Look up. Now look down. Look side to side. Great! That's what we're here to talk about—the best neck creams for all that head-turning movement. Whether you're at yoga, the office, or even just crossing the street, your neck moves constantly, and each motion contributes to wrinkles that form in its folds every day. And with the amount of time we spend staring at our phones, it's no wonder that even 20 and 30-somethings are noticing more fine lines, sagging skin, and neck wrinkles. Given that we're so dedicated to firming and tightening the skin on our faces, why should we treat our necks any differently? You've undoubtedly heard it said: Your neck is part of your face, too.
The skin on the neck and décolletage is more fragile than the skin on the rest of your body, which is why it's even more essential to find a product that's both effective and gentle on the area. Unfortunately, constantly flexing your neck creates a new set of wrinkles (a.k.a. Tech Neck). In an age where our phones are essentially an extension of our bodies, there's only so much you can do to stop yourself. Of course there are some exercises that elongate the neck, as well as release tension, but the best medicine is prevention, and as you might have suspected, the sun is the biggest offender when it comes to early signs of aging. What you might not know is that your neck is at greater risk from sun damage because the skin is even thinner than that on your face.
"Damage from ultraviolet light causes laxity of the delicate neck tissue, leading to sagging of skin and enhancement of the lines," explains dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group.
The Benefits of Neck Cream
Moisturizing will prevent and minimize the appearance of neck lines. And while you can totally use the same formula you do on your face, if you're really dedicated to the cause, it's worth investing in a neck-specific cream. "They help a little more with tightening and include slightly different ingredients, like caffeine," explains Dr. Nazarian, who recommends formulas that are lightweight, gentle, and packed with peptides and antioxidants.
Just be aware that powerful ingredients like glycolic acid or higher strength retinoids may cause a reaction on the neck skin, notes Dr. Azadeh Shirazi of La Jolla Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center. "Copper peptides, hyaluronic acid, growth factors, stem cells, resveratrol, SPF ingredients, and retinyl palmitate are the best options to stimulate collagen, firm the skin without causing irritation."
Essentially, "you want to treat your neck like you treat the rest of your face," says Lara Devgan, M.D. "The neck is a special kind of axial joint that has to move in all different directions, and that lends itself to premature signs of aging and wrinkling. So, starting a neck cream before you notice a problem can help you avoid a problem in the first place."
The Best Neck Creams
Best Neck Cream for Brightening
If you love the feeling of a thick texture, without the heaviness and oily feeling, you’ll swear by this botanically-derived brightening cream. (We loved it so much, we highlighted it for our Worth It series.) The bearberry extracts help even skin tone, but the real draw are the lipopeptides that help improve skin elasticity after eight weeks.
The Best Neck Cream for a Smoother Appearance
Neck care shouldn’t be complicated. And this cream, touted as “shapewear for your neck,” reduces those pesky horizontal lines while improving firmness and smoothness in one fell swoop.
Best Neck Cream for Mature Skin
This is pricey for a neck cream, but it's worth it when your get the added benefits of moisture thanks to hyaluronic acid. We also love that it’s loaded with mangosteen that creates a subtle plumping effect.
Best Neck Cream to Help Even Skin Tone
Chock-full of chaga mushroom that helps skin appear more even-toned, this neck cream is a must for anyone looking to smooth discoloration and hyperpigmentation.
Best Overall Neck Cream
Is there anything this neck cream can’t do? This multi-tasking neck cream contains quinoa to protect your neck from environmental aggressors, but also natural fruit and sugar acids to enhance exfoliation, smooth skin and minimize lines.
Best Hydrating Neck Cream
One dollop of this lightweight cream will hydrate your neck for up to 72 hours, while addressing the pesky sagging skin on your neck and jaw area.
Best Neck Cream That's Worth The Money
If you’re down to fork over the big bucks for a firm neck, this cream is your new bestie. (We also profiled this cult-favorite in Worth It.) The caviar beads address many neck concerns (sagging skin, lack of volume and density), but its subtle floral fragrance offers a premium scent journey regardless of where your olfactory preferences lie.
Best Neck Cream With SPF
An industry favorite, this drugstore neck cream is clinically proven to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles in just four weeks. With vitamin E, shea butter and broad spectrum SPF 30 as its core ingredients, we’re sure it will be your favorite too.
Best Neck Cream to Combat collagen degradation
When 91 percent of women report their skin looks more youthful—and skin texture looks more refined—in just four weeks, it should come as no surprise why this face and neck cream is consistently highly ranked. As a bonus, the broad-spectrum SPF 15 and anti-oxidants help prevent collagen degradation. Sounds like win-win in our book.
Best Neck Cream for Quick Results
This cream is a total dream if you’re prone to wrinkles and deep lines on your neck and décolleté area. The tree fern extract offers immediate skin tightening effect, while the sea buckthorn oil helps hydrate. Simply apply daily with three upward sweeping strokes.
Best for Lifting and Sculpting
There's a reason why celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, and Blake Lively are big fans of La Mer—it works. This lightweight formula offers a patented Miracle Broth that instantly makes your neck appear firmer and lifted.
Best Fragrance-Free Neck Cream
For those sensitive to smells, but looking to target early to advanced signs of neck aging, try this Tripeptide-R Neck Repair for daily use or use it to complement professional treatments.
Best Neck Cream for Sensitive Skin
When your skin is prone to inflammation, you’ll go great lengths to avoid potential triggers and soothe irritated skin. PCA SKin’s Perfecting Neck and Décolleté targets sagging, loose skin, and lines with its Grape fruit cell extract, a gentle antioxidant that protects the skin while fighting aging.
Best Neck Cream for Reducing Redness
Unlike most neck creams, Alastin Restorative Neck Complex offers TriHex technology to support the production of new elastin and collagen even for the most sensitive skin types.
Deena Campbell is the Beauty Director of Marie Claire where she oversees beauty and health content on all platforms. Deena joined Marie Claire after a decade-long career as an editor in print and digital media. Before joining the brand, she managed editorial content for L’Oréal owned Makeup.com and Skincare.com. In 2015, she launched Essence.com’s hair channel where she received Time Inc.'s Henry R. Luce Award, shortly before joining Allure.com’s staff as Senior Beauty Editor. Along with her editorial positions, she also consulted on content and marketing strategies for beauty companies including DevaCurl and Dove, and has appeared at various speaking events and live television segments.
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