Do you know that one of the fastest-aging body parts is your head? But many people believe they’ve got that covered – until they realize that their head (or face) can also develop wrinkles differently. Many studies have already shown that the neck could sag way faster than the rest of the face.
But why does this happen, and what can you do to delay premature aging?
Causes of Neck Aging
At least two significant factors could speed up the aging process of the neck skin. First is the reduced production of collagen.
Collagen is a protein that’s the primary structural support of your skin. It keeps it firm and provides volume to maintain its appearance. It is part of the extracellular matrix, which also includes elastin fibers.
Elastin is the substance that enables your skin to return to its original position. Think of it like a rubber band.
Unfortunately, you don’t have an endless supply of collagen or even elastin. As you grow older, you produce less of these. It weakens the skin’s structure, so it begins to sag. It also makes the skin thinner, so wrinkles and fine lines become more visible over the years.
The second critical risk factor is the quality of the skin in the neck. Unlike the rest of the face, this part is already thin. Now, imagine if you grow older and lose more collagen and elastin.
Other possible risk factors for premature aging of the neck include:
- Smoking: Cigarette smoke contains toxins that reduce the level of antioxidants in your body. Without these substances, your skin won’t be able to fight off free radicals.
- Sun Exposure: UV rays also primarily affect the quality and elasticity of collagen and elastin since they can lead to cellular damage.
- Genetics: If your parents have a history of aging early, they could pass this on to you.
- Chronic stress: It can reduce the production of growth hormones.
- Hormonal Changes: A decrease in estrogen makes the skin drier and more likely to wrinkle.
How to Take Care of Your Neck Skin
You need to throw the idea that your neck skin won’t sag or develop wrinkles. It will because that’s how aging happens. However, you can do many things to delay that process:
1. Consider Skin Tightening Procedures
Skin tightening can be both invasive and non-invasive. If your wrinkles are not that visible yet or you’re still young, the procedure might only need a laser skin tightening machine.
A professional directs the laser onto the skin, creating heat. It causes the collagen fibers to contract, which, in turn, tightens the skin.
If you’ve got more visible wrinkles, you might need a surgical facelift. This procedure will remove excess skin and tighten the muscles of your neck. It’s a more extensive process, but it can give you a more youthful appearance.
2. Use Sunscreen All the Time
This is especially important if you’re regularly exposed to the sun. The rays not only age your skin but also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and make sure to reapply it every two hours.
3. Quit Smoking
If you’ve been a smoker for years, we must warn you – this isn’t going to be easy. You need to get all the help you can, such as nicotine patches and nicotine gum.
However, you should remember that smoking reduces your skin’s ability to produce collagen and elastin. It also speeds up the aging process of your skin cells.
4. Eat Right and Exercise
Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain a good flow of vital nutrients. Also, remember to stay hydrated so that you can keep toxins away from your body.
Exercise regularly because it improves blood circulation and prevents age-related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. A healthy body means healthy skin.
5. Use a Neck Cream
Many neck creams on the market can help improve the appearance of your skin. Choose one containing collagen-boosting ingredients, such as peptides and vitamin C. Apply it every morning and night for best results.
Dry skin is more prone to wrinkles, so it’s essential to keep it hydrated. Use a moisturizer especially made for the neck area. Note, though, that there are different kinds of moisturizers. For example, an oil-based cream will add moisture to the skin, while a water-based one can lock in hydration. Find one that suits your skin type.
If you want to delay aging, you need to take care of your neck from now on. Don’t wait until your skin starts sagging, and the wrinkles become too visible. However, if you’re already forty and above, don’t fret. Options are still available for you.