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The décolletage, the delicate skin on the neck and chest, is often forgotten during a skin care routine. This area in people with female anatomy can be particularly susceptible to visible signs of aging and sun damage due to its high ultraviolet (UV) light exposure.

This article discusses skin damage in the décolletage area, offering tips on products and procedures to treat wrinkles, discoloration, sun spots, and other concerns.

YakobchukOlena / Getty Images

Benefits of Protecting Décolletage Area

Signs of skin damage, like wrinkles, sun spots, and sagging skin, are more likely to occur on parts of the body that get frequent sun exposure, like the décolletage. At the same time, genetics play a role in how our skin ages. However, other potentially more controllable factors influence the amount of damage. Keeping the décolletage area protected can prevent and reduce skin concerns.

Reduce Sun Damage

Inevitably, the décolletage area will typically receive frequent sun exposure throughout your lifetime. But by using sunscreen regularly, you can repair and prevent future damage like dark spots, uneven skin tone, and wrinkles. If you already use sunscreen on your face, extend this application down your neck and onto the décolletage to start seeing these beneficial effects.

Eliminate Wrinkles

In the same way making repeated facial expressions can accelerate the appearance of wrinkles of fine lines on the face, the skin on the décolletage can also be affected by repetitive actions—like sleeping in a particular position that causes creases in the area at night. Being mindful of the wear and tear on this body part can help combat additional damage.

Fade Age Spots

Dark spots that result from sun damage can gradually increase in size, particularly on a prominent area like the décolletage, which tends to be exposed to direct sunlight more so than other body parts. Resurfacing products and treatments can help reduce the look of existing dark spots and prevent new ones from forming.

Tighten Loose Skin

It’s natural for levels of skin-plumping collagen and elastin to decline as we age. Without these two substances, the skin on parts of the body like the décolletage can become lax and potentially feel a bit like crepe paper. Certain products and treatments can help firm the skin and restore some fullness to the décolletage area.

Even Out a Blotchy Complexion

While blotchy skin can happen at any age, it’s more common in people who have reached menopause. A blotchy complexion on the décolletage can be just as noticeable as on the face, so applying certain products to this sensitive area can help resolve this issue.

How Does Your Décolletage Change?

All of the skin on our body changes as we age, becoming less plump, smooth, and vibrant than it was in our younger years. The added effects of sun damage on prominent areas like the décolletage make it easy to develop wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, and dryness on this body part.

There are especially noticeable aging changes to areas like the décolletage for people who have reached menopause, thanks partly to declining hormone levels.

Changes you might expect include:

  • Discoloration, age spots, freckles, and other darkened patches from sun damage
  • Dryness as oil glands produce less oil as we age
  • Loss of skin elasticity (firmness) due to weakening of skin collagen during menopause
  • Dullness or uneven skin tone from a buildup of dead skin cells
  • Wrinkles and fine lines from aging and sun damage may be visible

Some research suggests that roughly 30% of skin collagen is lost during the first five years of menopause. For the next 20 years, collagen levels decline by about 2% per year.

Décolletage Skin Care Routine

Experts recommend several tips to prevent damage to the décolletage area, including:

  • Protect your skin from the sun: Using and reapplying sunscreen with a 30 or higher sun protection factor (SPF) on this area daily can help reduce visible wrinkles and age spots while preventing new ones from forming. Consider wearing sun-protective clothing, too.
  • Cleanse gently: The décolletage area is delicate, so try using your fingertips to massage in cleanser gently, then rinse with lukewarm water no more than twice a day and after sweating.
  • Moisturize daily: Because moisturizer helps lock water into your skin, it can visibly minimize fine lines. Consider a product that contains peptides, which may help increase collagen in your skin.
  • Exfoliate: A prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) exfoliating product like a retinoid (vitamin A–based derivative) can help chemically slough away dead skin cells and reduce fine lines and wrinkles in this area.
  • Stay away from irritating products: Skin product formulas that sting or tingle when you apply them are likely irritating your skin. This can leave the décolletage area more dry and blotchy.

Experts also recommend treating one décolletage skin concern at a time, like wrinkles or dark spots, instead of more than one. As long as it’s not irritating, give the product time to work in to gauge the results.

Cosmetic Procedures for Décolletage Area

More advanced décolletage skin damage that is bothering you and isn’t resolved with at-home treatments might require a trip to a primary care provider, who can refer you to a skin health specialist (dermatologist) or a facial plastic surgeon. These specialists will discuss the various procedures available to help rejuvenate the skin and address different décolletage concerns, such as:

  • Laser treatments can help resurface the area, remove discoloration, smooth lines, and tighten loose skin.
  • Chemical peels, controlled by acid applications, can help remove (or peel off) damaged outer layers of the skin.
  • Microdermabrasion and microneedling treatments can address discoloration and some light scarring.

The specific type of treatment recommended will vary based on a healthcare provider’s assessment of your décolletage skin damage and your preferences.


Your skin care routine should involve the skin on your neck and chest, known as the décolletage. Sun exposure and the natural aging process around menopause can prompt wrinkles, age spots, discoloration, and other signs of damage to this sensitive area. In addition to giving the décolletage some extra care with at-home products, in-office treatments can help resurface and improve the appearance of this area.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Cristina Mutchler

Cristina Mutchler is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience in national media, specializing in health and wellness content. 

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