We talk a lot about anti-aging on Best Products, covering everything from retinol eye creams and wrinkle-fighting face massagers to more intensive treatments like chemical peels. Though we always stand behind the products we feature, sometimes we forget that we should give equal attention to our skin below the face. Luckily, that’s where neck serums come in handy. Neck serums are lightweight and contain a high concentration of active ingredients to treat signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and lack of firmness.
To help you treat and prevent signs of aging on your neck, our beauty editor, Nicole Saunders, asked one of our most trusted medical experts for a breakdown of everything you need to know about neck serums.
Best Neck Serums
What to Consider
Neck Serums Versus Neck Creams
Why do we need a serum or cream specifically for our necks? Can we just use our face cream or serum? The skin on our necks is thinner and more sensitive than our faces and bodies. So, neck serums are designed to target anti-aging needs for the delicate skin of our necks.
How do neck serums compare to neck creams? Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Lauren Prenzi, M.D. says neck creams are usually thicker and more hydrating than neck serums. “They can also be very good for anti-aging, but will not contain as high a concentration of certain active ingredients as serums,” she says.
So, when should you use a neck serum instead of a neck cream? Prenzi says neck creams work well for general maintenance, hydration, and prevention of photoaging and photodamage. When you want to target more specific concerns such as pigmentation, fine lines, and more advanced photoaging, she recommends including a neck serum in your regimen every day. If you can only afford one neck product and you're concerned about things beyond hydration, your best bet is a neck serum.
As any skincare enthusiast will tell you, it's essential to understand a product's ingredient label. "When shopping for a neck serum, keep the specific issues you want to target in mind (dryness, fine lines/wrinkles, pigment issues, etc.), as some ingredients are better for some issues than others," says Prenzi. "Keep in mind also how sensitive your skin is, since some ingredients, such as retinol and alpha hydroxy acids can be very irritating." Here, Prenzi, and fellow derm Dr. Hadley King, M.D., share a few of their go-to ingredients that are most beneficial for a neck serum.
- Growth factors and peptides increase collagen and elastin to visibly firm and lift skin.
- Niacinamide, sometimes called vitamin B-3, helps support the skin barrier and helps fade hyperpigmentation and improving uneven skin texture.
- Retinol is a form of vitamin A and helps diminish fine lines and wrinkles. If you have sensitive skin, you can try a super gentle retinol neck cream, like the Retinol Anti-Aging Serum from The INKEY List.
- Humectants like hyaluronic acid (found in the Tata Harper Boosted Contouring Serum) and glycerin are great for hydrating and plumping the skin.
- Emollients, such as triglycerides and ceramides, are great for supporting the skin barrier.
How We Chose
Neck serums are an excellent way to treat and prevent signs of aging, like wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin, but what does this all mean for you? Well, Saunders carefully researched neck serums across your most trusted retailers, including Sephora and Amazon, and found promising options totally worth your money. For added reassurance, she asked our experts for their honest feedback on each neck serum, and these five made the final cut.