How to Prevent Sagging Skin on the Neck
The neck can be one of the first places to show signs of aging! Oftentimes starting with simple horizontal lines but progressing to bulging vertical platysmal bands and ultimately crepey texture and sagging skin. Fortunately, there are ways to proactively prevent and actively correct this.
What are the main causes for wrinkled, sagging skin on the neck?
There are many sources, which are usually due to collective and cumulative forms of damage from the sun (UV rays), gravity, pollution, poor daily skin care, genetics, posture (such as tech neck), extreme weight gain or loss, and even unexpected outcomes from surgery, to name a few.
Let’s explore the impact of fluctuating weight in sagging of neck skin.
Weight loss, when dramatic and within a very short period of time, can cause sagging skin because the fat loss was too quick for the skin to respond and tighten, which is a process that can happen but can potentially take a long time. Think of pregnancy and the day of delivery. All of a sudden, your baby that was growing inside of your uterus for 40 weeks is now born. The skin around your belly has been stretching and stretching gradually, but when the baby comes out, the skin stays stretched out and loose for quite some time. There are several factors that go into recovery, including the age of the mother (the younger she is, the easier and quicker the skin goes back to normal), genetics (the resilience of the collagen infrastructure), lifestyle (diet, exercise, and skin care), and of course, how big the baby was.
How does aging play a role?
Instead of “aging,” let’s call it the passage of time. The more time goes by, the longer skin is subjected to all the bad culprits described above. The more damage your skin is exposed to and the longer the duration, the more wrinkling and sagging you will see.
How can you firm and tighten neck skin at home?
When discussing at-home solutions, it is important to first be realistic in that at-home will not be as visibly dramatic as in-office options. However, certain steps can help. For wrinkled and sagging skin, applying retinoids nightly is a must. You will not see miracles overnight. It will take weeks and weeks to see results, but this is where you have to trust in the science, be patient, and keep at it, because it is making a difference — just very painstakingly slowly.
One of the best DIY treatments is using an at-home microneedling tool to stimulate collagen production with each ‘micro-trauma’ created by each needle when rolled on your skin. With each microneedle penetration, it exponentially enhances the penetration and absorption of retinoids or whatever product you apply immediately after due to the temporary creation of ‘micro-channel’. The power of this intervention cannot be overemphasized. My personal go-to that I use every night without fail is Environ’s Microneedling Gold Roll-CIT.
Although prescription retinoids are more effective (I love and personally use the RX Altreno Lotion), they have the potential of being too strong and unfortunately irritating if your skin has not been exposed to vitamin A actives. I recommend starting with over-the-counter solutions, which tend to be gentler. My favorite is Environ’s Concentrated Retinol Serum 3 because unlike other readily available retinoids, this one actually works.
For severely wrinkled and sagging skin, peels and exfoliators can play a role, but it is important to be realistic and keep in mind that these will make a nominal change. Of course, peels and exfoliators are a crucial step in healthy skin regimens, so please continue to incorporate them into your routine, but these alone are not going to be the holy grail in fixing wrinkled and sagging skin. They will make your skin feel smoother, help address texture, and depending on which products, they can stimulate some collagen production, which collectively will give some visual gratification — but just know that the creation of severely wrinkled and sagging skin will require more involved solutions (like in-office CO2 laser, radio-frequency microneedling, or fractionated micro plasma. as the problem runs deep).
The takeaway point for all of this is the importance of prevention. It is crucial to start early (now is not too late!) and vigilantly protect your skin from the sun. Make sure that you give your neck the same loving care as you do to your face.