The décolletage area often gets neglected as the face is the focus of most skincare routines.
But like the face, this area is also often exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. It can develop signs of aging faster than the face in some cases.
The décolletage tends to be especially vulnerable to wrinkling and developing dark spots because it is thinner and has less fat than other parts of the body, a study showed.
What is the décolletage area?
Décolletage is a French term that, in the beauty industry, refers to the skin between the chin and chest. This means the neck, shoulders, and upper chest also need skincare.
For New York-based board certified dermatologist and YouTube influencer Dr. Shereene Idriss, the trio of face, chest, and neck is considered a “cosmetic unit.”
“The face, neck, and chest, I honestly consider a cosmetic unit,” Idriss explained in one of her YouTube videos. “One of my biggest pet peeves as a cosmetic dermatologist [is] when I have a patient come in who’s clearly devoted her life or his life to treating just his or her face but has completely neglected anything below, and it looks like the face is super imposed on the rest of the body.”
Idriss made it clear that the neck should not be overlooked when applying skincare.
“When you’re applying your skincare, we need to be extending down,” the dermatologist said.
Idriss said this is a must considering the neck skin is thinner than that of the face. Due to this, signs of aging tend to appear on the neck far more severely than the face.
Skincare tips for the décolletage
Here are the skincare tips for the décolletage to delay signs of aging:
1. Consider applying retinols
Idriss recommended the use of retinol as it contains ingredients that promote collagen production and thicken the skin.
However, she firmly advised against opting for a 0.5% concentration of retinol. Instead, she recommended sticking to 0.3% or less. Higher concentrations may be “poorly tolerated” by the neck, irritate its delicate skin and cause redness or itchiness.
2. Use moisturizers or serums
Applying hyaluronic acid moisturizers and serums consistenly on the neck and chest can help slow down signs of aging in these areas.
This ingredient can reduce the depth of wrinkles and enhance skin hydration, skin firmness, and skin elasticity, a 2014 study suggested.
3. Be gentle to your décolletage area
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, irritation can make the skin appear older. Therefore, the nonprofit recommended avoiding scrubbing the delicate skin of the neck and chest area and to stir away from products that leave the skin having that “burning” feeling after usage.
4. Apply sunscreen with SPF 30+
Sunscreen application does not stop at the face.
The AAD said unprotected skin can be prone to skin cancer, premature signs of aging, freckles and other damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays.
For optimal sun protection, the Food and Drug Administration suggested using sunscreen with at least SPF15+. However, the organization advised opting for one with SPF30+ or SPF50+ for those with fair skin.