I have only recently begun to take my neck as seriously as I should and so I have had to focus on repair work to undo neglect and sun damage. I will never be swanlike but I can say goodbye to being a tortoise. It has been a really long time since I attempted a Five Best neck creams (read the 2009 round-up) and since then I have found some new solutions. The only survivor from the old list is Dr Perricone’s and, interestingly, it is one of the few creams dedicated to the purpose of the neck that I found really works. A notable mention should go to Osmotics’ Necollete ($63 in the TIA shop)– as we have yet to review this (Update - read Stephanie's review). We can’t give it Five Best status but the ingredients suggest it has a lot of promise. In the meantime, here are ones that have been tested. Be neck-lected no longer!

Perricone MD Firming Neck Therapy ($60). Not only is this an effective neck cream that imparts firming and improved tone, the price isn’t at all bad. An important ingredient is astaxanthin (its the thing that makes Dr P’s favorite fish pink). It is also an antioxidant as demonstrated by a Japanese study that concluded that it protects against oxidative stress. There is also carnosine, which is supposed to extend the Hayflick Limit, allowing cells to reproduce for longer before they finally croak. Good for repairing early stage damage (this is not the heavy artillery) and future prevention.

SenZen Infinity Never Ending Moisture ($95). This is my latest find and it has become indispensable as my neck cream. It is intended primarily as a face cream and our reviewer, Summer, using for that purpose said: “this cream goes on like velvet—literally. My skin felt soft, moist and looked even- toned. This is the dewy look I was wanting without the greasy feel.” I agree with all of that and it Infinity is delivering the goods on the much rougher surface of my neck. This is working like a retexturizer! What I also really like is that it has tetrapetide-3, which can boost laminin production by 26% and laminin 5 by 49%. Laminins are proteins that are the structural foundations of most cells and organs and are vital for the survival of tissue.

Hydropeptide Power Lift ($80). I had good results with this as well on my neck and was about to buy a replacement until I got sidetracked by SenZen Infinity. If I had to differentiate between the two, I would say that Hydropeptide Power Lift may do more in the firming department and SenZen more in the retexturizing. It has four peptides plus a slew of antioxidants. One of the best ingredients is aldenine, a radical scavenger and it specifically goes after the reactive carbonyl species. It acts, therefore, as a cellular detoxifier, boosts collagen III production, and is supposed to protect cells from sunlight. Aldenine acts as a cellular detoxifyer and I have read that is more active than carnosine.

Revision Skincare Nectifirm ($50). There are a few fillers in this mid-priced cream, but they are far outnumbered by well-chosen actives. There is Matrixyl 3000 and even has a dash of SYN-COLL, which is palmitoyl tripeptide-3 and is supposed to outperform Matrixyl at boosting collagen production. Ceramide 2 is a useful inclusion, as is bamboo, a source of natural silica. One of the botanicals worthy of a shout out is the cork tree, phellodendron, an anti-inflammatory and important antioxidant. The extract is fairly high on Nectifirm’s ingredient list and it is preceded by sandalwood and yeast extracts. I saw results when I used this, not spectacular ones, but results nonetheless. If your neck skin needs smoothing out, want to hedge your bets against future damage, and are on a budget, Nectifirm is worth trying out.

Prep Microdermabrasion by Your Best Face ($80 in the TIA shop).  I know this isn’t a neck cream, it isn’t even a cream. But it eradicates damage.  If you’ve neck-lected yourself, then get to know this multitasking exfolliator and mask. It’s ultra fine crystals help to smooth, polish and refresh the skin, helping my neck absorb its actives. These include some great antioxidants – Lipochroman-6, spin trap and white tea – vitamins and peptides in the form of more Matrixyl 3000 and SYN-COLL.

See my updated 2013 best for neck and decollete.

See all our FIVE BEST recommendations including Five Best for sagging skin, Five Best with vitamin C and Five Best eye creams

Ingredients in Perricone MD Firming Neck Therapy: Aqua (Water), Taurine, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phosphatidylcholine, Palmitoyl Carnosine, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Pyridoxamine Dihydrochloride, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Resveratrol, Disodium EDTA, Pantethine, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Tocotrienols, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Astaxanthin, Parfum (Fragrance)

Ingredients in SenZen Infinity Never Ending Moisture: Water, Cyclomethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmonsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Propanediol, Dimethicone, Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Phosphatidylcholine, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuaçu) Fruit Extract, Astrocaryum Murumuru Butter, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Bisabolol, Passiflora Edulis, (Passion Fruit) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran) Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Pulp Oil, Orbignya Oleifera (Babassu) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silk Amino Acids, Beeswax, SENZEN Energized Liposomal Blend, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Xanthan gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum)

Ingredients in Hydropeptide Power Lift: Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, C4-24 Alkyl Dimethicone/Divinyldimethicone Crosspolymer/Isodecyl Isononanoate, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lecithin, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Tripeptide-10 Citrulline, Acetyl Glutamyl Heptapeptide-3, Tripeptide-1, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Ceteareth-20, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Buddleja Davidii Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Menthyl Lactate, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Polydiethyleneglycol Adipate/IPDI Copolymer, O-Cymen-5-OL, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Diacetyl Boldine, Tropolone, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Fragrance

Ingredients in Revision Skincare Nectifirm: Purified Water, Santalam Album (sandalwood) Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (yeast) Extract, Prunum Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Tricaprylin, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Lauryl Lactate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Dimethicone, PEG-100 Stearate, Dihydromyricetin, Glyceryl Stearate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3, Squalane, Hordeum Distichon (barley) Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ceramide 2, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Algae Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris (bamboo) Extract, Steareth-20, Idebenone, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Pisum Sativum (pea) Extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Polysorbate 60, Glucoseamine HCI, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (vitamin C), Ceteareth-20, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Triethanolamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Tribehenin, Diazolidiny Urea, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance

Ingredients in Your Best Face Prep: Aluminum Oxide Crystals, Reverse Osmosis Water, Olivem (Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate), Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Oliwax (Hydrogenated Olive Oil (and) Olive Oil (Olea Europaea) (and) Olive Oil Onsaponifiables), Pentavitin (Saccharide Isomerate), Phytic Acid, Tego Pep 4-Even (Tetrapeptide-30 (and) Glycerin (and) Water), Edelweiss Extract, Vitamin B5, Relistase (Glycerin (and) Acetylarginyltryptophyl Diphenylglycine), Tego Pep 4-17 (tetrapeptide-21 (and) Glycerin (and) Butylene Glycol (and) Water), Allantoin, Ethoxydiglycol, Niacin, Vitamin E, Leucidal (Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate), Coenzyme Q10, Matrixyl 3000 (Glycerin (and) Water (and) Butylene Glycol (and) Carbomer (and) Polysorbate 20 (and) Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (and) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7), Olive Leaf Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Aspen Bark Extract, Glucuronolactone, Spin Trap (phenyl Butyl Nitrone), Tetrahydrodiferyloylmethane (turmeric Root Extract), Ferulic Acid, Tetradecylthioacetic Acid (tta), Lipochroman-6 (dimethylmethoxy Chromanol), Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitamin B6 (coenzyme B6 As Pyridoxal-5-phosphate), Blood Orange Oil, Bergamot Oil (bergaptene-free/non-photosensitizing), Vanilla Absolute