Written by: Stephanie Borjas, NP
My instagram feed is flooded with skincare routines. From J.Lo’s to Kim Kardashian’s,9 step, 20 step, gua sha, serums… the works! However, one important step in their skincare routine often gets overlooked: caring for your decolletage. The decolletage or (decollete) is defined as the area of a low neckline, but in the beauty industry this area is defined as the skin below the chin and chest. Someone’s skin care game can be 100 but neglecting the decolletage can easily give away one’s age. Signs of skin damage to the decolletage include: redness, sagginess, dry or rough patches, sun spots or hyperpigmentation, crepey skin, and lines or wrinkles. What causes photoaging to the decollete?
Aging of the Decollete
The harmful UV rays of the sun can cause skin damage, premature skin aging and potentially skin cancer. Even 15 minutes of sun exposure at a high UV level could be enough to cause your skin harm. UV rays damage the DNA in skin cells. UV rays cause collagen to break down at a faster rate than normal aging. Collagen loss leads to skin laxity and the loss of a natural, plump skin appearance. UV rays also cause an abnormal buildup of elastin that leads to skin wrinkling and sagging.
UV rays can also cause freckles, which are sun induced pigment changes. The UV rays will damage the melanin producing cells called melanocytes. Age spots are another form of blemish caused by sun damage. The main culprit for a decollete that needs attention is sun damage! Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays on a daily basis, year round will help reduce the appearance of advanced aging.
Remember to apply a high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen to your neck and chest, not just your face. Avoid spending too much unprotected time in the sun, especially during high SPF hours of the day (10a-4pm). At least 30/ waterproof. Retinols such as our AlphaRet Overnight Serum applied to the neck and chest encourage cell turnover and boost collagen production. This can help with reducing fine lines and wrinkles on the chest caused by sun damage!
Intense pulsed light (IPL) or Broadband light (BBL) with our Sciton or Optimas laser systems can treat photoaging symptoms on the decollete such as sun spots, age spots and redness. Following the treatment, these spots caused by sun damage will darken and flake off in 7-10 days. For optimal results, a minimum of 3 treatments spaced out 4-6 weeks apart is recommended.