Valerie Monroe
Photo: Jonathan Skow
Q: Do I need a special treatment product for my neck?

A: Your question reminds me of a story our executive beauty editor, Jenny, told me recently about her aunt. Jenny once asked her if there was anything in her life she regretted. Her aunt took a long moment, turning to her, finally, with great seriousness. "Yes," she said thoughtfully. "I should have paid more attention to my neck." If you, like me, prefer to avoid regrets, it would be wise to treat your neck with extra care now. The skin in that area is particularly prone to the wear and tear of aging, says Alan Matarasso, MD, clinical professor of plastic surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York City. It's thinner than facial skin and has a different collagen content and fewer (Matarasso painstakingly spelled out this next word for me) pilosebaceous units—structures consisting of a hair shaft, hair follicle, and sebaceous gland—which means that the area is drier, too. The neck and chest are also two of the most sun-exposed parts of the body, making them especially vulnerable to UVA/UVB damage

Bottom Line: Use the same prescription or prescription-strength products on your neck (and chest) that you apply on your face, including retinoids (such as Retin-A, Renova, or Tazorac), and, of course, sunscreen every day.


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