NEWS

How to stop your neck from ageing

This is an article I spotted on the High 50 website at http://www.high50.com/beauty/anti-ageing-how-to-prevent-neck-wrinkles? I thought it was so useful that I would spread the word. It is a great site to subscribe to.

The skin on your neck and décolletage is delicate. If you’ve exposed it to sun, smoked, if you haven’t cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised it the way you have your face, the chances are it’s crêpey and wrinkled.

And it’s not just women over 50 who suffer from this; men acquire the turkey-neck look too.

We all know what happens as we age –  we produce less collagen so our skin becomes less firm and plump, our  ability to retain water diminishes and women produce less oestrogen, which has an impact on cellular activity. Wrinkles happen due to the loss of skin elasticity.

We often neglect the skin on our neck and chest but it is as delicate as the skin on our face – if not more so.   Neck and chest skin  is very thin and has fewer sebaceous glands, fewer lipids (essential to protect the skin from external factors) and fewer melanocytes (cells that produce the pigment that gives colour to your skin and protects it from sunlight).  A recent study revealed that older skin that hadn’t been exposed to the sun had about 3,800 genetic mutations whereas skin that had been exposed had around 10,000 mutations in the same genes (meaning the ageing process had happened more quickly).

Here are five things you can do that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Drinking more water, using a night cream on the neck and eating more salmon and blueberries is a start.

1. Moisturise

Cleanse your neck and décolletage both morning and night. After the morning cleanse, apply moisturiser, using an upward, circular motion from  the top of your cleavage to under your chin – massage it in well to boost circulation. Your neck skin might require a richer product than the one you use on your face.

In the evening, apply anti-ageing cream, either the same one you use on your face or one specifically for the neck.  Most night creams now contain vitamins and antioxidants, such as Vitamin A, C and E and beta carotene, which are powerful anti-ageing ingredients. CoQ10 is a powerful nutrient that helps prevent cell damage.

Try:

Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Concentrate, (£32.50)

Elixirs of Life Mature Skin Range, (from £9.99)

Chanel Le Lift Firming Anti-Wrinkle Crème, (£89)

 2. Exfoliate

Exfoliate the neck and chest area at least once a week to encourage cell turnover and keep the skin free of ingrained dirt and dead skin cells. This area is delicate, so avoid products that contain sharp particles and use a gentle, non-abrasive exfoliant.

Try:

Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm, (£20)

Diptyque Multi-use Exfoliating Clay, (£44)

3. Use sunscreen

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your neck and décolletage every day and re-apply it if you are outside for long periods of time, even when it is overcast or cloudy.

4. Eat oily fish and take a fish-oil supplement

Keep your nutrition rich in anti-oxidants, especially Omega-3 acids, which are present in oily fish.  These do wonders for skin rejuvenation by boosting collagen production. Eat at least one portion of salmon, mackerel or sardines a week and take a daily fish-oil supplement. (I recommend Cytoplan as one of the best suppliers of high quality food state vitamins)

Pomegranates, acai berries, blueberries and green tea also help you stock up on antioxidants.

5. Stop smoking

Heavy smokers are almost five times more likely to have excessive wrinkling than non-smokers. Smoking damages collagen, and lip pursing and squinting while inhaling creates  wrinkles in the delicate skin directly under your chin.

FIVE EXERCISES TO PREVENT TURKEY NECK

1. Jut out your chin and move your lower jaw forward. Repeat ten times.

2. Look straight ahead. Now look up to the ceiling and hold for five seconds. Slowly return to your starting position. Repeat 20 times.

3. Form an ‘O’ with your mouth. Pull down the sides of your mouth until you feel the muscles underneath your neck working. Repeat this three times in quick succession. Build up to 20 sets of threes.

5. Press the tip of your tongue against your palate for a few seconds and release. Do this throughout the day. Make circles with your tongue when your mouth is closed, first in one direction then the other. Repeat often.