When it comes to a skincare routine, many people place the primary focus on their face, however in reality a well-rounded regime stretches far beyond the face. Sarah J Thomas is the co-founder of Clockface Beauty, a luxury skincare and wellbeing brand for both women and men which she runs alongside her mother, specialist scientist Karen Horsley.
“It’s really important to think of the décolletage as an extension of the face, and treat it to the same full routine,” Sarah told Express.co.uk. While your face may be the main place people notice the first signs of ageing, the skin on your neck can also be susceptible to these changes.
“The first signs of ageing tend to be fine lines and wrinkles, but it can also be dullness, a loss of firmness and thinness of the skin,” explained Sarah.
“Although fine lines and wrinkles are a natural part of ageing there are various products that can help slow down the progression and minimise them, they can also be caused by a lack of hydration in your skin as it changes with age.”
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While there are all manner of serums and moisturisers out there, it’s the simplest of products which can make the most difference.
“It’s incredibly important to remember to use SPF daily on both the face and neck, even in the winter,” said Sarah. “Preventing sun damage is a huge factor in reducing the signs of ageing and reducing it any further. Using an SPF daily to prevent sun damage is extremely important in the fight against ageing of the skin.”
Experts recommend using an SPF of no lower than 30 from the forehead all the way down to the chest, as well as including any other areas of skin on show such as the hands and arms. UVA rays break down collagen and elastin, both of which are essential for the delicate skin on the neck. Without collagen and elastin, this skin can become prone to sagging over time.
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The number of wrinkles a person has, and how prominent they are, is also often linked with their lifetime sun exposure.
Evidence shows that wearing sunscreen every day can also help to slow down the process of ageing substantially. A 2013 study by Australian researchers, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that the use of regular sunscreen on a daily basis protected against warning, spotting and loss of elasticity caused directly by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Over the course of four years, 900 participants were followed, with some applying sunscreen every day and others applying it intermittently.
The study found that those who used sunscreen regularly saw 24 percent less skin ageing than those who did not. Researchers also concluded that participants who started daily sunscreen applications in their 40s and 50s showed reduced signs of skin ageing, compared to their counterparts who chose not to use sunscreen.