Experts (and French women) agree this is the best way to apply skincare

April 19, 2023

Many of us are diligent about applying skincare products to our faces. But what about your neck and chest? Those need some TLC, too! Take a page from the French—stop neglecting your décolleté start applying your skincare from your face all the way down to your chest.   

“The skin on our chest and neck is often exposed to the sun and other environmental stressors, leading to damage, such as wrinkles, fine lines and discoloration,” explains Aanand Geria, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Verona, NJ. “This skin area is also more delicate and thinner than other body parts. As a result, it can be more prone to dryness and irritation,” he adds. In other words, applying your skincare all the way down to these delicate areas can help protect them from further damage. In particular, Dr. Geria advises using four key products and ingredients from the chin down.  


Moisturizing your neck and chest will help keep it hydrated and healthy. Dr. Geria recommends using a hydrating moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and ceramides.


The sun can cause premature aging,” Dr. Geria says. To help minimize those effects, wearing sunscreen on your neck and chest is vital. He recommends SPF 30 or higher.  


Niacinamide is another excellent ingredient for skincare from the chin down. “Niacinamide can help reduce redness, improve skin texture and even out skin tone on the neck and chest,” Dr. Geria says.  


Retinal is a form of vitamin A that is a precursor to retinol,” Dr. Geria notes, making it a milder form of retinoid than retinol, though still a powerful skincare ingredient. The benefits? “It improves skin texture by promoting cell turnover, resulting in smoother, more even skin tone. Retinal also helps improve the appearance of pores by regulating oil production. Another positive benefit includes improving hyperpigmentation.”  

For best results, Dr. Geria advises combining retinal with other skincare products to support its effectiveness. Specifically, he recommends using a gentle cleanser to wash your face before applying it, applying moisturizer to help keep your skin hydrated and slathering on sunscreen as retinal can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Most importantly, Dr. Geria notes it’s crucial to introduce retinal slowly into your skincare routine (ideally at night) to avoid irritation and sensitivity. 

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Jessica Estrada is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and editor covering a wide range of lifestyle topics including beauty, skincare, wellness and mental health. Her work has been featured in Well + Good, Refinery29, Bustle, Elite Daily, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, Cosmopolitan, The Cut and more.