Technology is great, but there can be an unexpected downside to staying connected. You might think that staring at a lit-up smartphone during all-night Instagram binges is no big deal, but it can actually be detrimental — to your skin. “Holding your phone low and constantly looking at it can cause the collagen in your neck to break down and create an undesirable effect that resembles a turkey’s nape — this is called tech neck,” says Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, celebrity cosmetic dermatologist and founder of PFrankMD Skin Salons.
To avoid this undesirable side effect, Frank recommends holding your electronics at eye level, applying high-quality sunscreen every day, and adding neck-specific skincare buys to your regimen early on (starting in your twenties). Scroll down for the most effective products to treat the issue you never knew you were about to have.
Serums & Creams
1. MDNA SKIN The Serum ($240): This is Frank’s top pick for a tech neck fighter. “Using a cream or serum on the neck chock-full of non-irritating peptides will trigger collagen growth and thicken things up, but because the neck is thicker, you may need to use more product,” he says.
2. The La Prairie Neck Cream ($250): When Dr. Marnie Nussbaum wants to help her clients with their not-so-smooth neck issues, she turns to La Prairie’s neck cream, saying, “It helps restore a more youthful contour to the area because the product gives a temporary lift and boosts elasticity over time.”
3. Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream ($95): Is your neck feeling a little less than firm? Slather on a generous amount of this cream that combines Fresh’s award-winning black tea complex with goji fruit extract and lychee seed extract that’s proven to ward off damaging free radicals.
4. Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment ($56): A controlled-release delivery system allows this potent retinol solution to absorb into the pores quickly and consistently, diminishing the look of crepey skin. Use after cleansing and toning on the face and neck a few times a week to build up tolerance before switching to a nightly application.
5. It Cosmetics Secret Sauce ($68): Secret sauce, indeed. Seven clinically advanced, fermented ingredients have joined forces in this little jar — along with hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and licorice root — to provide ultra hydrating, anti-aging benefits. And the best part is, it’s perfect for all skin types.
Patches & Masks
6. SiO’s NeckLift ($30): If you want to speed up the tech neck repair process, consider SiO’s neck patches that incorporate medical grade silicone technology to plump and tighten affected skin overnight. Bonus: You get 15 uses per patch.
7. Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Neck Gels ($35): Horizontal lines and dark spots? Not on our watch. Reap the benefits of Skyn Iceland’s neck gels that contain the amino acid Niacinamide to reverse those flaws, along with plant collagen to help retain moisture and reinstate suppleness. Plus they feel great as you snooze, thanks to their cooling effect.
8. Talika The Bio Enzymes Mask Neck ($12): A saggy gizzard isn’t cute, so reach for Talika’s mask the next time you want to firm things up. Composed of Biocellulose — a nanofiber tissue which acts as “second skin” on your epidermis — as well as hyaluronic acid and watermelon from the Kalahari Desert, this miracle worker will do wonders in just 15 minutes, giving you a result that would otherwise take a month of applying serum to achieve.
9. SculpSure Chin Lift (Price varies): If you’ve put off addressing a less than taut throat for a while now, you may want to consider this noninvasive laser procedure that heats and damages fat cells, prompting the body to gradually eliminate them. “SculpSure submental treatments offer a minimal discomfort option for those who want to reduce chin fat without injections or surgery — in 25 minutes,” says Frank. (Photo via Getty)
9. Injectables (Price varies): Frank also recommends mixing and matching fillers and Botox, since “Botox will lift the skin on the neck and tighten the jawline, while Restylane Silk will help with fine lines and the downtime is minimal.” (Photo via Getty)
10. Ulthera Treatment ($3,500-5,000): Another noninvasive way to keep the wrinkles at bay is the Ulthera treatment, which uses ultrasound waves to enhance the foundation of the skin around the neck and jawline. “My Ultheratreatment combined with La Prairie’s Anti-Aging Neck Cream is an excellent way to help bring back firmness and combat tech neck,” says Nussbaum. (Photo via Getty)
11. Guerlain Spa’s Deep Muscular Massage ($220): While most of the concern surrounding tech neck centers around drooping skin, the overuse of phones, tablets, and laptops can also cause chronic pain as a result of hunched shoulders and bending your head forward too much. Which is why you should consider a sports-like massage to “alleviate stiffness in the neck and shoulders, loss of feeling in the hands and fingers, and tension headaches,” advises Cynde Montilla, lead massage therapist at Guerlain Spa at The Plaza Hotel. Guerlain’s muscular massage uses strong pressure to realign muscle and connective tissue in order to reduce pain and improve posture. (Photo via Guerlain)
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