You’ve been getting the hang of doing your skincare routine daily – cleansing your face, then putting your toner on your face, maybe putting some serum on your face too if you’re feeling a little extra that day, and finally finishing off your routine by putting moisturiser on your face. But the thing is, everything was only applied to your face. What about your neck? Now you may be wondering, “why in the world would I put my skincare on my neck?” Well, read on to find out why.
If you’ve watched Shrek before, you would know that ogres have layers, just like onions. But do you know that your skin has layers too? The skin consists of three main layers – the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous layer.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin and is also the thinnest layer of the skin. Its main function is to protect you from the elements and prevent things like viruses, bacteria and water from entering your skin. It also helps to retain moisture within the skin.
The middle layer is the dermis and it functions as a support to the epidermis. This layer is composed of several components like hair follicles, blood vessels, sweat glands, lymph vessels, fibroblasts, nerves, and collagen bundles.
The deepest layer of the skin is a fatty layer known as the subcutaneous layer. A layer of fat and connective tissues make up this layer and helps the body to retain heat. It also serves as a shock absorber for your body, protecting it from injury.
Different skin types and the location of the skin on the body affect the epidermis’ thickness. With an average of 1.5mm thick, the soles of our feet are where our skin is the thickest. On the other hand, our eyelids are where the skin is the thinnest, being less than 1mm thick.
Thinner skin is more vulnerable to damage than thick skin. Since the skin around the eyes is very thin, it is normally the first place to show visible signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. You can read more about aging here.
Neck and Chest
Compared to the rest of our body, the skin on our face is thinner, and the skin around the eyes is the thinnest. But what about the skin below our jaw? Yup, you’ve guessed it. The skin on our décolletage (the neck and chest area) is the thinnest when it comes to the skin on our body. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get sunburn in this area?
The neck and chest, like the thin parts on the face, do not have as many oil glands, making both of these areas prone to apparent indications of ageing. Additionally, the neck engages in a variety of motions throughout the course of the day, and these recurrent motions cause wrinkling and loose skin.
What can you do about this?
There are some ways you can go about when it comes to caring for the delicate skin of your décolletage.
Wear sun-protective clothing
First one being, wearing sun-protective clothing. When choosing a top or a dress, opt for higher necklines to protect the area from the sun, as the effects of sunlight on our skin are significant and is one of the main causes of aging skin. Try going for darker colours too as they provide more protection than lighter colours. You can also try wearing a wide-brimmed hat too if you’re not so keen on high necklines.
Extend your skincare downwards
But if you don’t like both the ideas of wearing clothes with high necklines or wearing a hat, then you should definitely not skip your neck and chest area when doing your skincare. I mean, imagine this. You have been religiously applying your skincare on your face for years to keep your face looking youthful. But, you’ve been neglecting your neck. Next thing you know, you’re in your 50s with a face that looks like you’re barely hitting 40, but when you look down to your neck, it looks like it’s 70.
Fret not! You don’t really need to add another step into your skincare routine. You can just extend the application of the products downwards onto your décolletage as well. Yup, this includes everything from your cleanser to your toner to your serum to your moisturiser, because the skin here requires all of the same things as your face. However, if your existing skincare products are meant to tackle oily skin, you can exclude them from your neck care. You don’t want to remove any more moisture from your chest and neck, which are already drier than usual. Choose items that address ageing and hydration instead.
Last but definitely not least, apply your SPF! The number one cause of premature ageing and wrinkles is sun exposure. A quick reminder, thinner skin is more vulnerable to damage than thicker skin, and the skin around your neck and chest is thin. So lather up that sunscreen and protect that delicate skin of yours. It’s preferable to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from both UVB and UVA rays.