Dry Neck Skin Doesn't Stand A Chance With Our Hydrating Tips

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If you've established a strict skincare routine, you've likely become familiar with products that work to hydrate your skin, prevent acne, and reduce dark spots. However, our routines often concentrate on our faces and neglect other areas, such as the neck and chest. According to Nao Medical, neck skin is one of the thinnest parts of our body, and it ages just as fast as our face, if not faster. Without proper neck care, we lose elasticity and collagen over time, resulting in sagging and wrinkly skin. Overexposure to the sun without proper protection can also harm the neck's appearance, causing fine lines and an uneven skin tone. 


If you've been experiencing drier-than-usual skin on your neck, you're not alone. "Our neck ... has fewer sebaceous glands, which secrete oil and natural moisturizers. This makes the area more prone to dryness," board-certified dermatologist Tiffany Libby, M.D., told Byrdie. To safeguard the health of the limited sebaceous glands, the Cleveland Clinic suggests using a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, salicylic acid, and, of course, daily sunscreen.

Ultimately, many factors can cause a dry neck, but once you determine the reason for your dryness, you can incorporate skincare or diet changes to improve your skin's condition.

What leads to dry neck skin?

Dehydration is one of the biggest causes of a dry neck. Without drinking enough water throughout the day, your skin can become dry and uncomfortable. To determine how much water you should be drinking every, the University of Missouri System suggests dividing your body weight by two. The resulting number indicates your daily ounce requirements. If you have trouble drinking enough water, adding flavor enhancers like Liquid IV can make it easier to stay hydrated.


If you drink enough water but still experience dryness, other causes for dry neck skin can include changes in weather, using products with harsh chemicals, or medical conditions like eczema or psoriasis. If you experience symptoms like itching or cracks, it's important to consult with a dermatologist (via Nao Medical). Adjusting your skincare routine with the seasons is crucial, especially during cold weather when your skin is more prone to dryness. Additionally, washing your skin too frequently can strip away natural oils, leading to dryness on your neck and face (per Healthline), especially if you don't moisturize regularly.

Ways to keep your neck hydrated

Skincare products can be expensive, so there's no need for a separate routine for your neck. If you notice dryness, simply apply your face moisturizer all over your neck and chest. Speaking to Real Simple, board-certified dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, suggested applying moisturizer upwards (against gravity). This can help prevent sagging and wrinkles in the long run. It's also essential to apply sunscreen to protect your neck's skin from sun damage. Too much sun exposure can cause wrinkles and dark spots, so be sure to reapply sunscreen as needed. Consider using a spray mist variety on your face and a cream-based sunscreen on your neck and chest.


You can also use anti-aging lotions to hydrate your neck and keep it looking young. Board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick encourages looking for products with peptide ingredients. She told Everyday Health, "[peptides] have been shown to help promote collagen and elastin in the skin, improving firmness." Retinol is another helpful ingredient for collagen production, but it's important to use it carefully on the neck area. "The skin on your neck tends to be thinner and more delicate ... but if you work up very carefully ... you should be able to make it work for you," dermatologist and LovelySkin CEO Dr. Joel Schlessinger explained. "If you haven't used retinol on your neck before, I always want my patients to start with a lower concentration and apply a very small amount once or twice a week to start."


Types of moisturizers to use for dry neck

Finding the best skincare products for your skin type can be challenging. Since everyone has a different skin type, only some products will work for some people. However, it's essential to search for a moisturizer with hydrating ingredients to improve dryness on your neck. Dr. Tiffany Libby explained to Byrdie, "Moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides help strengthen and support the skin's moisture barrier to combat dry, irritated skin." For instance, La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer is lightweight and suitable for all skin types. It contains hydrating ingredients like prebiotic thermal water, niacinamide, and ceramides that work to restore the skin's barrier. It's available at many retail stores, such as Target, Ulta, and Amazon, for $21.99.


Since the neck has a thinner dermis, you can use a thicker moisturizer to trap the moisture. If you plan to use a thicker cream, only apply it to your neck to prevent clogging the pores on your face. Dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman recommends using the Revision Nectifirm cream for this purpose (via The Cut). It has a long list of hydrating ingredients, such as five different peptides that help with fine lines, vitamins C and E for brightness, dihydromyricetin for firmness, and sandalwood, phellodendron, and barley extracts that help with dryness and rough patches. It's $106 on Dermstore's website, which is definitely on the pricier side, but it could help boost your collagen production.

How to apply products and what to avoid

While you can purchase various skincare products to improve the dryness, irritation, and elasticity of your neck, it's essential to know how to take care of your skin so that the products work effectively. For example, applying your products to damp skin is ideal when you get out of the shower. Southern California board-certified dermatologist Shirley Chi told Well + Good, "The way [moisturizers] work is that they trap moisture, so if you are putting moisturizer on skin that's fully dry, I mean more than 30 seconds dry, then it really doesn't do that much to moisturize." Always layer your skincare products from lightest to thickest in consistency. If you dislike thicker creams, oils and serums are fantastic alternatives for hydrating a dry neck.


We've discussed many things you should be doing to your neck, but there are a couple of things to avoid. For example, Dr. Tiffany Libby suggests staying away from exfoliating when you have dry skin, as it will increase irritation (via Byrdie). Instead, use a gentle cleanser until your skin is balanced and hydrated. Try to limit adding products with fragrance to your neck, such as perfume or skincare. Many of these items have alcohol as an ingredient, which can dry out your skin. Try spraying your perfume directly on your clothes and avoid scented lotions on your face and neck.