Every night, you make sure to put moisturizing, anti-aging lotion on your face. In the morning, you moisturize your face again and apply sunscreen. While many women pay attention to their face, honing in on the eyes, forehead, and mouth, just as many forget about the skin on the neck.

It might surprise you to learn that the area where signs of aging most commonly appear first is the neck. Your neck skin is pretty thin, so it shows signs of wear and tear more quickly, just like the delicate skin around your eyes. There’s also the platysma muscle on the neck. It’s a long, sheet-like muscle that starts to sag as you get older, causing a “turkey neck” in some people.

One way to fight the signs of aging on your neck is to undergo a neck lift. If you aren’t quite ready for a surgical procedure, you can use minimally invasive techniques and anti-aging skincare to fight the signs of aging in the neck area.

Extend the Cleanse

When you cleanse your face or exfoliate, do you stop at the jawline? If so, one of the best things you can do is to extend your facial cleansing to the neck area, too. Doing so is especially important for exfoliation. Just like the skin on your face, the skin on your neck begins to turn over more slowly as you get older. Exfoliating the neck area, whether it’s with a brush, glycolic acid or a scrubby cleanser, will help remove the layer of dead skin cells from the surface. New cells will be produced, leading to a more youthful glow.

Add an Anti-Aging Product

If you aren’t already, start using an anti-aging skincare product on your neck. A lotion or serum containing retinol can help fight the signs of aging on the neck, such as sun spots and wrinkles. You can use an over-the-counter product, but a prescription strength product from a doctor’s office will be stronger and more effective. Dr. Kyle Choe has developed his own skincare product, Renuvare, which contains myrrh and fruit acids. The serum was developed to help prevent texture changes that occur on aging skin.

Consider Botox or Other In-Office Procedures

 A number of anti-aging, minimally invasive procedures can help you keep your neck looking refreshed and youthful. For example, Botox, the injection commonly used to ease the appearance of crows’ feet and frown lines, can also be used on the muscles of the neck.

A Botox injection can reduce the appearance of neck bands if placed correctly in the plastysma muscle. Botox injections for the neck aren’t effective for every patient. Talk to your surgeon about the procedure beforehand to find out if it’s appropriate for you.

Another office procedure that can help reduce the signs of aging on the neck is Ulthera. Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy to firm areas of loose skin. It’s a great option for patients who are just beginning to show signs of aging and aren’t quite ready for a necklift. The procedure is completely non-invasive, as it doesn’t require anesthesia, incisions or injections.

Ulthera works by stimulating the production of collagen in the neck and face. As you age, your body produces less collagen, which leads to loose and sagging skin. More collagen means skin is firmer and smoother.

Protect Your Neck

Along with taking steps to fight the aging process, it’s important to remember to protect your neck from environmental factors that contribute to aging. You don’t have to wear a turtleneck everyday, but you should put sunscreen on your neck everyday. Use a formula with an SPF of least 30.

Be careful with the fabrics you place near your neck. Natural fibers, such as wool, and some synthetic fabrics can cause irritation, especially if they have a reaction with the skincare products you use.

Consider Surgery

Neck lift surgery, along with  neck liposuction, might be the procedure that’s most appropriate for you. The two surgeries are typically performed together to improve the appearance of the neck. During a neck lift surgery, your surgeon will typically tighten the platysma muscle to reduce sagging. He might remove part of the muscle, if needed. In some cases, the surgeon will also remove excess skin to create a firm, smooth neck.

To learn more about how you can fight the signs of aging on your neck, contact The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Viriginia Beach. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Choe by calling 757.389.5850. You can also fill out the online form.