6 ways to combat FaceTime neck
You know how every once in a while you accidentally FaceTime someone or you pick up the phone to take a picture and the camera is turned to face you and you literally squeal in horror? The first thing I always notice is my neck. Why is it so wrinkly? Why does it look older than my face? By next year will someone mistake me for Thanksgiving dinner?
These are all valid and important questions, but the most important question I’ll answer is: How do I fix this? Here it is, the big news that you’ve probably recently realized... your neck is NOT immune to gravity, or genetics, or sun damage - but you’ve been treating it like it is.
For years now, I slather on my Retinol creams and serums and, well, treat my neck like a commercial break -- I’ll give it some minimal attention every now and then, but usually I just gloss over it or skip it all together. What? It’s a big area; I don’t want to waste my pricey creams on the commercial break. “It’s the thinnest skin on your body,” you say? “And the most susceptible to damage and aging?” Now you tell me.
So, regrettably, it’s time to fix it. Here are the tips I’ve gotten from the pros.
1. Change course. The best thing to do is prevent the neck from aging and since that boat may have set sail you can at least throw out an anchor. First, keep skin hydrated - dehydrated skin will make you look older, and parched. Look for products with Hyaluronic Acid to keep moisture in. Second, use a system with Glycolic Acid to remove surface dullness. Third, take those retinols and peptides and give your neck some love. Note: Vitamin C products are great because they help firm and help link collagen for more elasticity.
2. Control damage. If you already have brown spots from the sun, try products with Kojic Acid and Hydroquinone, they will lighten the spots, but be careful not to overdo it – your neck is sensitive. Also, IPL is a great option. It uses pulsed light to even skin-tone and treat rosacea, broken capillaries, birth marks, and age spots. And ALWAYS wear a sunblock above 30 on your neck.
3. Laser back to your youth. Fractionated laser treatments (there are many kinds, but this generation of the CO2 lasers is the current gold standard) will resurface your neck to minimize the crepe-y-ness, to tighten and firm your skin, to increase the production of collagen, and to reduce wrinkles. The pain and healing time are minimal.
4. Botox those bands. I’ve done Botox on my neck for years and have truly loved it. But, I’m told it’s for a very specific patient: one whose neck is firm, but has vertical lines (bands) forming from the muscles (think of a tree with branches). If that’s an issue, and you would know if it is, make sure you go to a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist as the muscles that are being relaxed by the Botox are also close to the muscles that help you swallow and your vocal chords.
5. Turn up the frequency. Procedures using radio-frequency like Thermage and ultrasound frequency like Ulthera use heat to tighten the skin and stimulate collagen. Exilis, which uses both frequencies, can help to tighten skin and melt the fat. And the newcomer, Venus Freeze should be on your radar. It uses radio-frequency and magnetic-pulsed fields to tighten skin, reduce wrinkles, and stimulate collagen. Also, it seems to be the easiest to tolerate, because of how the energy is dispersed.
6. Lipo and Lift. If you’ve been hunted for your waddle, it may be time to look into lipo or even better, an iGuide lift. Basically, it’s a liposuction procedure that adds the lacing of permanent sutures through the chin muscle like a corset to pull the skin and muscle back into place - without incisions. You can do this with light sedation and a local anesthetic, and the recovery is about 1-2 weeks, with soreness and numbness. Please note, it’s important to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has working experience with iGuide.
PS - The term “FaceTime Neck” was coined on my Facebook page, during a heated, “How do I deal with my neck in pictures?” discussion. You can use it, but you have to pay me royalties (wink).
Thanks to Dr. Rubinstein in Aventura, Florida for your guidance and explanations.