Smartphones and tablets have completely changed the way we communicate. A simple tap on a little screen can connect us with someone on the other side of the world. You can also access tons of information on the internet from videos and articles (like this one!). Unfortunately, this convenience can come with a price: permanent wrinkles in the skin! This phenomenon is being referred to as tech neck (sometimes called text neck). This term originally referenced the pain caused by constantly keeping your head tilted forward. However, now tech neck is being used to describe the horizontal wrinkles the form along the middle of the neck as a result of regularly looking down at phones, computers, or other devices. In this post, we’ll discuss what causes tech neck and exactly what you can do to get rid of tech neck wrinkles.
What causes tech neck?
As mentioned above, tech neck is caused by constantly bending the neck down. Most of the time this is due to looking at a device, however, there are other instances you may bend your neck down (such as reading). By folding your neck down, you’re creating a folding in the skin in that area. That’s what creates the wrinkles that are referred to as tech neck. But you don’t see young people walking around with tech neck lines, so what changes in the skin to cause these lines in older people? We’ll dive deep into these skin changes in the next section.
What changes occur in the skin that result in tech neck lines?
Tech neck lines occur due to the skin losing the strength and elasticity it once had during youth. After the skin has been in a folded position for a prolonged period of time, aged skin cannot “bounce back” like it used to. But what exactly happens in the skin to cause this? Simply put, the skin loses its strength and elasticity due to two main reasons: loss of connective tissue proteins and loss of hydration. Below we will cover each of these in detail so that you know exactly what causes tech neck lines.
Decreased levels of collagen and elastin
As you age, your skin produces less of the connective tissue proteins collagen and elastin. Collagen is a structural protein that is responsible for the resilience, strength, and durability of the skin. Elastin is a highly elastic protein that allows the skin to resume its shape after stretching or contracting. While collagen makes skin look plump and firm, elastin allows the skin to be elastic and pliable. After the age of 20, a person produces about 1 percent less collagen in the skin each year. Moreover, environmental free radicals from things such as excessive exposure to UV radiation and cigarette smoking can degrade both collagen and elastin.
Loss of hydration
Another change that occurs in the skin as you age is loss of hydration, primarily due to the skin producing less hyaluronic acid with age. Hyaluronic acid is the key molecule involved with skin moisture. In fact, hyaluronic acid is able to hold more water than any other natural substance—up to 1,000 times its weight in water! Without a sufficient amount of hyaluronic acid, the skin becomes dry and thin, making it more vulnerable to the formation of tech neck wrinkles.
How to prevent tech neck
Perhaps you have a job where you’re constantly looking at a computer or phone. Or maybe you are a big fan of scrolling through social media every night. If so, you may be concerned about the development of tech neck lines and wrinkles. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent tech neck. The obvious way to prevent tech neck is to stop constantly bending your head forward, which is known as neck flexion. One way to reduce neck flexion is to use a monitor stand for your computer. Set the stand up so that the screen is at eye level.
You can also consider investing in a standing desk to prevent tech neck. If you opt against a standing desk, make sure you sit in a chair with a headrest. The back of your head should stay in contact with the headrest while you sit. Doing so will help you avoid flexing your neck forward.
A final way to prevent tech neck is to use the right types of skin care products. First, always use a moisturizer with SPF 30 during the day to prevent sunburn. Remember, free radicals from excessive exposure to UV radiation can degrade collagen and elastin, making the skin more vulnerable to lines and wrinkles. If you already have tech neck wrinkles, we’ll discuss the best skin care products to help improve the appearance of these wrinkles in the next section.
The best skin care products for tech neck lines
The neck area is often forgotten when it comes to taking care of our skin. Fortunately, the same products that we use to keep our faces wrinkle-free can be applied to the neck. If you neglect the neck area in your anti-aging skin care routine, start by making sure you exfoliate the neck area with a chemical exfoliant (like an alpha hydroxy acid) at least once per week.
Next, you’ll want to use a moisturizer with specific anti-aging ingredients that address both causes of tech neck lines: loss of connective tissue proteins and loss of hydration. We recommend Formulyst Pro-Collagen Serum. The formula contains ingredients like Chondrus Crispus extract and hyaluronic acid to boost the skin’s hydration, while peptides and hydrolyzed soy protein can stimulate the production of collagen. Since the Formulyst Pro-Collagen Serum can help with both of these issues, you may notice your skin looks and feels firmer and more youthful.
You may also want to consider a retinol skin care product, such as Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream. Retinol is clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and restore skin firmness. It works by stimulating new collagen production and increasing cell turnover, leading to smoother, firmer skin. Formulyst Anti-Aging Night Cream also contains plenty of emollients that help lock in moisture, such as squalane, macadamia seed oil, and jojoba oil. Apply this ultra-nourishing night cream to your entire neck area in order to help prevent tech neck.