The Expert's Guide to Creating a Neck Care Routine

It's just as important as caring for your face.

Most of us are diligent about applying our facial skincare and have our routine down to a tee. However, many of us stop at the neck and neglect everything below our face. As much as we'd prefer to skip that extra step, dermatologists say it's important to give our neck the same TLC as we do our face.

"Neck skin is subject to the same external factors such as UV light and environmental free radicals as the face, so it deserves attention at baseline," explains Mona Gohara, M.D., a Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist and member of the invisibobble task force. "All of these things make neck care just as important as facial skin care."

If you're interested in starting a neck care routine, we tapped Dr. Gohara and another skin care expert to ask them what types of products we should incorporate, if in-office treatments should be in the mix, and what actions we can take in our daily lives to keep our necks looking and feeling their best.

When creating a daily neck routine, start with the basics. "First thing I always say is always sunscreen," says Shereene Idriss, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Manhattan. "There is a medical term known as poikiloderma of Civatte, which is damaged skin and broken capillaries and pigmentation on the outside edges of your neck caused by sun damage, as that is an area that the sun hits and is often forgotten." We recommend Supergoop's PLAY Every Day SPF 50+ ($32, as it's fast-absorbing and sweat-resistant.

At night, both Dr. Gohara and Dr. Idriss recommend incorporating retinol into your routine to build collagen and reduce fine lines. However, Dr. Idriss says to approach with caution as the neck is very sensitive. "If you are using retinol, I would recommend to buffer the skin first with something like Vaseline and then use the smallest pea-sized amount of the lightest form of an over-the-counter retinol on top," she says. She recommends the L'Oréal Pressed Night Moisturizer With Retinol ($36.99, which, apart from being an anti-aging product, also strengthens the skin barrier.

Moisturizing is an important step, but while there are many neck creams on the market, Dr. Gohara says you don't necessarily need to spend money on yet another product. "If someone does not want to buy a separate neck cream, I tell my patients to take their face products a little south," she says.

And lastly, there are actions you can do during your neck routine that don't require any skincare products or pricey treatments. For one, Dr. Gohara suggests maintaining your phone at eye level to prevent "tech neck." Then, while you're applying your products, she recommends doing so in upward strokes to work against gravity. Lastly, she says that using tools, such as a Gua Sha, can help to stimulate circulation to the neck area and promote lymphatic drainage.

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