April 29, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty

Neck Wrinkles? Here’s What Can Help

Give the delicate skin on your neck some TLC by wearing sunscreen every day and trying a retinoid or topical antioxidant

female examining neck wrinkles

Most of us take our skin care routine at face value. But your neck and upper chest can be just as susceptible to wrinkles, discoloration, crepiness, redness and other signs of aging. Maybe even more.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

It’s easy to overlook our neck and décolletage (the upper chest area). But a skin care regimen that includes products to help fight neck wrinkles can help keep your skin healthy and youthful from the shoulders up.

Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, shares the best products to fight neck wrinkles and what to look for in skin care items for your neck.

What causes neck wrinkles?

Like wrinkles on our faces, neck wrinkles are a natural part of skin aging. After all, our skin can take a beating throughout the day. And over the years, the damage can add up.

Neck wrinkles are caused by things like:

What’s more, many of us get into a poor posture habit where our head droops down. It’s called tech neck (as in, it’s in part a result of spending time looking down at your smartphone for hours out of the day). Not only does tech neck lead to things like neck pain and stiffness, but it can also lead to horizontal lines on your neck.


And while slathering anti-aging serums and creams on your face is a daily routine for many people, your neck can be neglected.

But here’s what you may not realize: The skin on your neck can be thinner and even more sensitive than the skin on your face. So, it can be one of the first places to show signs of aging.

“Thin skin, like on your neck, has fewer hair follicles, so it’s more prone to showing signs of aging and sun damage,” Dr. Khetarpal shares.

How to get rid of neck wrinkles

The skin care aisle of your local beauty store probably boasts approximately 80,000 different products to help keep your face wrinkle-free. Many of those same products can be used to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging on your neck.

“The skin care ingredients we recommend for your face is a similar regimen for your neck and décolletage because your skin ages in similar ways. Those are areas that are chronically exposed to sun,” Dr. Khetarpal says.

Certain ingredients are known to help with wrinkles, sun damage and other signs of aging — and that’s the case whether we’re talking about laugh lines or neck lines.

The key is prevention. Look for ingredients that going to protect you against the elements like sun and pollution. And if you’re already seeing signs, that’s OK.

“It’s never too late to start taking care of your neck,” she encourages.

It’s worth noting that neck wrinkles aren’t detrimental to your health. They’re not a sign that anything is wrong with your skin. But if you want to change the appearance of your skin, there are solutions that can help reduce neck wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Dr. Khetarpal suggests looking for products with these ingredients.

Topical antioxidants

After cleansing in the morning, apply a topical antioxidant to your face, neck and upper chest. Choose products that include ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E or ferulic acid.

“These antioxidants actually reduce the oxidative stress on skin,” Dr. Khetarpal points out.

What does that mean?

Oxidative stress is cell damage that creeps up when your body is overrun by free radicals. Oxidative stress in your skin can lead to fine lines, wrinkles and sunspots. Antioxidants help balance out free radicals and limit the damage.

Topical antioxidants are typically sold as serums or oils. Use them as a first step after cleansing your face and neck.


Thought sunscreen is just for a day at the beach? Think again.

Using sunscreen every day (yes, every day) is a must to keep your skin happy, healthy and unscathed by light damage. And it’s not just about protecting you from sunburn.

The sun emits both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays cause sunburn. UBA rays contribute to aging. And it’s not just the sun you have to protect yourself from.


“Even the ultraviolet light and blue light from your computer screen can affect your skin,” Dr. Khetarpal states.

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to your face, neck, chest and any other exposed skin.

What’s the best sunscreen for you?

“Physical sunscreens made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the most effective at protecting our skin from the sun compared to chemical sunscreens,” she says.

Sunscreen is often combined with facial moisturizers, or you can use a separate sunscreen product that’s formulated for the face. It should be the last step of your morning skin care routine.


A derivative of vitamin A, retinoids can be found in topical skin care products that stimulate collagen. It may already be a staple of your evening skin care routine. But you may need to switch up your products a bit when targeting neck wrinkles.

“When we’re dealing with retinoids, we want to use a lower strength on the neck,” Dr. Khetarpal advises. “That’s because the neck has fewer oil glands and can be more susceptible to dryness and irritation.”

Start with a lower-strength retinol for a few weeks, applying it as part of your nighttime routine every other day. If you don’t notice any negative effects, like irritation, burning or redness, you can try increasing the potency.

Use retinoids after cleansing your face and neck in the evening. Apply a nighttime moisturizer after.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a go-to moisturizing ingredient that’s common in moisturizers or as a standalone serum.

“When used topically, hyaluronic acid can make your skin more hydrated — like a grape rather than a raisin,” Dr. Khetarpal illustrates. “It combats dryness and helps to restore your skin barrier and moisturize the skin.”

Hyaluronic acid can be applied morning and night to help reduce wrinkles on the neck, face and chest.

Choosing the right products

When looking at skin care products Dr. Khetarpal says it is important to read the labels. “Look at the ingredient list to see what’s actually in there versus what they are marketing them for,” she suggests.

And remember, good skin care doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A high price tag doesn’t mean that a product is more potent or more likely to work.

When in doubt, talk with a dermatologist. They can help you find the products you need for neck wrinkles and other concerns.


Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Person holding jar of moisturizer, with moisturizer on fingers
May 15, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
7 Tips for Treating Dry Skin on Your Face

Deal with dry skin by preserving your skin’s moisture, using moisturizing products and taking preventive action

Acrylic nails being filed by manicurist
April 24, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
Are Acrylic Nails Bad for Your Nails and Skin?

Before your next manicure, weigh the reward against the risk of infection, irritated skin and damaged nails

Fingers with globs of petroleum jelly above container
April 18, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
Slugging: Does This Skin Care Trend Work?

Go ahead and get goopy to help boost hydration and repair damaged skin

Salmon over lentils and carrots
April 15, 2024/Nutrition
Psoriasis and Diet: How Foods Can Impact Inflammation

A well-balanced diet with anti-inflammatory foods can help reduce flare-ups and severity of psoriasis symptoms

Healthcare provider holding bottle of prescription medication
April 12, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
These Common Triggers Likely Cause Your Psoriasis Flare-Ups

Stress, infections, skin injuries and environmental factors can trigger an onset of psoriasis symptoms

Person sitting in a yoga pose with calming vegetation behind them
April 8, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
10 Easy Steps To Prevent and Manage Your Psoriasis Flare-Ups

Stick to your treatment plan, but keep your provider updated on any new symptoms or triggers

Wet plastic loofah hanging on shower knob
April 2, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
Is Your Loofah Full of Bacteria?

This puffy shower accessory can become lodged with skin cells (and other gross things), so make sure you dry it daily and clean it once a week

Close up of face with rosacea on cheeks
March 21, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
6 Natural Ways To Find Relief From Rosacea

You can turn down the redness and soothe the irritation with natural remedies like green tea, raw honey and aloe vera

Trending Topics

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

woman snacking on raisins and nuts
52 Foods High In Iron

Pump up your iron intake with foods like tuna, tofu and turkey