How to Care for Décolletage and Chest Wrinkles

December 11, 2023
Jennifer Hussein
By: Jennifer Hussein | by L'Oréal
person in white tank top touching collarbone

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 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.”

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. Below, Dr. Houshmand and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Ariel Ostad share 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.

What Causes Décolletage and Chest Wrinkles?

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,” explains Dr. Houshmand. ”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.”

Aging isn’t the only culprit of décolletage and chest wrinkles, though. They can also be caused by “sun exposure, collagen loss, poor skincare habits, genetics, smoking, sleeping on your side and dehydration,” explains Dr. Ostad. 

How to Prevent Décolletage and Chest Wrinkles

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,” says Dr. Houshmand.

To keep your chest hydrated and healthy-looking, give the SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair Cream a try. With retinol and a tripeptide concentrate, it has corrective properties to target early signs of aging. Dr. Ostad also recommends the Neck Refining Cream from his skincare line. The cream contains gentle retinoids “that help improve fine lines, wrinkles, and crepiness on the neck. This can be used on the neck and brought down to the chest area and used as maintenance for slow improvement.”

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, between 10 am and 2 pm.

Tip 3: Be Gentle

“Because the skin on your décolletage is so delicate, you need to be extra gentle with it,” says Dr. Houshmand. “Rubbing, stretching or pulling the décolletage can cause damage and lead to more wrinkles and creases.” Dr. Houshmand advises gently massaging 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 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 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 is designed to 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 La Roche-Posay Effaclar Acne Spot Treatment, which works to quickly eliminate breakouts and reduce redness.

Tip 11: Stay Away From Too-Tight Bras

Wearing an ill-fitting bra doesn’t just feel uncomfortable — according to Dr. Ostad, it can also be another cause of chest wrinkles. “Wearing tighter push-up bras can contribute to these creases,” he says. “These creases can become permanent wrinkles, especially if the skin has lost some of its elasticity.”

How to Get Rid of Décolletage and Chest Wrinkles

Once you have décolletage and chest wrinkles, it can be difficult to get rid of them. Maintaining the habits above can help soften existing lines and prevent new ones from forming. However, if topical skincare treatments and healthy skincare habits, such as staying hydrated and wearing sun protection, aren’t cutting it, there are also in-office treatments you can try. Dr. Ostad recommends looking into treatments such as hyaluronic acid fillers, which he says can “add volume as well as boost collagen production.” .  

The Best Skincare Products for Décolletage and Chest Wrinkles

SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair Cream

Help firm, tighten and correct signs of aging on the chest and neck with the SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair Cream. Infused with slow-release retinol, a blend of peptides and a glaucine complex, it’s clinically demonstrated to improve the look of neck lines as well as address crepey skin, uneven skin tone and a loss of firmness. Start by easing this into your nighttime skincare routine twice a week, then gradually increasing to one to two times a day as tolerated. Since retinol can increase photosensitivity, be mindful of applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.

SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair Cream

Lancôme Rénergie H.P.N. 300-Peptide Cream SPF 25

Combine two skincare steps in one with this SPF 25-infused moisturizer. Made with 300 different peptides and plumping hyaluronic acid, it’s an anti-aging day cream that targets signs of aging such as wrinkles, dark spots and sagging skin, particularly on the lower half of the face. To use, apply every morning to your face, neck and décolleté, taking care to massage it in circular, upward motions. 

Lancôme Rénergie H.P.N. 300-Peptide Cream SPF 25

La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin

When it comes to making skin appear softer and less wrinkled, hydration is key. This gentle body lotion is accepted by the National Eczema Association, making it a reliable choice for all skin types. It includes barrier-supporting ingredients like shea butter, ceramide-3, glycerin, niacinamide and La Roche-Posay’s proprietary prebiotic thermal water.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar AP+M Triple Repair Body Moisturizer for Dry Skin

Dr. Ariel Ostad Neck Refining Cream

From Dr. Ostad’s own skincare line, this neck refining cream contains a combination of growth factors, retinol and antioxidant-rich ingredients, including ferulic acid and vitamins C and E. Start by using this every other night for one to two weeks before increasing to nightly use to help ease your skin into the retinization process

Dr. Ariel Ostad Neck Refining Cream
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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