Even dating back to Nefertiti – who was known for her elegant profile – a long, smooth, young-looking neck has been a gold standard symbol of youth and beauty. Contemporary women are now availing themselves to early intervention and corrective, high-tech procedures to tighten, plump, smooth and slim with little or no downtime – and neck treatments are more popular than ever.
Neck Treatment Popularity: Why Now?
Since injectables (fillers and BOTOX) and laser treatments (like Halo and BBL) became popular and accessible, many women found that having facial wrinkles or discoloration was no longer inevitable. But while the facial skin may look beautiful, the untreated neck can reveal years of sun damage, hereditary sagging and drooping, spotty skin and lumpy fat pockets.
The numerous options for non-surgical treatment, paired with the thought of having a wattle or a falling chin is enough to make younger women jump into prevention – and women of many ages to seek correction.
Dr Quenby Erickson, board certified Chicago Dermatologist, gives us her take on which treatments to consider for your age:
What to do in your 20s:
Maintain, Maintain, Maintain
Maintaining the skin in earlier stages will potentially set you up for less correction later. “The benefit of starting young is that you will need less drastic treatments in the future,” says Dr. Erickson.
SPF, Retinol, and the Nefertiti Lift
“Women in their 20s should use an SPF on the neck daily, as well as a gentle retinol product to maintain the quality of the skin” says Dr. Erickson. “The Nefertiti Lift (Botox in the rope-like platysmal cords under the jaw and the chin) can help to keep the neck and jowls from sagging, which is a great preventative technique,”
What to do in your 30s:
“Again, if you start when you’re in your 20s or 30s, there’s a chance you’ll need fewer and less-corrective treatments later..”
The Nefertiti Lift
Dr. Erickson goes on to explain that “Most people in their 30s are still in the ‘prevention’ category. Botox in the platysmal bands (Nefertiti Lift) becomes essential to maintain the youthfulness of the neck”
Dr Quenby Erickson injected BOTOX Cosmetic into the platysmal bands to recontour the neck and jawline without surgery.
Light Chemical Peels and Gentle Laser
“Periodic chemical peel treatments, or light laser treatments to tighten the skin can also be great options for people in their 30s”
Many people (men and women) who are most troubled by the dreaded double chin are not yet at the midcentury mark. “Some people were born with submental fullness (fat under the jaw). Kybella is a great tool to slim and smooth for anyone who notices a little extra fat,” says Dr. Erickson.
What to do in your 40s:
In the 40s, gravity kicks in, resulting in laxity, sagging, looser skin, and free-falling fat. “The element of correction starts in the 40s” says Dr. Erickson. “By the time you’re 40, you have some sun damage that needs to be reversed.
Laser Treatments and Pelleve
“Since collagen and elastin production slows down as we get older, laser treatments like Halo, MicrolaserPeel and BBL become important to stimulate collagen, improve texture and tone, and improve color. In addition, Pelleve treatments deliver radiofrequency energy into the skin to stimulate new collagen to smooth and tighten.”
The Nefertiti Lift
Those thin and ropey cords under the chin can get stronger and tend to protrude while contracting in the 40s. “This causes a softening of the curve between the neck and the chin – softening into a curve that used to be more like a right angle when you’re younger” Botox can relax this, making the jawline more defined and prevent the cords from becoming even stronger.
The Nefertiti Lift procedure results in a more defined jawline, a smoother neck, and prevention of the ‘pull-down’ that contributes to turkey neck.
While double chins can occur at many ages, they can also come along with age as the skin becomes less taught, sagging sets in, and we naturally gain some fat. Kybella is injected into the subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) to destroy the fat cells and smooth the area.
“If you have horizontal lines, then you want to get a filler sooner than later to prevent them from getting deeper” says Dr. Erickson.
“Nectifirm is a powerful antioxidant and peptide-based treatment cream formulated to address the changes that occur as the skin on your neck ages. My patients love it.” says Dr. Erickson.
What to do in your 50s, 60s, and Beyond:
As skin loses more of its tautness, muscles continue to weaken, and gravity rears its ugly head, “It’s important to tailor treatments to the patient. At this point, the types and frequency of treatments can depend on how much prevention has been done,”
The skin on the neck is so delicate, treatments need to be gentle and numerous to be effective when you haven’t maintained over the years”
Dr Erickson goes on to explain, “ Typically patients in this age group can be candidates for lower neck lifts, but now that we have non-surgical options that can make a significant improvement, we can sometimes stave off the knife. …That being said, surgery won’t correct the skin. For this reason, (whether you’re a candidate for a surgery or not) Botox, Kybella, laser, and filling neck creases are very common treatments for this age group.”
The Nefertiti Lift
Yes, The Nefertiti Lift –again. In the 50’s and throughout the years, the continuous pull-down by these ropey bands gets stronger. Dr. Erickson explains that generally at this age range, “Often prevention has not been done with Botox in the neck – so there is a need for more frequent correction.”
These platysmal bands continue to cause a softening of the curve between the neck and the chin – an area that’s more like a right angle when you’re younger” Botox can relax this, making the jawline more defined and preventing the cords from becoming even stronger over time.
Laser Treatments and Pelleve
As skin loses more of its tautness, treatments like Halo laser and MicrolaserPeel are essential to correct and stimulate new collagen. “Crepey, thin skin becomes more taught and smooth with numerous, gentle treatments,” says Dr. Erickson.
Dr. Erickson goes on to explain that Pelleve treatments are often used to stimulate collagen to firm and help to make skin tighter and more plump.
In addition to filling horizontal lines, fillers can be used to boost temples, lift cheeks, and fill the hollows below the mouth. Fillers can also help to uplift and fill jowling-areas, contributing to a smoother and more elegant look.
Turkey Necks or “wattles” can occur at many ages, but can be common in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Kybella is injected into the subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) to destroy the fat cells and smooth the area.
“Nectifirm contains powerful ingredients designed to rejuvenate your neck area by treating it differently than the skin on your face. Continuous use of this product really seems to make a difference in the skin.” Says Dr. Erickson.
“Well, there’s no cookbook” concludes Dr. Erickson. “Everyone is different. Although some women may just start to notice changes in their necks in their 40s and 50s, others may have significant sun damage and need for correction in the 20s and 30s. In fact, more and more women in their 20s and 30s are asking for neck-treatments than ever.”
The Recipe for Correction: Gentle and Frequent
In the non-surgical world, ‘quick-fix’ is a term that goes hand-in-hand with ‘magic wand’.
“That doesn’t mean that we can’t correct skin that’s more advanced in the aging process,’ Dr Erickson explains “It just means there may be more treatments to achieve the desired results. Again, because of the delicate nature of the skin, treatments must be gentle. Just be patient and consistent. You’ll tend to see a great result if you do.”