Like most people, you probably consider your face the most crucial body part for skin care. You might take extra steps to protect it from the sun, give it top-quality skincare products, and treat it with rejuvenating procedures like lasers. But what about your neck, chest, and backs of your hands, which are just as visible?
Your decolletage (neck and chest) and the backs of your hands also need sun protection. And they need medical-grade skincare and rejuvenation procedures to keep pace with the extra attention you’re giving your facial skin.
Neglecting your decolletage and hands
How many times have you seen someone whose skin on their neck, chest, and backs of their hands appeared more wrinkled and sun-damaged than their face? Chances are you’ve seen this many times. The reason is that most people spend extra time and money caring for their facial skin, believing it’s the most important skin on their body. While this may be true, it’s also true that the neck and chest are an extension of the face and can’t be removed from the skincare equation. Doing so means they will age at different rates and look mismatched next to your face. The same goes for the hands, which are often up close to your face if you gesture while speaking.
Your neck skin is susceptible to premature aging.
The skin on the neck gives away our age faster than any other area. The reason is that the neck is especially susceptible to premature aging. It is thinner and has less collagen than facial skin, meaning it needs special care to align with your face in the aging process.
Many people protect their faces with sunscreen but fail to do the same for their necks to slow the premature aging process in that area. Compound this with the tendency many people have to stop their skincare and rejuvenation procedures at their jawline, and you start to see why so many people have facial skin that is plump and supple while their neck skin is not.
Caring for the skin on your neck
Sun damage, weight fluctuations, and even your sleeping positions can all contribute to losing a youthful-looking neck. So what can you do to prevent or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, sunspots, and other signs of premature aging? One option is to use retinol, which can help to boost collagen production and promote cell turnover. Another option is to get regular procedures to stimulate collagen production and even out skin tone. These include:
And, of course, sunscreen is essential to use regularly to keep your neck skin even-toned, youthful-looking, and healthy.
The skin on your chest needs care.
And while you’re extending the care of your facial skin to your neck, it is essential to remember that the skin on your chest also needs sun protection, skincare, and rejuvenation procedures.
The skin on your chest is especially susceptible to sun damage because it sits high on your body and catches more than its fair share of ultraviolet (UV) rays. They can cause sunburns and penetrate deep into the skin to wrinkle and prematurely age it, plus increase your risk of developing skin cancer. For these reasons, it’s vital to wear sunscreen on the chest daily, especially if it is exposed. You can also protect your chest area from the sun when you:
- Wear shirts with high collars
- Stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are their strongest.
- Look for shade if you have to be outside.
Extra tips to keep your chest skin looking its best
In addition to protecting the skin on your chest from the sun, using the same moisturizer and active topical skincare on your chest as on your neck, face, and back of your hands is essential. Medical-grade skincare products like retinol, vitamin C serum, and hyaluronic acid are helpful. And remember to include your chest when you get lasers, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion.
The backs of your hands can reveal your age.
While many people focus on keeping their facial skin looking young, they often forget to do the same for the highly-visible skin on the back of their hands. The hands are very much like the neck in terms of revealing age. So, your hand care should extend beyond simply washing and moisturizing. Upping your hand care routine ensures the skin on your hands will match your facial skin as they both age.
Caring for the skin on the backs of your hands
The hands are one of the first places on the body to show signs of aging because as you age, your hands lose elasticity, fat, and skin volume. This reduced volume and decreased elasticity produce wrinkled skin. Plus, UV rays contribute to the development of liver spots, also known as age spots or solar lentigines. The combination of these forces make it easy to see why the skin on the hands can look more aged than facial skin.
Fortunately, several things can keep your hands looking youthful and healthy. Hand cream can help to replenish lost moisture and protect against environmental damage. And sunscreen is an essential part of any anti-aging regime, helping to prevent sun damage that can lead to premature aging. In addition, the same medical-grade topicals we recommend for your face and decolletage can also benefit your hands. So can cosmetic procedures like lasers, which can even your hands’ skin tone and reduce the appearance of liver spots.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your skin, it’s important to remember that your neck, chest, and hands are just as susceptible to sun damage and premature aging as your face. At the Skin and Cancer Institute, we can help you create a treatment plan to protect and rejuvenate your facial skin, decolletage, and hands. Request an appointment with us today to learn more.