Many of us have a strict skincare regime in place to avoid breaking out in spots and keep skin looking youthful and healthy but how many of us pay attention to the area on our neck? During my teens and early twenties I diligently took care of my skin and neglected my neck, but experts claim this area can give away your age if not taken care of properly. "Prominent signs of ageing are mostly revealed in the neck, where a loss of elasticity causes sagging skin to reveal our true age" explains Victoria Trueman, [ comfort zone ]'s National Training Manager. "The loss of elasticity is due to many reasons from sun damage to simple neck negligence. Many women experience fine lines and wrinkles, with spider veins and blotchy skin often prevalent on the side of the neck. This is completely normal as we grow older, but there are ways to combat these signs."
Cleanse your neck
Many of us forget to treat the neck area when cleansing our face but it's essential to keeping it looking young and healthy. "Cleanse the neck every day with a gentle pH balanced cleanser and a face brush (I recommend the Clarisonic) to lift away dirt and dead skin cells" suggests says skincare expert Dr Natalie Blakely. "This will also help prime the skin for treatment products so they penetrate the skin more effectively."
Use a neck cream regularly
Fight the first signs of crepey skin by using a neck cream. Try NeoStrata Firming Neck Cream £49, which contains patented NeoGlucosamine™, a component of skin's natural filler, are clinically proven to rebuild and strengthen the underlying support structure, plumping and lifting slack, lined skin for a toned, tighter look. It gently exfoliates to diminish the appearance of uneven pigment and dark spots from ageing and sun damage, and helps prevent new spots from forming.
Introduce a serum
Daily cleansing and moisturising can help give your neck a smoother, softer feel but for more effective results you should introduce an anti-ageing serum into your beauty regime. "Choose a serum that's loaded with vitamin C as it's the only antioxidant proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and follow with a vitamin-C based moisturiser for extra hydration" says Dr Blakely. "Serum delivers nutrients into the deeper layers of skin that moisturiser can't reach. Apply it to the neck using broad upward sweeping strokes"
Skipping the sunblock (yes, even on cloudy days) is a major factor of ageing around the neck as it damages the collagen that is needed to keep your skin plump and soft. "The neck is one of the most neglected areas of the body - often the last to get the skincare and usually only a token application of sunscreen" says body conditioning guru Paul Younane. "Photodamage is so common even in young people, often seen as a v shape matching the shape of dresses and bikini tops. The best option for hyper pigmentation is a course of IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), but it's important to point out, it only take a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure to set the treatment back."
Try skin tightening treatments
The skin around our neck is extremely thin and has no fatty tissues, which makes it more prone to sagging as we age. Unfortunately most creams are not powerful enough to tackle sagging skin on the neck but radio frequency skin tightening treatments can make a big difference. Dr Blakely recommends Intracel. "This unique treatment pushes heat energy into the lower layers of the skin using fine hair needles, boosting collagen production without damaging the surface of the skin. A tighter neck and more defined jaw line can usually be seen within six weeks."
Train your neck
If you can't afford expensive treatments and serums try the PY Neckline Trainer (£29.95) . This clever gadget employs the scientific principles of resistance training to define your neck muscles. It requires you to practice two simple exercises daily for two minutes by placing the Neckline Trainer under your chin. Results may not be visible straightaway but it can help strengthen the muscles on your neck, chin and jawline, making it less prone to sagging in the future.