Sitting at the hairdressers yesterday (for the first time in many months, might I add!) I was compelled to look into the mirror for far too long and was quite taken aback by the state of my neck.
If only..... I thought....
..... I had taken better care of my neck through the years....
....I used more sun cream on my neck.....
And the list goes on.....Yes, hindsight is great but, at this stage of my life I know we cant change the past, but we can affect the future. With this in mind, this will be the first of a series of sporadic posts tackling various body parts that most of us rarely devote attention to.
As regular readers will know I have written about my neck - rather necks in general - many times, most notably in my last book - Your Middle Years (written with Dietitian Paula Mee) and also in a previous blog post here. But for others like me who got a bit of a shock when they looked at themselves closely, here are a few reminders on how to repair, nourish and protect your neck as, even if your face is glowing radiantly, a lined and sagging neck can tell a lot!
This is a huge problem now especially amongst the younger generation, who seem to spend their days looking down at their screens (regardless of the device). Even for us middle-years folk and those not quite at that stage yet, its a growing concern medically and aesthetically. There is even an Institute in the US dedicated to the term ‘text-neck’ (coined by US-based chiropractor Dr Dean Fishman). its the result of repeated neck stress caused by overuse of handheld technology and staring down at phones, tablets and laptops.
We need to start looking up - more yoga please!
Although shelves are crammed with creams dedicated to every crevice in the body (slight exaggeration I know but I'm not far off the mark!) in my years of trialling skincare products I've concluded that most are not worth their hefty price tag. What's more, many are thick and show up as irritating red rings around the crease lines. Invest your cash in a quality face oil or cream with active anti-ageing ingredients (and sun protection) as it can be more effective when applied daily and correctly (as in an upwards motion towards the face using both hands).
Tips for Daily Neck Care
- Ensure neck & décolletage area is covered with sunscreen (or clothing) - EVERY day
- Look upwards (more upward dogs!)
- Ensure your computer screen is at eye level (or thereabouts anyway)
- Always include the neck as part of your daily skincare regime - think of it as an extension of the face, which in truth it is anyway!
- Thick and heavy neck creams can irritate skin
- Always sweep upwards when applying product
- Stretch the neck with simple rotation exercises as often as you can during the day. You will soon notice your neck starting to feel looser freer and more relaxed - as will your shoulders.
And remember the late great Nora Ephron (aka When Harry Met Sally fame):
'Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth.'