While genius writer Nora Ephron was in her 40s when she started “feeling bad about her neck,” today’s 20-somethings are already there. Blame tech neck, the nickname for the aches, pains and, yes, horizontal creases caused by staring down at your phone constantly. If you take 2007—the first year when Americans sent more texts than made phone calls—as the starting point of our collective neck’s downward trajectory, then it makes sense that the first generation to come of age with smartphones is now showing the effects of heavy texting. We tracked down the best at-home treatments for combating tech neck wrinkles and talked to some top Los Angeles facialists about the in-office procedures they’re using to take necks back to the flip-phone era.
6 Ways to Combat Tech Neck Wrinkles, the Crow’s-Feet of the Digital Era
1. Use A French Cream
Ask yourself this: Have you ever seen a French woman with a crepey neck? No, you have not, because there’s a Gallic obsession with specialized lotions and the methodical application of them. Luxury brand Sisley recommends you apply its neck cream twice a day in upward strokes from the base to the top of your neck. The botanicals (soy extract, horse chestnut extract and red algae) form a protective, moisture-locking seal.
2. Apply A Sheet Mask
A sheet mask is a great way to bathe your skin in active ingredients, and Rodial’s Freeze and Smooth Neck Mask is all about giving your thin neck skin a bath in intensively hydrating amino acids and wheat proteins that are actively skin-tensing. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes to let it smooth the neck area and make it look perkier.
3. Wear A Silicone Patch
This company takes the same kind of silicone patches used to repair serious burns and turns them into a hydrating, stabilizing treatment for wrinkle-prone areas of your face and body. (Silicone, when stuck on skin, creates a microclimate that draws moisture up from the lower skin layers to outer layers.) Wear it to sleep or for just a couple hours around the house a few times a week; users say it not only has an immediate benefit but also a long-term cumulative effect.
4. Use An Led Light Mask
When you get a fancy facial from a star skin care guru, chances are one of the weapons in her pro arsenal is a light mask that uses an array of LEDs to bathe your skin in whatever color (i.e., light frequency) is effective for your skin issues. (Note: Red light is generally the collagen-stimulating hue of choice.) While most light masks are for the face only, this one also treats your neck, and the results will be visible after a few weeks of 15-minute treatments.
5. Get A Nonsurgical Neck Lift
At Le Jolie Spa locations in West Hollywood and Studio City, co-owner Brian Nourian says models and actors come in complaining about tech neck wrinkles. He recommends a few treatments of Forma, a high-frequency radio wave treatment in which your skin is slathered with numbing gel and then basically ironed with a wand-like tool. You’ll see your wrinkles fill in (and your skin be lifted) right away, and there’s also a cumulative effect after two or three treatments as your collagen is stimulated. At $600 per session, it’s pricey, but it’s a great injection- and incision-free option.
6. Inject Botox
In the same way that Botox injections in the face can freeze facial muscles and smooth wrinkles there, a few injections across the neck line can make those horizontal lines disappear. Studio City’s Yana Pechenik injects tiny bits of Botox across the neck in what she calls a noninvasive neck lift. Like all injectables, the length of time it lasts depends on the person’s metabolism, but expect it to smooth neck wrinkles for three to six months.