Everything You Need to Know About How to Tighten Neck Skin

Yes, your neck needs products too.

Neck Skin Routine
Photo: Getty Images

Ever wanted to know the secret for how to tighten neck skin? Well, first things first, you'll have to take a long hard look at the lack of care, sun exposure, and volume loss that region of our body goes through as we get older. Basically, the sooner you start paying attention to the skin on the neck, the better.

According to Dr. Jaimie DeRosa, Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon and Founder and Lead Facial Plastic Surgeon of DeRosa Center Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in Boston and Palm Beach, the neck has some of the thinnest skin in the body (along with the chest and eyelids), that's why wrinkles and changes in this area are seen more quickly than in places with thicker skin. "The neck skin has fewer sebaceous glands than those seen in the face, so it doesn't get the benefit of the natural oils from the glands to moisturize itself," says Dr. DeRosa.

Just like the rest of the body, skin wrinkles develop as the skin ages, which means that it loses elasticity, collagen, and becomes more fragile. "As we get older, the "framework" on which the skin sits also diminishes," explains Dr. DeRosa. "This framework includes the 'cushion' under the skin, i.e. the subcutaneous fat, and the bones themselves — the fat cushion reduces and the bones thin, making the skin too big for that smaller framework, and thus accentuating the sag."

You'll want to show the neck area as much TLC as you do your face, as the neck and décolletage have less oil glands than your face, they are prone to drying out, Dr. Yunyoung Claire Chan, board-certified dermatologist at Union Derm in New York City explains.

To remedy this issue, Dr. Chang recommends adding an extra boost of hydration — whether that be with serums, thicker moisturizers, or hydrating masks — to keep the skin looking fresh and plump.

So, ready to get your neck skincare routine in order? Here's everything you need to know to get started.

At What Age Should You Start Using Anti-Aging Products for Your Neck?

If you're reading this, you already should be using anti-aging neck skin care product, says Dr DeRosa. "My recommendation is to start as early as your teens or twenties, starting with a simple skin care regimen to prevent wrinkles," she says. "The easiest thing to do early on is to limit direct sun exposure and to wear a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB coverage) sunscreen on the face and neck (and chest) every single day. By age 30, I'd incorporate a good neck cream to use at least nightly if not twice daily, and then continue this regimen forever."

How Can I Take Care of The Skin on my Neck?

Developing neck wrinkles can't be completely prevented, since the very nature of aging means that you're going to lose subcutaneous fat and bone mass and the skin itself will start to have less organized and healthy components, such as collagen. However, there are definitely things that you can do to slow down the development of wrinkles. "One of the best things is to decrease external causes of skin aging—and the number one culprit is UVA rays from the sun, as this ultraviolet light actually penetrates into the dermal layer of the skin to break down collagen and elastin," says Dr. DeRosa.

Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher on your neck everyday, rain or shine, will help to decrease the negative effects of UVA rays. Smoking also accelerates the aging process in your skin. "I tell my patients who smoke that I strongly recommend that they quit not just to keep their lungs healthy, but to keep their skin looking good," says Dr. DeRosa. "Guess which one catches their attention more? And then there's also the 'tech neck' — wrinkles caused by holding your smartphone against your ear and bending your neck to help hold it."

According to the experts, the best way to take care of the skin on your neck is to treat your neck as an extension of your face. Making sure you optimize moisture and hydration to the neck skin is important, as dry skin shrivels up skin cells, which can translate to seeing more fine lines and wrinkles.

Most of us are using good quality cleansers, serums, moisturizers and broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen on our faces and have a twice daily regimen for this. Just extend your routine to include the neck, and soon, like flossing, it will feel 'wrong' to not include your neck in your skin care regimen.

Can I Use Face Products on My Neck?

The short answer is, maybe. It all depends on the face product you have, and what it's intended to do, says Dr. DeRosa. "Face products that are made to improve the elasticity and collagen in the skin are typically ok to use on the neck, but be careful using anti-acne products and/or retinols when first starting out, as you'll need a lot less of these products for the thin neck skin as compared to the face," she explains.

Dr. DeRosa adds that nowadays there are so many products that have a multitude of active ingredients, that it may be difficult to figure out exactly which face product is safe for the neck which is why, ideally, she recommends using neck-specific skin care products to combat neck wrinkles, as they are specially formulated for the thinner neck skin to hydrate and increase the dermal substrates, including collagen and elastin.

Are There Any Specific Products I Should Be Using Daily?


Seeing as the main contributor to premature aging of the neck and décolletage is the sun, you'll want to use a sunscreen (at least SPF 30) every day — whether or not you're going outside, says Dr. Katina Byrd Miles, a board-certified dermatologist at Skin Oasis Dermatology in Maryland.

In addition to topical sun protection, both Dr. Miles and Dr. Chang recommend using sun-protective clothing, antioxidants, and anti-aging products, such as retinol, on your neck and décolletage.

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What Ingredients Help Reduce Neck Lines and Wrinkles?

When it comes to effective products that can help tighten neck skin, Dr. DeRosa says there are some specific ingredients you should look out for. "Just like on the face, neck skincare ingredients that help to reduce neck lines and wrinkles include retinols, hyaluronic acid and L-glutamine — which help boost collagen synthesis," she says.

Other ingredients you'll want as part of your routine include genistein, which improves collagen levels, boosts elasticity and decreases glycation. Palmitoyl tripeptide, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Algae extracts which help retain skin moisture and tone, and ceramide, which improves water retention, reducing dryness.

When Will I Start to See the Effects of Anti-aging Neck Products?

Most anti-aging skin care products take time to see their effects, as their ingredients are typically working on a cellular or intracellular layer to replenish collagen and elastin substrates, for example, within the dermis. This means that it can take a minimum of six weeks to several months to really notice improvements. However, Dr. DeRosa shares that adding a HA (hyaluronic acid) serum to your regime can also help to hydrate your neck skin more quickly, and results are seen almost immediately.

Are There Any Non-invasive Treatments That Can Rejuvenate The Neck Area?

"For anyone that needs deeper procedures to improve signs of aging, my favorites for the neck and chest are resurfacing lasers," says Dr. Chang, who recommends Fraxel Dual to improve brown spots and stimulate collagen, Intense Pulsed Light for pigmentation and redness, and Thermage for skin tightening.

Dr. Miles says Botox is another treatment that can be used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles on the neck, along with Ultherapy. "I personally do these treatments yearly and recommend them to patients," she adds.

What Products Can I Buy Specifically For My Neck?

Alastin Skincare Restorative Neck Complex

Alastin Skincare Restorative Neck Complex

To shop: $112; alastin.com

This restorative cream helps to reduce crepey skin, fine lines and wrinkles and decrease pigmentation issues and redness.

No7 Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum

No7 Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum

This serum works for both your face and neck to provide hydrating hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and peptides to firm, brighten and hydrate the skin.

To shop: $43; no7beauty.com

Eve Lom Time Retreat Face and Neck Sheet Mask

best skincare products for neck

This mask contains skin-soothing niacinamide and anti-aging retinol to improve texture and fine lines.

To shop: $17; evelom.com

AnteAGE Accelerator

AnteAGE Accelerator

This rich moisturizer has revitalizing actives and targeted antioxidants that deeply hydrate and nourish the skin to gently reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increase skin renewal at the cellular level.

To shop: $95; anteage.com

SiO Plunging Neckline Pack

best skincare products for neck

These doctor-recommended patches intensify hydration and support skin's ability to retain moisture, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

To shop: $45; siobeauty.com

SooAE Intensive Neck & Décolletage Mask

best skincare products for neck

SooAE's Intensive Neck & Decolletage Mask is perfectly shaped to cover the area. Deep moisture and age-fighting ingredients help to restore and improve skin smoothness, firmness, and elasticity.

To shop: $19; amazon.com

Beauty HAC Neck/Face Serum

HAC Neck/Face Serum

Target your face and neck and release soothing ingredients through the metal roller. This serum is packed with clinical levels of vitamin C, Ester and peptides that activate collagen to promote visibly firmer skin.

To shop: $130; beautyhac.com

GoodNight Moon Chest/Neck Sleep Mask

best skincare products for neck

The mask helps improve skin elasticity, while smoothing the appearance of wrinkles and creases with replenishing hyaluronic acid. Marine collagen fuels skin with essential proteins to improve elasticity and firmness.

To shop: $32; amazon.com

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