Trea­sure chest – why skin­care should ex­tend beyond your face

When it comes to skin­care, our faces get all the TLC. But what about the area that lies be­neath?

Grazia (UK) - - Contents - WOR DS H A NNAH COATE S

on av­er­age, we spend nine min­utes a day on our skin­care rou­tines – cleans­ing like crazy, slap­ping on serums and main­lin­ing masks like there’s no to­mor­row, in pur­suit of healthy, youth­ful com­plex­ions. But when you think skin­care, does only your face spring to mind? Be­cause, when it comes to keep­ing your skin on side, that’s where you’re go­ing wrong. ‘Many of us don’t re­alise that the dé­col­letage ex­tends from the bot­tom of the ear­lobe to the ex­posed part of the bust and shoul­der line,’ says Dr Lancer, Bey­oncé and Kim K’s go-to der­ma­tol­o­gist. So how to take care of that?

RE­THINK YOUR ROU­TINE

Ask any der­ma­tol­o­gist worth their salt, and they’ll rec­om­mend a from-the-nipple-up ap­proach to ap­ply­ing skin­care prod­ucts. Why? An ex­ten­sion of our face, the chest area has fewer oil glands than the rest of our body, which makes it prone to de­hy­dra­tion and a crêpey ap­pear­ance. Pair that with the fact it’s of­ten ne­glected in the SPF arena and you have ad­vanced pig­men­ta­tion and sub­se­quent col­la­gen re­duc­tion to boot.

Nat­u­rally, pre­ven­tion is key, but don’t worry if you’ve al­ready gone too far. ‘Use

ac­tive in­gre­di­ents, like bright­en­ing and col­la­gen-boost­ing vi­ta­min C, cell-re­new­ing retinol, ex­fo­li­at­ing gly­colic, tone-evening niaci­namide and spot-bust­ing sal­i­cylic acid to help even out the dé­col­letage’s colour to that of your neck and face,’ says Dr Lancer. Aes­thetic doc­tor Dr Maryam Za­mani agrees, tout­ing SPF as her every­day es­sen­tial to ward off age­ing, as well as fine lines, creas­ing and sag­ging.

BOOBS MEAN BUSI­NESS

Beauty brands have in­creased their focus on dé­col­letage re­cently, with prod­ucts specif­i­cally for­mu­lated for that area.

Take Fil­le­rina [1], a top­i­cal hyaluronic acid (HA) filler in a light gel that con­tains eight types/dif­fer­ent sizes of HA (to help pen­e­trate skin on ev­ery level) and three dif­fer­ent types of col­la­gen. The top­i­cal col­la­gen kick-starts the skin’s own nat­u­ral col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, while the HA holds up to 1,000 times its weight in wa­ter and thereby plumps and hy­drates the area. Think of it as top­i­cal filler with­out the nee­dles. There are two op­tions, Grade 4, which is for no­tice­able wrin­kles and sag­ging (£115), and Grade 5 for se­vere and deep fur­rows (£140).

Sarah Chap­man, who has been known to tend to Meghan Markle’s face and dé­col­letage, in­cludes a Neck and Chest Re­ju­ve­nat­ing Com­plex [2], £59, in her range. It’s a silky cream that helps soften dull, dry skin and con­tains in­gre­di­ents like niaci­namide to help re­pair skin dam­age.

Mean­while, Clar­ins’ Bust Beauty Ex­tra-lift Gel [3], £44, uses oat sug­ars to form a firm­ing film over the breasts’ sur­face, lead­ing to a a tighter feel. Or try Mio’s Boob Tube+ Multi Ac­tion Bust Cream, £29.50, rich in omega oils to smooth and for­tify the skin’s sur­face, or Prai’s new Age­less Bust Crème [4], £30, which calls it­self a ‘padded bra in a jar’ and con­tains a spe­cial ex­tract that has a ‘fill­ing’ ef­fect to make boobs look plumper. 

And don’t for­get your boob mask ei­ther; yes, you heard right, there’s now a se­lec­tion of masks on of­fer specif­i­cally for the chest. Nan­nette de Gaspé’s Bust Dry Mask [5], £130, prom­ises to de­fine the breast thanks to clever, ‘tech­stile’ tech­nol­ogy that sees HA and marine col­la­gen dry-printed (or in­fused) on to the mask. The only down­side? You need to wear it for an hour each day for six days in a row. Com­mit­ment-phobes might pre­fer Skin Laun­dry’s Wrin­kle Re­lease Neck & Chest Sheet Mask, £14, which con­tains a se­lec­tion of or­ganic veg­etable ex­tracts to help lessen lines and brighten skin. And for the lazi­est? Lancer’s Con­tour Decol­leté Firm­ing Con­cen­trate [6], £185, is ex­pen­sive, but con­tains marine cone snail venom to com­bat wrin­kles and boost col­la­gen.

RUB IT IN

From Meghan to Mossy, those in-the­know swear by fa­cials that use mas­sage to ben­e­fit the face, neck and dé­col­letage. Celebrity fa­cial­ist Michaella Bolder is known for her firm-handed mas­sage tech­nique dur­ing her treat­ments, but says you can also do it your­self at home. ‘ You should be mas­sag­ing this area ev­ery day – it’s still part of the face,’ she says. ‘ The breast mus­cle and the fas­cia tis­sue that sit un­derneath the skin both hold so much ten­sion that if it doesn’t get loos­ened out, it can bring the shoul­ders for­ward.’

First, stim­u­late your lymph nodes, which are re­spon­si­ble for drain­ing the body of tox­ins and sit around your col­lar­bone in­side the base of the neck, by us­ing four of your fin­gers to hook in­side the bone and press down, slowly, 10 times. ‘On the lower side of the col­lar­bone, use sweep­ing mo­tions to slide the same four fin­gers from the cen­tre to where your shoul­der blades start,’ ad­vises Michaella. This light, sweep­ing mo­tion helps gen­tly move sur­face fluid and ac­ti­vates the detox­i­fi­ca­tion process.

Start the mas­sage us­ing a prod­uct that gives enough slip so that the skin doesn’t drag. Michaella rec­om­mends Time Bomb’s Trou­bleshooter Neck & Jaw Cream [7], £37, or Romilly Wilde’s Ac­tive Boost Face Oil [8], £75. ‘ With deep pres­sure and big sweep­ing cir­cu­lar mo­tions, use the palms of your hands to work from the cen­tre of your chest, round to the shoul­der, and then back around the breast,’ says Michaella, who also sug­gests us­ing the op­po­site hand to the shoul­der you’re work­ing around. Then use cir­cu­lar mo­tions in-be­tween the boobs to help stave off tram lines and stim­u­late col­la­gen pro­duc­tion. Af­ter you’ve done this for as long as you have time for, go back to the drain­ing tech­niques you be­gan with.

OFF YOUR CHEST

Where skin­care fails (a top­i­cal prod­uct can only do so much), der­ma­tol­o­gists also of­fer treat­ments of vary­ing de­grees that can help tar­get the pig­men­ta­tion, fine lines, un­even tex­ture and sal­low­ness. ‘If you’re suf­fer­ing from pig­men­ta­tion and have a [ lighter] skin tone that can burn, IPL [ in­tense pulsed light ther­apy] is a great way to help,’ says Dr Za­mani. ‘Skin can’t be sun­tanned when do­ing it so this is a good treat­ment to have

‘ The breast mus­cle and fas­cia tis­sue un­derneath the skin hold ten­sion’

dur­ing win­ter months.’ You’ll need up to five treat­ments, one month apart. Head to efmedispa.com for IPL treat­ments na­tion­wide (from £280).

For wrin­kled tex­ture, Dr Za­mani’s Glow Re­hab treat­ment ( dr­maryamza­mani.com, from £1,500) com­bines three dif­fer­ent treat­ments to tackle skin from all an­gles: Profhilo, PRP and Laser Gen­e­sis. ‘Profhilo treat­ment is where a form of hyaluronic acid is gen­tly in­jected into the skin to hy­drate deeply while stim­u­lat­ing col­la­gen,’ ex­plains Dr Za­mani. PRP is where we take the blood (and iso­late the platelet-rich plasma) and rein­ject it into the skin to stim­u­late col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, and fi­nally Laser Gen­e­sis is a laser that helps stim­u­late col­la­gen.’

Ra­diofre­quency is another treat­ment gain­ing trac­tion. Plas­tic sur­geon Pa­trick Mal­lucci, med­i­cal di­rec­tor at Mal­lucci Lon­don ( mal­lucci-lon­don.com), ad­vo­cates it for ‘skin tight­en­ing and re­gen­er­a­tion’. He com­bines it with Profhilo and rec­om­mends from three to six treat­ments, sep­a­rated by a cou­ple of weeks. Then there’s ulther­apy, which uses ul­tra­sound tech­nol­ogy to tighten and lift the skin on the chest for up to two years. ‘ Treat­ment is un­com­fort­able, but you only need one,’ says Dr Za­mani. You should then see pro­nounced re­sults within six months.

LIVE AND LET LIFT

Look­ing for an al­ter­na­tive to breast im­plants? ‘A lot of women who come to me want their im­plants taken out,’ says plas­tic sur­geon and breast spe­cial­ist Dr Roz­ina Ali, ‘ but still want the breast vol­ume they once had with them in. For that, I sug­gest lipofill­ing.’ This process in­jects fat taken from the thighs, knees and un­derneath the bum into breast tis­sue. It’s a lot less in­va­sive than breast aug­men­ta­tion and helps build shape with­out surgery.

Al­ter­na­tively, the PDO Thread Lift, a tech­nique that in­volves in­sert­ing su­per-fine mi­cro threads (with a nee­dle, so no scars) through the mid lay­ers of skin to lift the breast. As well as lift­ing skin, the threads prompt bet­ter col­la­gen pro­duc­tion and makes boobs look fuller and firmer. It lasts around nine months, by which time the threads dis­solve into the body. Dr Barbara Ku­bicka in Lon­don’s Clin­icbe spe­cialises in PDO Thread Lift ( clin­icbe.com, from £380).

EVEN STEVENS

Never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of make-up. ‘Look for light­weight prod­ucts, like a tinted mois­turiser or CC cream. A full-on foun­da­tion can be age­ing and messy,’ says make-up pro Mel Arter. A faux tan can work won­ders too, but be care­ful. ‘If the chest has vis­i­ble pig­men­ta­tion or sun dam­age, as they of­ten do, fake tans can cling lighter and darker in cer­tain patches,’ says tan­ning ex­traor­di­naire James Harknett, who rec­om­mends a non­com­mit­tal wash-off tan­ner. Vita Lib­er­ata’s Body Blur [9], £29.50, is name-checked by both pros, as well as the Grazia beauty team, and of­fers the ul­ti­mate, even, glowy tan in just a swipe of a mitt.

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