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Avoiding 'Dinosaur-Skin' Decolletage

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 20 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Decollétage Cleavage Neckline Chest Skin

You may have been religiously applying protective creams and nourishing serums to your face but have you thought about the skin on your décolletage at all? This is the area of skin on your neckline and cleavage - and having a smooth, unblemished décolletage has been an eternal sign of feminine youth and beauty. However, while most women – in their anti-ageing quest – diligently care for and protect the skin on their faces, they often completely overlook the skin on their décolletage. This often results in a shocking contrast between the nourished, youthful-looking face and the rough, discoloured skin on the neck and chest below!

Don’t worry – with a few simple skincare routines and precautions, it is possible to avoid the fate of ‘dinosaur-skin’ décolletage, and instead have beautiful skin on your chest and neckline that you will be proud to bare for years to come.

Ageing and your décolletage

The neckline and cleavage is the most commonly neglected area for anti-ageing skincare and yet ironically, this décolletage area is also one of the most vulnerable to the effects of ageing. In fact, the skin on the décolletage is one of the first places on women’s bodies to show their age. This is because the skin there is actually much thinner and finer and more delicate than other parts of the body. It is also prone to dryness, as it is often less covered up by clothing and therefore more exposed to the elements – and yet women seldom include their décolletages when they are applying moisturisers to their face.

Furthermore, the décolletage is also often overlooked in a woman’s sun protection regime, when in fact, it needs more protection because it is actually angled away from the face in such a way that the sun’s rays strike it directly. This is why the skin on your chest often burns faster than the skin on your face when you are out in the sun. Many women will remember to apply sunscreen to their faces, arms and even legs – and yet forget to cover their décolletage. The thinner skin on neck, chest and cleavage area also means that the sun’s rays can penetrate deeper into the vulnerable dermis layer and cause much more ageing damage. All of this combines to produce the age spots, pigmentation, broken blood vessels, freckles, wrinkles and “scaly skin” commonly seen on many women’s décolletages.

Ways to protect your décolletage and keep it looking youthful

Even if you have not been giving your neck and chest area the best care up till now, it is never too late to start a better skincare and anti-ageing regime for your décolletage.

First, start cleansing your chest and neck with the same cleanser that you use on your face, rather than the harsher soaps that you might use on the rest of your body. Follow with a good moisturiser – ideally the same as that used on your face, including any special anti-ageing treatments or serums. By simply keeping your cleavage and neckline well-moisturised, you will already be preventing many of the signs of dryness and ageing.

Most importantly, make sure that you apply sunscreen to your décolletage daily – even if this is just your daily facial moisturiser with SPF 15. Don’t neglect this step, even if you are planning to spend the day mostly indoors – if you are sitting near any windows, harmful UV rays can still penetrate. In fact, it is estimated that 40% of sun damage actually occurs when you are indoors, sitting near windows letting in sunlight. If you are planning to be outdoors, make sure your décolletage is amply covered with a high-SPF sunblock, ideally waterproof to fight sweating. In addition, it is best to avoid going into direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm – and if you do, make sure you wear a hat with a wide enough brim that it will shade your chest as well as your face.

Be careful how you sleep!

You may not realise this but how you sleep can also have an effect on the ageing appearance of your décolletage. Since we spend on average 2,500 hours a year sleeping, what we do during that time can have a significant effect on our skin. In this case, it is believed that sleeping on your side can contribute to wrinkles along your bust line – therefore it is believed that it is best to sleep on your back and many beauticians, models, actresses – and even plastic surgeons have been quick to follow this advice!

Ultimately, the key to keeping your décolletage looking young and beautiful is to treat it as an extension of your face and to give it the same care and attention, using the same anti-ageing regime, as you would on the skin of your face.

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