When it comes to self-image, everyone has their thing. For some people, it’s eyes, their nose, or lips. My thing’s my neck. My childhood stuffed animal was a giraffe, because I could always relate. Necklace-wielding jewelry store staff always race towards me with their eyes on an obvious sale. The rule about no-face nudes doesn’t exactly apply to me; my neck is the tell. If past lives exist, I was huge in ancient Egypt.
At my level of skincare and beauty research, Talmudic scholars would seem abrupt in their assessment of the Torah. My home vanity is like the work of a miniature beaver: products everywhere that are obscure, but clearly not random. My evening neck routine varies on a theme: cleansing milk, manual exfoliation, a chemical exfoliating toner, active serum, some form of tretinoin or retinol, and a heavy cream or oil. All of that isn’t enough to combat the dreaded tech-neck our generation has been plagued with.
After all, I got my first Blackberry in the 6th grade (RIP BBM.) Too small for dermal fillers and impervious to lasers or surgical lifts, these neck lines can be seriously evil. Lo and behold, I found their napalm: neck Botox.
After trying every topical solution available to me on this blue-green marble, I thought lasers were the answer. I’ve been getting a micro-current facial that treats my neck and decollate once or twice a month for over two years, so I went for heavier artillery. Ultherapy, or high-intensity focused ultrasound, is a treatment that targets deep levels of the dermis by heating up and traumatizing cells using an ultrasound machine in order to generate new collagen. I chose this to tighten my skin, thus hopefully making lines go away.
It was incredibly painful, and 3 unbearable sessions yielded no result or reward. For me, there’s nothing worse than pain without gain. Reference point: I get dental fillings with no Novocain or analgesic and I highly recommend taking the prescription painkillers they give you before Ultherapy.
Alma’s Pixel RF resurfacing laser uses radio frequency to target problem areas. It left me with scabby track marks that made my neck look like a crop field. This was also very painful, or “spicy” as the tech called it. After seeing this laser work wonders on making stretchmarks disappear after only one treatment, I was very hopeful. My neck’s texture and tone looked great once the little scabs came off, but my lines remained the same. Ayurvedic skin-tightening treatments like Kaya Lepam (an exotic wrap treatment with milks and herbs) felt great for my soul, but did nothing for my neck.
I refused to give up.
I’d say that less than 10 people are allowed to touch my face (my Bengal cat is one of them.) Whenever needles, cannulas, or emotional support are involved, Dr. Azizzadeh in Beverly Hills is my go-to. He’s famous for his work on Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s life-altering facial paralysis corrective surgery (remember the Long Island Lolita?) as well as his aesthetic work on a long list of Hollywood’s most recognizable starlets. His bedside manner is the social equivalent of mom’s homemade chicken soup: it’s warm, inviting, straightforward, and can fix anything.
A Harvard med school grad, Azizzadeh is director of the Facial Paralysis Institute, has written multiple definitive med school textbooks about rhinoplasties and facial rejuvenation, and Oprah loves him. When I asked him what I should do about my neck lines, he had the solution: neck Botox. Apparently, a little-known on-label technique for ol’ faithful is using it to paralyze neck muscles and smooth out fine lines.
To my surprise, I felt my neck tightening up after a mere 48 hours (usually Botox treatments set in after 3-5 days for me.) I love how smooth and tight my skin is, and my jawline has the added benefit of a slight lift and tightening. When I look at my phone in bed before I go to sleep, I don’t feel the usual eye-strain and pressure in my temples I used to from curling my head downwards. When I make the Animal-Muppet-face, my neck doesn’t move. Overall, neck Botox has got me in my best feelings.
I’ve always been good at the French exit (leaving a party without saying goodbye.) I didn’t have a chance to formally bid my neck lines adieu, but now, I’ve definitely said farewell – at least for the next four to six months.
Click here for more advice on how to tighten the skin on your neck.