For many of us, taking care of our necks probably just means drawing down whatever product we’re already using on our face.
But, similar to the skin around our eyes, the skin on our necks is thinner and can benefit from targeted products which encourage cell turnover and deliver increased hydration to keep skin supple.
Dr Sophie Shotter, aesthetic doctor at Illluminate Skin Clinic, explains: “The neck is very vulnerable to ageing. It has less sebaceous glands than facial skin, making it more prone to wrinkling.
“This, combined with the effects of sun exposure, gravity and muscle movement, can make the neck a real problem area for some people. My suggestion is to wear SPF on the neck daily, don’t stop at the jawline.”
“Then there is the phenomenon of ‘tech neck’. So much time is now spent with heads bent down to our devices that deeper and more pronounced lines and wrinkles are the result.
“Be mindful of your posture: tech neck is the wrinkle of our generation. Try to remember to keep your neck neutral if at all possible,” says Dr. Shotter.
In terms of using a specific neck product, Dr. Shotter believes that “because the skin of the neck is structurally different to that of the face, a dedicated product can make the world of difference.
“Look for ingredients such as polyhydroxy acids, neoglucosamine, hyaluronic acid, peptides, vitamin C and ceramides. I would only use retinol with extreme caution due to the irritation that it can cause in this area.”
Here are our top neck creams for targeted treatment.
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Emma Hardie lift and sculpt firming neck treatment
We were impressed by this clever packaging which combines the neck cream with a facial massager. Turn the collar of the tube to squeeze out the product onto the roller, then click it back to “off” and use the roller to distribute the treatment over the neck. The product itself is a serum which contains patented collagen and elastin boosters to improve firmness. Omega complex and hyaluronic acid protect and moisturise. This serum, plus the massage tool, work to boosts blood flow to the neck, causing it to immediately look perkier with reduced puffiness. We loved the way the serum cools, lifts and firms as it absorbs, and we felt it made a noticeable difference to the skin on our neck.
Buy now £65.00, Lookfantastic
Clarins super restorative décolleté and neck concentrate
Formulated specifically for those aged 45+, this plant-based cream uses organic extracts of harungana and Montpellier rock rose along with oats to not only moisturise and smooth, but also to even out skin tone. The directions instruct you to massage onto the chin, neck, shoulders and décolleté: the latter (also called décolletage) being the area between your neck and breasts. We loved this for its uplifting botanical fragrance, its non-oily moisturising effect and for the tightening feeling you get post application.
Buy now £60.00, John Lewis & Partners
Vichy neovadiol phytosculpt neck and face contours
Vichy mineralising thermal water, rich in antioxidants, forms the basis of this gentle, hypoallergenic formulation suited to sensitive skin and created specifically for those of menopausal age. It also contains an active firming complex which mimics DHEA, a hormone in the skin which depletes during the menopause. A smooth balm with an attractive, subtle fragrance, this absorbed easily without feeling greasy. The balm melts when it comes into contact with the skin, forming a tightening film as it cools. After a week of application, skin felt smoother, definitely more moisturised and a little firmer.
Buy now £30.00, lookfantastic
This Works perfect cleavage lotion
The equivalent of naming your first-born “Nobel Prize winner”, this lotion is nothing if not aspirational. It blends essential oils and plant extracts, including larch extract, algae and rose, plus vitamin C to protect, soothe and tighten the neck and chest area. Does it deliver on its name? We felt it made a noticeable difference. Skin that was looking less than perfect, wrinkly and dry started to look smoother and slightly firmer. We also loved the fresh, summery fragrance.
Buy now £38.00, Amazon
Prai ageless throat and décolletage creme
This is the bestselling skincare product in M&S’s highly regarded beauty department. At one point it became the second bestselling product in the whole of M&S (excluding food). With hyaluronic acid and squalene to lift, tighten and smooth the “neck and dec” area, it claims to show results in seven days. We found it light, not at all oily and it absorbed quickly. Initially sceptical, by day four we were converts. The skin from cleavage to chin was somehow plumper, brighter and the dreaded crepiness look diminished.
Buy now £25.00, Marks & Spencer
IT Cosmetics confidence in a neck cream
This brand, developed with the help of plastic surgeons, is something of a beauty insider favourite. With a triple-whammy complex of elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid to firm, plump and moisturise, this rich, orange-hued cream certainly delivers a moisture hit to quench the driest of necks. Pleasurable to use, it feels cool and soothing and sinks in quickly. It also has a perky orange fragrance. Packing in ceramides, shea butter and seaweed extract, this is so moisturising that it made our neck smoother and more supple from day one.
Buy now £44.00, Boots
Sanctuary Spa supercharged hyaluronic face and neck creme
As the name suggests, this is packed with hyaluronic acid, the powerhouse hydrating ingredient that is naturally present in the body. It acts like a moisture magnet, keeping cells topped up to give skin that youthful bounce, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles. With a gorgeously fresh fragrance redolent of spas (remember those?), this rich, white cream has a luxurious feel. Although it can be applied to the face too, our tester chose to focus on the neck and décolletage, feeling that the product was a little too perfumed for sensitive facial skin. It provides 24-hour moisture, so you only need to use it once a day.
Buy now £16.50, Look Fantastic
Omorovicza firming neck cream
This Hungarian beauty brand harnesses the healing properties of mineral rich Hungarian thermal waters. At the core of the brand is a patented healing concentrate, which delivers these minerals into the skin. This cream also contains white truffle enzymes to tone and a skin plumping acid extracted from edelweiss flowers. With stylish packaging, a satisfyingly heavy pot and a tiny spoon to prevent fingers sullying the contents, we enjoyed its sense of luxury. We felt it had the perfect texture, neither too heavy or too light, a lovely light fragrance and it definitely made the skin on our neck feel more taut. It sinks in easily too.
Buy now £99.00, Cult Beauty
Estée Lauder resilience multi-effect night tri-peptide face and neck creme
The tri-peptide complex works to boost collagen, which makes skin appear plumped and smoother. Available both in a day and a night version, we tested the night cream, which can also be used weekly as a mask for a more intense treatment. We loved this for its nourishing consistency that immediately felt like it was having an effect. Skin tone improved after just a week and lines seemed reduced. The fragrance feels a little heavy and old-fashioned, reminiscent of a grandmother’s dressing table. Of course, depending on personal taste, that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Buy now £75.00, Estée Lauder
Perricone MD cold plasma plus+ sub-d/neck
This cream was recently relaunched with an updated formulation to give a more luxurious texture and increased hydration. Ingredients including peptides and encapsulated caffeine are delivered via a liquid crystal delivery system for deeper penetration. It certainly feels luxurious with a velvety consistency which absorbs quickly and thoroughly, leaving the neck well-nourished and subtly smoother after ten days of use. Our tester described the scent as “luxuriously medicinal”. In a good way.
Buy now £119.00, Perricone MD
Chanel le lift anti-wrinkle skin recovery sleep mask
Although not strictly a neck cream, we chose to include this mask as you apply it the same way you would a night cream: smooth on before bed, leave overnight, wash as usual in the morning. We loved the experience of going to bed in this mask – the lightweight gel sinks in quickly and comfortably. It has a beautiful, subtle fragrance perfect for bedtime, and in the morning? You’re left with smoother skin. The gel appeared to have tightened everything. A great treat, perhaps before a big day, for when you want to achieve great glow.
Buy now £76.50, Selfridges
The verdict: Neck creams
Emma Hardie lift and sculpt firming neck treatment came out on top as it impressed us with both immediate and longer lasting improvements. Although the price is quite steep, a little product goes a long way. We also loved IT Cosmetics confidence in a neck cream for its refreshing moisture hit and Prai ageless throat and decolletage creme merits a special mention as a more affordable route to neck-friendly nourishment.