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When Coco Chanel spoke about skincare, it was about one prominent area: the face. "Nature gives you the face you have at twenty," she said. "It is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty." While we all seem to have gotten on board with skincare recently as a means of self-care, it’s safe to say that while skin covers our entire body, our routines mainly focus on our faces. While taking care of your face is nothing to be ashamed of, there’s another area just underneath it that we tend to ignore, and which is prone to show age more quickly: the neck.
Compared to the face, the neck is covered in skin that is thinner and more delicate, which can make it more susceptible to sagging. But just like the visage, there are several skincare products designed to help keep the skin on your neck looking fresh and smooth. Finding the face and neck firming creams that are up to the task also requires time-intensive research into which ingredients will offer the most bang for our buck, which is why we reached out to DermaDoctor founder Audrey Kunin, MD.
What to Look For in a Firming Cream
"When it comes to firming, high-potency vitamin C and peptides are ideal ingredients," Kunin explains. "Look for a product containing 15 percent to 20 percent vitamin C, ferulic acid, and vitamin E.”
While the term “neck cream” tends to be all-encompassing, a closer look reveals that treatments designed to help firm and tone the neck area come in a variety of textures. From lightweight serums to thick, hydrating creams, choose the texture that suits your skincare routine best.
Many of the suggestions below contain potent active ingredients such as glycolic acid, vitamin C, and niacinamide that may cause irritation if used alongside other actives, like retinol. If your routine already includes actives, perhaps consider a neck product that employs a less potentially irritating ingredient, like peptides.
So which firming products should you add to your rotation? Kunin recommends the best firming creams for sagging skin that can help your face and décolletage to look years younger.
StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS
"Strivectin TL Advanced Neck Tightening Cream contains multiple peptides," which are ideal for firming, Kunin says. But those with more sensitive skin should beware—the cream "also contains niacinamide, which can be irritating and cause redness in some people."
DERMAdoctor Kakadu C Face Crème
"DermaDoctor Kakadu C Face Crème contains both vitamin C and peptides but is well-tolerated on both the face and neck since the vitamin C level is less concentrated than a serum," DermaDoctor founder Kunin explains.
Perricone MD Cold Plasma Sub-D
This cream "features antioxidants alpha-lipoic acid and dimethylethanolamine (DMAE) to help define the appearance of the chin and neck," says Kunin.
Dr. Brandt Skincare Do Not Age Moisturizing Neck Cream
"Glycolic acid helps hydrate and smooth dry rough skin," says the dermatologist.
Murad Rejuvenating Lift for Neck and Decollete
The Murad Rejuvenating Lift "takes aim at age spots with hydroquinone-free brightening agents," according to Kunin.
Crepe Erase Intensive Body Repair Treatment
"This mega hydration helps to temporarily lift crepey, sagging skin to appear lifted and firmer," she says.
Exuviance Age Reverse Toning Neck Cream
Kunin explains that this toning neck cream "contains the plumping agent NeoGlucosamine to help improve the appearance of lines on neck and décolletage."
Clarins Super Restorative Décolleté and Neck Concentrate
She also recommends this dual-action cream since it "helps with evening skin tone affected by sunspots while organic oat sugar visibly lifts sagging skin."
StriVectin Tightening Neck Serum Roller
"Nia-114 helps smooth, crepey skin on the neck while peptides firm," says Kunin.
Algenist ELEVATE Advanced Lift Contouring Cream
"Peptides and alguronic acid are helpful ingredients, with a gold delivery system to help firm the delicate neck and chest," she says.
Tarte Marajuca Neck Treatment
"Mega-hydrators [like] hyaluronic acid and Maracuja oil help plump mature skin," explains Kunin. It also "helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging."
Shiseido Benefiance Concentrated Neck Contour Treatment
The Shiseido Benefiance Concentrated Neck Contour Treatment "features amino acid hydroxyproline to help retexturize skin and leave a feeling of fullness," she says.
Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream
"Goji berries [are] rich in vitamin C [while] black tea extracts fight free-radical damage to help skin feel youthful," says the dermatologist.
Does firming cream really work?
As with all topically applied skincare products, using a firming cream won’t drastically change your skin. However, as active ingredients like vitamin C have been shown to help promote collagen production and lighten hyperpigmentation, you can typically expect noticeable results with regular use.
How do I firm up my neck?
A great first step is to use a firming cream, which contains a number of ingredients with the potential to help smooth, plump, and tighten neck skin, giving the impression of a younger, firmer-looking neck area. Regular usage is essential, so plan to incorporate this step into your routine for the long haul.
Why is my neck aging so fast?
As most skincare is focused on the face, we tend to overlook the neck area until the telltale signs of aging show up, namely wrinkles and crepey-ness. Also, "the skin on your neck is a little bit thinner than your face," dermatologist Dr. Helen Flamenbaum, MD, told Byrdie, making it more susceptible to premature aging.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Audrey Kunin is a board-certified dermatologist, author, clinician, educator, television personality, as well as founder and chief creative officer of DERMAdoctor.