Have you ever noticed horizontal lines on your neck? While most of us can easily spot wrinkles that affect our forehead, eyes or other parts of the face, it’s far easier to miss lines that develop elsewhere.
Just like the skin on your face and the other parts of your body, the skin on your neck is subject to the effects of aging.
As the years go by, you may notice lines forming on your neck. Referred to as neck wrinkles or neck lines, these small folds in your skin can develop around your shoulder blades or higher up your neck close to your face.
While neck wrinkles are partly unavoidable, some habits and lifestyle choices may contribute to these annoying signs of aging, including a phenomenon called “tech neck.”
Below, we’ve explained how neck wrinkles develop, as well as the main factors that may cause you to develop lines and wrinkles in your neck over time.
We’ve also shared science-based techniques, products and cosmetic procedures that you can use to prevent neck wrinkles from forming and treat them after they appear.
Just like other wrinkles, the wrinkles that affect your neck develop gradually over the course of years and decades as a result of changes in your skin.
As you grow older, it’s normal for your skin to become thinner and less elastic. You may notice that you have less fat under certain areas of your skin than you did before or that your skin has a more coarse, rough texture.
These changes aren’t just superficial. Below the surface of your skin, changes also occur in its chemical composition. Proteins such as type VII collagen, which provide your skin with stability, become less common, weakening the bond between your inner and outer skin layers.
Combined with the always-there effects of gravity, these changes in your skin can cause lines to form, particularly in areas of skin that move frequently.
Some parts of the skin aging process are intrinsic, meaning they happen naturally as a result of your body getting older.
For example, factors like your genes, hormones and metabolic processes, which are outside of your control, all affect the way your skin looks.
Other aspects of the skin aging process are extrinsic, meaning they’re caused by certain habits or behaviors.
A wide variety of different extrinsic factors can cause wrinkles to develop on your neck, face and other parts of your body. These include:
Other extrinsic factors, such as repeated facial expressions or movements, may also contribute to wrinkles on your face, neck and other parts of your body. Our guide to the causes of wrinkles talks more about these factors, as well as the steps you can take to reduce their effects.
The most effective way to get rid of neck wrinkles and other signs of aging is prevent them from developing in the first place. Use the following techniques to limit damage to your skin and stop wrinkles from forming:
If you already have wrinkles on your neck, adding certain products to your skin care routine may help to make them lighter and less visible. Some treatments may also get rid of other aspects of skin aging, such as sagging and discoloration.
Try the following skin care products and treatments to get rid of neck wrinkles:
Moisturizer helps to trap water inside your skin, improving its appearance and making fine lines and wrinkles harder to see. If you have visible wrinkles on your neck, try applying moisturizer to the surrounding skin to increase fullness and make them less obvious.
For best results, look for a moisturizer that’s designed to hold in moisture without causing your skin to feel overly oily. Our Everyday Moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, a natural agent that can hold more than 1,000 times its weight in water.
If you’re prone to dry skin, try to apply moisturizer as soon as you finish bathing, right after you dry your skin with a towel.
Retinoids are medications that work by speeding up your body’s process for creating new skin cells. Although they’re best known as acne treatments, many topical retinoids also have major anti-aging effects, including the ability to lighten fine lines and wrinkles.
Retinol, a retinoid that’s available in over-the-counter skin creams, has been found to improve aging-related wrinkles that can form on the body.
Tretinoin, a more powerful retinoid that’s used in our Anti-Aging Cream, is backed up by even more evidence showing that it can reduce wrinkles, age spots and other signs of aging.
Our guide to using retinoids for wrinkles goes into more detail about how topical retinoids work, as well as how you can use them to treat the effects of aging on your skin.
Several cosmetic procedures are available to treat wrinkles, age spots and other signs of aging that can develop on your skin.
Popular cosmetic procedures for skin aging include botulinum toxin injections (Botox®), dermal fillers and procedures such as skin resurfacing.
Not all of these treatments are appropriate for neck wrinkles. However, a procedure called the “Nefertiti lift,” which involves injecting botulinum toxin into the jawline, is often used to improve the appearance of the neck and jawline.
Another procedure called microbotox, which involves injecting multiple microdroplets of diluted botulinum toxin,is also used to treat aging that affects the lower face and neck.
These procedures can vary in price depending on your location and the extent of work required to treat your wrinkles. They may need to be repeated over time to maintain your results.
If you’ve searched online for information about treating wrinkles and loose skin that can develop around your neck, you may have seen exercises designed to treat “turkey neck.”
Turkey neck is a term that’s used to refer to the loose skin that can hang from your jaw and neck as you get older. It’s a normal sign of aging that, similar to neck wrinkles, might get worse due to sun exposure or habits like smoking.
Many videos and how-to guides recommend performing facial exercises, including facial “yoga,” to tighten the skin under your neck and treat this sagging.
While research on the effects of these exercises isn’t very extensive, a study published in 2018 found that they appear to offer mild benefits for mid-face and lower face fullness.
However, there’s no evidence that these exercises can get rid of wrinkles or improve your skin’s elasticity.
Neck wrinkles are a common sign of aging. Like other signs of skin aging, they’re caused by a mix of intrinsic factors and habits such as sun exposure and smoking.
To reduce your risk of developing wrinkles on your neck, make sure to keep your skin protected when you’re out in the sun. You may also benefit from using anti-aging products such as topical retinoids and a skin-friendly moisturizer.
Want to learn more about treating and preventing aging? Our complete guide to anti-aging skin care for men goes into more detail about the steps you can take to prevent wrinkles, age spots and other issues from affecting your skin as you get older.