Proper Care of the Décolletage
Most of you savvy DC on Heels readers, I would wager, have been taking excellent care of the skin on your face, neck and even hands since your teens. But how about that highly vulnerable expanse of skin between the neck and bust line, a.k.a. the décolletage? We all tend to lavish attention on our faces, but neglect the breast-to-collarbone region, which can instantly broadcast one’s age.
The décolletage is particularly susceptible to premature aging because the skin in this area is extremely thin and delicate, has few sebaceous glands and is often exposed to the sun (and missed in sunscreen application). This area also tends to be overlooked in even the most scrupulous skin care routines. Signs of age tend to appear around age 40, first in the form of hyperpigmentation and textural changes — those lovely freckles, age spots and rough, red patches. The next manifestations of an aging chest are saggy skin as collagen and elastin fibers deteriorate, and vertical wrinkles that deepen with each passing year.
Obviously, the first step in preserving your décolletage is to reduce environmental damage by covering your chest during the sunniest days of the year and applying a high SPF sunscreen daily. Another contributing factor to chest wrinkles is sleeping position. Sleeping curled up on your side can crease your skin and accelerate wrinkle formation. I suggest changing your sleeping position and investing in SilcSkin Decollette Pads, medical grade silicone pads that help smooth out chest wrinkles. I also recommend purchasing a neck support pillow that helps you to sleep on your back and keeps you from wrinkling your face and chest.
Fortunately, the décolletage has become the newest battleground in the war on aging and a new arsenal of weapons is now at your disposal. First, I suggest that you step up your skin care routine with products specifically designed for this delicate region. Try Wei East White Lotus Throat and Décolletage Cream, a rich cream infused with Chinese botanicals that hydrates the skin and prevents lines. If the prospect of acquiring a mottled, wrinkled chest has you down in the dumps, I urge you to try Obagi ElastiDerm Décolletage System. Designed specifically for the décolletage, this system targets discoloration, wrinkles and loss of firmness.
For those in need of stronger stuff, there are several excellent treatments to combat signs of aging. To fade signs of photo aging, such as brown spots and redness, IPL (intense pulsed light) Photofacial can be done on the décolletage area. Imperfections are removed by the application of a low-energy, short-pulse broad-band light allowing newer, younger-looking skin to surface.
Another rejuvenating procedure with minimal down time that works wonders on the chest and neck is the ClearLift. This non-ablative procedure lifts crêpey, sagging skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and fades hyperpigmentation with a fractional laser that does not harm the overlying epidermis.
To all you filler fans out there, a word of caution: traditional facial fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane can leave visible lumps in the thin skin of the upper chest. Fortunately, now there’s Belotero, a liquid-thin, moldable hyaluronic filler that can be used to fill in vertical lines on the chest. There’s no reason to resign oneself to the ignominy of a creased, leathery, sun-spotted chest. From preventative skin care to more aggressive age-intervention treatments, there’s something for everyone so you needn’t put off wearing that daringly décolleté dress you’ve been hiding in your closet!
A native Washingtonian, Beauty Blogger Lia Phipps is an interior designer with an irrepressible, life-long fascination with health and beauty. When she is not selecting fabrics and paint colors for clients, she occupies herself with trying new products and dispensing beauty advice to friends, acquaintances and anyone who is willing to listen to “Tips from Phipps”.