“The neck is a dead giveaway…You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t have to if it had a neck.” Nora Ephron’s ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck’.
Nora Ephron was a literary genius making us laugh at ourselves. But, when you finish her book the reality of your neck is not so funny. Over the years our face-centric beauty routine has left the area only a few millimeters to the south out in the cold. As we get older and we see the evidence of our blatant disregard for our necks we wonder “how could I have been so blind?” I have seen many vibrant mature women still chasing their dreams hiding under clothes or makeup to disguise their aging neck. It literally contradicts their youthful appearance and the youthfulness they feel inside. Unfortunately a strategy of high collars, scarves and turtlenecks has seasonal limitations and in Texas that season is SHORT. Don’t pack up and move north! I have something you are going to want to hear.
CAVEAT…having an “aged” neck does not bother all women. Not only do they “wear” them on full display, they think it is absolutely crazy to be concerned with a sun-damaged, saggy or a crepe-y neck. If that is you – more power to you! I am talking to those women whose eyes are drawn their neck area every time they look in the mirror and who subconsciously pull the skin back (just under the ears) to see what they look like. Yes – I do it too.
The problem is three-fold…sagging skin, bulging fat and crepe-y skin. The skin on the neck gets crepe-ier faster than anywhere else on your body because it is the thinnest, with exception of the eyelids. In addition to this overwhelming trifecta, a thin ropey muscle called the platysma separates during the normal aging process forming two cords that protrude. Can you say turkey neck? If this has escaped your notice and you are in your 40s, look in the mirror, say “cheese” and watch with horror.
Trying to fix all of this with lotions and potions is like pushing a rope up a hill. Don’t get me wrong…the lotions and potions help, but some things need an intervention. So what are your options?
Solution #1 (Discoloration, Rough Skin, Crepe-y Texture)
I feel like I say this all of the time, but here I go again. Sunscreen is the absolute best defense against aging skin. If you already see sun damage, do not stop using sunscreen! Typically it can take years for the damage you do today to manifest on the skin, but with the neck it may appear even sooner.
So you already have discoloration and crepe-y texture on your neck? This should not be a surprise to my beauty queens…both of these are caused by over exposure to the sun. Now if you are like me and grew up in Texas in the 80s, back then you did not want anything that had an ounce of sunscreen in it while perfecting your tan. I shudder to think! By the time sunscreen became “acceptable” the damage was done. And, until technology had time to catch-up there was nothing you could do to reverse the damage.
Fast forward 35 years (is that really possible – 35 years?!) and not only has technology addressed these issues they have refined treatments for literally every skin type. I have three all-time favorites. IPL Photofacial (Intense Pulsed Light) is a laser treatment targeting pigmentation such as dark spots and/or sun spots. The laser light passes through the skin where it is absorbed by pigment imperfections effectively dispersing the color. An added benefit…this same light energy stimulates the growth of collagen. IPL Photofacial is in my “Hall of Fame” winner for elimination of discoloration. For textural irregularities my “Hall of Fame” winner is Venus Viva. It uses NanoFractional Radio Frequency technology to build collagen. Collagen is one of the cornerstones of radiant skin and radiant skin translates into youthfulness. An added benefit of Venus Viva…it helps eliminate pigmentation issues. Last but not least, Micro-Needling works in an entirely different way to increase the production of collagen. It creates minor (trust me it is when I say minor) punctures in the skin which prompts the natural healing process or in other words boosts production of collagen. Why isn’t Micro-Needling my #1? It is in some cases. Everyone is different and for some Micro-Needling is the perfect solution.
Solution #2 (Double-chin, Turkey Neck, Sagging / Loss of Elasticity)
Wow! This is a lot to cover in Solution #2. Let’s talk double-chin first. Whether you have a full-on doubl- chin or just have some extra fat stored in this area there are two treatments I would recommend. Still relatively new, KYBELLA is the first injectable FDA-approved for the elimination of a double-chin. KYBELLA uses a naturally-occurring molecule in the body to destroy fat cells. We have always heard once a fat cell exists it never goes away. Well, with KYBELLA the cell is eliminated permanently! Venus Freeze™, my other “go-to” product for a double-chin, uses laser technology to breakdown triglycerides found in fat cells. The subsequent glycerol and free fatty acids are released into the blood stream drastically reducing the volume of fat cells. As an added bonus, Venus Freeze™ stimulates the growth of collagen and elastin.
I have women come in all of the time with complaints about their turkey neck. I can’t tell you how many have stood in front of a mirror, jutted their chin forward sort of grimacing and say “Look! Can you see those giant veins sticking out?” As I said before, these are not veins. They are the platysma muscle which has separated as a result of a natural aging process. I know – who cares what it is? How do we stop it from popping out? For this I turn to my old favorite BOTOX or Dysport. Both of these work the same way. A nuerotoxin is injected into the muscle to temporarily reduce or eliminates movement. So – since this is a muscle we are talking about (and not a vein), BOTOX / Dysport can eradicate movement in the platysma and in doing so your turkey neck goes bye-bye!
This one is for all of my beauty queens who pull their neck back to smooth the sagging skin. EuroThreads is a non-surgical facelift procedure which tightens and smooths the neck. Yay! Dissolvable EuroThreads are strategically placed beneath the skin to immediately restore youthful-looking firmness. As an added benefit EuroThreads stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin in the targeted treatment areas. And as we all know by now …Collagen = Youth!
Let’s say you decide to have one of the aforementioned treatments, you absolutely cannot go back to your old wicked ways. Your results and longevity will depend on your home care diligence.
Protect your results with SUNCREEN!!! Yes – I am yelling…in a very loving way. If you remove sunspots form your neck sun exposure will put them right back (maybe not in the same place). If you are have eliminated the sagging skin from your neck sun exposure will breakdown the newly-formed collagen. If you have finally abolished crepe-y skin from your neck sun exposure will zap the moisture and underlying collagen. Don’t waste your time and money. My favorite all-time sunscreen is Elta MD. It blocks the widest range of both UVA and UVB rays. Do not ever leave home without it!
Optimize your results with Revision Skincare Nectifirm. Nectifirm specifically targets visible signs of moderate to advanced aging of the neck. Nectifirm reduces the appearance of adipose tissue and rough crepe-y skin while smoothing lines and wrinkles!
Maintain your results with SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex. TNS Recovery Complex uses a complex growth hormone formula to targets line and wrinkles and improves texture and tone.