Many women focus on their faces and forget that their neck and décolletage are just as important in maintaining an overall youthful appearance of health and beauty. It is no use having glowing, beautiful skin on your face if it is surrounded by leathery, sagging, blemished skin full wrinkles and age spots, all down your neck and chest! While preventative creams and good daily care will help prevent damage to this delicate area, there are also anti-ageing treatments that specific target the neck and cleavage to help reverse any signs of ageing and maintain a youthful appearance.
One of the key ways to tackle any signs of ageing in the décolletage area is exfoliation. However, the skin on your neck, chest and cleavage is actually extremely thin and delicate – even more so than your face! In fact, the chemical peels you could use on your face are too harsh for the delicate décolletage area so other means of exfoliation are required.
A relative of the famous anti-oxidant, Coenzyme Q10, idebenone is one of the most effective anti-oxidants used in modern skincare treatments and is known for its formidable power in fighting wrinkles. Many believe it to be more potent and effective than Vitamins C, E and A. Furthermore, research shows that idebenone actually protects the skin from environmental damage, by protecting cells from deterioration. It can even work to repair skin, while the sun is taking its toll. All this leads to an overall appearance of fewer fine lines, smoother skin texture and reduced dryness.
Vitamin C & Esther C
These two ingredients help to break down and remove dead skin cells, thus restoring the smooth appearance and glow of youthful skin – without the need for harsh chemical peels. They help in boosting the production of collagen and also help greatly with skin suffering from inflammation. They work well on sun-damaged skin, treating the fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping sagging skin which has lost its firmness due to lost or damaged collagen.
ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
This is one of nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants and also acts as an anti-inflammatory. It even boosts the effectiveness of other anti-oxidants, helping to make them much more powerful. A completely natural substance, it is non-toxic and ideal for those with sensitive skin who are tend to have allergic reactions to skin products. It use of ALA improves the overall appearance of skin, from working against wrinkles, fine lines and even scars – to preventing and treating damaged skin.
This miracle ingredient is the secret to the ‘instant anti-ageing, face-lift’ – it is a firming agent which acts quickly to improve the appearance of fine lines and sagging skin, with dramatic results. Like ALA, it is also an anti-oxidant and boosts the performance of other anti-oxidants, so that overall, your skin looks smoother, brighter and with fewer fine lines.
Before rushing out to buy expensive creams and serums, consider some natural remedies using fruits that are high in the active ingredients. For example, the natural exfoliating enzymes and vitamin C found in papaya and pineapple are very good for sensitive skin and effective without being too harsh. Similarly, lemon and lime juice are both natural sources of alpha hydroxyl acids – simply squeeze the fresh juice in to a bowl and apply to your chest area with cotton wool every other night for two to three weeks. Skip every fourth week as a break – continue again in the fifth week. It may take a few months but these simple natural remedies can be just as effective as expensive commercial treatments.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
Also known as “Photo Facial”, this is a specialised treatment which fights the signs of ageing in the neckline, chest and cleavage – the décolletage area. Contrary to what many people think, IPL is not a laser but rather the use of visible light of a certain wavelength (colour) to target the brown pigment and blood vessels in the skin. Energy & heat from the light breaks up the unsightly pigmentation or seals blood vessels. Treatment can take up to 5 weeks to show results – further, three IPL treatments scheduled 5 weeks apart are required to completely remove all blemishes. The change in sun-damaged décolletage skin can be spectacular, restoring it to a blemish-free, youthful appearance.
For deep exfoliation, you just can’t beat microdermabrasion. It is the most effective method of removing dead and damaged skin cells from the surface of your neck and chest area. This way, the younger, fresher cells underneath can be revealed. Microdermabrasion will also stimulate cell growth, so that your skin will produce fresh cells. It does this by slightly irritating the deeper skin dermis to make new collagen, in order to replace the collagen lost from the ageing process and sun damage. Lastly, microdermabrasion will also help topical skin treatments and serums be better absorbed.
Retin A treatment
Of the many skin treatment products on offer, Retin A is the only one that has been conclusively proven to be able to prevent and even reverse the signs of ageing and sun damage. However, it is a very potent substance which requires a prescription and is also very expensive. Retin A treatments should be applied to the neck and chest area just as much as to the skin of the face.