The most we generally do as far as anti-aging goes before we’re 30 is to wear sunscreen to protect our skin from the the sun’s harmful UV rays. Other than that though, anyone under 30 might not be scouring the beauty aisle for the best anti-aging treatments just yet. That can wait. However, it turns out that our lifeline could be the one thing that’s aging us even faster. If you’re of those people who’s constantly attached to your phone, tablet, or generally looking at a screen all day, you may be contributing to aging a part of your skin that you probably don’t think twice about but is a tell-tale sign of age—your neck. When your constantly looking down at your phone or tablet, you’re causing horizontal wrinkles on your neck and décolleté, which is becoming so common that term coined for it is “tech neck.” If this is the first time you’re hearing about tech neck, listen up, because we’ve asked Elizabeth Arden’s Scientist of Skincare Product Development, Aurelie Felix-Gonnot, all about what it is, how it happens, and how to avoid it.
What are the telltale signs of “tech neck”?
Aurelie Felix-Gonnot: Tech neck can be considered as a new modern sign of aging–it is the word used to define the horizontal lines around the neck caused by the fact that we are constantly looking down at our smartphones and other electronic devices. The neck and décolleté areas are highly visible parts of our body, and one of the most evident indicators of aging skin. Most of us take special care of the skin on the face but often forget the neck and décolleté. As a result, over the years the mismatch between the skin on the face and neck and chest becomes very noticeable.
How do the wrinkles on your neck differ from wrinkles on your face?
The difference between skin on your neck and face resides more in the skin structure. The skin structure of the neck and décolleté is much thinner and more fragile than the face with significantly less fat support, less sebaceous glands and weaker muscles. Considering that this skin is more delicate and vulnerable, it’s important to apply a product that is specially formulated with tightening and smoothing benefits, in addition to the richer hydration that a traditional moisturizer doesn’t provide.
What in your opinion is the best way to prevent “tech neck” for someone who is always on their phone/tablet/computer?
Keep your head up! Bring your phone or tablet up to your face level more so than looking downwards at it. Also try sleeping on your back rather than your side, which presses your face and neck against the pillow and can contribute to facial wrinkles as well as vertical lines on your chest. Prevention is better than repair, so use topical treatments specifically designed to protect the neck and décolleté area. By using products that prevent and address these signs of aging on your neck and décolleté as well as you face, it will make you look younger overall.
PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Neck and Décolleté Firm & Repair Cream contains the powerful antioxidant Idebenone (for face products, environmental protection is against oxidative stress due to sun, smoke and pollution, with Idebenone compared to alpha lipoic acid, kinetin, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10)—the most effective antioxidant for environmental protection—coupled with Thiotaine and vitamin E to help neutralize and protect the skin against free radical damage. In addition, the product features a blend of Retinyl Linoleate, Lupin Seed Extract, and Lipo Amino Acid to help provide long term benefits like smoothing, firming and plumping the look of or appearance of skin with support to natural collagen and elastin. Complementing these are optical pigments, Encapsulated Citroflavonoids, and Retinyl Linoleate to help improve skin’s radiance. Intense skin hydrators, including hyaluronic acid, sea plant extract complex, glycerin, shea and palm butters keep skin moisturized.
What kinds of habits should someone adopt who is looking to prevent premature aging, and how effective are they?
Other than everything mentioned above, I definitely recommend to apply a sunscreen on the neck and décolleté area as well because it’s a highly exposed area and we need to get UV protection there as well.