10 years ago by

We’ve all become sunblock pros.

And honestly, we’re talking beauty products in general here. We cleanse, moisturize, put on our SPF, and even try to eat well and stay active. We don’t even really have to think about SPF anymore since most moisturizers have it in them already.

We’ve gotten so good at protecting our face from the sun.

But what about your necks?
And our chest? Our hands? What about our arms?

My mother always told me that you have to protect these zones as much as you do your face. These are sensitive areas that are always exposed and that age faster, wrinkle, get sun spots, and whatever other amazing things are caused by UV rays.

I have to admit… I always only half-listened to what she was saying. Even today – and I notice it even more so right now since I’m currently under the relentless LA sun – I’m barely paying attention. And it’s worse in winter when I can’t detach myself from the magic thought that just “because it’s cold, the sun isn’t as strong.” Yeah, sure.

I always think about this great text from Nora Ephron, who wrote this in her 60s…

“Sometimes I go out to lunch with my girlfriends—I got that far into the sentence and caught myself. I suppose I mean my women friends. We are no longer girls and have not been girls for forty years. Anyway, sometimes we go out to lunch and I look around the table and realize we’re all wearing turtleneck sweaters. Sometimes, instead, we’re all wearing scarves, like Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond. Sometimes we’re all wearing mandarin collars and look like a white ladies’ version of the Joy Luck Club. It’s sort of funny and it’s sort of sad, because we’re not neurotic about age—none of us lies about how old she is, for instance, and none of us dresses in a way that’s inappropriate for our years. We all look good for our age. Except for our necks.”

Am I going to end up one day with a perfectly preserved face and a neckline ravaged by sun-damage?
What do you do to protect your hands? I’m talking real life here, where you can’t put on sunblock every time you need to wash you hands… Or maybe you can?

Have you figured out the trick or are you as negligent as I am?

Can we try to get each other motivated here? Or are we all going to end up sitting around a table at a café at age 60 with turtle necks on? Well… Say it like that and it doesn’t sound so bad after all!


Add yours
  • I love your illustration!! It’s beautiful!! My mother also tells me the same thing, but the truth is I do not care much my neck. Luckily I love scarves!

  • WELL LIVING BLOG October, 23 2013, 9:26

    You mom is so right ! Living on all year around sunny place like Tenerife , it turns a compulsory gesture

    XX Luba

    * Fabulous MICHAEL KORS bag GIVEAWAY on

  • TO be honest I am terrible about that I never even think if it. And I life in South Florida where it is sunny 80% of the time.


  • I’m less concerned than most people because I’m dark skinned (God bless Melanine!).
    That being said, my Mom tells me quite regularly that I have to pay attention to these areas because they’re usually neglected and that’s how you can really tell if a woman is really “mature” or not.
    So yeah, your Mom is right, we have to take really good care of our necks!
    Xoxo! Cory

  • ever since i started using cream on my face i included my neck and decolletage too :)

  • Your mum is right!!!
    I have Asian origins so I’m quite dark and don’t do anything special to protect my nech skin…
    (except when I’m sunbathing at the beach…)
    Verny nice illustration by the way!!!

    Le monde des petites

  • Absolutely in love with the illustration, but not so in love with scarves. Consequences of living in Canary Islands


    My moleskine by nailee

  • Et bien, le plus souvent, ces zones, on les oublie. A tort. L’illustration est vraiment canon !

  • I’m the same! I am so diligent about wearing SPF 50 (this one is my favourite on my face every single day, but I always forget about my neck and hands! I guess the best you could do for protecting your hands it maybe use a hand cream with SPF in it, or try to remember to apply before heading out.

  • Je vis dans un pays où le soleil frappe fort 360 jours par an… En effet, impossible de se tartiner de crème toutes les deux heures, on est pas à la plage ! La solution? Ne pas s’exposer… Et sinon, oui, quand on fait son soin du visage, on étend jusqu’au décolleté !

  • Neck seems to have a life of its own no matter what you do with it. I have always taken care of it as much as of my face and yet it seems to be 20 years older than my face!

  • Ma mère porte toujours des gants dès quelle sort, même en plein été, afin de protéger ses mains. Il faut dire aussi qu’elle est musicienne, et donc que ses mains sont ce qu’il y a de plus important pour elle, et elle fait donc tout pour les protéger.

    En ce qui me concerne, j’ai toujours un foulard/une écharpe autour du cou, ou dans mon sac à main au moins. Je me sais fragile à ce niveau-là, et fait donc attention. Maintenant que je sais qu’il y a en plus des risques de vieillissement accéléré de ces zones pour négligence, je crois que je vais faire encore plus attention à cela !

  • Le pédiatre de mes filles me dit qu’à force de trop de protéger du soleil, on a des carences en vitamines D et le rachitisme revient en force dans certains pays… Attention à la diabolisation du soleil, notre peau et notre organisme en ont aussi besoin! Moi je ne me protège pas lorsque je vais à la plage, mais j’y vais après 16h, et certaines études ont montré que les fameux écrans totaux sont aussi nocifs, voire plus, que le soleil!

  • Je pense pareil. Il vaut mieux laisser passer un peu de soleil par quelque part pour qu’on puisse se fabriquer de la vitamine D – nécessaire pour nos os mais aussi pour notre humeur!

    Turtlenecks, la pêche et la folie de Diane Keaton dans Something’s Gotta Give! Pourquoi pas? ;)

  • Caroline Mt October, 23 2013, 9:33 / Reply

    Je suis d’accord avec Mafalda, il ne faut pas tomber dans l’excès inverse qui comporte tout autant de risques.

  • Danielle October, 23 2013, 9:39 / Reply

    Your illustration is just so beautiful! Being close to 60, I can relate to this question of what to do about the neck area. I do admire women who let it all show – including wearing low-cut dresses/blouses and letting all the “nooks and crannies” just hang right out there, ala Helen Mirren…However – I just like to keep all the funky bits to myself. I love a great Hermes scarf or a tight black turtle neck. It’s not that one is necessarily trying to look younger, but rather aiming to look the best that one can at any given age. The minute I try putting on a round-neck top, it ages me by a good 10 years. Who needs that!

  • Samantha October, 23 2013, 9:41 / Reply

    I believe you do what you can to take care of yourself, and that living long enough to worry about your neck’s appearance is a privilege.

    Now, about turtlenecks…. let’s give them more recognition for their service! They can be signature – think Diane Keaton. Or used to detract and disguise – per Nora Ephron. Or as my dermatologist says – preventative!

  • I am trying not to forget about the sun protection of my hands, neck and chest (not so much about arms and shoulders, my fault) and so far it all look good but who knows in 20-30 years? I have one cream from Mary Kay that has SPF and is made for use on hands, neck and chest, so I have just one product for everything. And it works well against wrinkles.

  • I was going to comment this post, but I have to run and moisturize my neck. Bye!

  • My mother has always been vigilant about protecting her skin from the sun since she was a teenager (at a time when when everyone else was lathering up with tanning oil and laying out in the sun for hours on end), and made sure all of my brothers and sisters wore sunblock and hats ALL the time when we would go outside. And her skin is still young and wrinkle-free.

  • Caroline Thorn October, 23 2013, 9:54 / Reply

    I use a Swiss product intended specifically for that area- Alchimie Forever Firming Gel for neck and bust. Works for firming and also reducing sun spots. Serious magic.

  • As someone who grew up at a time when people in the U.S. weren’t so savvy about sun exposure (because clearly your mother was and she has to be at least my age) all I can say is LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER! I don’t just “feel bad” about my neck, I hate it.

    But I love your drawing and yesterday’s video as well.

  • aaarg Je suis devenue une vrai parano du soleil depuis 2/3 ans et j’ai pourtant tendance a negliger la protection de mon decolte.. mon estheticienne m’a dit un truc qui m’a fait flippe l’autre fois: les femmes de nos jours a 50 ans on un visage qui fait 50ans , un cou qui fait 60ans et un decolte qui fait en fait 65! Je crois que je vais etre plus serieuse sur l’etalement de la creme :)

  • The neck seems so left out, but so important! It’s the one that turns the head ;)

    Your Friend, Jess

  • Beautiful illustration, love it! I was so lazy and stupid with protecting my skin from the sun and I payed for it, had to have a white skin cancer removed last year! I’m 43 now and until I was about 25 I used to “sunbake” like crazy, so stupid! Luckily I’m having good genes and I still look younger than I actually am, but the cancer diagnosis last year was a shock! It was only the “white skin cancer” and I’m perfectly fine now, but one thing is so so very sure: I’m teaching my girls to stay out of the sun! They little girls now and I always tell them the phrase: “Clever people stay in the shade”! It’s really sweet how they already copy me now and when I sit in the sun for some minutes they come to me and say: “hey mummy, you are being silly, go sit in the shade”! Clever girls! I think we should keep that in mind, it’s also a beauty thing to protect your skin from the sun, but it is manly a health thing and skin cancer still kill too many people each year! So go do your yearly skin checks with your dermatologist and don’t forget to also check between your toes and check your foot soles too! Lot’s of deadly skin cancers spread from there!!! because people see them too late!

    And for the neck and arm and hand question, I use my face cream with SFP 50 for my face, neck, decoltée and arms.

  • Well, here I am a 62 year lady that reads your posts every day. I just love them. Ah, the neck…one day you wake up and glance in the mirror and there ii is, your sagging neck. Honestly, you are very surprised. I think that you just start to embrace it. You have worked very hard using everything you can on your face and go all the way to the décolleté. I like a sunscreen called Topix that I also use on my hands. However, if you are like me you wash your hands often and hopefully have a hand crème in your handbag, every sink in the house and your hands age better than most. I still wear low cut tops and dresses and guess what? My breasts still get noticed. Slather it on and have fun. Oh, and drink lots of water. It certainly helps plump it all up. I just love to open up my computer and see all this from you lovely ladies.

  • Vivant en Floride depuis 10 ans, je m’enduis de SPF autant que possible, c’est a dire sur toute etendue de peau depassant d’un vetement, quelquefois au risque de “coller” mais on “colle” de toutes facons a cause de la chaleur et de l’humidite.
    Toutefois, je suis pour un joli foulard autout du cou et le dessin est tres reussi.

  • Christine October, 23 2013, 10:39 / Reply

    I carry an SPF sunblock stick (I think it’s Neutrogena Baby) in my purse all the time. It’s small and not as potentially messy as a tube of cream. And I do put it (or some other sunblock) on my hands whenever I go out. Our grandmothers wore gloves all the time when they were outside — this is the closest I can get to that.

  • I use Neutrogena Baby as well. I apply it to the tops of my hands and feet…..when I remember.

  • i am turning 28 this Dec and now I am like a good kid, putting on my Clinique laser focus essense on my neck twice a day. simpily becuz you know aging is coming to you!!!!

  • RV au café à 60 ans .

  • Le cc dans le YouTube ,pitié je ne comprend pas.
    De l’aide SVP .

  • “parce qu’il fait froid, le soleil n’est pas aussi puissant” effectivement dis comme ça c’est faux mais le soleil EST moins fort en hiver c’est vrai. le rayonnement UV arrivant sur terre dépend de la position du soleil (angle, altitude) : plus la distance que le rayon parcourt dans l’atmosphère est grande COMME EN HIVER, plus le rayonnement UV diminue, car il a plus de chance de réagir avec l’atmosphère et notamment l’ozone. par contre au ski attention car on est en altitude donc plus proche du soleil et la neige réfléchit beaucoup les rayons.
    donc stop à l’excès toujours l’excès, en été je met toujours de la 50 visage et corps et je ne m’expose pas entre 11H et 16H. par contre en hiver à paris franchement quand j’ai l’occasion d’être un peu dehors et au soleil je ne cours pas chercher ma 50 !
    (je suis interne en endocrinologie et j’ai demande à un spécialiste du cancer de la peau qui m’a confirmé toutes ces infos, inutile de se balader avec un écran totale en hiver à paris)

  • top! Ca rassure :)

  • I’m totally, totally vigilant against the sun. I live in L.A. Two important things to remember: 1) Protect your face from the sun coming into the left side of your car when you drive, not just your face, but your arm as well. Don’t hang it out the window! Use the sun visor by always swiveling it around to protect yourself. 2) Protect the back of your arms. Most people only put sunscreen on their forearms. But look at the area on the back of the arms just above the elbows. Seriously, you might be shocked at the damage already done.

    As a bonus suggestion, I am alerting everyone to pay particular attention to the nose. The nose receives more rays than the rest of the face. Put on whatever cream you use with sun protection to the face, but on the nose, take out the 45 psf and apply a dab. Every morning.

  • My mom is an esthetician and always says the same thing to me but I a- don’t really think about it and b- don’t see it realistic to reapply all day. So I don’t. But I should.


  • COVER YOUR NECKS!! Hats and scarves in the sun. Sun block is not enough. Once the damage is done, even the best surgeons are limited in what they can do. Botox does wonders for a while, but the only way to recover a relatively smooth neck, is through surgery. And that’s, a bitch of a surgery. I don’t care what anyone says. At 60, I still care greatly about how my neck looks…..especially from….underneath…if you catch my drift? COVER. YOUR. NECKS. IN. THE. SUN!!

  • Moi, j’adore l’élégance un peu strict des cols roulés qui mettent en valeur le visage. Je ne les ai jamais envisagés comme “cache-cou”.

  • Catherine October, 23 2013, 11:38 / Reply

    I hope you find a solution for hands. A friend got a melanoma on her hand (found early, she is OK now). My hands look terrible–full of spots, with wrinkles. Though I put 50 SPF on my arms every morning, it of course comes off as soon as I wash my hands. I want protection only on the backs of my hands, too, not on my fingertips, so I don’t get it in my eyes inadvertently.
    As for the neck, ditto. My face has few wrinkles for my age (52) but my neck makes up for it. I lived in Africa for a few years long, long ago, and I have an almost permanent triangle of tan/age spots in my décolletage now. I have been wearing rash guards for several years to avoid exposure when swimming–they’re great because you don’t have to worry about your protection washing off, plus they aren’t full of chemicals ;)
    For the face, I wear a hat to keep the sun off without chemicals. Actually, I put on 50 SPF, but then I’m not so good about reapplying, so I rely on the hat for later protection.
    Mostly, I stay in the shade.
    For vitamin D, all you need is to put your forearms in the sun for 15 minutes a day. My dad, who is constantly getting cancerous spots whittled off his face, back and arms, is careful to expose nothing more than the underside of his forearms for his daily quarter-hour dose.
    As for wrinkly necks, mine seems to look worse with a turtleneck. The skin is sort of dropping from the chin, just like my mom’s did, and I think nothing short of surgery will change that–and I’m not interested. Scarves seem softer, but are out of the question in summer–too hot!

  • So I work at Starbucks along with being an MFA student and you notice the neck area. I’m originally from Florida also and I can say that neck and chest area need sunblock. There’s so many women who come in and you can tell how old they really are by their chest and neck or a woman can look older than her age. I honestly don’t think about the hands because if feel like you have less control over. My mom has prominent veins so her hands tend to look older. I’m black so sometimes I forget to do the chest and neck thinking it’s not a big deal but my skin is several shades lighter there so it’s important to actually moisturize and use sunblock.

  • Comment ne pas regretter le port des gants, des foulards, des chapeaux, si féminins et protecteurs pour nos peaux ! Heureusement la mode nous permet de remettre ces accessoires.
    Parce qu’il est vrai, la meilleure chirurgie esthétique ne saura cacher les mains taches…

  • Là pour le coup je ne me sens pas vraiment concernée par le sujet comme à chaque fois que tu parles de protection solaire, bronzage etc etc…(j’ai la peau noire)… En revanche ça fait toujours plaisir de voir une nouvelle illustration :)


  • Gigi – question peut-être stupide, mais du coup tu ne te protèges pas ?

  • @ Garance: Non, jamais! En fait, je m’hydrate la peau tous les jours (même quand j’étais bébé ma mère enduisait quotidiennement de crème hydratante pour protéger ma peau du climat extérieur, chaud ou froid) mais c’est tout.

    Et non ta question n’est pas stupide ;)

  • Very nice illustration, great post!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • Such a beautiful illustration!

  • Well said! I love these insightful posts. Awesome!


  • Anything I do to my face includes my neck – sunscreen, moisturizer etc. The whole neck and some upper shoulder even, not just the front – I notice that some people forget the back of their neck. Melanin is my friend and all but still. I also like to wear loose neck scarves for fashion reasons but they pull double duty.

    I’m indoors majority of the time but I do enjoy being in the sun :)

  • electro-acupuncture pour le visage et le cou, y a pas mieux. ca stimule la production de collagène et efface les ridules. ensuite tout le monde pense que tu ne vieillit pas et comme on ne peut repérer aucune trace de botox sur ton visage ou ton decollete, il suffit de dire que du dors et bois beaucoup d’eau.

  • Angela T. October, 23 2013, 12:28 / Reply

    Garance, you have to check out Asian women in America. They are OBSESSED with skin coverage. If you ever need pointers on how to protect your skin, you need to learn from the best! From my observation, these women were usually born in another country (Korea, China, Vietnam), but they now reside in the US. They do anything and everything to protect themselves from the sun – moisturizers and SPF of course, but also driving gloves, long sleeve shirts, separate sleeves just to wear when out in the sun (like bicycling sleeves), visors that actually cover ALL of their face (these are sold in almost every Asian supermarket), plenty of scarves, and gauzy face masks. These women are the experts! This article would’ve not raised an eyebrow in this community – been there, done that.

  • Jacqueline Thompson October, 23 2013, 12:32 / Reply

    GENIUS resurfacing pads – I do my face then my decolletage and finally the backs of my hands. Wrinkle free zones.

    Garance there’s another area too we should not overlook — ear lobes!!!!! Xx

  • After applying sunscreen to my face, I take what’s left over and rub it over the tops of my hands. This is when I’m at my laziest. Also, I always spread serum and face cream over my neck! Once it’s a habit, I’ve stopped thinking about it.

  • Sunprotection, for sure, always and everywhere. But, just because the high heels issue came up just lately, the front of your neck is also very sensitive to a bad posture. If you wear heels a lot and are not aware of keeping your core muscles tense all the time to erect your pelvis, you’ ll fall into a hollow back which brings the whole static of your spine out of order ending in a back bend…. NECK! That causes a permament tension on the skin and weakens the muscles and squeezes the capillars and nerves and “suddenly” you have it: the turkey neck.
    Ladies, pass on the high heels, I could tell you so much more about the negative effects on your whole body….

  • You can tell the age of someone (especially a woman) just by looking at his neck, décolleté and hands. this is so true and so scary!

  • Bonjour Garance,
    Je vis et je conduis mon auto à 3000m d’altitude tous les jours. Alors, pour mes mains, je mets des gants … Je trouve que c’est plus simple que de réappliquer du SPF chaque fois que je me lave les mains !
    Bonne journée

  • Ma grand-mère, pas du tout ridée, mais avec un cou ridé m’a toujours dit “la crème, ça va jusque dans le cou!” Et donc toujours fait, j’écoute ma Manou tous les jours. (et je suis très fière d’en avoir parlé à une copine, qui me dit que tous les jours maintenant elle pense moi en mettant de la crème dans le cou!”
    Par contre, j’avoue le décolleté… Autant, ouiouioui, je le protège en éé (peau blanche de Bretonne qui pls est), quand je vois le décoletté de ma mère qui est rouge à l’année à cause d’UN giga coup de soleil, voila…
    Mais la crème dans le décolleté, bah, que quand je porte un décoletté quand je mets la crème le matin… Je m’habille avant de le make up, et flemme de me mettre en soutif pour mettre de la crème la matin !

  • find your perfect couture scarf, poncho and cape –true luxury, one of a kind, hand-sewn

    Janet Deleuse Label

  • I only wish I had put as much energy into my neck as I have my face. At 44 I’m starting to see the changes [and my mom] coming out.

    I keep slathering on Clarins Night Oil because it worked so well for my face. I don’t know what to say except that I’m putting a lot of effort into it now. Hopefully not too late.

  • I’m a bit obsessed with skincare, so sunblock is definitely folded into that obsession. I’ve been slathering it on my face since I was 18, but only started doing other stuff (like reapplying it in the afternoon, wearing a hat and sunglasses, avoiding the sun between 10 – 2) for the past few years. I think I’ve always covered my neck though since I normally squeeze more sunblock out from the tube than I need. I didn’t always cover my chest, but now I cover that along with anything else that is exposed (arms, feet, legs, etc.). It is tedious, but once I made it a habit, it feels weird if I don’t do it.

  • Mireille October, 23 2013, 2:21 / Reply

    je fais hyper attention au cou, au décolleté et aux mains, donc crèmage matin et soir, plus masque
    et aussi une fois par mois, je vais chez une facialist à Paris dans le 6ème arrondissement. Elle a une technique qui muscle visage, cou et décolleté plus masque hydatant et tonifiant. le soin dure 1h 15
    c’est ma stratégie anti âge! Le laser fait des merveilles aussi mais là c’est pour beaucoup beaucoup beaucoup plus tard:-)

  • Sounds like your mom and my mom would be friends. My mom always keeps a little roll on tube of SPF in her car (usually meant for babies) and applies it to her hands and other areas that might catch sun while she drives. I’ve started to do the same thing too.

  • An older friend of mine told me to protect my neck, and I have been using sunblock (as well as moisturizers and serums) there since. People won’t be able to tell how old I am through my face and neck, but my hands…. that’s another story as there doesn’t seem to be many hand lotions with SPF added.

    Arielle from Tangled Musings

  • Garance, you have wonderfully captured the face proportions in your drawing. Love it!

  • At 51, I have realized that I sadly neglected my neck, chest, and inner arms all those years I was slathering sunscreen on my face, shoulders, and lower arms. Nothing worse that looking down and seeing the beginnings of a wrinkly décolletage. (Except that now I tend to throw my shoulders back more to stretch out the wrinkles, so at least my posture is better!)

  • The skin on our neck is naturally more delicate. I have been moisturizing my face and using my skin protectors since i was 18 but my neck.. oh no !
    Thank you for the reminder. I have an extra jar of skin cream and I am going to dedicate it to my neck, night and day. I hope it’s not too late !

  • Oh, my! I’ve been trying to figure it out for ages! (No, seriously!)
    I use heavy spf on my face, and have very (VERY) fair skin. But my neck and hands look as if I attached them from someone else. I hate when my skin has different shades. I am a spf-freak, I slather it on every time I go outside in the sun, but it washes off, sweats off, or just become inactive after a few hours, I can’t stop in the middle of the street and start trying to rub in some spf to some funny places now, can I?
    Sometimes I think I’ll just start to wear a hijab or a kimono with long sleevs…

  • I loved it!!!
    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • eh oui ! il faut mourir jeune pour ne jamais avoir de rides ! c’est inévitable, ne nous prenons la tête alors qu’il nous reste (en principe) une trentaine d’années avant d’avoir un visage plus ou moins ridé (selon les gênes) qui est souvent plus joli que les visages botoxés ou liftés que l’on voit très souvent à la tv ou au cinéma !
    Bien sûr, il faut se protéger du soleil – à la plage surtout – mais à la ville nous avons des crèmes de soins ou des crèmes teintées qui contiennent un SPF.
    Ma mère qui a 68 ans n’a pas une peau du cou fripée : seulement la peau s’affine et cela fait de fines ridules quand elle tourne la tête – son décolleté n’est pas fripé non plus et son visage dont l’arrondi n’est plus aussi ferme garde encore beaucoup de charme. Elle a toujours profité du soleil et n’a jamais acheté de crème pour le visage avec du SPF puisque cela n’existait pas dans sa jeunesse.
    Profitons ! et ne pensons pas à l’avenir ça ne changera beaucoup pour notre vieillesse future…c’est l’amour qui sera notre meilleur lifting !
    Si nous avons peur constamment pour notre physique nous allons devenir des vieilles acariâtres et moches !
    Par ailleurs, le foulard ou l’écharpe est souvent un accessoire important dans la tenue –

    Quant au col roulé pour les “mamies” ce n’est pas toujours un bon choix car si le cou est caché, le col roulé fait ressortir (surtout quand il est noir) un ovale du visage souvent relâché. (mais elles sont belles quand même)

    Ou alors il ne nous reste plus que la….burka ! ;-)))

  • Dear People,
    I am 60 years old and have very good skin, in part because of my genes, I guess! ;-)
    I never ever used, or will start using, sunproducts! I was a stewardess so have been around, and also lived in South America for about 5 years! I usually forgot to use them and sat in the shade or under an umbrella, to hot anyway!
    Please Ladies, get yourselves educated about the reverse side of using these products and their ingredients, they do more harm than good! Go sit in the sun, you need the sun to make vitamin D, which is very important for your health! Go in for about 10 minutes without any suncream and make sure you have at least your face (no sunglases), arms, front and back exposed to the sun! After that use a moisturizer and find some shade! Some good articles about this subject on Dr. Mercola’s website! To your health, Cheers!

  • Bien sûr il faut prendre soin de soi mais… ne sois pas si effrayée de vieillir voyons!! Il n’y a pas de solution magique, c’est naturel que nos cous, bras, mains, visage, n’aient pas le même aspect à 20, 30 et 50, 60 ans. C’est d’ailleurs bien connu que les mains sont révélatrices de l’âge d’une personne ;) pourquoi vouloir masquer son âge ? C’est beaucoup plus beau d’avoir 60 ans et de paraître 60 ans, que d’avoir 60 ans et d’essayer d’en paraitre 20 de moins.

  • Living in Australia – scarves are my friend all year round.

  • Euh beh, je n’y avais jamais pensé à mon cou en fait! Donc si j’ai bien compris, il faut aller s’expatrier au Groenland pour notre retraite?! ça ne règlera pas notre problème mais au moins on sera cachée par des pulls, des sous-pulls, des gants, et des grandes ECHARPES!!!

  • Yes, I’m like you and the rest here who ignore the smart beauty advice from Mom (mine is a hairdresser and beautician so truly I know I should trust her and follow every word).

    Thankfully since I’ve had very sensitive & dry skin my whole life, I learned at a very young age to take care of the delicate skin on my neck as much as I do my face. However, I haven’t been as diligent to take care of my hands and décolletage — reading this makes me want to moisturize my hands and grab another cup of water. Cheers!

  • Here in Japan some women are really sensitive about sun, and we often see women protecting themselves in face hoods and covered all up hands arms and all, looking like Darth Vader + Ninja. We have to sacrifice something for beauty, i guess. BTW, for neck, exercising its muscle works for me a lot.

  • Maybe the quote is referring to the sagginess of the neck, not so much the sun damage? Also technology may have a solution in 30 years’ time…

  • I burn so easily that I always put sunscreen on my neck at the same time as my face. Still, it has more sun damage than my face. So I also started wearing lightweight cotton or silk scarves in the summer to protect from the sun. Here in San Francisco, a light scarf is always a good idea for the chilly fog, anyway.

  • Lotion with sunblock!!

  • Hmmm never really thought about the neck! However, I do think about my hands, for some strange reasons. So for my hands, I always make sure that I have spf lotion or use hand sanitizer and I always wear gloves when dealing with cleaning products or washing dishes.

  • I love that book by Nore Ephron (I Feel Bad About My Neck). I always apply sunblock on my neck, and my nape. As someone who markets skincare products, I learned that whatever you do on your face must be extended to your neck.

    I do have sunblock for the body (Neutrogena in spray form), but admittedly, I don’t get to use it a lot. As for my hands, I haven’t really been putting sunscreen on them until recently when I developed a Contact Dermatitis. My dermatologist prescribed me the VMV Hypoallergenics Post Barrier Cream with SPF 50 to use for my hands, it’s a barrier cream and sunblock at the same time. I like that it really protects my skin, because with contact dermatitis, my skin feels so thin and dries and wounds easily, but having used that for less than a month now, I felt that it restored my skin. VMV Hypoallergenics is available there in New York ( if you do want to check it out.

  • J’avoue que je ne pense jamais à protéger ces zones non plus mais je suis jeune donc je me dis que j’aurai le temps de m’inquiéter de ça plus tard. Cela dit en lisant ton article j’étais en train de penser qu’il fallait que j’investisse dans une crème pour les mains avec SPF mais effectivement pas super pratique de s’en remettre à tire larigot à chaque fois qu’on se lave les mains.. Du coup je viens de réaliser que je fais quelque chose qui marche surement en fait, même si au départ je le fais pas du tout dans ce but, c’est juste une habitude que j’ai depuis que je suis ado: quand je porte des manches longues je tire systématiquement dessus de sorte que seuls les doigts dépassent. C’est assez cosy et en plus ça tient chaud l’hiver (je déteste porter des gants, surtout parce que je fume beaucoup pff) et aussi en bonus ça découvre un peu l’épaule, j’adore. Bon par contre on peut pas le faire avec tous les vêtements, par exemple je porte beaucoup de manches 3/4, là j’ai pas de solution… Les mains dans les poches?

  • Je mets ma crème de jour sur le cou aussi !
    Quant aux mains j’avoue en prendre soin (utiliser des crèmes) aux premiers signes de froid et l’été, lorsqu’on badigeonne son corps de crème solaire/après-solaire…

    Au-delà de ça, je pense que le patrimoine génétique y est pour beaucoup.
    Il y a tout simplement des peaux qui marquent davantage que d’autres : les peaux très sèches marquent plus que les peaux à tendance grasse/mixte. On n’est pas égale non plus face au vieillissement cutané, soleil ou pas soleil, c’est comme ça !


  • I love this question! I am 37, I’ve always taken care of my face, religious about my face, but did so little about my neck. I plan for a change: I want to do for my neck something I do for my face – a set of muscles exercises (they help with keeping wrinkles and fallen muscles at bay). It takes me 5 min every day.. I have a book about this…I am thinking to do the same for my neck…ok, I need to carve out anouther 5 min of my daily agenda and that makes me postpone it :(

  • love all the comments from the 55 + ladies which is where I fit in!
    and yes agree, necks, back of neck & back of hands need plenty of sunblock.
    and yet we all know this but such a small percentage remember to do this.

    so thanks for the ‘shout out’ and I am only one of them that still needs to be reminded!!

    love your column too!

  • Quelle jolie question…..
    mon cou, j’essaie de ne jamais le nègliger et je l’hydrate en meme temps que mon visage.
    Pour le reste, les bras, le cou sous le soleil, les mains, et bien, rien de spécial en journée. Nous passons deja notre temps à nous prendre la tete, je ne pourrais me recrémer à chqaue instant. Seulement, tous les soirs aprés la douche, je creme tout meme les pieds :) apres, mon homme ne peut plus me toucher, interdit ! ;)
    L’image des copines plus si jeunes me plait tant, je pense que c’est la vie et qu’il faut l’accepter. Cette bande de copines me semble terriblement séduisante malgré les cols roulés ou autre :)
    tu sais, d’ailleurs, combien de fois ai-je entendu que les frottements des pulls ou autre n’étaient pas non plus si excellents pour la peau du cou si fragile. Alors…….

  • Ever since I saw Nora Ephron with her nack talk on Oprah I rused out to buy the book and she is my hero ever since. I only show some cleavage at night and cover my hands in sunscreen in the summer and in gloves in the winter. I hope this works to keep my appearance looking fresh.

  • Mélanie October, 24 2013, 7:44 / Reply

    Il existe chez BODYSHOP une crème pour les mains à la rose qui prévient les taches brunes et avec indice de protection 15.
    Après je te l’accorde, il faut penser à s’en mettre régulièrement pour que la protection soit efficace.
    Mais c’est souvent le cas l’hiver pour lutter contre le froid aussi. Et elle sent tellement bon…

  • Hé bien je finis sur les mains ma crème solaire de l’été (spf 50 en général), ce n’est pas si mal.

  • Ah c’est tellement vrai ! Moi je pense à la crème dans le cou, mais pour les mains….agrrrr… c’est une autre histoire :(

  • It’s great to protect your skin from the sun, but sunscreen isn’t always actually protecting you. There are many carcinogens in almost all sunscreen (zinc is ok). It’s really too bad that all the marketing is about avoiding cancer by wearing sunscreen, but it actually can lead to cancer. I don’t mean to be negative, it just seems like most people don’t realize this.

  • Even after all the facelifts, botox and suncreams we end up looking our age, whatever that means, betrayed by our posture and gait, unless we have been very active physically. Why is that so scary?

    However, sun damaged skin is quite another matter, compared to skin that has been taken care of and aged naturally. I recommend small daily dozes of sunshine, certified natural skin care, no smoking, fresh air and enough sleep. A few wrinkles and age spots are not dangerous.

    Garance, I enjoy your site but it is seriously lacking in “women over forty” although you seem to have quite a few readers in this age group. A few older “role models” every now and then could help make ageing less terrifying to your young followers, as it is inevitable to us all.

  • Catherine October, 26 2013, 4:18

    I am well over 40, even over 50, and I check this site a couple of times a day.
    I like Garance’s enthusiasm, not just about fashion, but about everything. She approaches the world with pleasure and enjoyment but not with an attitude of acquisitiveness. It’s the “buy this or you are a loser” attitude of so many blogs that turns me off. I don’t NEED anything, nor do any of us, and Garance seems to have this in mind. Things are nice and lovely and worthy of admiration, but sometimes they are just that and nothing more. Sometimes they are new marvels to be taken into our lives and enjoyed, while knowing that things cannot make us happy.
    Garance also doesn’t seem put off by aging–how many times has she written that she doesn’t care about wrinkles? I think it’s inevitable to think about how our bodies change, just as we did in adolescence. It is a different kind of surprise to realize that the face in the mirror isn’t the smooth, pretty one we had become used to, or that our bodies can’t do what they once did, or that young waiters or sales staff or whatever suddenly don’t seem to see us, as if we were invisible, when not so long ago they would have been slipping us their phone numbers. Even so, I don’t mind getting old, but I want to do it in a Diane Feinstein/Helen Mirren/Judi Dench way–strong in mind and body, and still classy.

  • Je mets de l’écran total sur le visage et le cou toute l’année mais les mains, c impossible de remettre de la crème 10 fois par jour, je n’ai pas de solution. Pour le cou, je porte un foulard le plus souvent possible au soleil mais ça fait quand même bizarre et à la plage, évidemment, je n’ose pas… C là que je me rends compte qu’il n’existe pas de total écran total (hormis un drap sur la tête!) car le soleil passe quand même… PS. d’accord avec le commentaire sur le col roulé qui souligne le relâchement du contour du visage, c peu flatteur.

  • Je suis d’accord, il faut faire attention, mais ne pas tomber dans la parano ! Entre ma mère qui vit à la Reunion et moi en Allemagne, on ne peut pas adopter les memes pratiques ! L’hiver à New York, Paris ou Hambourg où je vis, pas besoin de se crémer partout, déjà on porte des gants, des écharpes, quand au visage, j’ai lu un article sérieux qui disait que se mettre des SPF tous les jours ça ne sert à rien voire c’est toxique, car si vous travaillez dans un bureau comme 80% d’entre nous, la peau se défend très bien toute seule pour faire le trajet boulot-dodo-autres, donc tous ces filtres chimiques ça ne sert à rien, même en plein soleil (je parle bien-sûr de l’hiver en ville, pas à la montagne). Quant à l’été oui, protection partout, et même au printemps dès que ça chauffe un peu, mais si c’est pour 5 minutes au soleil par 10 degrés, votre peau ne craint rien..Hydratation avant tout l’hiver !

  • Georgia Shockley October, 24 2013, 10:00 / Reply

    Absolutely. Twice a day- moisturize my face and at the same moment, my neck and décolleté. Always- one with the other. I am 53 and have NO lines anywhere. I have followed this regime religiously since I was 25. My face and neck are firm and line-free. It can be done!!

  • nice illustration!! déjà postée sur mon pinterest :)
    Sorry pour les NYorkaises, mais pour les ptites françaises: – enjoy the cold moments!!

  • At 43 I have the freckles and wrinkles of a happy, well-lived outdoor life. I’m attached to the dark spot on my cheek I got while scuba diving in Indonesia, I’m attached to the freckles on my shoulders from training horses in Colorado. I have my Dad’s rough hands from climbing mountains. And I hope I’m lucky enough to enjoy that lunch with my friends at 60, instead of thinking about my neck.

  • I don’t think the neck is so much damaged by sun, but by gravity. The neck skin dosn’t really wrinkle, but loosens and I believe there is nothing you can do about it, not even the famous exercises (for who has the time and patience to practice) can help much.

  • I never think about it! And my mom is constantly asking me to find her creams specifically for the decolletage. Maybe I should start investing in one as well!

    What a gorgeous illustration! I love to put a copy up in my bedroom.


  • Great Post.. so true… Bravo!!!!

  • Of course I use sunblock and (on my face and neck) and I’ve started using a sunblock for the hands, too (by Neutrogena) also because I don’t like too much tan. But I like turtle necks anyway, since I was a teenager. Maybe I won’t change habits when I’ll be old.

  • Another Reader October, 27 2013, 5:48 / Reply

    I try to always use sunscreen everytime I step out, for my face I use bb creams or make up that already has FPS and for the rest of my body I always use sunscreen with a minimun of 30 FPS; plus always use scarfs and sunglases to protect me from direct sun rays while in the car or walking (Heheh peolple always stares at me)

    The thing is I dont know when/ how often to reapply :S

  • Thanks for the wise words Garance. After reading this last week I bought L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Golden Balm which is supposed to redensify the skin of face, neck and chest. I’m 51 and although it is too heavy for my face (I still tend to break out there), I saw an immediate improvement in my neck…the skin there feels heavenly now. So I will be using this every night now, and SPF 30 during the day! I love your happy, upbeat, fun site!

  • Jardindisy October, 28 2013, 9:46 / Reply

    I was very interested reading the comments and noticing that some of the readers are turning fifty or in their sixties as it provides another kind of opininon which I perceive as full of wisdom and grace. As some readers said wrinkles are not only a sun matter. The skin gets thinner and we cannot really fight gravity. Then yes, why not wear a scarf…but to me, a beautiful smile should do the trick as it enlightens the face and this is the most important.

    So thank you Garance, for the lovely posts and for the opportunity for us to meet and share our views through various countries and different generations.

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