Spa Treaments: Neck and Décolleté

Spa pros sound off on why the neck & décolleté are often neglected in skin regimens.

Décolleté (French for “without a collar”) refers to the upper part of a woman’s chest or to a low neckline. The décolleté, and its partner the neck, are particularly vulnerable as we age. The delicate neck skin is thinner and has fewer glands and less collagen than the face. Hormonal fluctuations and muscle atrophy also contribute to its vulnerability. Both neck and décolleté are often exposed to harsh environmental stressors—particularly the sun—yet are often overlooked when it comes to applying sunscreen, moisturizer and antiaging products.

“The neck is often a no-man’s land,” says Ada Polla, CEO of Alchimie Forever. “Facial products don’t make it down there, and body lotion normally doesn’t make it all the way up there, so it’s completely untreated.”

To make matters worse, the neck is a workhorse. Every day it supports the weight of the head, as well as moving up and down and from side to side, stretching its own skin all day long. The delicate décolleté, while remaining relatively neutral in motion, is subject to the effects of body positioning, particularly during sleep. “Sleeping on one’s side can produce vertical wrinkling,” points out Gül Zone, biochemist and creator of DermAware.

The most seemingly harmless activities can negatively affect the skin on the neck and décolleté, says Victoria Piotrowski, account manager and national educator at SESHA Skin Therapy, who issues a reminder about posture. “If you’re working at a computer all day, remember to sit straight,” she advises. “Holding your shoulders back will keep that skin a little more taut.”