Do You Need a Neck and Chest Cream?
by: Mike Marenick
After your hands, your neck and chest (or décolleté) are likely to be the most prominent areas on your body where you will show your age. The skin on the neck and chest area tends to be thinner and will lose its elasticity more quickly than on other parts of your body. As you age these areas may start to sag or have a crepe paper look to them. Unfortunately, most people over look this area during their daily beauty routine. We spend a lot of money for hands and face products and then forget about our neck and chest areas.
Why Do You Need a Neck and Chest Cream?
You don’t really need a separate cream for your neck and chest area. If you are buying good products the same daily day and night creams that you use will also be perfect for the neck and chest. In fact, you should think of the face, neck and chest as all one area when you buy and use your daily creams. To avoid getting crepe paper looking skin you need to be applying a moisturizer to these areas on a daily basis. Try to apply it while your skin is still a little moist. This will allow the cream to lock in the moisture so it can be used by your skin.
What Ingredients Should You Look for in a Neck and Chest Cream?
A good face and neck cream will contain a broad spectrum of ingredients that help with natural exfoliation, collagen building, improving elasticity and preventing or visibly reducing wrinkles. Here are some key ingredients to look for:
There are two types of hydroxy acids – Alpha and Beta. Both forms of these acids will help your skin to more rapidly remove or exfoliate dead skin cells. The main difference between the two is their solubility. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are water soluble and Beta Hydroxy Acids are oil soluble. Because Beta Hydroxy Acids are oil soluble they can penetrate into the skin providing a deeper benefit. In general, alpha hydroxy acids are better for thicker skin and are often used for topical peels because of their ability to remove the top layer of skin. But when we age our skin becomes thinner and a beta hydroxy acid will provide the same exfoliation benefits without the harsh treatment to our skin. The main Beta Hydroxy Acid that is used in skin creams is called salicylic acid. Typically most creams are formulated for maximum benefit with a 1% to 2% concentration of salicylic acid.
There is a significant amount of scientific evidence about the benefits of retinol or Vitamin A on the skin. It is known for its ability to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to help increase the thickness and elasticity of our skin. Retinol can be produced synthetically and added to creams and lotions or it can be derived naturally from food based ingredients like eggs.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E are the most commonly used antioxidant vitamins in topical skincare products. Antioxidants are designed to help fight free radicals from damaging healthy skin cells. Free radicals are basically unstable molecules that can hurt cells and increase the risk of cancer.
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally produced by our bodies and is found in the highest concentration in our skin. Our skin uses this to retain collagen, provide elasticity and flexibility and to increase the moisture in our skin. The ability of hyaluronic acid to store and retain moisture in our skin is essential to keeping our skin looking plump and fresh instead of sagging and dry. Hyaluronic acid can be produced synthetically for use in topical skin preparations. However, there is a food based ingredient that naturally contains hyaluronic acid – the egg. There are now some skincare lines that use egg whites, yolks and even whole egg in their formulation. Eggs have been used in topical skin preparations for centuries and by being a natural source of hyaluronic acid they can be very beneficial to our skin.
When Should You Start Using a Neck and Chest Cream?
Unfortunately, many people don’t start using a neck and chest cream until they see their skin starting to look tired and old. The damage that occurs to our skin and the elasticity and collagen that we lose happens over a very long period of time. It’s the years of sun exposure and free radical damage that ultimately causes our skin to rapidly age over time. The best time to start using a neck and chest cream is as young as possible. When you are younger you may need a lighter cream because your skin is naturally oilier. But once you reach your thirties you should start to look for a thicker more heavier cream that can provide your skin with the rich nourishment it needs to maintain its healthy look. But even if you did not start using a neck and chest cream when you were young it is never too late to start. There have been many advancements in topical skin creams that can significantly help aging skin. The key to success is to be diligent about your beauty routine. Always apply your neck and chest cream in the morning when you start your day and at night before you go to bed. Your neck and chest doesn’t have to show your age if you take care of it naturally.