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5 Ways to Get a Firmer, Youthful Neck and Chest

Thankfully, it's never too late to start a little TLC that will seriously turn back the clock.


By Cristina Mueller, Redbook

We gotta tell you: These two areas are wondering why on earth you're ignoring them. They're delicate, they're the first places to show wrinkles and sun damage, and they're next-door neighbors to your face.



1

Sleep on Your Back

One of the main culprits for chest wrinkles may be your snoozing position—especially if you're busty. "The bigger your breasts, the more likely you are to get lines on your upper chest," explains New Orleans dermatologist Mary Lupo, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University School of Medicine. "If you're a side sleeper, the breasts fold over and create creases in the skin." Same goes for resting on your stomach: "This can accentuate horizontal bands on your neck, because your chin is tucked down," says dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D., an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. For the most skin-friendly shut-eye, rest your head on a pillow made for back sleepers, then tuck another pillow under your knees to help prevent rolling over during the night.



2

Exfoliate Regularly, But Very Gently

Some mild buffing will help trigger skin's collagen production to help keep your neck and chest smooth and even-toned, but things can go awry if you're too aggressive. "I've seen patients leave an at-home peel on their chest overnight, then come in the next day with severe redness and irritation, even mild burns, from the acids," says Harold Lancer, M.D., a Beverly Hills, CA, dermatologist whose patients include Brie Larson. "And be extremely careful with facial or body cleansing brushes—if you press them too hard against skin or use them for longer than the recommended time, they can cause abrasions." A safer bet is to exfoliate daily using a gentle face scrub with extra-fine or round particles.


Try: Lancer the Method: Polish for Sensitive Skin ($75) or Simple Skincare Facial Scrub.



3

For Extra Help, Consider Seeing a Derm

Since you're already applying a broad-spectrum SPF on your face every morning (riiiight?), take an extra few seconds to rub another big dollop on your neck and upper chest. "The skin here is much thinner than the skin on your face, so it's more vulnerable to sun damage and skin cancer," says Wexler. "This area also has fewer oil glands, so it can age prematurely." For those reasons, Wexler recommends a sunscreen or moisturizer with a minimum of SPF 45 (SPF 30 may not be enough for such thin skin), "and look for one that has antioxidants such as niacinamide, vitamin C, or vitamin E for extra protection." Wexler likes EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, which contains niacinamide. "It's also fragrance-free and uses only physical sunscreens, so it won't irritate sensitive or acne-prone skin," she notes.

Try:Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $32



4

Use a Neck Cream

We know what you're thinking: a whole separate product just for your neck? But it's a good idea, because while it's true that neck creams and face creams contain essentially the same anti-agers, "your face products may be too harsh for this very dry, sensitive area," says Lupo. "Neck creams are designed specifically for the thin skin here—much like how body wash and face wash formulas are quite different." Wexler recommends picking one with hyaluronic acid or seaweed to moisturize; peptides to build collagen; niacinamide or Niacyl to strengthen skin and reduce redness and brown spots; and firming extracts like rye to combat sagging. Lupo's favorite is Revision Nectifirm ($73). "It's ultra-hydrating and has excellent peptides, plus antioxidant vitamin C to brighten skin," she says.

Pro tip: Apply your neck cream while topless so you can spread it all the way down to your cleavage, as this entire area is exposed to the elements.

Try: Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream, $25.99, which is designed for both the face and neck, contains peptides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. L'oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Golden Balm Face/Neck/Chest, $19.99, delivers loads of moisture so skin looks immediately plump.



5

For Extra Help, Consider Seeing a Derm

If you're curious about more advanced solutions, a prescription retinoid cream such as Renova (around $280 for a 40-gram tube) can improve crepey skin or sunspots after three months. For faster results, in-office treatments—most of which take an hour each and involve just a little redness or swelling after—can work within four to six weeks. Ultherapy uses ultrasound to tighten loose skin in one to three treatments at a cost of $1,500 to $6,000, depending on how much skin is treated. To get rid of brown spots, pros suggest two to four sessions with a fractional resurfacing laser ($900 to $1,700 each). And to dissolve excess fat below the chin, Lupo has seen great results from the injectable Kybella (which starts at $1,200 per treatment): "It can shrink a double chin after two to four sessions," she says.

Pro tip: For a surgery-free alternative to a neck lift, getting a combination of Botox and Voluma injections along your jawline, which starts at around $1,500, can help pull up the loose skin.

See more at: Redbook

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