While you’ve been slathering anti-ageing actives on your face to help stave off lines (and years), other age-revealing regions have been giving the game away. Take note of these top remedies for those forgotten time traps.
Key concern: Sagging
With contouring emerging as a key makeup trend over the last few years, the past 12 months has seen a rise in skin care products promising to lift and tighten skin around the jawline. “This is a big concern for women and it occurs due to volume loss in the lower third of the face and neck,” explains Dr Shobhan Manoharan, L’Oréal Paris consulting dermatologist and director of Brisbane Skin. Genetics play a part, but external factors such as smoking, pollution and UV exposure can cause a breakdown of the bone structure, collagen and elastin.
The fix: Slather creams and serums containing a high concentration of hyaluronic acid – a molecule that retains 1000 times its weight in water. “Topical products with hyaluronic acid produce volume and moisture in the skin,” says Dr Manoharan. Antioxidants, such as vitamin A, and alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs) also help as these increase cell turnover and collagen synthesis.
Key concern: Crow’s feet
Last year, American dermatologists conducted a study on what people noticed first as an ageing concern. The front runner? The furrows around your eyes. “It’s a natural process of ageing, but if you fix them, it can knock five to 10 years off,” says Dr Manoharan. Skin is connected directly to the muscles around the eye, so when you squint or smile, creasing occurs. It’s also thinner around this area, which is why these lines are more pronounced. To prevent the depletion of collagen and elastin, limit sun exposure, stop smoking and increase the font size on your screen to limit squinting.
The fix: Formulas containing hyaluronic acid will plump up wrinkles, so dab under the eyes and around the orbital bone morning and night with your ring finger (it applies the least amount of pressure and won’t pull skin). A topical retinoid will also help – but there’s one caveat. It can cause sensitivity in this delicate area, so use weekly and build up to nightly use. For a weekly treatment, leave on a replenishing eye mask to temporarily fill fine lines.
Key concern: Thinning
Full, cushiony lips look stellar with a slick of loud lipstick, and research from Unilever has show that women with a plumper pout are perceived as youthful. “As we age, we lose collagen and elastin, and moisture levels decrease, which causes dehydration and thinning,” explains Dr Manoharan. The way you pout, the way you drink and whether or not you smoke can all contribute to deeper creases and a loss of volume. And here’s another reason to resist lighting up: smoking can restrict blood flow to this area, accelerating these symptoms.
The fix: When applying your broad spectrum SPF 50+ every morning, don’t neglect your lips – they lack oil glands and are susceptible to dryness as well as UV damage. Also, pack a replenishing lip moisturiser in your purse that contains antioxidants and humectants to keep your smile supple. “Hyaluronic acid agents are effective and safe to use,” adds Dr Manoharan.
Key concern: Wrinkles
Furrows on your forehead become deeper with age due to a combination of genetics, ageing and muscle movement. “There are two types of wrinkles: static and dynamic,” says Kaye Scott, founder and co-director of The Clinic in Sydney’s Bondi Junction. “Forehead lines are dynamic as they’re moveable due to expression.”
The fix: Opt for a vitamin A product for evening use and slather antioxidants in the morning to soften skin.
Neck & Décolletage
Key concern: Crepiness
If like many of us, you spent your summers in the sun when you were younger, chances are you’re starting to see textural changes like pigmentation, creases and lines in your 20s and 30s. “UV radiation is a huge factor as free radicals from exposure cause damage to the skin’s structure and its DNA, increasing the risk of skin cancers,” explains Dr Manoharan. Spritzing your signature scent before sun exposure is another culprit, as this can cause poikiloderma, a condition that causes redness and dark marks.
The fix: Due to the delicate nature of skin on your neck and décolleté, this is a difficult area to correct, says Scott. “The skin here is completely different to the skin on your face, it’s more sensitive and we can’t treat it as aggressively,” she explains. Daily sun protection is paramount, and restrict fragrance to your clothing or wrists. A formula containing retinol or AHAs will resurface wrinkles and fade uneven tone, while humectants, such as hyaluronic acid, improve texture and hydration.
Aimée is an established writer and editor with over ten years of experience working for some of the world’s leading print and digital titles. These include Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine and WWD.