Beauty doesn’t stop at the jawline – it is top to toe. Many women spend a fortune on expensive anti-wrinkle creams and worry about premature ageing on their face, but neglect their neck and décolletage. One of the most common questions I get asked by my facial clients is how can they prevent ageing on their neck and chest areas?
Let's start by understanding why these areas need special attention. The neck has fewer oil glands than the rest of the body and is subjected to all weather conditions, making it vulnerable to sun damage and premature ageing. It also works constantly to support the head; numerous movements cause the skin on the neck to be frequently stretched, often resulting in a lined, saggy look. The décolletage (shoulder and chest area) has more oil glands than the neck but the skin is thin and delicate. This area is often exposed to the sun, which over time can cause the skin to become lined, saggy, and leathery in appearance. The décolletage can be sensitive or over-oily, both of which need special care.
To care for your neck and décolletage areas correctly, they should be treated as part of your face, not your body. The skin on the rest of the body is a lot thicker than these areas, and therefore body washes, scrubs and moisturisers can be too harsh or heavy for the neck and décolletage. Use your usual facial cleanser upwards on the neck, and down and outwards across the décolletage, and remove with damp cotton pads or a warm face cloth. Exfoliate once a week to remove dead skin cells and reveal healthy new ones, and to boost circulation to the area. Your face mask can be applied to these areas too; choose a hydrating one for a moisturising boost or a deep-cleansing one to help combat breakouts. Take your facial moisturiser down onto the neck and décolletage, and don’t forget to include the back of the neck, which is often neglected. Look for creams containing ingredients such as vitamins A and E, and wheatgerm as these can help to keep the skin firm. Every time you use hand cream during the day, massage the excess into these areas to top up moisture levels.
The neck and décolletage should be protected from the elements by wearing sun cream in hot weather and a scarf in cold, windy weather. For an extra boost, massage the area with age-defying oils before bed – look for blends that use avocado, wheatgerm or rosehip base oils, and frankincense, carrot seed, rose or neroli essential oils. Try a luxury salon treatment for added enhancement – a good facial should always include the neck and décolletage.