Go on, be honest, how much attention have you given your neck and décolletage over the years?
I would bet all my Christmas chocolate…not enough until you noticed some fine lines starting to show!
The reality is there is no magic zipper along the jawline denoting skin that can and cannot take care of itself. We spend huge amounts of time, money and energy looking for the solution to our facial skincare needs and yet very often neglect to look after our necks and décolleté - yet, it’s this area where we often see signs of damage more readily as the skin structure is more fragile beneath the surface.
So let’s first take a brief look at the biology of skin.
The Biology of Skin
Skin is our largest organ. It is one continuous source of protection to the delicate inner workings of our bodies. To maintain an effective shield, skin must stretch and contract, but not tear.
Skin is formed in layers:
Epidermis – the outermost layer of skin, our barrier to the environmental aggressors that threaten to unbalance and damage our delicate internal balance. Consisting of several layers of cells, the top visible layer is the shedding of dead skin cells. New skin cells are formed at the base of the Epidermis and travel up to the surface.
Dermis – this is the area of the skin that gives skin stretch and flexibility, connecting to the Epidermis and deepest layer of the Hypodermis. The Dermis is made up of tough, stretchy connective tissue collagen and elastin. This is where we find pain receptors, oil and sweat glands and hair follicles, blood vessels and lymphatic drainage.
Hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue) – below the Dermis, made up of fatty tissue and connective fibres, helping support skin’s structure.
In understanding that skin is one continuous organ, that it is a series of layers and that the neck is more susceptible to the first signs of wear and tear, the big question is:
“Do you need a specific neck product?”
I don’t mind admitting, I’m always a little sceptical about neck products. Not because I don’t think that they work to nourish, moisturise and add suppleness to the skin on the neck, but because I’m not convinced you need a specific product dedicated to the neck if you use your serums and moisturisers below the chin!
Trouble is, the skin on our neck and décolleté is more thin and delicate. There is less structural density beneath the surface, less collagen, fatty tissue and oil glands to maintain elasticity, rendering it more susceptible to damage, it is one of the first areas we may spot those tell tale fine lines, sun damage and ‘crêpey’ texture.
We are also seeing rise of what is termed ‘tech neck’ as we are looking down at our devices, we are putting increased stress on the delicate skin, causing premature horizontal lines to form.
I was fortunate enough to get an advance sample of the Dermalogica Neck Fit Contour Serum, ahead of its launch in January 2021, and I was intrigued to see how the brand were going to position their first targeted neck product.
What Dermlogica say…
Give your neck a visibly lifted, sculpted appearance with our new Neck Fit Contour Serum. This firming serum is a skin care workout for your neck and chest.
Tighten It. Tone It. Lift It.
There are, as you would expect from a brand with such skin health authority as Dermalogica, a wealth of ingredients that work hard to achieve results. I have picked out some of the heroes to spotlight.
Palmitoyl Tripeptide 38 – (also known as Matrixyl Synthe’ 6). This is from the Matrixyl family of actives, well respected within the skincare industry for their wrinkle smoothing results. This peptide helps to stimulate collagen formation in the dermal-epidermal junction, regulate cell activity and strengthen skin that has become damaged helping improve skin texture, tone and uniformity.
Rye Seed Extract – this botanical extract helps stimulate the tightening of the dermal fibrous network, the cellular response to daily stress and stretch, boosting epidermal renewal and supporting the improvement of the skin’s elasticity.
Rambutan Leaf Extract – with a similar functionality to retinol, this botanical ingredient helps refresh and renew the skin’s surface by triggering the younger, more resilient skin to be revealed, supporting natural collagen synthesis and stimulating elastin to help firm the skin contours.
Griffonia Seed Extract – Dermalogica has coined this Flex Lift Contour Technology, this extract from an African shrub, creates a lifting, firming, tightening shield on the skin to help defend against UV and pollution damage that can lead to premature signs of skin damage.
Beauty Insider Review
For me, as a product developer, I am always drawn to the sensorial – how a product feels, the packaging, it is such an important element in product ‘theatre’, especially in a world of me-too products.
The first thing you notice about the product as you remove it from the box is the packaging. The tube is fitted with a lockable roller - now you have my attention! Is it a gimmick? Well no, I don’t believe so - because it works on the principle that much of the efficacy of a product is in the method of application. In this case, it is working with stimulation of the skin’s surface to kick-start cellular rejuvenation and structural strengthening that helps build resilience. It also helps stimulate lymphatic drainage which aids the body’s natural release system and it distributes the product evenly across the skin while helping provide a sense of firming and contouring in application.
This is a light, easily absorbed gel serum, the roller helps give the product a pleasant cool in application and spreads it evenly across the skin.
Did I see a dramatic change in the texture of my neck skin? I think after only four weeks use, it’s too early to see anything dramatic. Added to which, I am very conscientious about applying all my products down my neck already, though at nearly 45, I have noticed in the last couple of years that there is a definite decline in the tonicity of my skin in general.
I would want to give this eight weeks to expect to see anything dramatic, but I do feel that there is an overall smoother, more even appearance to the skin even if lines are not dramatically reduced. What I would say is that within a few uses, I have started to notice a more even appearance to the area.
I enjoyed this product very much; the texture, the application, the sensation and skin feel. I will definitely continue to use it and see if the results are dramatic on my ‘tech neck’ that I’ve started to see!
BEAUTY INSIDER TIP
You need very little of the Neck Fit Contour Serum. Keeping the application sparing is key as products that feature film formers can have a tendency to feel sticky or ‘ball up’ if you layer them on thickly. Less is more as I discovered. The serum glides beautifully and using the roller is comfortable and simple.
It gets a big thumbs up from me!