The skin on your face gets to steal the beauty routine spotlight. Sure, your face, limbs, torso, and phalanges also get some love, but there’s another important part of your dermis that’s worth remembering: your neck. And dermatologists firmly believe in the benefits of adopting a neck skin care routine.
“Neck is becoming the new face,” Dr. Mona Gohara, M.D., a Danbury, Connecticut-based dermatologist tells Bustle, noting that people have been paying more attention to it than ever — feeling bad about their necks, as Nora Ephron would put it — thanks to countless hours on Zoom. The pandemic has exacerbated “tech neck,” aka the aches and pains that come from staring down at a screen all day. “Gravity is already our main enemy there, and we’re only helping it do its thing to cause wrinkles and sagging when leaning into our phones,” says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama.
Because of tech neck, derms are seeing more young people concerned about the skin in that area. “We’re seeing so much interest across all demographics for neck skin care,” adds Gohara.
And your neck calls for its own beauty regimen because the skin there is very different from that on your face. “It’s thinner [and] it doesn’t contain the same oil composition as the face does, so it’s more prone to irritation,” says Hartman. “It’s also more prone to wrinkles and dryness since it doesn’t have that same oil protection.” In fact, Gohara says the wrinkles on neck skin are significantly deeper than those on your face, and the area is particularly prone to sagging. (Le sigh.)
Enter: products specifically formulated for this section of your bod, like the just-launched SkinMedica Neck Correct Cream, Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Neck Cream, and Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Cream. According to Gohara, it’s best to look for formulas that contain ingredients that stimulate collagen — that means peptides, growth factors, and ceramides. “Antioxidants help neutralize free radical damage, which can contribute to the evenness of the skin,” says Gohara. And, of course, hydrating ingredients are important too — Hartman points to moisturizing essentials like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
While you could apply your facial skin care products to your neck, it’s important to watch for certain ingredients that don’t play well with that delicate area. “Your neck may not be prepared to handle the same ingredients in certain concentrations [as the skin on your face],” says Hartman. He recommends watching out for high concentrations of chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid, as these can sometimes cause irritation on the neck. Or you can just try a neck-specific item: “Some newer products are really focusing on bringing some of those ingredients we know are beneficial to the face onto the neck in the proper concentrations and formulations that don’t cause irritation,” he says. Shop these specially formulated products below, and begin to feel better about your neck.