We’re not sure about you, but working from home is really starting to take its toll on our bodies. As grateful as we are to have the luxury of being able to continue to work from the comfort of our homes, there’s no doubt that the physical aspect of it can have its drawbacks. Where daily commutes, coffee runs and lunch breaks once kept us moving and active, office chairs, desk setups and large computer screens helped support our posture and remove the risks of aches and pains.
Fast-forward to today and the majority of us are hunched over laptops, slumped on the sofa or cramped on a chair under some sort of makeshift desk. And it would seem that these working-from-home office environments are already starting to have a negative impact. From backaches to neck pain, people far and wide are starting to complain of the ways that their bodies are reacting to the change in their workspace. A common issue that we have seen crop up time and time again is that of “tech neck”—the feeling of pressure/tension in the neck and back and the appearance of lines, jowls and creases in the skin as a result of constantly looking down at technology, often at a 45-degree angle.
If you can relate to this issue or want to get one step ahead, here’s all there is to know and a roundup of the very best neck-firming products around.
What Is "Tech Neck"?
The recently coined term “tech neck” refers to the common issues that our necks face as a result of increased use of technology. Maryam Zamani, oculoplastic surgeon and aesthetic doctor at the Cadogan Clinic explains, “Thin, pigmented, crepey chest skin is a common complaint amongst patients, as is sagging of the neck. Tech neck has become a rising concern because of increased gadget use, which can accelerate these findings.”
What Are the Causes?
The theory goes that increased gadget use puts more strain on our neck from constantly looking down and creates creases from short, rapid movements that stretch the skin. But why is it that our necks show such dramatic signs of ageing compared to elsewhere? “The skin on the neck is generally slightly thicker than the face and has significantly fewer glands (and therefore less oil and collagen production) which help to maintain a youthful glow,” says Zamani.
Not only does a lack of oil and collagen production result in the skin on the neck looking less glowing, but it also means it is usually less plump and prone to wrinkling and sagging.
What Can Be Done?
Realistically, in modern times, spending less time looking at gadgets simply isn’t doable. Plus, skin issues on the neck can arise at any time given its more temperamental nature. In fact, some experts argue that increased use in technology is actually only drawing our attention to skin issues that have always existed.
The main reason the skin on our necks is more prone to ageing? We’re simply not doing enough to look after it. “Many people still neglect the neck area, despite having a thorough skincare regime for their face. Our necks aren’t benefiting from the same brightening, smoothing and softening treatments that our faces are used to,” explains consultant dermatologist Anjali Mahto.
While certain moisturising creams and line-reducing treatments for the neck can help improve the situation, Zamani says that prevention is the key. “As we generally see the first signs of ageing on the face, we focus our attention there, but it’s important to not forget the neck. Prevention is always a better approach to treatment. Extending all face skincare to the neck and décolletage is essential,” she says.
However, if you’re after a more intensive treatment, keep scrolling for the best neck creams and treatments for firmer skin.
You may have seen this mask on your Instagram feeds already. It’s super expensive, and we don’t claim that any mask or cream has the ability to totally eradicate wrinkles, but having said that, this particular sheet mask certainly gives the skin a much more youthful glow.
For use on both the face and the neck, this affordable cream actually contains powerhouse-ingredient retinol to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
With retinyl palmitate to help resurface and improve texture and liquorice root extracts to brighten, this particular formula is a real winner.
The price tag on this one might bring a tear to your eye, but if you’re serious about looking after your neck and have the money to spare, listen up. With copper complex, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and omegas, this cream is formulated with high-tech plasma technology to intensify results.
Believe it or not, this range is one of Marks and Spencer’s best-selling beauty products. Complete with two different types of retinol to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, it’s one of the most-loved neck creams around.