How to Prevent Crepey Skin on the Neck
As you age, you’ll likely begin to notice a difference in the texture of your skin. The soft, smooth, and radiant-looking skin you’re used to may transform into a rough, wrinkled, and crepe-like texture that can make you look older. And it’s not just your face that can be affected. The skin on the neck—one of the most neglected areas in a routine—can also begin to appear thin and crepey. To learn more about this growing concern, we spoke to board-certified dermatologist, SkinCeuticals ambassador, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Karen Sra. From how to prevent crepey skin on the neck to how to reduce its appearance, we reveal everything you need to know and more ahead!
WHAT IS CREPEY SKIN?
We all know what wrinkles and fine lines are, but what exactly is crepey skin? Crepey skin is just what it sounds like—skin that feels thin as paper, or like crepe. Some of this can be attributed to the passing of time and aging that’s completely natural, but in fact—when it comes to crepey skin—age is not the leading cause, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Can you guess what is?
If you guessed sun damage, you’d be right! Exposure to harmful UV rays can break down important fibers in your skin, including collagen and elastin, which give your skin its natural bounce and volume. When these fibers breakdown, they lose their ability to stretch, repair, and return to normal position. The result, as you can assume, is crepey skin.
WHEN CAN CREPEY SKIN ON THE NECK APPEAR?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, crepey skin typically doesn’t appear until your 40s. That said, it can appear sooner, while you’re in your 20s for example, if you’re not taking proper sun protection measures. Poor habits such as sun bathing or use of tanning beds can result in crepey skin prematurely. Gaining or losing a large amount of weight can also play a role as well.
HOW CAN YOU HELP PREVENT CREPEY SKIN ON THE NECK?
Since the leading cause of crepey skin is the sun's harmful UV rays, it should come as no surprise that the leading form of prevention is consistently wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen each and every day, even on cloudy days. This is good news, since sunscreen should already be a daily step in your skin care routine.
In case you don’t already know, sunscreen is undoubtedly the most important step of any skin care routine. When applying broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher daily, you can help reduce the risk of premature skin aging (wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, etc.), crepey skin, and even some cancers by effectively protecting your skin against harmful UV rays. Reach for a formula that is water-resistant, and offers broad-spectrum protection and an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply at least every two hours. Since there is currently no sunscreen on the market that can fully protect your skin against UV rays, experts recommend taking additional precautions to shield your skin. This includes wearing protecting clothing and avoiding peak sun hours—10 a.m. to 4 p.m.—when rays are strongest.
We understand full-well that UV rays, in some instances, cannot be completely avoided. As such, to help prevent crepey skin on the neck, take these additional precautions:
- Seek shade. It’s not always possible to avoid the sun, but if you can, seek shade throughout the day to give your skin a break from direct UV exposure. Wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing can also help to keep the sun off your face and neck.
- Don’t skimp on the moisturizer. Morning and night, remain loyal to a moisturizer that’s formulated for your skin type and extend it to your neck and décolleté. This can help to hydrate your neck and make crepiness less noticeable, says the Cleveland Clinic.
- Read product labels. Look to see if your moisturizer contains alpha or beta hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid. Moisturizers formulated with these ingredients can help plump the look of skin and in turn help reduce a crepey appearance with continued use over time.
HOW CAN YOU REDUCE THE APPEARANCE OF CREPEY SKIN ON THE NECK?
Prevention tips are important, but if you’re already dealing with crepey skin on the neck, they’ll do little to address your current state. To help reduce the appearance of crepey skin on the neck, Dr. Sra recommends turning to firming creams. As a moisturizer, reach for SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter to help address signs of aging such as crepey skin, as its advanced formula can help reverse erosion of elasticity and firmness for mature skin. To help achieve brighter skin in addition to improving texture, opt for SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest, & Hair Repair. Its formula works to brighten and redensify on crepey and photodamaged skin.