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While it may be your complexion that gets all the skincare attention, it’s important to remember that your neck deserves some TLC, too. The skin on your neck is just as susceptible to all kinds of signs of aging—wrinkles, sagging, spots, dryness—as the skin on your face. If it’s not properly protected and treated, all of these imperfections can quickly start to show up, and no matter how well you take care of your complexion and how youthful your face may look, your neck can make you look older than you really are. And trust us, no one wants that.
As far as treatment products go, you can, in theory, use any of the skincare products you’re using on your face—serums, moisturizers, exfoliators—on your neck. Still, opting for a dedicated neck cream is a good idea, not only because it’s specially formulated for this area (where the skin is thinner and more delicate, FYI), but also because it’s a good way to remind yourself to actually give your neck the time and attention it deserves.
Collagen boosters like retinol can give the skin on your neck a younger, fresher look, while hydrators like hyaluronic acid can make it look more moisturized and even. Since the skin in this area is so thin, a gentle formula is a must.
Ahead, the best neck creams that will get the job done.
Best Overall: StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS
This best-seller recently got an upgrade, thanks to the addition of a unique Gravitite-CF Lifting Complex, which not only improves the elasticity of the skin on the neck but also lifts and helps minimize the look of horizontal fine lines. But it doesn’t stop there: The brand’s patented niacinamide-based NIA-114 technology helps to strengthen the skin barrier, and the cream also contains a brightening complex to minimize dark spots and even out the skin's tone. Basically, it’s everything you could ever want and need to address all of your neck issues in one convenient jar.
Best for Wrinkles: Prai Beauty Ageless Throat & Decolletage Creme
If pesky, horizontal lines across your neck are starting to stress you out, we get it (Tech neck is a real thing and people are totally getting Botox in their necks.) This daily cream, the brand’s number one best-seller, contains a proprietary Sepilift technology to boost collagen and restore elasticity, plus plumping hyaluronic acid. And perhaps best of all? You’ll start to see some results in as little as seven days, a major win for those of us who are seriously impatient.
Best Hydrating: IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Neck Cream Moisturizer
Collagen refers to a family of proteins that are the primary structural component of connective tissues, such as skin, ligaments, and cartilage. Topical collagen creams are said to improve fine lines and wrinkles by replacing the lost collagen, though its main benefit is moisturizing the skin.
Universal skin care rule: Hydrated skin always looks healthier and more youthful. So load up on this formula, which touts hyaluronic acid to instantly attract moisture to the skin, plus ceramides to help strengthen the skin barrier and keep moisture from escaping. There are also collagen and elastin in the mix, further helping to keep your neck firm and smooth.
Best for Toning: Dr. Brandt Skincare Needles No More Neck Sculpting Cream
Caffeine is a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee, and cacao plants. In skincare, it helps to stimulate blood flow and decrease puffiness, as well as works to dissolve fat, which makes it a choice cellulite treatment.
Using a neck cream could already be considered pretty extra (in a good way), but if you really want to go the extra mile, use this one, which comes with an included gua sha stone. In and of itself, the cream is packed with ingredients that help improve skin firmness and combat puffiness —caffeine, guarana extract, spirulina—plus pea extract to instantly tighten skin. But massage the cream in with the gua sha tool and you’ve just further upped all of those toning effects.
Best Multitasker: Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Neck and Décolleté Cream
When talking about the skin below your chin it’s important to think even beyond your neck, and consider your chest, too. After all, no one wants a wrinkled, mottled, sagging décolleté, and because this an area that’s often exposed (yet forgotten when it comes to sunscreen), these can all become very real issues. This particular multi-tasker boasts a powerful antioxidant blend to ward off skin-damaging free radicals, plus a collagen-boosting retinoid and tightening polymers.
Best With SPF: Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25
It should come as no surprise that your daily sunscreen regimen isn’t just for your face. (As we said, the neck and chest are often forgotten when it comes to sun protection.) You could definitely go ahead and use whatever ‘screen you’re using on your neck, but we say go ahead and pick up this cream instead. Not only are you getting the necessary dose of SPF, but it also contains powerful antioxidants and plant extracts to address everything from fine lines to firmness to an uneven tone. Prevention and treatment in one step? We’re very into that.
Best Splurge: Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Neck & Décolleté Cream
Yes, this high-end cream comes with a steep price tag, but here’s why it’s worth it. First and foremost, it uses orchid extract, an ingredient found to be so active and effective that the brand opened a research center to study it exclusively. More specifically, that ingredient (and the other actives in the formula) create a lightweight, breathable film on the skin that works to lift, smooth, and restore firmness to the neck and chest. Secondly, using it feels utterly indulgent and luxurious, thanks to everything from the smell and the texture, making for a true spa moment at home. And that’s only magnified when you apply the cream following the brand’s suggested four-step, massage-like protocol.
Best Natural: Elina Organics Cleopatra Neck Cream
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide found in the human body. It acts as a cushioning and lubrication agent for our joints, nerves, hair, skin, and eyes. When used in skincare, it acts as a moisture binder, which means that it will attach itself to the water in the cells (while also attracting and holding water from the air) making them plump.
There are no questionable chemicals or synthetic fragrances to be found in this cream, which instead uses a litany of natural and organic ingredients. Hyaluronic acid hydrates, while mandelic acid gently exfoliates, choice for helping to combat an uneven skin tone or any dark spots. Silk peptides, reishi mushroom extract, and blue-green algae are among some of the other standouts in the mix, working to effectively firm and brighten the delicate skin around your neck.
Best Serum: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion
For those who don’t love heavy creams, this lightweight treatment is choice. But despite the featherweight and silky texture, it still packs a powerful wrinkle-fighting punch. Credit two different acids—lactic to support cell turnover, and ferulic, a powerful antioxidant that offers an added layer of protection from free radicals caused by exposure to the sun.
Per the name, it also contains retinol, the gold standard collagen-boosting, wrinkle-fighting ingredient, along with a proprietary ECG Complex that plumps and firms skin, while also minimizing the look of any unwanted dark spots. Use it twice daily, massaging a few pumps from the base of your neck, moving upwards towards your chin.
When it comes to the very best neck creams, we’re giving top honors to the StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS for its ability to not only boost skin elasticity and brightness, but also minimize the look of horizontal fine lines. So long, tech neck! And while this one is definitely an investment, we can't fail to mention the Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Anti-Aging Neck & Decollete Cream. The formula is infused with orchid and other potent extracts that create a lightweight film on the skin that works hard to lift, smooth, and restore firmness to the neck and chest. Plus, it smells and feels delightful. Finally, we’re big fans of the Ellina Organics Skincare Cleopatra Neck Cream. It boasts a natural formula that’s free of nasty additives and potentially irritating synthetic ingredients, making it a great choice for anyone with sensitive skin. Plus, its packed with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, mandelic acid, silk extract, and mushroom peptides.
What to Look for in a Neck Cream
When it comes to effective neck creams, you should look for ones with ingredients that stimulate collagen production while protecting the skin. Plastic surgeon Dr. John Diaz recommends retinol (available over the counter) and tretinoin (found in Rx products like Renova), both vitamin A derivatives that help stimulate collagen. “They can even reverse some of the fine lines and wrinkles on your neck,” he says. To protect the delicate skin on your neck from free radicals and damage, look for brightening ingredients like vitamins C and E.
Hydrating and Reparative Ingredients
Of course, ample hydration is also the key to a healthy and youthful neck. As dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt explains, hydrating ingredients can help smooth the surface so lines and wrinkles appear less noticeable. One to look for? Hyaluronic acid, which will help your skin retain moisture and should diminish your neck’s crepey appearance while lending a subtle plumping effect.
Diaz also recommends looking for various peptides in the ingredients list: “They’re proteins that are essential to your skin’s growth and repair,” he says. “Using them provides your skin with the building blocks it needs to restore its youthful appearance.”
While all skin from the chest up is especially delicate, the skin on your neck and chest is much different than the skin on your face. “It's slightly thinner than on the face and has less naturally occurring oils,” he says. “This makes it more prone to redness and irritation.” That said, you should check to make sure whatever cream you choose to use in this area won’t irritate sensitive skin. Opt for formulas that are free of fragrance, dyes, preservatives, and essential oils.
Are neck creams necessary?
Taking into account all the hype behind neck creams, are they actually worth it? According to Baxt, yes, they are. “Some women will take good care of their face, but will look 20 years older from the neck down,” she says. That said, it’s important to treat the delicate skin of the neck and chest with the same care and attention you give to your face.
Do firming neck creams really work?
Sure, these ingredients may tighten and tone temporarily, but will consistent use of a firming neck cream have any long-term benefits? The verdict is mixed. “Long-lasting results can be achieved only with consistent daily use and care,” Diaz says. “This is because your skin cells have a cycle of growth and renewal, which takes a minimum of four weeks. Several cycles of renewal must be completed for a total transformation.”
Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner agrees that diligence is key, and there’s no “instant fix.” Of course, even daily, long-term use probably won’t deliver the same results as a more intense in-office procedure. If your goal is to really lift or firm loose skin on the neck, then a laser ultrasound procedure or plastic surgery is usually required, says Baxt. However, she adds that creams with retinoids or glycolic acids will reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and hydrating ingredients can smooth the surface so lines appear less noticeable.
Can you use face cream on the neck?
As Diaz mentions above, the skin on the neck is slightly thinner and more prone to redness and irritation than your face, which is why creams formulated specifically for the neck and chest tend to be much gentler. While it's best to reach for a neck cream, you can use your favorite face cream below the chin—just be sure to first make sure it doesn't contain any harsh or irritating ingredients.
Meet the Expert
Dr. John Diaz, MD, is a Beverly Hills-based board-certified plastic surgeon with advanced specialty training in cosmetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body.
Dr. Rebecca Baxt, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist at BAXT CosMedical who specializes in cosmetic procedures and the treatment of acne and acne scarring, psoriasis, eczema, and skin cancer.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist, as well as the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any neck creams from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. Now that she’s in her 30s, she’s become even more diligent about taking care of the skin on places like her hands, chest, and yes, neck, making a night cream a non-negotiable part of her skincare routine. Her favorite neck cream tip: Always apply with upward stroking motions to help lift the skin.