The neck is exposed to elements such as sun and environmental pollutants.

What’s the look that every 40-something woman and over wants from her neck?  The look of tight, taught, even toned and hydrated skin.  No discoloration, dehydrated, crepey skin or horizontal bands.

Is there a celebrity poster women for a good chin and neck?

Jennifer Lopez

What can we do at home as part of a daily routine? 

Start with exfoliation (I always recommend to my patients our Fresh A Peel as it exfoliates, brightens and hydrates in one) to rid the neck area of dead skin, dirt, debris and as a rule of thumb, try to remember to extend your facial treatments down through the neck and decollate area. Incorporate  neck cream that contains anti-aging ingredients and was developed for the neck area. When choosing a neck cream look for peptides, hydrating lightweight oils (remember we don’t produce oil on the neck, so the skin often gets dehydrated quickly), and ingredients that offer brightening and DNA repair. Wearing an SPF on the neck and chest area is a must everyday.  We also look down a lot (at our computers and phones), which causes more wrinkles. Try and place your computer higher up on your desk and hold your phone up when texting or reading. Always stand up straight as good posture can help prevent wrinkles.

Why is the skin there so very tricky?

The neck has no pores, hair follicles or sweat glands, therefore doesn’t produce oil like the face does, making it susceptible to dehydration. The skin of the neck and chest are is thinner tissue than the face and is damaged more easily. Many people ignore the neck forget that it is exposed to the elements. The sagging and crepiness is due to loss of collagen. Discoloration may be present due to sun damage or hormones and can range from speckled darkness to redness and uneven tone.

Is it better to use dedicated products or can you just use your face creams?

If it is better to use dedicated ones why please? Dedicated neck products are recommended.  Do not use anti-aging face creams on the neck. The neck is more delicate than the face, has no pores and cannot absorb many of the ingredients in facial products. Always apply the cream in an upward motion. Never pull, tug or rub the neck skin.

Any tips such as for example wearing sun screen on your neck?

When protecting or restoring the neck, always extend your exfoliation treatment down to the neck and décolleté area. Incorporate a neck cream with ingredients that target discoloration, dehydration, tightness and cell turnover such as peptides, amino acids, oil of grapefruit and birds of paradise. Always wear an SPF or cover the neck area when outdoors as this will help to mitigate discoloration. No one is too young to start protecting the neck area!

What

Both AHAs and BHAs chemical exfoliators work by combining with the structural lipids in the stratum corneum (aka skin) and dissolving them so that the dead skin cells break away. This is just a fancy was of explaining their very efficient exfoliation method and why they’re an encouraged addition to any healthy skincare regimen.

Who

Alpha Hydroxy Acid or AHA (which are Lactic acid, Glycolic acid and the Fruit acids) is used as a facial exfoliator and is an excellent choice for people with sun damaged skin, aging skin and normal to dry skin types. AHA does not cause sun sensitivity and comes in many forms. AHA’s come in the form of lactic acid which is derived from milk, glycolic acid which is derived from sugarcane and fruit acids which are derived from fruits (citrus and apples/malic acid). AHA can also aid in thickening the lower layers of the skin thus delivering firmness.

Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA (also called salicylic acid) comes from acetylsalicylic acid which is the same source as aspirin. In general, beta hydroxy acid is a more effective treatment for acne prone skin. BHA also can cause sun sensitivity and must always be used in conjunction with a sunscreen.

Why

  • They’re both powerhouse ingredients!
  • Both get rid of the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Both make skin appear smoother and tighter
  • Both make skin look more even in texture
  • Improve scarring
  • Improve appearance of photo-aged skin
  • Both hydrate and exfoliate the skin


Well said from Paula’s Choice: “AHAs and BHA are different, and their different properties make one or the other preferred for different skin types”:

  • AHAs are water soluble and are preferred for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin due to their ability to enhance natural moisturizing factors within skin.
  • BHA is oil soluble and preferred for normal to oily, clog-prone and bump-prone skin, and enlarged pores, and can clear pores deeply, even those with hard, tiny, white bumps on the cheeks and face. BHA is even suitable for those prone to milia.
  • AHAs and BHA work on skin’s surface; but BHA also works inside the pore lining, where clogs begin.
  • BHA has natural skin-calming properties, which make it preferred for sensitive, redness-prone skin. It’s great for sensitive skin, even for those with rosacea.”

When

  1. AM/PM: try one in the morning and one at night. If you’re targeting a skin issue then doubling down can be effective. Make sure to always hydrate your skin properly and pay attention to warning signs such as redness or red or dryness.
  2. Alternate days: Try AHA on day and then BHA a few days later. Listen to your skin and you’ll never go wrong!
  3. Spot treat: If you have combo skin, try using BHA only in t-zone or oily areas while using AHA everywhere else.
  4. Know your limits-not everyone needs both and if you’re particularly sensitive and NOT acne prone then stick to AHAs.

Dr. G recommends: (BHA’s) Fresh A Peel + Detox Hydrating Gel, (hybrid of AHA and BHA) Skin Balancing Mask, (AHA) Detox Clarifying Facial Wash.

Effective at diminishing the appearance of dark spots , stimulating collagen production, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and boosting overall radiance. Vitamin C is the single most powerful topical ingredient that exists and everyone should be using it within their regimen. Have you ever asked yourself, ‘how does she achieve that glow?’. Look no further because we are about to tell you the secret women have been using for years…. Vitamin C. Hailed as one of the best anti-agers on the market !

Photo via @edgarraw

What is Vitamin C:

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is abundant in vegetables and fruits, particularly in citrus fruits where the Vitamin C levels are the highest. A water-soluble vitamin and powerful anti-oxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, which enhances collagen fibers in the skin (hello firmness), fights against free radical damage and contains skin-brightening properties.

How it works

Anti-oxidant

Vitamin C is the single most powerful and multi-functional ingredient in topical products. Loaded with antioxidants, brightening properties and collagen building enzymes, Vitamin C is a true powerhouse ingredient. Topical antioxidants produce much higher concentrations in the skin than nutritional supplements. In fact, applying vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. Simply applying vitamin C daily for three days can achieve optimal levels in the skin. It is also known that once a topical antioxidant is absorbed into the skin, it cannot be washed or rubbed off. So, even after stopping application, significant amounts of vitamin C will remain in the skin for up to three days.

Collagen Enhancing Properties

Vitamin C’s skin-health benefits are largely attributed to its benefits in supporting healthy collagen. Collagen works hand-in-hand with elastin to support the skin. Basically, it supplies the framework that provides form, firmness, and strength to the skin, while elastin is what gives skin its flexibility. A number of in vitro studies have confirmed that treating human skin cells with a topical vitamin C derivative can stimulate collagen synthesis. In addition to facilitating the hydroxylation reactions involved in collagen formation, vitamin C also stimulates collagen synthesis by enhancing collagen gene transcription. Topical vitamin C may also help preserve existing collagen by influencing the enzymes responsible for collagen degradation.

What to buy

Serums deliver the most bang for your buck as they typically are formulated with the highest concentrations of Vitamin C. A good place to start is with a formula with a minimum of 7% Vitamin C and as high as 15% as this is really the sweet spot in terms of providing proper treatment to the skin and make sure that the Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is listed high up on the ingredient deck – just another indication of the level of percentage within the formula.

One of the best anti-aging cocktails is  a mix of Vitamin C serum+ additional age-defying ingredients

Ferulic Acid: Protects your skin against sun damage and also stabilizes the Vitamin C, preventing it from oxidating (i.e. changing color) which eliminates the treatment.

Vitamin E / Tocopherol: Anti-inflammatory properties and overall skin nourishment

Vitamin B / Niacinamide: Provide brightening and anti-inflammatory properties.

*Try Brightening Elixir by Goldfaden MD

How to use it:

The ultimate youth-boosting skincare protocol involves the use of a regular exfoliator (or retinoid at night as it helps promote cell renewal and allows for the treatment serum to penetrate deep into the skin), followed by a daily Vitamin C serum, protective moisturizer and your preferred SPF of SPF 30 or higher.

Photo via @edgarraw