The right time to introduce a neck cream into your regime is before you think you need it. Because – trust us – by the time you notice the sagging, or the lines around the neck, or crêpiness, it’s going way, way harder for any treatment to make a difference. Prevention is also better than cure in the form of UV protection – so ensure that any daily or holiday SPF you apply is taken all the way down to vest-line, basically. The key with using any neck cream, meanwhile, is to be completely religious about it. Night and morning; as with an eye cream, we’ve noticed women tend to use them intermittently – yet still expect results. The reason our testers gave impressively high scores to these winners is almost certainly partly down to the fact that when trialling products for Beauty Bible, they’re very good about abiding by manufacturers’ instructions, in order to complete their forms. Alas, there were no Beauty Steals that did at all well in our testing for this category, meanwhile. Never are. But take it from us: you’ll never, ever regret investing in your neck.
GOLD AWARD - Temple Spa Exalt Firming Neck Gel
Jo’s own, long-standing favourite neck treatment – a cream-gel-textured which is a real pleasure to apply (and when you enjoy any treatment, you’re likely to do it more diligently, increasing the likelihood of good results). Ingredients include grapeseed, olive and wheatgerm oils, together with oat extract and vitamin A, to stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis. They recommend working it into skin with upward movements using the back of your hands, almost ‘ironing’ the skin – gotta be worth a try…
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'Wow - I loved this and I can truly say that it’s one of the very first beauty products that does exactly what it says on the tin. After two weeks I noticed a real difference in crêpiness. Long-term, there was a slightly tightening of the skin on my neck, and it did look younger and smoother. It promised to help reduce the appearance of ageing on neck and décolleté and I believe this product lived up to its promise. I would most definitely buy it' • 'I noticed an improvement straight away, which is confirmed by the photo I took before and after. After two weeks, there was a bit improvement in fine lines, crêpiness and dryness. By the end of the trial, my neck has fewer lines and looks a lot younger. You only need a tiny amount so it will last ages – it’s on my Christmas list' • 'Interesting mixture between a gel and cream, not too runny or sticky. Love the fragrance, delicate and lovely. The morning after I first used it, my neck was less crêpe-y and the effect lasted for hours. After two weeks, I absolutely saw a difference in fine lines, dryness and crêpiness – my neck just looks younger and smoother. Best neck product I've used in terms of pleasure of using and results' • 'I had kinda given up thinking that I could make any real difference to my neck and décolleté. This is the first product that I have used on this area that has made a visible difference. My skin looks firmer and would love to have this as my regular neck treatment product. It has given me faith that is it never too late and that I am not too old to see an improvement' • 'This has convinced me to use a neck cream long term, as I liked the smoothness it has helped with and it is so easily absorbed. My skin was softer and slightly less crêpe-y! No deep difference but a lovely product and I would definitely recommend.'
£40 for 50 ml - click to buy
SILVER AWARD - Clarins Super Restorative Décolleté and Neck Concentrate
Well, well, well. Yet again for these trials Clarins submitted for our trials this ‘hero’ product from their flagship anti-ageing skincare collection – and despite having had a recent formulation 'makeover', yet again it’s done incredibly well, with a pretty similar mark – 8.22/10. (In the last edition of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible it notched up 8.89 out of 10, against 8.75 in the previous edition. But this is definitely up there.) Like a rich serum in texture, it features shea butter, oat kernel extract, glycerine, African harungana and camellia leaf extracts – but this product is a meeting of nature with high science, with plenty of synthetics alongside. This new version of the Concentrate, meanwhile, now comes in a tube – as against the pump delivery system of the previous version.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'I loved this luxurious product, which made me feel extremely pampered and my skin definitely looked more toned. Longer-term my neck looked definitely smoother and somehow more "balanced". I would definitely buy this' • 'After two weeks, the lines on my décolletage were much smoother. When I finished the product, my neck was smoother and there were less crinkles when I woke up in the morning. I will never go without a neck cream again!' • 'A big difference to the feel & appearance of my neck after I used this for 14 days, with a drastic changed in the crêpiness and firmness of my skin. It looks a lot younger and is smoother and a lot more firm. I’m really impressed by the effect of this' • 'The skin on my neck and chest has definitely improved in the longer term – softer, with a much better texture. My skin looks smoother and therefore probably younger. I feel as if this is a beauty routine I should continue with' • 'After first using this, my neck felt very smooth and soft as though it had been truly caressed by this cream. Although I'm 51 my skin is pretty good, especially on my neck. I don't have any lines or dryness but I do have a very slight crêpiness. This cream has reduced that and made the skin on my neck light and brighter and very, very soft. I have definitely noticed that my neck is lighter and brighter, therefore more youthful looking' • 'After two weeks, the lines on my décolletage were much smoother. When I finished the product, my neck was smoother and there were fewer crinkles when I woke up in the morning. I will never go without a neck cream again!
£58 for 75 ml - click to buy
BRONZE AWARD - NIOD Neck Elasticity Catalyst
NIOD – from Deciem, one of the most dynamic skincare brands on the planet – have revolutionised the skincare world. We suggest you take a little time to get your head around this range (you can find the whole thing at victoriahealth.com, which is a good starting point). Many NIOD products can be ‘mixed-and-matched’ to get the sort of skin benefits you want – a mega-dose of hyaluronic acid, for instance, or copper to target uneven pigmentation/lack of radiance etc. But this slightly yellow-toned, clear jelly-like product is a ‘ready-mixed’ neck mega-treatment, designed fundamentally to boost elastin – which is what keeps the neck from sagging.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'I used it in the morning and after TWO MINUTES I noticed a difference. After two days my neck was completely transformed, let alone two weeks!' • 'I absolutely love this product. I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! I look forward to smoothing it on every day during my beauty regimen because of how nice it feels and makes me look (I think). I have never used an anti-ageing product that gives more instant or longer-lasting effects. Indeed, I can still feel it on my skin until I next shower. It leaves no physical residue, but just a smooth, almost resinous silkiness to the skin, and a fully plumped look. It gives real suppleness and increased flexibility to the skin also, which is discernible by simply pinching a fold of skin, pulling it and then releasing it; it snaps back in to place immediately after application of this product, whereas when this procedure is performed before application, the fold of pinched skin takes several seconds to flatten back into place. What more can I say? Visible, provable physical results!' • 'I've already used a number of NIOD skin care products and been very much impressed, so I was very excited to test the neck product. It takes a while to see the results – 2/3 weeks, but afterwards I could see the improvements in firmness and elasticity, and the overall appearance of my neck' • 'I have lost over 100 lbs in the past year and my neck was showing the effects, loss of elasticity and vertical lines under my chin giving an almost turkey neck appearance.This cream works like a charm, worth every penny!!! I would remortgage my house to ensure I never run out of it' • 'Firstly, I want to say I didn't expect to like this product. Why? Because it's an orange coloured gel and has a strong chemical-like smell. But don't be fooled… it's a miracle product! After a few weeks of use, your neck looks firmer, smoother and at least 5 years younger, if not 10. And I'm not joking. All you do is apply to neck and lower face with about the same amount of effort as your average face cream and voilà! You’re transformed into a younger-looking goddess. I am so impressed with this that I'm going to try out their other products. I give this 10/10! It is the highest score I have ever given on a product!' • 'It was amazing. I think that my neck is much less scrawny than it was before, allowing for the fact that it was never VERY scrawny, as I am not a particularly thin person, and this does make a big difference – I don't care what anyone says.'
£35 for 50 ml - click to buy
BEST NATURAL AWARD - Liz Earle Superskin Bust & Neck Treatment
Packaged in a tall, white pump-action bottle, this long-term favourite of our Beauty Bible testers has yet again done well in the neck category: a light, serum-style product which plumps skin with a sinks-in-fast blend that’s rich in actives including kigelia extract, rosehip and cranberry seed oils, pomegranate and mangosteen extracts. This was the best of the natural bunch, yes – but you need to know this does contain two synthetic ingredients, a ‘polyacrylate’ (it’s hard to get a ‘firming’ action without these), and the preservative phenoxyethanol, which (although approved by The Soil Association and other organic certifying organisations) is still avoided by some natural beauty-lovers. It can also be used as a bust treatment, but frankly we’ve given up trialling these with our testers – most women can’t be faffed, we’ve established. Still, it’s an option if you want it.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
'This sinks in beautifully and I love the botanical scent. After two weeks my neck felt plumper and smoother. Now I’ve finished testing, my jowls seem less obvious and the skin of my neck is less turkey-like! My neck definitely looks younger and smoother' • 'Long-term, my neck looks plumped and hydrated and yes, younger. I like the botanical kind of smell in this rather than the synthetic manufactured kind of smell contained in many other brands • 'A definite improvement! My neck seems to be a bit tighter and isn’t showing much slackness considering my age. I use a few items from the Superskin range range and adore every one of them, this being no exception. I am 56 and have never allowed my décolletage to burn in the sun. It is line free and only shows signs of crêpiness when I am lying on my side. I am very proud of my chest and neck area and this product helps to maintain it beautifully. Love it!' • 'Crêpiness, drying all improved within the first week. After two weeks I had an even greater result on my necklace lines. Now at the end of testing, necklace lines are hardly visible, plus my neck looks more lifted and there is less "chicken- like" skin at the base of my neck. I would highly recommend this product for anyone whose neck is beginning to drop, has dehydration lines and necklace lines. I would say that my neck looks ten years younger. Impressive. Buy this product!' • 'My neck does look improved but I have found the greatest improvement in my décolletage. With continued use I'm hoping my neck will also improve. An absolute joy of a cream to use, I applied it last thing at night as part of my bedtime routine and it's so easy to use there's no excuse to skip it. It comes with a leaflet on how to massage the area whilst applying the cream so it makes it foolproof.'
£35 for 50 ml - click to buy