How To Tighten and Firm Skin on Your Neck
Neck skin is notorious for showing age and sun damage.
We’ve even coined terms to describe the appearance of neck aging and loosening neck muscles, like turkey neck, turkey gobbler chin and the wattle.
Neck skin is thin and somewhat fragile and starts to sag and loosen with the breakdown of fat, collagen and elastin that comes with age.
There are solutions from lifestyle changes to topical skin care and cosmetic procedures that can help to make the skin firmer and more resilient to sagging and wrinkling.
These are some of our favorite tips.
Moisturize Neck Skin (But Not Too Much)
Regular moisturizing helps neck skin to repair itself and makes it feel healthier.
Be careful about what you apply to the neck, however. Generally, a cream that is not too thick and easy to apply is best.
Skin on the neck can be fragile and might react to fragrance, so avoid products with perfumes and other fragrances.
Skin folds on the neck can trap product and if that product clogs the skin or has irritating ingredients, it could cause skin reactions, acne and more.
Ingredients that have been shown to help moisturize skin, including neck skin, are:
- Essential fatty acids
- Antioxidants, including vitamins A and C and coenzyme Q10
- Hyaluronic acid
Skin Firming Creams Can Help
Skin care topicals can help to a degree if used as part of one’s daily skin care regimen.
Keep in mind, however, that skin care claims that are not backed by science can be expensive experiments that leave one at best with a moisturizer and at worst with a product that does more harm than good.
Some products have been scientifically proven to make skin thicker and making it look tighter.
Skin care ingredients like retinol can help stimulate elastin and collagen production. But beware that using a retinol-containing product on the neck can irritate the skin. Skin folds on the neck can trap product and if that product clogs the skin or has irritating ingredients, it could cause skin reactions, acne and more.
One alternative to retinol is defensins, which are found in the DefenAge skin care line.
After three years of research, DefenAge unveiled an anti-aging neck cream in 2021 that has been shown to effectively treat challenging aging neck skin in six weeks of use.
DefenAge’s 6-Week Perfection Neck Cream contains the retinol alternative Age-Repair Defensins, which have been shown in 12 studies to safely and effectively moisturize and rejuvenate neck skin. Results on the skin from DefenAge defensins’ containing creams and serums are as good as those from retinol but without as much irritation.
Dermatologists who use the 6-Week Perfection Neck Cream say the cream improve visible skin thickness and reduces neck skin wrinkling. It also reduces visible pores, hyperpigmentation and improves skin evenness, hydration and other important skin qualities.
Defensins are not stem cells. Rather, these molecules activate the body’s reserves of LGR6-positive stem cells. This helps to encourage skin healing and a new and more wrinkle-free outer skin layer.
This new neck wrinkle skin care remedy works so well because of the combination of ingredients, which help defensins to do their job to prevent and fight neck aging. These other ingredients include:
- Phospholipids for skin hydrating
- Sea whip, an anti-inflammatory ingredient that soothes skin
- A blend of innovative peptides and plant extracts shown to tighten sagging neck skin.
Impact on Skin Without Negatively Impacting Health or the Environment
The 6-week Perfection Neck Cream meets “clean beauty” standards and does not contain parabens, fragrance, silicones, polyethylene glycol and other ingredients that many of today’s skin care consumers want to avoid.
The entire DefenAge line, including the neck cream, is free from animal- and human-derived ingredients.
A Healthy Lifestyle Can’t Hurt
Yet another reason not to smoke: Smoking destroys collagen and elastin and diminishes the estrogen levels needed for skin firmness.
Consider a healthy diet with some of these healthy skin essential foods and nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Fatty fish
- Dark green veggies
- Green tea
Think twice about those sugar cravings. Foods with corn syrup, dextrose and fruit-juice concentrate, for example, prematurely age skin, including skin on the neck.
Protect the Neck From Environmental Assault
Putting sunscreen on the face might be a no-brainer. The problem is the neck isn’t always part of the daily regimen, and it needs to be.
Sun exposure accelerates skin aging, especially on the vulnerable skin of the neck.
Consider using a physical sunscreen on the neck. These contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide and deflect ultraviolet rays away from skin. Physical sunscreens generally protect against UVA and UVB rays and are less irritating to the skin than chemical sunscreens. This is good because neck skin is particularly vulnerable to skin irritation.
Physical sunscreens also are thought to be less likely than chemical sunscreens to contain potentially harmful ingredients that can enter the bloodstream.
Think about wearing sun protective clothing, including accessories that cover the neck, when spending time in the great outdoors.
Have Realistic Expectations
Healthy living, skin care products and sun protection only go so far. If you have a lot of skin laxity or sagging around the chin and neck and don’t like the way it looks, an in-office or surgical procedure done by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon might be your best option.
- Noninvasive ultrasound, which sends heat deep into the skin causing the body to produce collagen. Dermatologists are using ultrasound to send heat deep into the skin.
- Noninvasive radiofrequency, which also heats the deep tissue.
- Noninvasive laser treatments that heat the deep tissue without wounding the top skin layer.
- More dramatic tightening and lifting can occur with minimally invasive skin tightening procedures with radiofrequency or lasers, which involve penetrating the skin and require longer recoveries.
- Finally, surgical procedures, including the neck lift, can offer the most dramatic results by lifting sagging skin. But surgery tends to be the most invasive, which means it also requires the longest downtime among the options.