The Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Decollete

The Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Decollete

As an esthetician, I help my clients achieve beautiful skin not only on their faces but also on their necks and chests. Often overlooked, the area of skin that extends down past your collarbone is referred to as the decollete or decolletage. 

“Aging happens everywhere, not just on your face.”

  • Shani Darden, esthetician

This area features delicate skin that is easily damaged by the sun and can show signs of aging faster than other places on your body. Taking care of this portion of your skin is important to maintain a youthful, healthy appearance. 

I’ll tell you what causes this area of skin to look older, how to take care of it, and how to minimize the signs of aging in this area.

What Causes Aging on the Decollete?

Most of us simply forget this part of the skin even needs care until it begins to show the hallmark signs of aging like crepiness, fine lines, and dark spots. 

Just like the skin on your face, the decollete needs proper care and attention in order to thrive. Here are some special things to keep in mind when protecting your neck and chest.

Sun Damage

Your neck and chest may have seen more than their fair share of the sun over your childhood years. These areas tend to burn faster than other areas of your body simply because of how it’s exposed on a daily basis.

But the sun’s rays can be damaging to the skin in more ways than one. UVA rays are associated with skin aging, while UVB rays are associated with skin burning. Both types of ultraviolet radiation can lead to a loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles, and sunspots.

Sunspots are dark areas that are sometimes referred to as age spots or liver spots and are caused by too much melanin production in one area, usually as a result of sun exposure. 

Free Radical Damage

The sun, pollution, and cigarette smoke are all sources of free radicals. These molecules can damage the DNA in healthy skin cells and even damage cells throughout your body. When those cells proliferate, they copy the damaged DNA to new cells, which can result in lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and long-term skincare concerns.

To protect against free radical damage, your skin needs antioxidants. These act like tiny shields on your skin, protecting the cells from free radicals. Antioxidants can even help minimize the appearance of some signs of sun damage.


As you age, it’s only natural for your skin to change. Proteins in the skin, like collagen and elastin, begin to decrease, leaving your skin looking thinner and looser, creating the perfect storm for fine lines and wrinkles to form. 

Skin cell turnover also begins to slow, which means your skin isn’t making new skin as frequently as it did when you were younger. When your skin doesn’t renew as quickly as it used to, you’ll notice the signs of aging are more pronounced and visible. 

Improper Skin Care

The neck and decollete get skipped in most people’s skincare routines. You use special cleansers on your face, treat it with serums, and protect it with moisturizers and sunscreen, but your neck and chest are usually left alone. Sometimes, you may remember to apply body lotion — but most of the time, the decollete is on its own.

Trust me — you’re doing your future self a disservice by not taking care of this skin now. And if you’re older, it’s never too late to start minimizing the signs of aging. No matter your skin type, there are some research-backed solutions that can help protect, renew, and restore the skin of the decollete. 

How Can You Protect the Decollete?

The skin on the decollete is thinner than the skin on your face. It’s similar to the skin that surrounds the eye area.

Taking care of this skin means treating it gently, just like the skin around the eyes. Avoid using harsh exfoliants, scrubs, or drying soaps, and instead, opt for gentle cleansers and use your fingertips to apply products.

Daily Routines

A consistent, daily skincare routine is the key to keeping your skin looking healthy and radiant. When you build a solid foundation, the rest falls into place. 

Because the skin on the decollete is prone to dark spots and sun damage, I recommend the Dark Spot Defense Set. It comes with everything you need to protect, restore, and minimize the effects of the sun on your neck and chest. 

Here are the superstar products in this set:

  • iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advanced +. A powerful antioxidant serum, this adds a layer of protection against environmental stressors as well as UVA and UVB arrays.

  • Supergoop! Play Everyday LotionSPF 50. My go-to sunscreen solution, this formula doubles as a lightweight moisturizer and contains natural plant botanicals to help boost hydration. 
  • Retinol Reform®. Retinol is my favorite skincare ingredient. It’s researched, it’s generally safe, and it really works. Retinol can support skin cell turnover and collagen production, helping to visibly minimize the signs of aging and reveal more youthful-looking skin. 

Some people struggle with traditional retinol because it’s so powerful that it can leave the skin irritated and flaky, especially if used incorrectly. I developed Retinol Reform to make sure every skin type can experience the benefits of retinol without increasing skin sensitivity. 

My formula features encapsulated retinol that is time-released, helping you avoid irritation. It also contains lactic acid, which is a natural exfoliant and can help smooth and brighten the skin, as well as apple fruit extract for antioxidant protection. 

Using this set every day can protect your decollete from sun damage, minimize the appearance of prior damage, and support natural collagen production.


At the end of my facials, I always offer my clients anti-aging treatments that involve vibration therapy, microcurrent, and LED light therapy. These non-invasive therapies penetrate deeply into the skin, targeting the muscles and skin cells to help relax muscles beneath creases and wrinkles, as well as support collagen production.

A favorite treatment that helps fade lines and restore skin’s texture and tone is LED light therapy. You can get these results at home with my Déesse PRO LED Light Mask device. This FDA-cleared LED light therapy device can help support collagen production, support skin cell turnover,, and help clear the skin. 


Nothing reveals youthful, glowing skin like a peel. Peels can remove the top layer of damaged skin, support cell turnover, and support collagen production. I recommend using a peel on this area twice monthly if your skin can tolerate it.

I developed the Triple Acid Signature Peel after the professional peel I give my clients. With three powerful acids (lactic, glycolic, and mandelic), you can get instant results that help fade the appearance of wrinkles, lines, and sun damage on your decollete. 

This two-step treatment also includes a mask formulated with kaolin and bentonite clay to help alleviate congested pores and clarify the skin. 

Stay Out of the Sun

I always say sunscreen is non-negotiable, and with so many options, there’s never a need to go without it (even on cloudy days or days when you’ll be indoors). However, if you know you’ll be outdoors, I recommend covering your decollete as much as possible to avoid sun damage. 

Because the skin in this area is so delicate, it will naturally burn faster than the skin on your arms and legs. You might not notice it immediately, but as soon as you come inside, you’ll realize you’re red. Wearing lightweight clothing can help keep the decollete area protected from the sun.

To that extent, try to avoid low necklines or other low-cut pieces of clothing when you spend time in the sun.


Your body lotion doesn’t cut it for your decollete. It needs better ingredients to keep it fully hydrated and protected. I recommend a moisturizer or lotion with hyaluronic acid, a molecule that can help your skin draw in moisture and keep it locked in, protecting your skin against dehydration and ensuring your skin doesn’t feel dry. 

For normal to dry skin, try my Hydration Peptide Cream to boost hydration and seal in moisture. Other popular moisturizing ingredients include glycerin, rosehip seed oil, cocoa butter, and collagenpeptides.

The Bottom Line

Aging happens everywhere, not just on your face. You’ll begin to notice the signs of aging on your decollete soon after you notice the lines and wrinkles on your face. 

You can protect against premature aging by taking care of this skin with proper skincare products and treatments that are designed to support your overall skin health. The next time you start your A.M. or P.M. skincare routine, don’t forget about this area of your skin. 

For more skin tips, as well as a lineup of my favorite skincare products, visit my blog.


Red Light Therapy: Benefits, Side Effects & Uses | My Cleveland

Antioxidants in dermatology | PMC

Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans | PMC


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