Say Goodbye to Neck Wrinkles: A Complete Guide to Prevention & Treatment

Written by Aaron Guldager — April 19, 2024

Say Goodbye to Neck Wrinkles: A Complete Guide to Prevention & Treatment

Originally published December 16, 2016, updated April 19, 2024.

You take time to show your face a whole lot of love with soothing cleansers, moisturizers, and wrinkle fighters to help combat the signs of aging. However, there’s one tell-tale sign that can give your true age away: your neck.

The skin on your neck is much thinner than the skin on your face, which is why it tends to show signs of aging much faster. So why isn’t your neck getting some of that love and attention too?

It’s never too late to start taking care of your neck to make up for lost time.

Whether you start your daily skincare regimen in your 20s, 30s or beyond, the right skin care products can help you maintain a more youthful appearance, with plumper, smoother skin that defies the appearance of pronounced lines, deep wrinkles and sagging skin on your neck.  

Here we share a complete guide to help you say goodbye to neck wrinkles, including prevention and treatment tips that yield results.

Understanding the Causes of Neck Wrinkles

It’s easy to overlook your neck when you’re so busy treating your face and slathering your arms and legs with moisturizing creams. However, your neck ages right along with the rest of your skin -- only faster. The discouraging result is wrinkles, “crepey” skin, sagging, and that dreaded double chin and “turkey neck.”

There are several things that contribute to neck wrinkles, including:

  • Age-related volume loss: Because of that thin skin we mentioned earlier, the neck ages more quickly as you naturally lose collagen and elastin. This leads to sagging, “laxity,” and wrinkles earlier than you tend to see in your face.
  • Sun exposure: We often overlook our necks when applying sunscreen as we think they’re protected by “the shade” of our chins. As a result, sun damage adds to the signs of aging.
  • Lifestyle habits: There are all kinds of lifestyle habits that contribute to neck wrinkles, from poor sleep to not getting enough water and an unhealthy diet to smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Sleeping positions: This might sound more like an old wives’ tale, but sleeping on your stomach or side puts pressure on your face for hours at a time. These sleeping positions break down collagen, which can speed up the appearance of lines on your neck and face.
  • Tech neck: Constantly looking down at devices like your phone for hours a day causes “tech neck” resulting in not only neck, head, and jaw pain, but also horizontal lines and wrinkles on the neck.

Is it neck wrinkles or something else?

It’s important to understand the difference between neck wrinkles, which are easier to prevent and treat than something such as loose skin or platysmal (neck) bands. Here are the key differences between the three:

  1. Neck wrinkles: Wrinkles are the fine lines that appear vertically or horizontally on our necks as we age. They are a result of sun exposure and reduced collagen and elastin production that makes our skin less resilient over time.
  2. Loose skin: Loose skin is not like wrinkles or bands. Instead, it might make it appear you have a double chin regardless of your weight or what is referred to as “turkey neck” or “wattle,” where the skin is noticeably loose and saggy, gathering in the center of the neck. While age is the most common factor, it can also be caused by sudden rapid weight loss.
  3. Platysmal bands: Platysmal bands appear as two defined horizontal lines that can be visible in our early years when we grimace or strain. While some people have more pronounced lines than others when young, most of us begin to see these bands as we age. Either way, the loss of collagen and elastin thins the skin, further weakening elasticity and causing sagging, making the lines more obvious.

How to Address Your Neck Wrinkle Concerns

Addressing neck wrinkles calls for a one-two punch combining preventative measures with effective treatments.

1. Neck Wrinkle Prevention

Whether you already have neck wrinkles or are worried about developing them, prevention is key to maintaining a youthful neck, including:

  • Slather on the sunscreen: When applying sunscreen with SPF on your face, include your neck and chest. Make this a daily routine to help reduce sun damage and prevent UV rays from breaking down elastin.
  • Lead a healthier lifestyle: There are three essential lifestyle improvements you can make to enjoy a glowing, more youthful appearance:
  1. Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep allows you to benefit from the cell replenishment we experience between 10pm and midnight. This process rejuvenates your skin cells for a healthier glow.
  2. Drink water: Staying hydrated helps maintain your skin's elasticity and moisture by improving blood flow, helping to reduce neck wrinkles and soft lines that appear as we age.
  3. Enjoy a balanced diet rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants in the skin help new cell formation and can also inhibit wrinkle formation while reducing the risk of skin cancer.
  • Posture: Reduce the risk of tech neck by holding your phone at eye level and setting up your desk so your monitor is also aligned with your eyes. Taking breaks to relax the muscles allows for better blood flow, which in turn helps reduce strain and promotes skin health, potentially minimizing the appearance of sagging skin. You can also do neck exercises to tighten your neck muscles, which in turn can tighten sagging skin and smooth neck wrinkles.

A wonderful way to start is sitting in a chair and tilting your head up toward the ceiling. Pucker your lips like you’re trying to give someone a kiss. Then, stick out your tongue and try to touch your chin. You should feel the muscles and neck skin tighten as you do this. Hold for a count of five and then return to a normal position. Start with two sets of five reps and work up from there.

  • Sleeping positions: Sleeping on your back will put less pressure on your face to avoid breaking down the collagen while you sleep.
  • Targeted Skincare: Anti-aging serums work just as well on the neck as they do on the face. These anti-aging serums often contain wrinkle-fighting retinoids, peptides, or hyaluronic acid that can reduce the severity of the neck wrinkles that already exist. At the same time, they can work to prevent new neck wrinkles from forming.

Choose neck-specific treatmentsto see the best results. For example, SiO’s NeckLift patch minimizes the appearance of neck wrinkles using a custom-curved patch that’s easy to use to improve the appearance of your delicate neck skin.

2. Neck Wrinkle Treatment Options

How to remove neck wrinkles at home: Along with your preventative steps, you can also consider the following neck wrinkle treatment options, starting with some simple natural at-home remedies:

  • Moisturizing: A daily moisturizer works to keep your skin hydrated so collagen and elastin can function to keep your skin taut and plump. And best of all it really doesn’t take any extra effort. When you’re finished applying moisturizer to your face, continue applying that same moisturizer to the skin on your neck.
  • Facial massage (effleurage): Gentle massage using a small amount of face-friendly oil helps improve circulation. Simply apply the oil to the face and neck using soft upward strokes, starting at the collar bone and working towards the jaw, repeating several times. You can continue this motion up from the chin using an outward and upward motion as you slowly inch toward your forehead.
  • Exfoliation: Exfoliation encourages cell regeneration and gets rid of dirt and dead skin cells. It’s important to exfoliate the skin of your neck at least once a week if not more. Harsh products can cause more problems than you’re trying to prevent, so choose something with a more gentle formula, such as SiO Beauty’s Multivitamin Face & Body Scrub. It combines Ultra-Fine Perlite and Vitamins A, B5, C, and E to gently exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. This cleansing effect will reveal the healthy, glowing skin underneath..

How to reduce neck wrinkles with surgical treatments: Professional treatments are also available if you feel your neck wrinkles have become more pronounced, such as:

  • Botox: Botox injections help relax muscles to smooth the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Fillers: These injections help plump the skin for a more youthful look that reduces the signs of deep neck bands.
  • Microneedling/Laser Treatments: These more invasive treatments are performed by a dermatologist and require a consultation to confirm which treatment is suitable for your needs.

Surgical treatments can be amazingly effective at reducing neck wrinkles but come with some risks including side effects ranging from small bumps or a bluish tinge to the skin (that can be permanent), to nerve damage and paralysis. Surgical treatments can also be extremely expensive and may require multiple doctor’s visits to be effective. Be sure to consult a physician or dermatologist before embarking on any course of treatment.

It's never too late (or too early) to include your neck in your daily skincare routine. Consistency in preventative care will help slow down the process, while a combination of home remedies will help reduce the signs of wrinkles.

If you find your treatments aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, consult with a dermatologist to understand the surgical procedures available. Finding the right approach will help you maintain a healthy, youthful appearance for added confidence through every stage of your life.