Do you give your body the same level of attention as you do your face? Chance are you’re overlooking two of your most important assets. Literally! “The decolletage is first to show signs of aging,” says celebrity skincare specialist Sonya Dakar. To extend the sexy youthful appearance of your neck and cleavage, follow these essential expert tips.
“Wrinkles are caused by a combination of factors,” says dermatologist Dr. Donna Bilu Martin, M.D: “sun exposure, smoking, genetics, and aging, and those on the chest are no exception.” Luckily, though, today there are many options available to prevent and improve the appearance of chest wrinkles.
SKIP THE SUN
First and foremost, stay out of the sun. “The single most important thing you can do to protect your skin is use sunscreen and limit sun exposure. A broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays should be applied daily, and more often if swimming or sweating.” Dr. Martin recommends MD Solar Science Tinted Mineral Gel; ($23.95: MdSolarSciences.com).
Are you a side sleeper? If you’re catching your 40 winks every night in this position, then you likely already have visible fine lines between your breasts, and maybe even premature sagging. “Gravity pulls breast weight together causing unattractive vertical lines on the chest,” says Bernice Cohen RN, BSN, PHN at AVA MD in Beverly Hills. “Sleeping with a comfortable bra or supportive camisole can help.” If you get uncomfortable wearing a bra at night, try a specially designed breast pillow – yes, really! The Intimia Breast Pillow ($59.95; Intimia.com) and Kush Support ($24.99; KushSupport.com) fit snuggly between the breasts to cushion and prevent sagging. These may be particular helpful for women with natural breasts C-cup and above, and those pregnant or with breast implants.
Once the skin is protected, it’s time to start reversing existing damage. Apply products that contain active ingredients to plump, smooth and firm skin around the bust and décolletage. Dr. Martin recommends NIA 24 Sun Damage Repair for Décolletage and Hands, which contains antioxidants such as white tea, anti-inflammatory Pro-niacin, and lightening agents such as licorice, mulberry, and bearberry. Applied nightly, it can help improve the appearance of sun spots and chest wrinkles.
NIP+FAB Bust Fix has been flying off the shelves in the U.K, earning the nickname, ‘boob job in a tube’. It works by stimulating the naturally-occurring fat cells in the breasts, thus adding fullness to the cleavage area. $15.95; Target.com
RETINOL, SET, GO!
Vitamin A creams – known as retinoids – are proven to increase cell turnover, repair damaged skin, and help fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Martin suggests starting out with a small amount nightly, as they can be irritating at first. Retinoids can also increase sun sensitivity – just another reason why wearing sunscreen is important. Also, pregnant or nursing women should not use retinoids. Try SkinMedica Tri-Retinol Complex: $52.25; Dermstore.com.
“If you’ve got sun damage as well as lines and wrinkles, fractionated non-ablative lasers are a great option,” says Cohen. The Fraxel Dual Re:Store creates fresh, new skin minimizing lines, wrinkles and skin discoloration. “Downtime is a week to 10 days but the results are phenomenal. Skin resurfacing on the décolletage lasts a few years.”
TURN UP THE VOLUME
Finally, fillers can be used in the chest to fill lines and areas of volume loss. Cohen likes to use Sculptra or Restylane in the décolletage area as treatment has little to no downtime and both look natural. Fillers injected in this area lasts about 6 months. However, “this is an off-label (non-FDA approved) use of the filler,” advises Dr. Martin.