The Importance of Taking Care of the Neck
It costs us tons of money to buy expensive facial masks, toners, essences, and lotions to take care of our face so that we can maintain a younger look. But, do you know the part of our body that subtly reveals our age or make us look older than our real age? The answer is the NECK without a doubt. There is no exaggeration in saying that a line on the neck reveals the sign of your age, and it even makes you appear like you’re ten years older within a second.
Poor care for the neck and increasing aging may make dry skin, lines, saggy skin, acne, uneven skin tone, and topical inflammation to appear on the neck. The most common concern, however, is wrinkles.
The Causes of Wrinkles
You may wonder why there are superficial wrinkles on the neck. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the neck is the superhighway to the face. In addition to the pressure that it gives our head and the constant movement, the skin around the neck is thinner than the face’s skin. So, fewer sebaceous and sweat glands and little collagen can make easy the formation of fine lines that may later turn into dark wrinkles.
Asides that, exposing the neck to the sun, dirt, and pollutants, and the bad habit of scrolling through digital devices with chin tucked into the chest can also accelerate the aging process.
So, the reasons for the formation of necklines can be simply summarized as follow:
- Poor care for the neck during skincare routine activities
- Collagen loss with aging
- Digital addiction – constant look at devices for long periods while the neck is bent
- Wrong posture while sleeping or sitting
- Natural aging process
The Correct Approach for a Proper Neck Skincare Routine
It is always said that the neck is the second face of a woman. Unfortunately, this part is also the most often ignored in the daily skincare routine. In the list below, here are some of the most common habits that can easily cause neck problems:
- Use cleansers that contain irritating ingredients: This is possible by using soap having high pH value that will make the neck dry and dehydrated;
- Hold your smartphone or laptop while bending the neck downward;
- Use a messy massage method: using the wrong massage method often lead to an increase of wrinkles rather than reducing necklines;
- Spray perfume directly on the neck: this act is dangerous because the alcohol in perfume will irritate the delicate skin.
Since 2017, many people have started paying significant attention to caring for the neck. For those who want to achieve a swan-like neck, here are some tips for a better neck:
Choose a neutral or weak acid product to clean the neck. Your mild facial cleanser is a good choice. You should gently rub the neck from collarbone to the chin while cleaning. You should also thoroughly clean the side of the neck that is close to ears, rinse with warm water, and then wipe it with a towel.
Just as you apply toner to relieve facial skin after cleansing, it is necessary to moisturize your neck too. Choose a neck cream that preferably contains hyaluronic acid, seaweed, collagen, and other moisturizing components. Some anti-aging and whitening ingredients can also be used for deep wrinkles and dark tone.
The application of a neck cream should equally match the appropriate massage. This is the only way the cream’s effect can work well.
The correct massage method can promote blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and tighten the skin. At the same time, it can also remove the discomfort in your neck.
While applying an ample amount of cream to avoid over-pulling the skin, you should follow the instructions below:
A- Raise your chin slightly and use the index, middle and ring fingers together to brush gently the neck in a firm sweeping movement from the collarbone up to your chin. Be mindful of this direction because sagging skin may appear due to the massage occurring in a reverse direction. Then, you can repeat this motion 4 times;
B- Massage the part of the neck below the earlobe by using the middle finger and repeat 4 times;
C- Gently brush the neck from back to the front by using four fingers and repeat 4 times;
D- Finish off by stroke brushing the part below the collarbone in and out 4 times.
If you usually spend most of your time in front of the computer, the following exercise that targets the neck muscles may be helpful for you. Another advantage of the exercise is that you will not spend more than two minutes daily and it can be done anywhere while standing or sitting.
Step1: Bend your head slightly downward by 2 to 3 cm, tightening both sides of the neckline;
Step2: Turn your head to the left direction, leaving the chin above the left shoulder and tightening the right side of the neckline;
Step3: Tilt your head backward, raising the chin as high as possible, and hold this position for 6 seconds;
Step4: Repeat step 1 and perform step 2 in the right direction;
Step5: Repeat step 3 in the right direction;
Step6: draw a semi-circle in the air with your chin, repeating this motion four times. This motion draws the fascia and tissue upward, providing a huge release in the muscles.
Improving the posture is the final way we can take care of the neck, although many people may ignore it.
We spend about one-third of our time on sleep daily, and the way we sleep can affect positively or negatively the skin on the neck and face as well. The gap between your neck and shoulders can cause the skin to fold and affect blood and lymph flow, which will ultimately form lines and dark skin tone around the neck. To avoid this, it is recommended that you sleep on the back and ensure that your head is lower than the neck when using a pillow. Nevertheless, make sure your pillow is a little higher and there is no gap between your neck and shoulder if you need to sleep on your side.
As for the sitting posture, you should make sure you always sit up straight. You should also try to stretch out the neck, by looking up to the ceiling slowly and moving your jaw around to release the compressed muscle, during break periods from engagement with digital devices. This movement is beneficial to your neck.
Always remember that sunscreen is your best friend. Exposing the skin to the sun for a long time can cause photo-damage, which can lead to lines, sagging, brown spots, hyper-pigmentation, broken capillaries and possibly skin cancer.
Skin cells that have gone through repeated sun damage will lose their regenerative ability, which will develop a clear sign of premature aging. Spots on the neck are more difficult to remove with lasers or other surgical treatments. Thus, it is necessary to apply sunscreen on the face and neck daily before going outside and re-apply it after every 2 hours.
To achieve a better sun-block effect, it is best to apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before you go outside. But, remember to remove it from your neck before you go to bed. While outside, keep some distance away from all reflecting surfaces in daily life that reflects up to 85% of UV. The common reflecting surfaces are sea, sand, snow and even street windows.