How To Care For Your Neck | Common Concerns + Natural Solutions May 24 2018
When it comes to taking care of ourselves and taking care of our skin, neglect or lack of knowledge can manifest itself in unexpected areas over time. To give a more holistic overview of how to take care of your skin, we are starting a blog series dedicated to different body parts. First up is the neck!Our necks are often upstaged by our faces when we are caring for our skin. But the skin on your neck tends to be much thinner and more fragile and requires specific care. If you are suddenly noticing your neck for the wrong reasons, we are going to go through some common concerns, their causes and what you can do to help.
Common Concerns + Solutions
Wrinkles and Dry Skin
An important starting point when addressing the neck is to distinguish it from the face. There are fewer oil glands, which means the neck is more prone to dryness, and when skin is dry, dehydrated, and depleted wrinkles can form. Think of the way fruit shrinks and warps as it dries out; the same thing happens to our skin.
One solution is hydrating your skin inside and out. Drinking an adequate amount of water has many benefits including positive effects on your skin.
We also recommend moisturizing your neck the same way you would your face including a nourishing serum. Because the neck is naturally dryer than your face, you can without hesitation layer serum and moisturizer.
Deep, Dark Wrinkles and Uneven Skin Tone
A neglected neckline may sometimes appear uneven in colour or really dark in places where our skin natural folds. This is a result of dirt and dead skin cells not being thoroughly cleansed each day.
Our recommendation is to start including your neck into your evening cleansing routine. Gently cleanse your neck every evening along with your face. Be sure to make weekly exfoliation a part of it as well. Be mindful that the skin on your neck is more fragile so gently exfoliating once to twice per week is enough.
There is also a modern epidemic that threatens the appearance and physical health of our neck, which has been termed ‘tech neck’. The way we spend time on our phones tends to crunch the neck down putting a strain on our muscles and folding the skin which creates the appearance of deeper lines long term. To avoid long term damage we advise to being more mindful of your posture when you’re using technology, try to sit up straight and hold your phone in front if you face rather than hunching over it. Also massage will go a long way to help those deep lines soften. Give you neck a massage along with your evening cleanse.
If you are seeing mild acne on your neck, it may be the result of inconsistent cleansing habits and general neglect of that area. On our faces we know that as sebum and dirt gets into pores they become clogged, which results in pimples and the same i true for your neck. If you are using sunscreen, a primer or make up daily you want to make sure you take it all off at the end of day. Use a cloth to sweep off your oil cleanser along with dirt and makeup to make sure you are letting your skin breathe when you go to bed.
A sneaky factor may be your shampoo or conditioner or any hair product that you regularly use. These products will sometimes make their way onto our necks and also cause clogged pores. Put a slinky hair tie in your shower to keep your hair off your neck and shoulders when you’re leaving in products. Also try getting into the habit of washing your body after you’ve washed your hair.
You may also be seeing some cystic acne, which may be caused by a fluctuation in hormones. This may be the case if you are pregnant, or just had a baby, going through menopause, or for younger girls approaching puberty. The first and most important thing is try not to stress about it, and keep yourself from touching or picking. Observe what is happening in your life by keeping a day tracker of how you feel and what you’re eating. Stress, big life changes and diet can cause imbalance in our hormones. Bringing awareness can help you feel more grounded and informed to address the problem at its root.
Red skin, irritation and rashes may be a sign that you are coming into consistent contact with a topical irritant. Skincare products with harsh acids, high concentrations of essential oils, or alcohols might be causing redness and irritation.
The skin on your neck is very tender and more sensitive because it is in constant contact with your clothes. If you are using conventional detergents or hair care your skin might be reacting to the harsh toxic ingredients. Try switching out those products for green alternatives.
If you’ve noticed skin tags on your neck they may be caused by friction and/or rubbing. See if there is clothing or a bag that you wear often that might be rubbing against your skin. Skin tags might also be caused by high sugar intake. We recommend cutting down on sugar in your diet and including dry brushing in your daily routine to both get rid of and prevent skin tags.
Everyday Tips for Neck Care
Daily sun protection is must. The skin on your face, neck and chest is thinner than the rest of your body, which makes it more prone to sun damage. Sun damage can lead to premature aging, sagging, hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles. Skin cells that have gone through repeated sun damage start to lose their regenerative ability, which means that sun damage can become permanent damage. We recommend applying sunscreen to face and neck every day before going outside.
Your diet can play a big role in the appearance of your skin. It is important to stay away from refined sugars, as they may cause skin tags and hyperpigmentation. To increase silicons and boost hydration try eating more celery, cucumber and watermelon. We also recommend focusing on foods that will help boost collagen such as kiwis, almonds and all types of citrus fruits. You could also consider including a collagen supplement and add it to your morning smoothie or coffee. Collagen breaks down as we age; the breakdown of collagen is accelerated by UV exposures (so once again wearing sunscreen is important!). Taking a collagen supplement will help thicken the skin and help it be more supple.
Protect Your Lymphs
Take a look at the labels of the sunscreen, perfume, makeup and hair products that you are using. If any of these products contain ingredients like phthalates, parabens or synthetic colour you want to keep them away from your skin. Toxins and chemicals will leach into your system through the lymphs and can wreak havoc not only on the appearance of your skin, but your overall health. Daily dry brushing will also help your lymph function properly and expel the toxins that can build-up and cause swelling and congestion.