THE SKIN CARE ARENA
by Madeleine Arena, B.S., M.B.A.*
It’s a fact of life that wrinkles, crepiness, and discolored skin appear sooner on areas that haven’t been routinely protected from the sun with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This is especially true for the neglected neck, chest and décolleté since most of us take special care of the face. As a result, over the years the contrast between the skin on the face, and the skin on neck, chest and décolleté becomes striking; and is the most obvious sign of aging skin that can give away your age in the same way your hands can. That’s why I believe skin care needs to start at our chests.
There are various reasons why the neck and décolleté shows the signs of aging sooner than the face.
First, is sun damage. The chest and neck skin often burns before the face.
In addition, the skin on the neck is naturally thinner than the skin on the face, therefore, the damage from UV rays is more extensive and severe.
Last but not least, the muscles in the neck area are relatively weak. Weak muscles combined with chronic sun exposure cause multiple horizontal lines, sagging and drooping of the neck skin as a person ages.
Given this, it’s no wonder cosmetics counters are packed with an array of creams and treatments targeting these areas. Buying a separate neck, chest, or décolleté cream is a waste of your money. These “specialized” products are rarely well-formulated, and they almost always are overpriced. In addition, they are unnecessary because the anti-aging product you use for your face will work beautifully, if it’s well-formulated.
Scientific research has proven that the same effective ingredients will keep the skin anywhere on your body acting and looking young. Gentle cleansing, anti-aging products loaded with antioxidants (such as Vitamin C & E, as well as co-enzyme Q10) skin-repairing ingredients (such as Ceramides, & Hyaluronic Acid), and cell-communicating ingredients (such as Peptides, Retinol, & Linolenic Acid) along with the diligent use of a well-formulated sunscreen will work for your face, as well as your neck, chest, and décolleté. Simply continue their application downward.
Whether you’re treating your face or your neck, chest and décolleté a consistent routine is essential if you want to see results.
Remember the best single step you can take to keep any area of your skin, especially these delicate areas, looking gorgeous for years to come is to always protect them with a generous application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
If you do have sun damage in these areas it is treatable. Consult your dermatologist. There are different treatment options available, such as skin lightening products that contain hydroquinone. Creams will only go so far if the sun damage is bad. If creams cannot help you laser treatments may.
Skin is skin, and what works for your face absolutely will work for your neck, chest, and décolleté. There’s no need to buy extra products for signs of aging below the face. As long as you don’t have any specific concerns (like acne, eczema, or rosacea), your facial anti-aging product will keep your neck, chest and décolleté looking healthy and young.
* Madeleine Arena is a cosmetic chemist who develops private label skin and hair care products for the trade. Madeleine can be reached through her website – www.tscsource.com