Ed. Note: My darling, what-would-we-do-without-her, Marsi is back today with an unfortunately (fortunate in her hands) timely message. You will note all the actresses, TV people, etc. who say “I’ve never had anything done,” look at their necks — then you will know the truth, the sad truth if it’s sagging. Nature has no pity and most definitely not in this tell tale area.
One morning a few months ago, I checked my makeup in the mirror while idling at a red light. My makeup, as it turns out, looked just fine. In the unforgiving light of summer, it was my neck, rather, that drew my attention.
Where on earth did all these fine lines come from? The slightly crepe-y texture? The parched, dry look? Haven’t I been taking good enough care of my neck all these years — or so I thought?
Just a few minutes of online research revealed a few things I didn’t know about how to care for the delicate skin of my neck. Mainly, this skin is every bit as thin and vulnerable as the skin around your eyes. It has very few sebaceous glands, which produce oils and lipids for natural moisturization, and melanocytes, which are pigmentation cells that defend skin against sun damage. It needs special attention.
Skin also slackens in this area because the muscles of the throat aren’t attached to any bones except the cervical spine at the back of the neck. It’s easy for them to weaken and collapse with age and improper posture. Long days working at the computer and looking down at mobile devices have seriously affected our posture, particularly in the neck and head.Thus, the neck muscles slacken and the skin ages more quickly, making the neck among the first areas (along with the hands and eyes) to show our age.
But thanks to the wonder that is the Internet, I’ve tweaked my beauty routine, and over the months, my neck skin looks more plump and less crepe-y. I’ll never have the neck of a 20-year-old, but that’s ok. I’m not 20 anymore — thank goodness. The point is to look as good as we can exactly where we are, no? So here’s what helps:
- Protect with SPF every day. No exceptions.
- Use moisturizers or serums containing buffered retinoids or glycolic acid to rev up collagen renewal. Always apply your treatment creams (SPF, moisturizers, oils) in long, upward strokes.
- Gently exfoliate the neck once a week, particularly when using retinoids and/or glycolic acid. You can use a nubby washcloth, a mild exfoliating scrub, or a Clarisonic. Whichever you choose, be gentle.
- Massage with a nutritive oil (such as argan, rosehip, olive, or almond oil) to stimulate lymphatic drainage — again with long, upward strokes. Finish with a little moisturizer or cream to lock in the oil.
- Never spray perfume on your neck. Not only does the alcohol dehydrate your skin, but perfume makes your skin photosensitive in sunlight.
- Become aware of forward head thrust and strive to reverse it, if necessary. One of my yoga instructors suggests that we consciously stack our ears over our shoulders. It works.
- Read I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman by Nora Ephron. It’s brilliant, as was she.
|The late, much, much more than great Nora Ephron.|