General Skin Firming
Is it possible to keep your skin firm with neck creams and serums? According to Dr. Howard Sobel, attending physician in Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, you can avoid sagging in the first place by using quality products to keep your skin firm. Failing that, he says to truly lift a face without surgery, you need to use treatments like radio-frequency lasers, fillers and Botox.
So how do you keep your skin firm and avoid the inevitable sagging jawline and loss of elasticity that comes with age?
Stimulate Collagen – by now we all know that Retinol (derived from Vitamin A) can stimulate collagen, but there is scientific proof that Matrixyl 3000 (one of the most respected and effective peptides being utilized in anti-aging skin care), copper peptides, and glycolic acid (10% strength) also stimulate collage and improve the quality of the skin, helping to decrease fine lines and wrinkles.
Hydrate with Hyaluronic Acid – as we age, our own source of natural hyaluronic acid decreases, leaving the skin thinner and less firm. A moisturizer with niacinamide, ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol, can restore the skin’s barrier and make it thicker and more supple. There are also products with hyaluronic acid serum that are designed to deliver maximum moisture to plump up and smooth skin and lessen the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Take Supplements – you are what you eat, and like it or not, your diet directly affects the quality and condition of your skin. With that said, you can ‘create’ firmer skin by adjusting your diet and taking supplements like Vitamin C – just 500mg twice a day helps the body build collagen. CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10) helps cells repair themselves and therefore reverses cell damage, and Omega-3 fatty acids help to strengthen the moisture barrier so skin retains more water and looks firmer.
Read more about how to Feed Your Face for a Younger Look
Short of undergoing neck lipo – an effective, but invasive procedure to create and firmer, younger looking neck – Dr. Patricia Wexler, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, recommends keeping the neck firm and protected before lipo becomes necessary, and in a recent interview with Allure magazine, offered the following advice:
Exfoliate daily – gentle exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells that accumulate every day and allows the active ingredients in creams and serums to absorb faster. You can exfoliate with a cleansing brush or buff, or you can use a glycolic acid to do the job. Just remember to start under the chin and continue to treat the entire area all the way down to your chest.
Use Peptides – peptides help make new collagen and elastin, just what the neck and chest needs to stay firm and toned. Tetrapeptides, like those found in StriVectin-TL are very effective for treating the neck area. The niacin in StriVectin will also strengthen the skin barrier and can dramatically improve the texture and tone of neck and chest.
Power up – we tend to ‘forget’ to put sunscreen or SPF makeup on the neck and chest to protect the skin. The result, these areas are often more damaged than the face, so you need more powerful products to do a more powerful job. Neck creams are usually more concentrated and powerful than face creams, although some retinol formulas for the face will work on the neck and chest too.
Prevention is Key
The key to retaining and youthful neck and firmer skin is prevention. Wise young women in their 20s and 30s have already started their anti-aging prevention protocol. For them, the goal of retaining a youthful look as they age is certainly attainable. For those in their 40s and 50s, it’s never too late to start using today’s powerful creams and serums to help boost collagen and elastin for a firmer skin. The key for older women is to develop a multi-layered approach to anti-aging that includes a healthy diet, the use of supplements and antioxidants, and a skincare regimen designed to rejuvenate and restore damaged skin.
Allure: Brooke Le Poer Trench; April 2013, 148 – 152