Choose to be in touch with what is wonderful, refreshing, and healing within yourself and around you. ~Thich Naht Hahn

Show me your beautiful neck.

Written by Courtney Woodrow


Posted on May 02 2023


I’m guilty.


It was a stunning, beautiful-get-outside-now kind of morning and we took a spur of the moment springtime hike. Coastal dwellers and those who live in tune with the seasons know the formula: SUNSHINE+ BEAUTY= GO OUTSIDE. When the fog is too thick to see or the weather is too inclement, its cozy time, indoor work and hot tea.


For just such moments of spontaneity and because I manufacture and love my (yes, shameless plug) herbal sunscreen, I have it in the glove box, by the front door, in the bathroom, in the camper… and before going outside I faithfully rubbed it on my nose, cheeks and forehead. But I forgot my neck! And I had just been reading and realizing truths about neck skin. Guess what is the biggest factor in the visable aging of the neck and throat skin?


The sun.


The topic has come up because of a recent NYT article, titled: “Why Does My Neck Look So Much Older Than My Face?”  I already have a lot to say about the neck (and mine has giraffe like proportions so believe me, I’ve done the research) but here is a taste of the NYT article:


“Sun is your neck’s enemy,” Dr. Mauro said. Many signs of aging on the neck can be traced back to sun exposure. When your skin is exposed to even a little sunlight, she explained, ultraviolet A waves reach the dermis, or the skin’s inner layer, and damage the cells that are responsible for producing collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are two proteins that are essential for keeping your skin’s structure intact, said Dr. Oma Agbai, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at UC Davis Medical Center. “Collagen helps to maintain firmness of the skin, and elastin helps it resume its original shape after it has been stretched,” she said. The dermis, which comprises these proteins, “tends to be thinner on the neck compared to other parts of the body, like the face and the upper arms,” she added.




Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to a “more crepey and more wrinkled” appearance, as well as skin discoloration and sunspots, Dr. Agbai said.


It makes perfect sense.  It reminds me of what my wise yoga teacher used to relay in his thick Russian accent- “you can tell a person’s age by three things: their eyes, their hands and their neck.”


Why? Because we neglect it. When I practice yoga, a fair bit of time is spent on the neck, honoring this vital stem between head and heart; increasing its flexibility, strength, and recognition that the neck is the leader of the spine (for example: push your head further forward, note that your spine follows, and your back hunches.)  I also massage my neck nightly with cream and soft knuckles or a guasha stone. But even I forget to sunscreen my neck.


That being said, don’t be seduced to double down and purchase a face and a separate neck cream. Or facial serum and a neck serum.  It is my belief that one organic cream or serum for your face will also be wonderful for your neck. And if it ever comes around, please don’t buy special neck sunscreen. But- don’t go putting just any cream, oil, or sunscreen on your precious neck. Quality is key.


At Gaia Essentials, we are inspired by integrity and truth, inner and outer health, organics and eco-conscious practices. The neck (and the back of your hand) skin is thinner with less stem cells, muscle and bone, so it is arguably more important to love it up with hydrating products. What we create with thoughtfully chosen organic oils (I am crazy about the power of Bakuchi Oil, the closest thing to retinol in the natural world which you can find here, here and here) for the face, is beautiful for the neck, the hands and around the eye area.