How To Get A Younger-Looking Neck: Retinols, Neck Lifts and Lasers

One of the first places that reveals your true age? The neck. Etched-in horizontal lines and skin creases are telltale signs of aging. There are a few reasons why wrinkles show up more prominently – and a lot earlier – on your neck than other areas. For starters, the dermal layer around the neck is a lot thinner than other parts of your body, and muscles in that area begin to weaken a lot faster. With the loss of proteins like collagen and elastin, your skin is zapped of its elasticity. 

What’s more, your neck is in a state of constant, repetitive movement, which makes it prone to more creasing. But other factors come into play, too: sudden weight loss or overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays can leave your neck wrinkled and saggy (otherwise known as “turkey neck). This is why patients who want to trim a few years off their age often turn to the neck area. So, what options are available for those looking for a more youthful neck? Here, AW Plastic Surgery experts dig into the possibilities, ranging from creams to more involved procedures like a neck lift.

Topical Solutions: Retinol

There’s a plethora of creams and potions claiming to do wonders for wrinkle reduction; unfortunately, only a handful of them really do the trick. Most of these products contain a highly lauded ingredient: retinol. A form of vitamin, retinol is used to effectively treat a wide range of skin conditions, including wrinkles, acne and hyperpigmentation. The key is to find a retinol cream that’s also gentle on your skin. “We do not recommend using a traditional face retinol on your neck skin, as this can be too harsh and cause too much peeling and turnover,” AW Plastic Surgery experts say. 

For a more effective skincare regimen, the team recommends solutions like SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Repair, which contains a retinol that increases skin cell turnover, which in turn helps reduce crepiness and the look of fine lines. That said, this neck repair cream is not for those looking to address excess neck skin or platysmal bands. It doesn’t completely reverse signs of aging, but it works to slow them down.

Surgical Solutions: Neck Lift

Of course, there’s a limit to what creams and lotions can do. For patients with excess neck skin, platysmal bands, and more severe creases that don’t respond to topical treatments, a neck lift can prove to be an effective solution. The procedure involves an incision along the front and back of the ears and under the chin – areas with natural contours that disguise scar tissue. Depending on the patient and their needs, the surgeon will either perform a cervicoplasty or a platysmaplasty, or sometimes both. In a cervicoplasty, loose skin is removed to create a smoother appearance of the neck, whereas a platysmaplasty involves altering weakened neck muscles. 

After the procedure, patients are placed in a head wrap, which they’re required to wear for 24 hours, seven days a week for the first week or two. To ensure the best results, patients are also advised to wear the head wrap at night for four weeks. Post-procedure, patients should expect a downtime of approximately two weeks.

Injectables: Botox®

A neurotoxic protein, Botox® is lauded for its ability to reduce facial wrinkles and treat medical conditions like migraines, excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), and even eye problems. Botox® works by blocking nerve signals to muscles, and it’s often used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the neck area. When it’s injected into the platysma muscle, it works to relax and weaken those muscles, resulting in smoother-looking skin. 

“After having a neck lift, we recommend patients get botox every three to four months in their platysmal bands to prevent the bands from being used, which will in turn help prevent platysmal band laxity,” AW Plastic Surgery experts say. When you book your consultation, the AW Plastic Surgery team will guide you through proper post-procedure care and as well as tips to lengthen the effects of a neck lift.

Laser Treatments: HALO

Laser skin resurfacing is another great, minimally invasive solution to a host of skin problems – wrinkles, age spots, and acne scars, to name a few. Most lasers are categorized as ablative or non-ablative. Ablative lasers target the top layer of your skin, whereas non-ablative lasers reach down to the sub-dermal layers to ramp up the production of collagen. A hybrid fractional laser, like the HALO, can do both, and it’s an excellent way to get rid of deep-seated creases around the neck. 

AW Plastic Surgery experts recommend coming in once or twice a year for a HALO treatment, but of course, every patient is different. During your consultation, the team will discuss your options based on your treatment goals and expectations.

Lifestyle Changes

One of the best – and most natural – ways to ward off wrinkles: lifestyle changes. Switching to a more nutritious diet, moderating alcohol consumption, and lathering on the SPF daily all help improve your skin’s appearance. To prevent sun damage that often leads to fine lines, wrinkles and sun spots around the neck area, opt for a sunscreen that’s mineral-based. A broad spectrum SPF 50 will work to keep harmful UVA and UVB rays away, and your skin wrinkle-free. 

“We always recommend not smoking, eating a lower-sugar or a Mediterranean diet with little to no alcohol, and using sunscreen daily,” AW Plastic Surgery experts say. Other ways to set yourself up for success include: getting a better night’s rest, keeping stress levels at bay, and staying well-hydrated. The AW Plastic Surgery team will gladly discuss ways these lifestyle changes and help you achieve better, more youthful-looking skin.

When you’re ready to give your neck a makeover, let us guide you through your options at AW Plastic Surgery. Reach out to us here for a consultation on how to combat signs of aging around your neck. We’re ready to help you achieve tighter, crease-free and younger-looking skin!