Décolleté (Neck & Chest)

By Janine Falcon

Décolleté is a pretty word for neck and cleavage—and, of course, it’s a French one. The moisturizing and pampering of it has been part of French women’s beauty regimen for a long time but in North America, we’re just warming up to the notion of including this zone as part of our skincare routine.

“Most clothing leaves the décolleté exposed, so it gets more chronic UV exposure than we’re aware of,” explains Dr. Frances Jang, a cosmetic dermatologist in Vancouver. This is something we barely think about until our late 30s, when suddenly we notice something’s different and, as usual, not in a good way. “It’s like thinking we don’t eat junk food and being shocked at the reality when keeping a food diary reveals the truth,” says Jang. “Once those signs of damage become visible, many women in their 30s and 40s just give up wearing anything revealing.”

Common characteristics of a neglected décolleté are fine wrinkling on the upper chest and in the crease of the cleavage, brown spots, thinning skin and redness. Most of these can be attributed to sun damage, says Dr. Diane Madfes, a dermatologist in New York City and consulting dermatologist for Garnier Nutritioniste. Décolleté skin is thinner, has fewer oil glands and is more sensitive than the skin on the face, making it vulnerable to irritation as well as sun damage.

Best Health Magazine, Summer 2009




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