The Deal with anti-ageing products for your neck

article by Natalie Reilly –  SMH Lifestyle – February 7  2017

Article featuring comments from Dr Elizabeth Dawes-Higgs from Northern Sydney Dermatology

Nora Ephron hated her neck. She hated it so much she devoted the first chapter in her book, called I Feel Bad About My Neck, to it.

The book, hilarious and poignant, just like Ephron herself, was published in 2006, when Ephron was 65. It’s understandable, then, that she was feeling less-than-stellar about parts of her body. As she wrote, “Every so often I read a book about age, and whoever’s writing it says it’s great to be old … I can’t stand people who say things like this. What can they be thinking? Don’t they have necks?”

Nora Ephron once wrote,”There’s not a damn thing you can do about a neck.”
It was Ephron’s contention that nothing can be done about that place between your face and your breasts. Apart from “compensatory dressing” by wearing scarves or chokers, something she said, all her friends were doing. According to Ephron’s dermatologist, the neck starts to go at 43. “And that’s that.”

“You can shoot collagen and Botox and Restylane into your wrinkles and creases but short of surgery,” she wrote, “there’s not a damn thing you can do about a neck.”

Nora Ephron felt bad about her neck.
I bought this book in 2007 and the chapter has always haunted me, only more so after Ephron’s death in 2012. I have a terribly delicate neck that’s already displaying signs that it may let me down in a few years. Perhaps it’s because I’m always jutting my chin in a stubbornly self-righteous manner. Perhaps it’s genetics. Whatever the case, I sought out the opinion of another dermatologist to ease my mind, so that in time, she may ease my neck.

“There’s a lot you can do now,” is how dermatologist Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs begins. Then she had to pause because my sigh of relief interrupts her next sentence. “There have been so many advancements since then.

“You can inject a wrinkle minimiser or a filler into your neck to improve the appearance of ageing but one of the most effective methods we use is bipolar radio frequency laser.” Unlike a regular, or “mono” laser, a bipolar laser is going to improve skin laxity and stimulate subdermal collagen without the intensity, (read: pain) of other treatments. “It’s specialised,” is how Dr Dawes-Higgs describes it. “So it can deliver a better result.

“Radio frequency lasers can also eliminate pigmentation on the neck, and once the pigmentation is gone, the neck looks younger already.”

Ephron maintained that a neck lift was out of the question because it would pull the face too tight. Dr Dawes-Higgs says that while she can’t comment on the particulars of neck lifts because she’s not a plastic surgeon, she did believe that partial face-lifts and neck-lifts ensure that what Ephron described is unlikely.

All this is fine for your average old neck. But what about the dreaded Turkey Neck? “We call that submental fat” she tells me. And then she drops the bomb. “Oh, there’s a product currently only available in the US right now, but it’s being trialled here … it actually sucks the fat out of your neck.”

Um, what?

“It’s called Kybella and it’s injected into your neck to dissolve the fat.”

“What happens to the skin? Isn’t it loose?” I ask her.

“No, the skin is fine,” says Dr Dawes-Higgs. “I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re carrying a lot of weight, because you may get sagging, but if you’re within a normal weight range, it’s fine.”

So, there it is. A light at the end of the old neck tunnel. Now, according to Dr Dawes-Higgs, women may see a difference in their necks at 40. “You’ll start to see changes at 40, whether you want to do anything about it is of course up to you.”

Me? I want to turn back as much time as I can, so I use a smattering of creams to prevent the sagging neck that tends to run in my family. On both sides, would you believe. I can recommend these creams because they work. They might not work if you’re 66 but there’s always the fat-suckage option for then. Alternatively, there’s a book deal, in which you may lament it.

Arbonne RE9 Advanced Age-Defying Neck Cream, $129

This is flat-out awesome. It’s designed for the decolletage, too. Really firmed up my neck and felt non-greasy to boot.

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Crème for Throat and Decolletage, $350

This ain’t cheap but if a crème is going to sculpt my throat skin so that I look like I have the jaw line of a young Isabella Rossellini I’m going to gladly pay for it.

Chanel Sublimage L’essence Pump Bottle, $550

This is not designed for the neck, per se. But that has never stopped me from swiping it from my chin to my collar bone because the results are almost magical. That’s right. I just called a serum magical and I stand by it.

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