In the world of European skincare, there are some areas we give endless attention to—like our faces, which see a parade of serums, creams, and masks.
But there’s a region often overlooked, even by the most diligent skincare fans: the décolletage. This delicate area, stretching from the base of your neck to just above your chest, demands special care, yet many are unfamiliar with its unique needs or even its name.
So, what does ‘décolletage’ really mean in the realm of skincare? Buckle up, beauty lovers, as we dive deep into understanding, nurturing, and celebrating this all-important zone.
The Art of Décolletage: A Deep Dive into French Skincare’s Best-Kept Body Care Secret
What is the Décolletage area?
The décolletage, a word derived from the French verb “décolleter”, meaning to reveal the neck, is the area of skin that stretches from your neck down to your bust. This delicate zone often gets less attention than the face, yet it’s one of the first places to show signs of aging due to its thin skin, which lacks the same concentration of oil glands as other parts of our body. Sun exposure, gravitational pull, and even the way we sleep can lead to wrinkles, crepey skin, and age spots in this often-neglected area.
Décolleté vs Décolletage?
What is the difference between décolleté and décolletage?
While the terms décolleté and décolletage are often used interchangeably, they technically refer to slightly different areas and concepts. The décolleté refers specifically to the upper part of a woman’s torso, comprising the neck, shoulders, back, and chest, that is exposed by the neckline cut of her clothing.
On the other hand, décolletage is more about the area of the skin itself, from the neck down to the bust. Think of décolleté as the region revealed by fashion and décolletage as the skin that requires specific care. Given the prominence of this area in many outfits, it’s important for many to keep this skin looking radiant and youthful.
The terms “décolleté” and “décolletage” are often used interchangeably in the context of fashion and skincare, but they do have distinct origins and slightly different meanings:
- Origin: French, from “décolleter”, which means to cut out the neck of a garment.
- Meaning: In fashion, “décolleté” refers to a low neckline on a woman’s dress or top. It’s specifically about the cut and shape of the garment as it showcases the neck and upper chest.
- In skincare, “décolleté” can refer to the skin covering the neckline and upper chest, particularly in the context of treatments or products targeting this area.
- Origin: From the French word “décolleté”.
- Meaning: This term broadly refers to the upper chest, neck, and shoulder area, especially when revealed by a low neckline. While “décolleté” emphasizes the actual neckline or cut of the garment, “décolletage” pertains more to the general area itself.
- In skincare, when someone refers to “décolletage care”, they are talking about taking care of the skin in the neck, upper chest, and shoulder region.
In day-to-day language, particularly in English-speaking countries, the distinction between the two can get blurred. Still, knowing the nuance can be beneficial, especially when discussing skincare or fashion in more detail.
Effective Décolletage Treatments
The décolletage is an often-neglected region but is just as susceptible to signs of aging, sun damage, and other skin concerns as the face. To keep this area looking youthful and healthy, consider the following treatments:
Using a hydrating cream for the neck area can maintain the skin’s elasticity.
Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides. Products containing retinol can stimulate collagen production, reduce fine lines, and improve texture.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to combat free radical damage and can brighten the skin. Daily application of a broad-spectrum SPF can prevent further sun damage. Gentle chemical exfoliants (like glycolic or lactic acid) can help rejuvenate the décolletage by sloughing off dead skin cells and encouraging cell turnover.
Serums with Peptides or Retinoids can boost collagen production, providing the skin with a firmer and more youthful appearance. Always introduce retinoids gradually and ensure you’re using sunscreen during the day as they can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
The Clarins Extra-Firming + Smoothing Neck & Décolleté Moisturizer is a specialized formula designed to target signs of aging unique to the neck and décolletage areas. Its powerful ingredients work synergistically to provide both firming and smoothing effects. This results in a lifted appearance and a reduction in the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.
In contrast, the Clarins Super Restorative Décolleté and Neck Concentrate focuses on rejuvenation. It’s particularly effective for skin that has been impacted by hormonal changes, as it promotes skin density and elasticity, thereby helping to combat sagging and uneven skin tone.
Lastly, Guerlain Orchidée Impériale NECK AND DÉCOLLETÉ CREAM is a luxury formula that offers holistic care for the delicate neck and chest areas. It provides deep hydration, ensuring the skin remains supple and radiant. Moreover, its rich texture and active ingredients fortify the skin’s barrier, protecting against daily environmental aggressors and helping maintain its youthful resilience.
Yes, there are sheet masks designed specifically for the décolletage! These masks offer intensive treatment, drenching the skin in a cocktail of beneficial ingredients, leaving it plump and radiant.
Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure uses tiny crystals to exfoliate the skin’s surface, promoting collagen production and smoother skin.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) can treat sun spots and other pigmentation issues. Fractional lasers address wrinkles and fine lines by stimulating collagen production.
Dermal Fillers can be used to treat deep-set wrinkles or loss of volume in the décolletage area. Though more commonly used on the face, Botox can be used to address vertical bands on the neck.