Why does my neck look so old?
Necks are just different. The skin here is thinner than on your face, which means that it collapses more easily into wrinkles and folds, particularly given the way we twist and turn and stretch and compress our necks the whole time. Then there’s the fact that there are precious few oil glands in neck skin to keep the skin supple. It all gets much worse for women when we hit the menopause and, thanks to the reduction in oestrogen, the skin gets drier and loses elasticity.
Is my phone making my neck look old?
Hmm, possibly. First, there’s the way that we spend so much time with our heads bent forward looking at our devices, which presses the wrinkles in the neck more firmly into place. (This can also cause upper-back problems and a hunched posture.) It’s what some people call ‘tech neck’. Next, there is the fact that devices such as phones, TVs and computer monitors give out blue light, also called high energy visible (HEV) light, which has the potential to age the skin in a similar way to UV light.
What are the surgical options for crepey neck skin and neck wrinkles?
The surgical option for neck wrinkles is to have a neck lift, which will tighten the loose and crepey skin and reduce its appearance (and the appearance of wrinkles) as well as redefining the jawline. But if you fancy something less invasive, read on for tweakment, skincare and home-use device suggestions for tackling a crepey and wrinkled neck.
How to tighten neck skin without surgery?
There are many tweakments that can help improve the appearance of crepey skin on the face and neck. Here goes:
- Injectable moisture treatments such as Profhilo are one of the best things I’ve come across so far for dealing with a crepey neck. These work by placing a lightweight hyaluronic acid gel in the skin – hyaluronic acid is a molecule that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water – which spreads to cover the whole of the treated area. The hyaluronic acid doesn’t instantly disperse, and remains in the skin for 30 days. After two treatments, a month apart, and waiting 8 weeks, you’ll start to see results – namely stronger, firmer and springier skin which is more resilient. If you’re lucky, you’ll see a certain degree of skin tightening too. All of these factors make the skin of the neck appear less crepey.
- Radiofrequency treatments have the effect of ‘shrink-wrapping’ the skin, which makes it sag less. This happens because the radiofrequency generates sufficient heat in the skin for the skin to think it’s been damaged, which makes the collagen molecules contract. The ‘damaged’ skin also creates more, new collagen to try to repair the damage it thinks has occurred, which helps to support and strengthen the skin.
- Microneedling is yet another treatment which inspires the skin to produce more collagen, thus strengthening it and making it firmer and less wrinkled and saggy, by creating thousands of tiny controlled wounds in the skin with very short and sterile needles. This induces a wound-healing response, flooding the skin with growth factors and new collagen, and the skin ends up stronger and younger-seeming.
- Radiofrequency microneedling treatments (such as Secret RF, Morpheus8, Profound RF, Potenza, Fractora and Intracel) combine the effects of radiofrequency with those of microneedling, as you might expect. The effects can be excellent on both the neck and the face, and you need very little downtime after a procedure.
- Fractional laser treatments are similar to microneedling in that they flood the skin with new collagen in response to many tiny columns of damage being made in the skin – but in the case of fractional lasers, this damage is done by producing tiny channels of heat-damage in the skin rather than piercing it with needles.
- toxins (aka the Nefertiti neck lift) involves injecting small quantities of toxins, or another wrinkle-relaxing toxin, into the muscles around the neck and jaw. This reduces the ‘pull’ of these muscles, enabling the skin tissues to move back into a more flattering shape around the jaw. It’s worth noting that this procedure is better at softening tight bands of muscle down the neck (that make the neck look stringy) than softening the horizontal ‘necklace lines’, and it doesn’t do that much for crepey skin, but if your practitioner suggests it, that’s why.
- LED red light therapy is great for crepey skin. The wavelength of red light used by these clinical devices improves skin hydration, plumping it up and reducing wrinkling, and also improves skin firmness.
- Skin peels will help to refresh the skin on your neck by removing the outermost layer of skin with gentle acids and encouraging fresh skin to grow in its place. A superficial peel can help to address wrinkles and fine lines on the surface of your skin, while a deeper peel can help to firm the skin up as well by stimulating collagen production.
- HIFU, or high-intensity focussed ultrasound, is a procedure which aims pulses of ultrasound deep into the skin tissue to stimulate deep growth of new collagen, which helps to support the skin and structure it more. Ultherapy is a type of HIFU.
Does the Nefertiti neck lift help with neck wrinkles?
Yes, the Nefertiti neck lift – named after the Egyptian queen famous for her sculpted jawline and beautiful neck – can improve the appearance of neck wrinkles, though it depends what sort of neck wrinkles you have. The procedure is better at softening tight bands of muscle down the neck, the ones that make the neck look stringy, rather than softening the horizontal ‘necklace lines’.
How the Nefertiti neck lift works is that the practitioner injects small quantities of toxins or other wrinkle-relaxing toxin into muscles around the neck and jaw. Releasing the ‘pull’ of these muscles enables the skin tissues to move back into a more flattering shape around the jaw.
Can vitamin C supplements help with my crepey neck?
Yes, they absolutely can, if they have a good enough delivery system. Altrient C, which we sell on our website, has a patented liposomal delivery system which allows the vitamin C to be delivered to your gut without being destroyed by stomach acids and made significantly less efficient – Altrient C has an absorption rate of up to 98%, whereas it’s 10-20% for your average vitamin C.
Vitamin C has very impressive results on skin health – I, having stopped all other forms of skincare other than continuing to use a basic moisturiser at night and a sunscreen during the day, saw a 22.8% improvement in my collagen levels and 64.3% improvement in my skin elasticity (both of which help to combat wrinkling and sagging skin) and a 30.2% increase in hydration, which both reduces the speed at which the neck ages and reduces the crepey, wrinkled appearance of the neck. And that was without using skincare, tweakments or home use devices. If you’re interested in supplements, this is well worth a go.
Can I use fillers to cure a crepey neck?
Well, they won’t cure a crepey neck but fillers can help to improve the look of a crepey neck—a little. The difficulty is that, unless the wrinkles along the neck are deep horizontal lines, filling them in can make them look overstuffed, which looks unnatural and doesn’t provide a great result. I have tried a very soft type of injectable filler called Aliaxin in my neck wrinkles, which helped a bit. But what’s better for a crepey neck is to try an injectable moisture treatment, which you can read about in the next section.
What are the best home remedies for neck wrinkles?
I wouldn’t advise any particular home remedies for neck wrinkles but I’d suggest you get going with a decent skincare regime that includes active skincare products that are able to make an improvement in the skin (see below for the types of products to use). You could also consider trying home-use beauty devices to improve the quality of the skin on your neck.
Can any home-use beauty devices get rid of neck wrinkles?
- LED light therapy masks or devices – these, used on the red light setting will have the same benefits for your skin as clinical red light therapy treatment – although you may have to do more sessions to get the same results due to lower strength of the at-home devices.
- Sensica Sensilift – this is a device that uses radiofrequency energy to boost collagen production in the skin, thus firming it up and reducing wrinkling and fine lines in the neck (or wherever you want to use it).
- Tripollar devices – this also uses radiofrequency to ‘shrink-wrap’ the collagen in your skin by generating heat that makes the collagen bunch together. The perceived damage in the skin means that your skin produces more collagen as a result, firming and tightening the skin in one go.
Will edible collagen supplements help my neck wrinkles?
It is well worth trying one of the collagen supplements that has decent data to show that it can improve the firmness and elasticity of the skin from the inside out. There’s a whole factsheet on collagen supplements here.
How can I treat crepey skin with skincare?
In a nutshell… use the same skincare on your neck that you do on your face! And protect it from the sun the same amount. Here are the key ingredients that will help:
- Chemical exfoliant – I’d use a hydroxy acid cleanser or toner on my neck to remove the outermost skin cells. Not only does this make the skin appear fresher, but it allows subsequently-applied treatment products to sink more deeply and evenly into the skin now that they’re not fighting their way past extra layers of dead skin cells. Start gently, remembering that the skin on your neck may react differently, and may just react more, to products than the skin on your face.
- Hydrating serum – use one of these to boost your skin’s hydration so that it can stay firmer and sag less, as well as reducing the rate at which the skin becomes even more crepey. Plumping the skin up also makes it look firmer and fresher. Great for crepey skin on the face, the neck and the decolletage.
- Antioxidant serum – I’d strongly recommend using some type of antioxidant serum, like a vitamin C serum, to freshen the skin, protect it against environmental damage that could age it further, and boost collagen production in the skin to firm it up that bit further.
- Peptide serum – using one of these can boost collagen production (matrixyl 3000 is a good peptide for this) and firm the skin up. Look up what the specific peptides you’re considering investing in do before buying – peptides are very wide-ranging in what they can accomplish and are focussed on.
- Retinoids – whether retinol or another, newer type, these are a great idea for helping to combat crepey skin. They can help to regenerate the skin by producing more collagen fibres and improving skin elasticity. Retinol also inhibits the action of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which break down collagen fibres, and increases production of TIMPs – the enzymes that inhibit MMPs. Retinoids can also increase deposition of glycosaminoglycans (hydrating molecules like hyaluronic acid) in the skin, so they can be hydrating – although don’t overdo them, or they’ll conversely dry the skin out through the irritation they cause and the huge reduction in oil production that they bring about. NB – go more slowly with retinoids on your neck than on your face. They are helpful but neck skin has less natural hydration than your facial skin, so gently does it.
- Moisturiser – a moisturiser will seal hydration into the skin and also seal the serums that you’ve just used into the neck. It’s so important to keep the skin of the neck well hydrated if you want it to be firmer and less crepey.
- Sunscreen – it’s so important, if you’re trying to treat a crepey neck, to make sure that you protect it against further ultraviolet damage with sunscreen. You don’t want to undo all your hard work that’s gone into hydrating and firming and smoothing the skin by just leaving it exposed to more damage.
How can I treat crepey skin with supplements?
- Totally Derma is a collagen supplement, but unlike other collagen supplements it also contains a patented, therapeutic dose of hyaluronic acid, for hydration, and five key antioxidants including green tea extract and grape seed extract. The supplement is great for all-round health (including benefiting gut health) but also prompts your skin to make more collagen, so that it’s firmer and thicker and less likely to sag and wrinkle, as crepey skin is wont to do.
- Altrient C is a liposomal vitamin C supplement that can do wonders for crepey skin by boosting skin hydration, strength and elasticity, all of which help the texture and structural integrity of the skin.