The skin on our neck and chest hardly get as much importance and attention as they deserve. It is much easier to tell the age of a person from their décolleté than their face. This is true for both men and women. Both genders tend to pay attention to their faces, but neither pays attention to what’s right under their noses (literally!). People usually apply sunscreen on their faces, cleanse and tone their faces, and always forget to tend to their neck. However, that does not mean that the neck does not suffer any sun damage or that it does not show signs of aging.
People go to great lengths to preserve their youthful skin. Women spend hundreds on creams, serums, cleansers, and moisturizers for their face, but they always neglect their décolleté. In fact, we are all guilty of not paying enough attention to our neck, chest and cleavage area. Most of us don’t even know that in the world of beauty, skincare, and cosmetology, this region has its name. The décolleté is the French term that describes the area from the jawline, along with the collar bones all the way down to the cleavage. The skin on the décolleté is almost as tender as the facial skin, but it receives less than half of the care. As a result, senior women and men have a lot of wrinkles, pigmentation problems, and lines on the neck area.
Hiding age is very easy with concealers, primers, and studio fix powders but have you noticed the lack of makeup products that focus exclusively on the neck. Even the top makeup brands and their reviewers recommend the use of darker eyeshadows and blush-on for re-contouring the collarbones, cleavage and smoothening out the lines in the area. Hiding the signs of aging is not as easy on the décolleté as many would like to believe. Fine lines and poikiloderma are still manageable signs of an aging décolleté, but when the skin under the jaw line starts to sag, the lines become deeper and the wrinkles run down from your collarbones down to your cleavage, it becomes almost impossible to hide them under the best of the best concealers, and that’s why you should care for your decollete area.
Even when you manage to find the right kind of makeup for your décolleté, it is very difficult to match the tone of your face. Depending on the extent of damage, you might need to think about more permanent solutions.
1. Prevent more damage: this is where most people go wrong. Just because they realize the gravity of the skin damage too late, they think it is worthless investing in good skin protection. The area on and around the neck is as delicate as the face, and it needs dedicated protection from the pollution and the sun’s rays. Start with a good broad range sunscreen. Buy one that offers both UV A and UV B protection with PA ++++ and an SPF of at least 30. SPF stands for sun protection formula, and the number represents how long it will provide protection. Contrary to what most people believe, a higher SPF does not represent better protection. Using sunscreen evenly on the region will prevent the formation of new spots and wrinkles with continuous exposure.
2. Undo the damage at home: several skincare products can help with the reduction of spots, wrinkles, and lines in the décolleté area. Skin lightening creams with hydroquinone (4% to 8%) often prove useful for people with milder hyperpigmentation around the area. Sun damage also causes a case of hypo-pigmentation or bare patches without color. This is a more challenging concern since your skin needs to produce new melanin in that area and without the melanin; your skin has no protection against the sun’s UV A & B rays. You can try skin creams containing retinol or retinoic acid to bring color back in that area. Till the melanin reappears, be very generous with your sun protection formula around those areas of hypopigmentation. Sun de-tan packs, skin hydration packs and moisturizing facial-neck massages are essential in restoring the vitality of the tissue around the jawline and especially on the chest. Specially formulated massage creams and skin packs with de-tanning components can disperse the congested pigments, provide hydration to seal the breakage between the cells, fill in the fine lines and gradually remove the wrinkles that deepen the mark of age on you. Skin experts often swear by the detoxing and anti-aging effects of cucumber, papaya, yogurt, and avocado. So, do not think twice before throwing a couple of them in the blender to create your own skin recovery face pack.
3. Something faster and more permanent: this is for those, who are tired of looking at their skin sagging all the time from extensive sun damage. The lack of care and preventive measures against sun’s harmful rays can make you look older than you are. The damage to the décolleté area starts accumulating at a very young age. Even teenagers, who engage in outdoor activities like swimming, football, soccer, baseball, horse riding and hiking, can accumulate enough sun damage to accelerate the skin aging process. The first signs of aging start showing when women are in their late 20s and for men, the signs start once they are in their early 30s. The difference in age is partly because women have more delicate skin and partly because men are more likely to wear round-neck and collared clothes. Nonetheless, who would want to look like they are 60 when they are barely 35? So, if you are looking for a quicker solution that is more permanent, we are here to help.
- Laser treatments can help with the pigmentation problems. Dermatologists and cosmetologists have been using laser pigmentation removal treatments for a long time now to restore the youthful softness and smoothness of their patients’ skin. This is one of the most cost-effective of the décolleté restoration options for all ages.
- Chemical peels are quite useful, but they need more than one sitting to work. You can think of this as controlled “burn,” where the trained dermatologist introduces bio-active agents like glycolic solutions that send a shock down at the cellular level. As a result of this, the upper layer of the damaged skin cells to slough off leaving behind the smoother and more youthful layer. This takes at least six weeks for the results to show. Each chemical peel session should follow a thorough skin check-up and pretreatment.
- Biometric mesotherapy is a newer and more advanced healing treatment. The mechanism stimulates the mesoderm by providing a direct boost of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and retinol. The mix can also contain trademarked or patented peptides to boost the cellular hydration and rejuvenation processes. This is highly effective in the removal of fine lines and deeper wrinkles from the décolletage.
- Micro-needling is another, a more mechanical technique that works wonders to restore the young vigor of the décolletage. In this treatment, the expert uses a micro-needle roller over the skin to induce microscopic pricks or punctures. The skin cells in the area perceive this mechanical stimulus as damage and produce more collagen in response. This treatment takes several sittings to work, and you may need one session every four weeks.
- Dermatologists have been experimenting with Botox, hyaluronic acid, and collagen injections for a good couple of decades now. Earlier, only Hollywood actors and celebrities thought about preserving their evergreen beauty with the help of these injections, but now almost every man and woman on earth dreams of freezing age with these “magical” potions. Each ingredient has very different ways of working on the skin, yet they generate the same result. They can smoothen out the wrinkles and remove the deep lines like they never even existed. However, the effects of these injections are not permanent, and you may need to go in for more needle-pricks within a month or two.
- Tightening surgery is a more permanent way, and it is also the most invasive among all the processes we have mentioned here. Today, dermatologists and cosmetologists hardly use general anesthesia for a minimal “chin tuck” process, but it is nonetheless more expensive than a Botox injection or a chemical peel. Surgeons can do away with the extra folds that hide away your youth and get rid of the deep lines that stand as a reminder of all those days you spent in the harsh sun. Skin tightening surgery can give you a taut and proud décolletage that deserves those off-shoulder dresses, deep cut tops and maybe, even a diamond pendant!
People have been trying, for eons, to find the secret to freeze the process of aging. The solution was always there right under our noses. Pay attention to your face, but pay a little more attention to your neck, collarbones, chest, and cleavage. The secret to an ageless beauty lies right there in the deep folds, creases, wrinkles, and lines that decades of sun exposure has brought on.