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Monday, September 26, 2011

Having Good Skin BELOW the Chin: Taking Care of Our Necks!

We often spend so much money and time on our skin care routines that we completely neglect one very crucial part of anti-aging and just having good skin all around: our necks! Necks are often one of the first parts of our body that shows our age (or more of an age than we actually have!). You don't want to look like your head belongs on a different body. Would you wear a gorgeous dress with tennis shoes? No. It would take away from the beauty of the dress and draw the attention to your hideous and out of place shoe choice. Consistency is key in beauty.
You know how the age of an oak tree can be determined by counting its rings? No one wants to play count the rings around your neck. 
Instead of opting to wear turtlenecks and scarves for the rest of our lives, let's show the neck some love and make sure that we place equal importance on the value of having good skin below the chin. Have I convinced you yet? I thought the aging oak tree reference would do it.

It is a fact that blood circulates poorly in the neck area and this area has virtually no subcutaneous fat. Making it thinner and with less elastin and collagen. 

Maintain the Skin Below Your Chin! Here's How:

and don't forget your decollete! I don't know many people that don't have sun damage in this area, some of us from frying ourselves like an egg at the highest elevations possible, legitimately trying to get as close to the actual sun as possible)

1. Use at least an SPF 30 on your neck and decollete just as you would your face, but don't stop at the neck, go all the way down to your bust line AND the back of your hands!! Think of how much sun your poor hands are subjected to just by having them positioned on the steering wheel in the sun's direct path!

2. Moisture! An aging neck is a neck that is not well hydrated. Besides eating foods high in Vitamin F (corn and sunflower oils as well as nuts), lather on that moisturizer day and night. And remember, a good SPF is the most important part. If you have that down, you are way ahead of the game already.

3. Night Time Care Here is where we give our necks the royal treatment. Use a night cream that is specialized in treating the neck area. Generally, if a moisturizer is formulated for the neck, it is also meant for the decollete (that area that is between neck and bust) There are a few really good ones out there! I will list a couple of my personal rec's below. You won't be disappointed. They are both highly highly rated and reviewed. Spend some time really focusing on upward strokes when blending your moisturizer into your neck. Never downward! Same goes for your face moisturizers. We don't want our skin to ever be drooping downward and so we don't want to do anything to encourage that downward motion.
Easy Night Time Neck Treatment: I mentioned corn and sunflower oil. You can rub either of these on your neck, massaging the area but avoiding massage of thyroid gland. After you are good and coated, take a warm wet towel and wrap it around the area to keep the moisture in. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes. 

4. Unless it says not to, use your face masks and treatments on your neck as well.

Fantastic Neck Creams for Your Night Routine:

Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough Neck/Decollete Cream: 

This is a very thick and dense cream. It will take a little bit of muscle to blend it in all the way. But this will force you to concentrate and slowly work the cream upward onto your neck and chest. This is a great treatment, your skin will thank you. Best for night time use as it is a bit thick for day, $35 for 2 oz. and a past QVC award winner for best neck cream.

Bare Escentuals Firming Neck Cream:

Another award winner, this is a fan favorite in the area of neck creams. This cream does go on silky smooth and will instantly hydrate. This cream is also made special for the decolette as well as the one from Philosophy. Bare Escentuals is known for being paraben-free and for containing many good for you ingredients. Can be used both day and night. If you don't want to use it twice, make sure to use it at night if choosing between night and day. The 2011 QVC award winner for best neck cream. $38 for 1.7 oz.

**If these creams are too pricey and just don't fit in the budget, look for an alternative in the drug store that is one specialized for the neck area like L'oreal RevitaLift Face and Neck Cream. I have a motto that when all else fails, turn to Ebay.

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