Can This Neck Be Saved? A Deeper Look at Anti-Aging Solutions

For many of my clients, the question of how to maintain a youthful neck becomes increasingly important with each passing year. As a skincare developer and day spa owner with a lifelong commitment to natural anti-aging methods, I always urge people to adopt strategies that support the total health of the skin and the well-being of the person as a whole. This wellness-based approach is particularly critical for the neck and jaw line. The reasons why it’s so important lie in the basic facts of how the neck ages.

Lavinia Borcau

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series: Understanding the Challenges of Neck Rejuvenation

A Topdown View of Neck Aging

Even before we’re born, the genetic code that defines our  anatomy has already dictated the delicate conditions that cause our necks to age faster than any other region of the body:

1. Thin skin – The outer surface (or epidermis) of the neck is even is more fragile the top layer of facial skin.

2. Oil shortage – The underlying layer of skin has no oil glands to help keep it moist and resilient.

3. A fragile foundation – The neck's skin rests on a fragile structure of  delicate bones and a thin layer of muscles and other soft tissues that gradually wear away with age.

How Chicken Skin, Turkey Wattles, and Double Chins Happen

Depending on our genes and our behavior, our neck usually starts showing signs of wear-and-tear in our 30s. Over the subsequent decades, the impact of gravity, declining cell function, and environmental damage becomes increasingly visible. From our 50s onward, the telltale marks of age may include some or all of the following:

• Irregular coloration

• Horizontal and vertical lines

• Age spots and splotchy pigmentation

• Gaunt, hollowed-out appearance or excess fat

• Broken capillaries

• Bumpiness; leathery texture

• Scaly patches, precancerous and cancerous growths

•Deep creases and wrinkles

• "Turkey gobbler" neck (loose, hanging skin flaps)

• Protruding muscle bands

• Jowls, double chin

Going Natural vs. Going Too Far

The choice between invasive and noninvasive anti-aging strategies is a highly personal one. Regardless of the method you're considering, however, a healthy dose of realism is the key a satisfying outcome. It's crucial to remember that nature imposes certain limits on every neck rejuvenation strategy. The greatest obstacle to success is the ongoing decline of skin and connective tissue. Laser resurfacing, injectable fillers, and surgical procedures can compensate for this problem – temporarily. But the visible signs of aging will inevitably return with a vengeance as these tissues continue to age. The farther this deterioration progresses, the more extensive, complex, and risky the cosmetic procedures needed to address the problem become.

Various worst-case scenarios of multiple radical neck makeovers include permanent nerve damage and other serious medical complications. The cosmetic consequences can be equally deadly. Reputable plastic surgeons routinely warn plastic surgery addicts that serial surgical "fixes" can ultimately ruin the structures they're trying to preserve. In addition to severe scarring, overaggressive treatment can ultimately result in "cobra neck deformity," a look that recalls the reptilian neck of the extraterrestrial species from the Alien movies.

Prognosis: Serious, But Hopeful

Despite the best efforts of anti-aging scientists, nature's bottom line is still set in stone:  There’s no magic pill, miracle in a jar, or high-tech silver bullet that can permanently stop the aging process or make a 60-year-old neck look 17 again. But once you accept that reality, there's plenty of hope.

Extending the Lifespan of Youthful Beauty: How to Limit the Flaws of an Aging Neck

The good news is that every one of us has the power to restore and maintain a firmer, more youthful neck. And you don’t need surgery to do it. The key is to eliminate two of the major causes of wrinkled, sagging necks:  abuse and neglect.

Stay tuned for more details of a safe, effective neck rejuvenation strategy in my next post.