Our Necks, Ourselves

As a girl, I always dreamed of having an Ugly Duckling makeover. My cou would transform into a long spell of smooth, luminescent alabaster. Of course, reality set in, and I began to experiment with haircuts (a shag works wonders) and necklines (no crewnecks, please) to make my tiki hut look like an ivory tower. Today, I’ve finally grown to love the connection between my head and shoulders. That is until a recent well-known fashion magazine’s “age issue” ran a photograph of a plucked chicken to represent what time can do to this beauty asset.

Is this womankind’s fate, a flabby piece of pre-KFC poultry? Yes, aging causes skin to loose its youthful fullness, but we’re not turning into Perdue roasters anytime soon. In Ageless Beauty, dermatologist Steven Victor writes that when women reach their forties, the skin of the neck begins to loosen “because the collagen and elastin fibers become less organized and weaker. In addition, the layer of fat beneath it decreases, and the muscle structure begins to break down.”

Although there’s no way to turn back the hands of time, you can help preserve your pillar of beauty using the following expert advice.

An Early Start
According to Lia Schorr, founder of her eponymous Lexington Avenue day spa and Institute of Cosmetic Skin Care Training, there are a number of factors that can affect your neck’s appearance. Heredity, your daily regimen and extreme dieting can all leave you with prematurely sagging skin. Lia stresses “prevention at an early age” for an eternally alluring cou. By using a neck cream, you can help maintain the area’s hydration and elasticity. She advises using a moisturizer during the evening for “the best absorption.”

The Crèmes de la Crème
So, what to look for in your dream cream? With over 35 years of experience as an esthetician, Lia believes that a proper neck moisturizer “smoothes and pumps up the skin,” “leaving a great glow.” It should feel “totally moisturizing” and “never drying or tightening.” To firm and bring back skin’s natural resiliency, she recommends toning ingredients like copper or seaweed extract.

Whether you’re looking for a starter cream or an advanced lotion, BeautyNewsNYC suggests that you try these top-of-the-line products.

For all skin types:

Clarins Extra-Firming Neck Cream
This intensive moisturizer helps smooth premature wrinkles and lines. $82 at Sephora

Sisley Botanical Throat Cream
From Sisley’s nature-inspired skincare line, this silky, light crème contains Rhatany and Lady’s Mantle extracts to minimize the appearance of fine lines. $248.88 at Perfume Worldwide

Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Extra-Firming Revitalizing Mask
This high-tech treatment is perfect for giving skin a quick boost. Sweet almond proteins form a matrix while a powerful blend of moisturizers cushion and hydrate dull skin. $38.50 at http://www.esteelauder.com

For mature or damaged skin:

DDF Cellular Revitalization Age Renewal
With firming copper, “cell-nourishing” phyto-estrogens and vitamin B complex, this cream gives mature or damaged skin a hydrating boost. $125 at http://www.ddfskincare.com

Living Right
To boost your neck cream’s benefits, Lia suggests that you follow these cardinal rules.
1. Abstain from smoking.
2. Drink moderate amount of caffeine and lots of water.
3. Sleep seven hours a night or more, and deal with stress through exercise and yoga.

Lia’s lifestyle is her secret to an eternally youthful appearance. If you’re looking into cosmetic surgery for the stretch of skin between your head and shoulders, she believes that neck lifts are only ideal for women over 45 and those with extensive sun damage.

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