Next to hands, which two areas of our bodies take the most abuse?
If you guessed the neck and décolleté, you win a prize.
The already-thin and delicate skin in these areas gets hit with direct sun and environmental damage. To the rescue: New doctor-approved treatments developed especially for the neck and décolleté – and the best news is that none of them involve surgery.
“The neck and chest regions are often overlooked by most when realizing how much photodamage and photoaging occur in these areas,” say Nashville dermatologist Michael Gold, MD, of Gold Skincare Center. This is poor planning as we have fewer sebaceous glands on the neck and chest, which makes for dryness and dehydration. The skin on the neck and chest is also naturally thinner with less fat, which is why it is prone to crepe-like texture.
There is no substitute for slathering sunscreen with an sun protection factor of 30 or higher on this uber delicate spots, but if you have been remiss, today’s pack of neck and décolleté rejuvenation therapies can increase firmness, elasticity, get rid of age spots and even rein in double chins. Some even work in tandem for surgery-like results minus the surgery.
The new kid on the block from Neocutis – Micro-Firm Neck and Décolleté Rejuvenating Complex –firms these areas from the inside out, says Gold. Micro Protein Complex™ (MPC™), a blend of three peptides, stimulates collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid to keep skin firm. Other active ingredients include glycolic acid, beet root extract and beta glucan, all which work together to tighten, firm and nourish the neck and décolleté. “Clinical studies using the new MicroFirm product have been very encouraging.” Neocutis Micro-Firm Neck and Décolleté Rejuvenating Complex is only available through physican’s offices.
The Shrinky Dink Solution
Ulthera hits the neck and chest with ultrasound energy to boost the production of collagen in skin’s deeper layers, The result? A noticeable toning and lifting effect that appears gradually within three months. (Think about what happens to a Shrinky Dink in the toaster oven.)
“Ultherapy® of the décolletage is an ideal option if you choose your clothing styles to conceal the aging skin of your chest and/or you are making an effort to protect your skin with sunscreen but wish you could reverse the damage that has accumulated from the days when sun protection wasn’t a priority,” says New York City plastic surgeon Bryan G Forley, MD. He sometimes adds the Fraxel® Dual laser to get rid of sunspots and skin discoloration in this area for a total neck and décolleté rejuvenation
Lipo-Free Fat Redux
If you are obsessed with extra fat under the chin (and many of us are especially with the advent of Facetime and selfies, both of which highlight this area), Kybella injections can help, says Rebecca Kazin, MD, a dermatologist at Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in DC. Kybella’s active ingredient is identical to something our body makes to absorb fat, deoxycholic acid. Several treatments (2 – 4) of multiple injections are usually needed, she says.
If you are a needle-phobe, Coolsculpting’s new applicator – the Coolmini –may be a better fit. This applicator freezes fat cells in this area. “Neither of these treatments will effect laxity and sagging, but they are effective at getting rid of extra fat,” she says. “We can pair Kybella or Coolmini with Ulthera to get fat reduction plus tightening – without surgery. It’s a whole new world.”