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It is time to plunge into summer with neck-and-décolleté-revealing clothes. There’s just one teensy issue and I call it “chronic necklection.” Over the years I have neglected my neck, mostly by skipping the sunscreen. Consequently, the skin on my neck is redder, rougher and more crinkly than on my face. It isn’t helped by the fact that in recent years I have tended to relegate products that I am testing, but don’t love, to below my chin. No more. I now get out the sunscreen and the heavy guns in my seriously intense neck and décolleté regime.
The good thing is that my neck can take stronger peels and exfoliators than my face, and I have been using nightly either my Arcona Mandarin Brightening Peel ($78), which has Sepiwhite and nanopeptide-1 for reversing sun damage, or my old stalwart, Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel ($39). At some point, I’ll cut back to twice weekly maintenance, but for now every day is what I need as I am getting encouraging signs of improvement.
Once in a while, I reach for the Osmotics Micro Peel Skin Resurfacing System ($86), as it has been helping a lot from lip-area lines to the neck. There are three steps in this product, and I find the Charcoal Mask and the Collagen Peel to be particularly helpful for a radiant glow (excellent just before slipping on that dress with a summer neckline).
LED and ultrasound
Nothing smooths or firms like the combination of LED and ultrasound. For efficient coverage, it is either the Facial Secret or the Ultra Renew Sculpt. If you want to go for LED alone then Facial Secret ($329) makes sense; it is a flat panel that can be directed at the neck and chest and pretty much do it all in one go. (Please note that LED is not recommended on the neck for anyone with an over-active thyroid). The Ultra Renew Sculpt ($129 in the shop) would be a better choice if sagging is an issue as it has ultrasound as well as LED. Its relatively large light panel and ultrasonic plate make it pretty efficient to use.
Serums for the neck
Mostly, dedicated neck products are creams, but what about serums? One of the few I’ve come across is Medik8 Ferma Derma Skin Firming Serum for Neck & Decollete ($68 in the shop), and I agree with reviewer Noel that it is better at tackling wrinkling, crinkling and creasing than sagging (although it has to be said that sagging is not yet an affliction for me).
Most of us are too parsimonious to slather our most potent and expensive potions everywhere, but there are some that do the job of smoothing neck wrinkles without running through a bottle a week. One that I go back to is Chella Master Protocol 7 ($135 in the shop). I don’t know why this does such a good job of restoring suppleness to my neck but it does (perhaps it is due to an ingredient called einkorn). I’ve recently been reacquainting myself with Medik8 and have been testing a vitamin C serum called C-Tetra that just may be the bomb (a review will be coming up in a couple of weeks).
Neck and décolleté creams
Dedicated neck creams that are any good are few and far between. Osmotics’ well-named Necollete ($63) is notable exception that remains a go-to. It is as luxurious as it is powerful. Made with neck-targeting anti-ager Essenskin, which is mostly calcium and essential amino acids. This active stimulates lumican, a lycoprotein that is important for firming skin.
A peptide that goes by the name of ChroNoLine is supposed to stimulate production of laminin, the scaffolding of the skin, and you’ll find it in SenZen Infinity Never Ending Moisture ($95). This very rich moisturizer is too much for the face, in my experience, but it works very well as a neck cream.
There are a couple of body creams that seemed to have been made for décolleté area. Stemulation Rescue Repair Hand & Body Treatment ($96 in the shop) is plumping and smoothing with milk thistle (a favorite antioxidant). Another new find is Red Flower Arctic Berry Cloud Milk Cream ($54). Designed for face and body, it is perfect for the transitional zone whenever extra hydration is needed. And since some days I am prone to the odd cleavage breakout, I reach for the ever-effective CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion ($36 in the shop).
Now that I religiously apply sunscreen to my neck, I reach for MD Solar Sciences Mineral Lotion SPF50 ($34 in the shop) if I am going to be active (passes the sweat test) or Suntegrity Moisturizing Body Protection ($24 in the shop).