Over the past year, most of us have seen our screen time soar, thanks to Zoom meetings and endlessly checking in with social media—and the news—on our various devices. Hunching over your front-facing camera might have made you uncomfortably familiar with some new changes, and you wouldn’t be alone. All that time with your head forward and back slumped can cause the appearance of “tech neck, aka laxity in the skin of your neck or deepening lines across its surface. If you’re concerned, don’t reach for the cashmere turtleneck just yet. With some skincare upgrades and quick and non-invasive procedures, you’ll soon have a neckline ready for its close-up.
Spread The Love
If you’re not already taking your skincare routine past the chin, now is the time to start. The skin on the neck is particularly delicate and thin, meaning changes show there first if the area isn’t properly cared for. If you’re already using a retinol, try applying a pea-sized amount to prominent neck lines one or two nights a week and continue with your regular routine down to the décolleté to nourish the neck, just like you would your face.
Sun damage can thin your precious neck skin too, making any laxity more apparent. In the mornings, make sure your SPF application extends to your neck. On days where you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time, reapply your sun protection every two hours to any exposed skin. EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 is a great option thanks to its gentle formula with mineral protection and Vitamin C to brighten and firm. If the weather permits, a light cotton scarf or a cute neckerchief can offer extra protection as well.
Watch Your Posture
Holding your phone at a low angle puts excessive weight from your head onto your neck and spine, which can not only exacerbate neck lines and muscle laxity but can cause long-term neck pain and headaches. Not fun! To ease the effects of tech neck, monitor your screen time and posture and try adjusting the angle at which you hold your phone to alleviate any tension. If you spend a lot of time on your laptop for work, invest in a laptop stand or tabletop monitor to keep your chin lifted and prevent neck strain.
Try These Treatments
If you’re interested in a more intensive approach, the derm’s office has several solutions. Botox is an option, as Dr. Nancy Samolitis explains: “Botox can relax the underlying muscle of the neck, leading to a smoother skin appearance.” She recommends several tiny microinjections along the most prominent part of the underlying muscle. Since Botox typically lasts 3-4 months, this is a more short-term approach to treating the lines from tech neck. However, when paired with additional in-office treatments, like laser resurfacing or microneedling with PRP injections, it can provide more lasting results. By treating the muscular issues with Botox and the delicate and thin outer skin with procedures that stimulate cellular repair and the growth of new collagen, it’s possible to rejuvenate your neck to a smoother, more toned appearance. If you’re ready to show off your neckline, consult with a practitioner to see which options are right for you.