11 Ways to Care for Your Décolletage
We all know the basics of caring for our faces, but what about the skin on the rest of our body? One of the most neglected areas of skin is your décolletage — AKA the skin on your neck and chest. While we’re lathering our faces with gentle cleansers and anti-aging face creams, often our chests and necks are not getting the same level of attention. “The skin of the décolletage is thin and delicate,” says board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Elizabeth B. Houshmand. “This is one of the first areas of your body to show signs of aging, and it is important to care for it.”
As Dr. Houshmand mentioned, the skin on your décolletage deserves some TLC. “The skin on your neck and chest contains less sebaceous glands and limited melanocytes, so damage is more easily done,” Dr. Houshmand explains. ”And as we age, the collagen and elastin begin to break down. These proteins keep your skin firm. When collagen and elastin start to break down, your skin begins to sag inward, resulting in creases that eventually become wrinkles.”
If you’ve noticed a change in skin texture or appearance on your décolletage — acne, dryness or a crepey feel, just to name a few — then your routine could probably use an upgrade. Dr. Houshmand shared a handful of tips for keeping your chest and neck happy, hydrated and looking refreshed. Read on to find out how to recharge your décolletage.
The Best Skin-Care Tips for Your Décolletage
Tip #1: Moisturize
“The décolletage is often one of the first places to show signs of aging, so using a décolletage-specific formulated cream and keeping the area hydrated is critical,” Dr. Houshmand says. To keep your chest hydrated and healthy-looking, give the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Neck Cream Moisturizer a try. This treatment helps rejuvenate creping, dry skin, making it an essential for people who want to keep their décolletage looking its best.
Tip #2: Apply Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
One of the biggest factors of an aging décolletage is sun damage, according to Dr. Houshmand. “Just like the face, sun exposure speeds up the aging process in this area,” she says. “This is because UV rays from the sun cause collagen and elastin to break down more quickly than they would on their own. At the same time, UV rays can damage your skin cells, which makes it harder for them to repair themselves and to create newer, healthier cells.” Dr. Houshmand recommends wearing sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF 30 or more on your face, neck and décolletage to help protect your skin from sun damage and take other sun protection measures. She also notes that it’s extremely important to apply sunscreen to your chest and neck even if aging isn’t something you’re worried about because the majority of sun damage occurs between your childhood and early adult years.
To help keep sun damage at bay, try the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen for Face & Body SPF 100. Its fast-absorbing formula leaves a velvety texture and is gentle enough for all skin types to enjoy. Take your sun protection to the next level by wearing protective clothing, seeking shade and avoiding peak sun hours.
Tip #3: Be Gentle
“Because the skin on your décolletage is so delicate, you need to be extra gentle with it,” Dr. Houshmand says. “Rubbing, stretching or pulling the décolletage can cause damage and lead to more wrinkles and creases.” Dr. Houshmand advises gently lathering on cleansers when you’re in the shower and to always be gentle when applying sunscreen, moisturizers or serums on your neck and chest.
Tip #4: Use a Treatment Balm
If you’ve noticed that your décolletage is very dry, try using a hydrating serum or treatment balm. Some skin treatments are formulated just for hydrating purposes and contain nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized and looking plump. One of our favorites is the Algenist Genius Collagen Calming Relief, which is formulated with collagen and calendula to help soothe stressed skin and promote hydration.
Tip #5: Watch Your Posture
Making sure your posture is on point can help minimize wrinkling on your décolletage, according to Dr. Houshmand. “In this day we’re all constantly staring down at our smartphones, tablets and laptops, which is horrible for your décolletage and neck,” she says. “When you slump your shoulders or sit with your back hunched, the skin on your décolletage becomes folded and creased. This can lead to damage and wrinkles over time.” To prevent posture-related wrinkles, Dr. Houshmand recommends sitting up straight and keeping your shoulders back. She also states that exercising to strengthen your upper back can also be helpful.
Tip #6: Cleanse Your Skin
Just like the rest of your body, your décolletage needs to be cleansed daily in order to have a healthy and clean look. Using a gentle cleanser that will purify your chest and neck without stripping moisture is crucial. If you have oily skin, try the SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser. It helps gently exfoliate your skin while cleansing away impurities for a soft and fresh feel.
Tip #7: Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliating your neck and chest helps slough away any buildup of dead skin cells on the skin's surface, which can make your décolletage look more radiant. Because your chest and neck are more delicate areas than the rest of your body, we recommend using a gentle exfoliator on your décolletage, like the Lancôme Exfoliating Rose Sugar Scrub. It polishes your skin for a brighter and more even-looking tone.
Tip #8: Sleep on Your Back
Do you tend to sleep on your side or stomach? Dr. Housmand recommends kicking that bad sleeping habit to the curb, especially if you’re worrying about wrinkles. “Sleep wrinkles are a thing and can show on your chest,” she says. “Sleeping on your side can also speed up chest wrinkles and a sagging effect.” Dr. Houshmand recommends readjusting your sleeping position and sleeping on your back to decrease the risk of forming sleep wrinkles.
Tip #9: Use a Hydrating Mask
We all love a good face mask, but why should we stop at just our faces? A hydrating mask can help replenish the moisture your décolletage is thirsty for, too. The MMRevive Neck & Chest Mask can give your décolletage a hydration boost, as well as soothe, plump and restore skin to blur the look of wrinkles and uneven tone.
Tip #10: Target Blemishes
If you’re suffering from chest acne, you can easily use a spot treatment to help reduce its appearance. When we see a pimple pop up on our chests, we like to use the AcneFree Terminator 10 Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Spot Treatment, which works to quickly eliminate breakouts and reduce redness.
Tip #11: Ask About In-Office Treatments
If all else fails, schedule a visit to your dermatologist or trusted skin-care professional. They have plenty of in-office treatments that can help you with your specific décolletage needs.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn