Neck Wrinkles: 3 Hidden Culprits (#1 is Your Clothing)

Dr. Janet Zand

September 18, 2020

You probably know some of the reasons that our necks sag and our chests wrinkle...

Some of it is age. Some of it is UV exposure or smoking.

But what if you’re already using sunblock and you don’t smoke? Is there anything more you can do to keep your neck and chest as youthful and taut as possible?

Well, it turns out that yes, there’s more you can do! Because you can also avoid the 3 hidden culprits that age your neck and chest. These culprits go beyond sun exposure and smoking, and they’re not talked about nearly enough.

So what are they?

Hidden Culprit #1: Your Sports Bra

Sports bras can push your breasts together, which squeezes the surrounding skin.

As your skin is squeezed, the skin on your chest folds and wrinkles. And when skin is repeatedly folded and wrinkled, collagen breaks down and wrinkles can become permanent. It’s similar to the way frowning turns into permanent frown lines.

To make matters worse, skin on your chest is thinner and has less collagen than skin on your face. That makes the chest even more susceptible to sagging and wrinkles than the skin on your face.

Now, most women can’t just stop wearing sports bras. So what’s the solution?

If you can wear a less compressive sports bra for lighter workouts, do so. And save the tight, compression sports bra for when you’re doing medium- or high-impact workouts.

After your workout, change out of your sports bra and into something with less compression.

Hidden Culprit #2:  Your Phone

Most of us spend a good part of the day on a smartphone.

We’re either talking on it, with the phone cradled between the head and shoulder... Or we’re looking downward at the screen. In both positions, the skin on the neck folds and wrinkles.

And just like with the sports bra, the repetitive folding and wrinkling can cause permanent wrinkles.

But your phone ages your skin in another way, too...

There’s now evidence that the blue light from your phone’s screen can speed up the visible signs of aging. How?

Well, researchers found that exposure to blue light can stimulate the production of free radicals. And as you may know, free radicals break down collagen and elastin, which leads to sagging and wrinkles.

And this affects anywhere the blue light hits: your face, your neck, and your chest.

So how can we protect our skin from our phones?

First, change your body position when you use your phone.

Try positioning it in front of your face and look straight forward. It may feel a bit odd at first, but this small tweak can prevent neck lines from forming.

Second, block the blue light from your phone.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. One simple way is to lower the brightness level on your screens to 50%. If you have Apple products, use the “night shift” mode that creates a warmer screen tone. (Just don't dim the screen so much that you're straining your eyes!)

Another option is to use a blue-light-blocking screen protector. Blue light screen protectors can filter out the blue light before it ever reaches your skin.

To find a screen protector for your device, just do a quick search for “blue light filter” and the name of your device.

Hidden Culprit #3: Your Sleep Position

You may have heard that sleeping on your side — which presses your face and neck against the pillow — can contribute to facial wrinkles.

But it can also cause fine lines on your chest. Sleeping on your side encourages the skin on your chest to compress, which can cause wrinkles between and just above your breasts.

The solution? Sleep on your back.

Of course, that’s easier said than done for a lot of people! After all, you can’t always control how you move when you’re asleep. So if you try to sleep on your back but always end up on your side, here’s a new strategy for you...

You know those pillows they sell in airports so you can sleep comfortably on long flights? You can use them in bed, too. They make it easier to sleep on your back without eventually rolling onto your side. Look for one like the Nap uPillow that uses silky-soft fabric.

Two Bonus Tips

Besides addressing these 3 hidden culprits, there are also a couple more things you can do to really keep your neck and chest looking youthful.

The first thing is using a topical vitamin C serum.

Studies show that vitamin C can actually reverse some of the damage caused by UV rays and other environmental factors. How? By eliminating those free radicals that speed up the aging process.

So if you already use a vitamin C serum on your face, all you have to do is make sure you’re applying it to your neck and chest, too!

Once you’ve applied your vitamin C serum, apply a moisturizer. Moisturizing your neck and chest will make the skin look plump so wrinkles are less visible. It can also help prevent future creases from forming.

Also, consider using a moisturizer made specifically for the neck and chest. Why? Because the skin is much thinner than the skin on the face, so it needs a more powerful moisturizer.

That’s actually the reason I developed Système 41 Neck Treatment. I wanted a moisturizer that could address the fine lines, horizontal creases, sun damage, sagging, and other visible signs of aging in this delicate area of the body.

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