We're all familiar with the products we need to firm the skin on our face. But what about our neck? Contrary to popular belief, neck creams aren't just face creams disguised under a new name. As the late Nora Ephron wrote in her best-selling book, I Feel Bad About My Neck, “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t if it had a neck.”
"Neck creams are often thicker than facial creams and have ingredients in them to help lift and tighten the neck skin that loses collagen and elastin over time," says board-certified dermatologist Lily Talakoub.
While Talakoub says you can absolutely use your normal face cream on your skin, you should still really consider adding a targeted neck cream on top of it. "You should always be applying your facial creams on your neck if you don't have a separate neck cream," she told Talakoub. "However anti-aging ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid may be much harsher and more irritating on your neck than on your face."
What causes neck wrinkles, and how can I prevent them?
"Since the skin on your neck is thinner than the skin on your face and has few oil-producing glands (called sebaceous glands), the skin is more sensitive and more prone to showing the signs of aging," Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip says. "Any good skincare routine includes products to correct and products to protect. I love products that have both corrective and protective properties. The neck can develop brown and red spots, as well as fine lines and wrinkles, so I always treat my neck with a corrective serum to stimulate collagen and prevent wrinkles and then use a sunscreen to prevent brown spots and pigmentation."
But why do I need specific anti-aging products for my neck—can’t I use products I already have?
"Over time, the neck can develop brown spots, irregular pigmentation, broken capillaries and sagginess," Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip says. "Since the neck skin has fewer sebaceous glands it can also suffer from excessive dryness and irritation. In order to keep the skin on your neck healthy, you do want skincare products that will focus on hydration as well as products that will stimulate collagen without being overly irritating, as the neck skin can be more prone to scarring."
What ingredients help reduce neck lines and wrinkles?
"Your best defense against discoloration is sunscreen," Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip says. "SPF is important because the neck is highly susceptible to photo-aging (aging caused by sun exposure). When you are trying to fight fine lines and wrinkles on the neck, look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which draws water to the skin and helps to make it look more plumped and less wrinkled. Like the face, the neck benefits from antioxidants that can help fight free radicals that contribute to premature aging. Firming peptides and growth factors that stimulate collagen and elastin are also helpful for fighting gravity."
At what age should you start using anti-aging products for your neck?
Since some people can begin showing early signs of aging in their necks during the mid-30s, Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip suggests using neck creams in the early 30s as a form of rejuvenation. "By starting neck creams early, you can prevent some of the signs of aging that would show up in the late 30s and early 40s," she says.
Related: Best lightening creams for underarms
When will I start to see the effects of anti-aging products?
When starting any new skincare routine, Dr. Imahiyerobo-Ip always recommends waiting about six to 12 weeks to begin seeing results. Beauty is pain (and patience), of course!
Whether you're searching for a product to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles or something a little stronger to help improve elasticity.
How to choose and use the best neck cream
- Don’t forget sunscreen: For your daytime option, “sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, as UVA and UVB rays can cause damage rain or shine,” explains Shari Marchbein, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Downtown Dermatology in New York City. “Most of us remember to apply it to our faces but then forget about other areas, such as the neck and hands. I recommend using a moisturizer with sunscreen that has at least a SPF 30.”
- Amp up the moisture: “Moisturizing is equally if not more important on the neck,” says Dr. Marchbein. “The delicate skin is susceptible to dryness and eczema, which can make the neck skin look dull and ashy.” Look for hydrating ingredients like ceramides (natural fats found in the skin), as well as hyaluronic acid and glycerin (humectants that draw water to the skin).
- Scan for key ingredients: Depending on what you’re looking for, vitamins C and E (antioxidants), retinol (wrinkle fighters), alpha hydroxy acids (exfoliators), peptides (collagen boosters), shea butter (moisturizer), and niacinamide (redness-reducer) are all beneficial ingredients to look for in a neck cream.
Now that you’ve promised to never neglect your neck again, here are the best neck creams that fight the signs of aging before they even have time to appear. Below, we've rounded up the 24 best top-rated anti-aging neck firming creams to help get you started.
24 Best Top Rated Anti-aging Neck Creams
Colorescience Pep Up Collagen Renewal Face & Neck Treatment
Colorescience's Pep Up Collagen Renewal Face & Neck Treatment features a blend of peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid, all of which work in tandem to support the skin's own natural collagen production. After just a month or two — depending on your age and genetics — you may notice a visible improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, and even the firmness of your skin.
Best neck creams 2021 La Mer The Neck Dcollet Concentrate
There are few neck creams — or any type of cream, for that matter — that we would happily spend nearly $300 on, but La Mer's The Neck & Décolleté Concentrate is one of them. Formulated with skin-boosting ingredients like rejuvenating seaweed extract, smoothing sesame oil, and ultra-hydrating glycerin, the neck skin is left looking softer and brighter after just a few uses.
Best Neck Creams 2020 White jar of SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter with black cap on white background
SkinCeuticals's A.G.E. Interrupter comes recommended from New York City-based dermatologist Shari Marchbein, who says she loves this thick cream because it contains proxylane, a sugar-derived protein that helps to boost hydration and diminish the appearance of wrinkles. With a whipped texture and barely-there fragrance, it's also lovely to use.
Best Neck Creams of 2012 Yellow jar of It Cosmetics Confidence In a Neck Cream Super Cream open on white background
It Cosmetics Confidence In a Neck Cream
Cosmetics has a reputation for straightforward products that really get the job done, so it's no surprise that its new Confidence in a Neck Cream is described as "shapewear for your neck." The moisturizer — made with a slew of nourishing ingredients including hyaluronic acid, shea butter, collagen, and seaweed extract — is light enough for day wear, but is especially soothing to slather on at night. Pro tip: Head over to QVC.com for a duo version that includes the cream, plus a citrine roller to gently massage the moisturizer into your décolleté.
Best Neck Creams of 2020 Blue jar of Dr. Brandt Neck Sculpting Cream with Gua Sha Technique on white background
Dr. Brandt Neck Sculpting Cream with Gua Sha Technique
It's rare that a neck cream comes with its own sculpting tool, but Dr. Brandt is breaking the mold. The Dr. Brandt Neck Sculpting Cream with Gua Sha Technique is a two-piece set featuring a velvety cream formulated with skin-tightening ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid to hydrate, pea extract to promote elasticity, and a gua sha tool made of rose quartz to sculpt the face and help the product penetrate more deeply into the skin. We like to use it as a before-bed massage because it feels So. Damn. Good.
Best Neck Creams 2020 White and yellow jar of Strivectin neck cream on white background
StriVectin's TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream is loved by both beauty editors and derms because unlike some neck creams it actually gives legit results (with consistent use, that is). The top-selling moisturizer contains a patented technology called NIA-114, as well as its "Gravitite-CF Lifting Complex," and both help fade the appearance of deep wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin over time. It also features hydrating ingredients like soothing shea butter, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid to nourish skin.
Best Neck Creams of 2020 Black jar of Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus Neck Chest SPF 25 with silver cap on white background
Perricone MD Cold Plasma+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25
We can all benefit from extending our entire skin-care routine down past the neck, including the most important aspect: sun protection. Along with its proprietary cold plasma complex, the Perricone MD Cold Plasma+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25 also includes SPF 25 to shield skin from the sun's harmful UV rays.
Emma Hardie Lift & Sculpt Firming Neck Treatment
Allure's former social media manager Madisen Theobald is a huge fan of Emma Hardie's Lift & Sculpt Firming Neck Treatment, which she started using just a few months ago when she noticed a few deeper lines in her neck as a result of — you guessed it — looking down at her phone and computer so often. She's only 25, which we know might make you shake your head, but tech neck is real, folks, and it's affecting people at alarmingly young ages. (My 10-year-old cousin is already showing signs!)
"I use it every night and I've already noticed that my neck lines are less visible," she says. "Plus, it's really fun to use." Because of its serum-like texture, you can roll the product on with the metal applicator, which is supposed to help it penetrate better. The cream contains inca inchi and raspberry oils, both of which protect the skin from free-radical damage and lock in moisture. So whether you're 55 or 25, it couldn't hurt to give this one a go.
Best Neck Creams of 2020 Pink jar of Este Lauder Resilience MultiEffect
Estée Lauder Resilience Multi-Effect Tri-Peptide Face and Neck Crème
Looking to save steps in your skin-care routine, all while incorporating an entirely new body part? Estée Lauder has you covered with this face and neck cream combo, formulated to encourage collagen and elastin production over time. Tech neck aside, it's only natural that anyone who wants to smooth and strengthen neck skin would also want those same results for the face. Double the use makes this cream extra splurge-worthy.
Best Neck Creams 2020 Light purple jar of Prai Ageless Throat Decolletage Creme purple jar on white background
Prai Ageless Throat and Decolletage Creme
If you want to invest in your neck but don't want to break the bank, Prai Beauty's Ageless Throat and Decolletage Creme is an excellent affordable option. Infused with a bevy of nourishing ingredients like shea butter, prai oil, and vitamins A and E, it's the brand's best-selling product.
Best Neck Creams 2020 Blue jar of RoC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Chest Neck Face Cream on white background
RoC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Chest, Neck & Face Cream
Besides Father Time, the sun is the No. 1 culprit behind aging skin. Suffice it to say that daily SPF is a must. In fact, a recent study found that sunscreen can actually help reverse (not just prevent) the signs of aging. Cool, huh? RoC's Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Chest, Neck & Face Cream not only moisturizes skin with ingredients like glycerin, but also targets discoloration and dullness — all while shielding you with SPF 30 from the sun's harmful UV rays.
Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion
Dr. Dennis Gross's Ferulic + Retinol Fortifying Neck Emulsion contains a powerhouse of potent skin refreshers, including retinol (which lessens the appearance of fine lines) and ferulic acid (which thwarts free radicals) for healthier-looking skin. Plus, there's lactic acid, a gentle exfoliator that supports skin cell turnover for an instant glow. Bonus points for the citrusy scent, which is sure to put a pep in your step each A.M.
Best Neck Creams 2020 White jar of Sisley Paris Neck Cream on white background
Sisley Paris Neck Cream
If you're looking to splurge while making your décolleté feel très chic, consider the Sisley Paris Neck Cream, which is as beautiful as it is effective. Oat seed extract and rhatany (a plant-based astringent) provide an immediate tightening effect, while soy fiber and vitamin E extract work over time to create a more permanent lift. Oh, and this cream is blended with super-soothing shea butter and sunflower oil for unparalleled softness.
Best Neck Creams 2020 White jar of L'Oreal Paris Advanced RevitaLift Face Neck Day Cream on white background
L'Oréal Paris Advanced RevitaLift Face & Neck Day Cream
If you'd rather keep your neck and face creams in a single jar, look no further than L'Oréal Paris Advanced RevitaLift Face & Neck Day Cream, which packs a one-two punch for both areas. This formula contains a (gentle!) retinol for diminishing fine lines, so you can put your best face (and neck) forward in one fell swoop.
White and yellow tube of StriVectin Tightening Neck Serum Roller on white background
StriVectin Tightening Neck Serum Roller
StriVectin Tightening Neck Serum Roller is a cinch to apply. Simply roll the cooling applicator over the neck and — voilà! You've just given yourself a dose of collagen-loving algae and a host of other skin-tightening peptide blends, which tighten the neck area both instantly and over time.
BareMinerals Ageless Genius Firming & Wrinkle Smoothing Neck Cream
Not only does this jar look glitzy in your medicine cabinet, but the BareMinerals Ageless Genius Firming & Wrinkle Smoothing Neck Cream is also infused with real gold particles, which act as anti-inflammatory agents and can potentially improve skin's elasticity. Additionally, this formula contains all-important peptides, which are proven to assist in collagen growth.
Best Neck Creams 2020 Brown jar of Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream on white background
Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream
Despite its name, Fresh's Black Tea Firming Corset Cream doesn't come with matching lingerie, but it does claim to contour your neck. The tightening goji fruit extract and lifting peptide cream is super concentrated, so an itty little bit goes a very long way.
Best Neck Creams 2020 White and lime green tube of Murad Regenerating Lift for Neck and Decollete on white background
Murad Regenerating Lift for Neck and Décolleté
If sunny beach vacations from spring breaks' past are haunting you in the form of sunspots on your chest, get even with Murad's Regenerating Lift for Neck and Décolleté. It's spiked with licorice root to brighten dark spots and even skin tone, stat.
Best Neck Creams 2020 White packaging of Skyn Iceland Hydrocool Neck Gels on white background
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Neck Gels
If you're mask obsessed you'll love Skyn Iceland's Hydrocool Neck Gels. These babies peel off like stickers and stay put on your neck, allowing their potent plant botanicals and B vitamins to penetrate delicate skin. Plus, like a sheet mask, these pads feel cooling and oh-so-soothing.
Rodial Chin & Neck Lift
Rodial, the U.K.-based brand best known for its "Snake Serum," offers a gel-like formula for neck and chin, which contains a peptide that mimics snake venom's freezing effect (but don't worry, it doesn't hurt!). This product takes about a month for the full effect on wrinkles — but the visible reduction of neck lines makes it all worth it.
Best Neck Creams 2020 Gold jar of Clarins Shaping Facial Lift VFacial Intensive Wrap on white background
Clarins Shaping Facial Lift V-Facial Intensive Wrap
In the same way lack of sleep can cause unwanted bags under your eyes, stress can also cause a puffy neck. (Sad, but unfortunately so true.) With firming horse chestnut, the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift V-Facial Intensive Wrap deflates that bloat, leaving your skin super soft, super taut, and super glowy.
Best Neck Creams 2020 Blue jar of Exuviance Age Reverse Toning Neck Cream on white background
Exuviance Age Reverse Toning Neck Cream
If you like your lotions thick 'n' creamy, this is the emulsion you've been waiting for. The stuff goes on with a Greek yogurt-like consistency, yet it absorbs in a flash for a moisturizing — not greasy — finish. Plus, it's laced with lipo-amino acid to support collagen (skin's structural proteins), so you can rest assured that it's actually helping your skin in the long term, too.
Best New Neck Creams of 2020 White bottle of Sente Firming Neck Cream on white background
Senté Neck Firming Cream
The hero ingredient in Senté's Neck Firming Cream? A patented ingredient called heparan sulfate analog (HSA), a modified form of endogenous HS, a multifunctional molecule that fights early signs of aging and plays a key role in keeping skin in a happy, healthy state. Trust us: One look at the brand’s before-and-after photos and you’ll be whipping out your wallet.
La Prairie Neck Cream
The ever-present pull of gravity ultimately causes overall skin laxity. La Prairie's Neck Cream is filled with skin-firming peptides that help bring back your skin's elasticity — no needles, scalpels, or filters required.