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9 best neck creams for firming skin, reducing wrinkles and smoothing skin tone

We've been busy testing a range of lotions to find you skincare saviours that offer instant and long-term results

We tested over 30 products, looking for both immediate results and longer-term improvement in tone, texture, clarity, fine lines and contouring ( The Independent/iStock )

You can always tell the true age of someone by their neck, décolleté and hands, which are susceptible to showing signs of ageing before the face. 

Skin here is fragile, finer and more delicate as there are fewer sebaceous glands to keep it moisturised and yet it’s as exposed to environmental damage as the face. 

We tend to nourish our face more thoroughly with moisturisers, oils and serums and don’t always take the product down as far as the décolleté, so we’re not protecting the neck and cleavage as effectively as we are our face. 

Skin here also has a less protective hydrolipidic film, and a thinner dermis and epidermis, so it’s more vulnerable to lines and loss of firmness. 

On top of fine skin and lack of moisture and protection, fat drops towards the base of the face as we age, turning a once defined jawline into a double chin – not helped by constantly looking down at tablets, mobiles and laptops. 

So even if you’re young, tech-neck, as it’s known as, can still be an issue. And the final insult is the menopause, when hormones go awry. Oestrogen drops off, the hormone responsible for (amongst other things) collagen production, and so skin loses density and firmness, which results in skin slackening, creping, sagging, fine lines and wrinkles.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, there are a mass of products on the market that slow down the ageing process and help protect and boost the resilience of this delicate skin.

We tested over 30 products, looking for both immediate results and longer-term improvement in tone, texture, clarity, fine lines and contouring.

We wanted to see pigmentation and age spots diminished, fine lines smoothed away, plumpness returning and a softer smoother look and feel. A razor-sharp jawline was a bonus! Here are our favourites.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

This Works perfect cleavage firming lotion, 60ml: £30.40, This Works

An impressive cocktail of nature’s hardest working essential oils and plant extracts makes this an extremely effective lotion for tightening and brightening the delicate neck and cleavage area. We found it delivered great results instantly during a month of testing. The powerhouse blend includes tightening larch extract, soothing algae, renewing rose, cell renewal boosting comfrey root, and brightening Vitamin C for reducing sun damage pigmentation and increasing collagen production. Out of all the products tested, this gave some of the most definitive results. It feels and smells luxurious, and leaves the skin with a beautiful sheen. It’s good value for money too, holding its own against the higher priced smaller pots from other brands.

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Elemis pro collagen neck and decollete balm, 50ml: £52, Elemis

Elemis blends a range of nature’s finest skin savers with scientific expertise to create skincare that delivers real results. The omega 7 in sea buckthorn repairs and heals damaged skin (especially ageing-related hyperpigmentation), padina pavonica is a natural filler and nourisher to smooth out fine lines, the polysaccharides in tree fern creates a molecular film to instantly tighten and amino acid-packed algae works like collagen to increase elasticity.  

We found that after just three weeks of testing this balm, fine lines were visibly reduced on the décolleté (it didn’t manage to change deeper lines though) and skin felt noticeably firmer on the neck. This balm stimulates calcium production which supports the building blocks of the skin, so the neck appears firmer and smoother. The rose and mimosa scent is beautiful too. A little goes a long way, so although it is an investment, 2-3 pumps easily serves the whole neck and chest area.

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Clarins super restorative décolleté and neck concentrate, 75ml: £58, Clarins

We found the potent plant extracts in this concentrated cream deliver some impressive results. The main ingredient, organic hurungana (from the St John’s wort family) works with skin suffering from a drop in hormones, making it ideal for anyone entering the menopause. As we age, a reduction in oestrogen causes the skin to lose density. But the hurungana can help reinforce the skin’s structure, improving tone and minimising wrinkles and slackening. 

If age spots are your problem, then the Montpellier rock-rose will take care of those as it reduces the look of age-related pigmentation and improves skin’s luminosity – it can also help with protecting from future hyperpigmentation. 

Clarins has also featured sunflower auxins, the hormone that is responsible for giving a sunflower’s stem the strength and flexibility to support a heavy flower and follow the rotation of the sun. This maintains support and tone for the neck.

The fruity floral scent is the icing on the cake for a cream that we found delivered very real results in just over a month’s use. Our skin tone and texture improved and age-related softening definitely seemed firmer. And all this in a large 75ml tube makes it good value for money.

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Sanctuary Spa supercharged hyaluronic face & neck crème, 50ml: £14.85, Feel Unique

Incredible value for money, this out-performed many of the creams we tested that were significantly more expensive. Our tester found it a little rich on the face (she suffers from shiny skin occasionally prone to breakouts), so reserved it for neck and décolleté use only.

But this would be perfect for dry or dehydrated complexions in need of an extra shot of moisture. It can also be used as a day and night cream. Nourishing shea butter and hydrating hyaluronic acid give thirsty skin a real turbo boost. We found the décolleté and neck appeared plumped up and hydrated after less than a week’s use. Rose geranium essential oil and rosa centifolia flower extract, combined with lavender and frankincense essential oils, give this cream a relaxing scent and make it a pleasure to use at night.

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Sisley neck cream the enriched formula, 50ml: £104.40, Sisley

This delicately scented pale pink cream has a surprisingly light, non-greasy formula yet leaves the skin feeling like you’ve used an ultra-rich, nourishing cream. It’s easily absorbed, which is rare for such a deep moisturiser. And it’s packed with a cocktail of active ingredients that work together to tighten, lift, tone and smooth instantly and long term.

Caffeine helps eliminate fat cells and puffiness, stimulating horse chestnut tones the skin, red algae slows down the process that stores fat cells, while shea butter and sunflower oil hydrate for softer more supple skin. For this price tag, we wanted to see some discernible results. We found a month’s use of this wonder cream really did deliver a noticeable change in the tone and texture of the skin and the jawline looked ever so slightly firmer – with a bit more contour. With more long-term use, Sisley suggest that it can help with reducing the look of a double chin. It’s pricey, but worth paying for if you want radical intervention.

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Murad rejuvenating lift for neck and décolleté, 50ml: £68, Murad​

Retinol fans will be clamouring to get hold of Murad, as many neck creams don’t contain any retinol at all. This one contains a variation: retinyl palmitate, which works much like retinol to accelerate cell turnover, reduce wrinkles and refine the skin’s texture, and an alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA), which re-texturises the skin to reduce the look of crepiness. We found the combination of retinyl and AHA can cause the skin to tingle a bit when it’s applied and will make it a little more sensitive to sunburn, so make sure you wear sunscreen with this. Those warnings aside, we found this was excellent for refining the look of the skin from the first couple of uses, it felt firmer, smoother and tone was visibly improved.

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Clarins extra-firming neck anti-wrinkle rejuvenating cream, 50ml: £47, Clarins

Another entry for Clarins and they’ve used those incredible sunflower auxins again in their extra-firming complex. These hormones help the flexibility of the skin’s structure and also increase resilience in the face of environmental aggressors. Organic oat sugars form a tightening film on the surface of the skin, while green algae plumps and moisturises. Thanks to marshmallow powder containing line-filling micro pearls, we found the neck looked instantly smoother. Great results immediately and over time if neck firmness is your skin concern.

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Vichy neovadiol phytosculpt neck & face contours, 50ml: £30, Boots

This contouring sculptor from Vichy has a balm-like texture which is much stiffer than all the other creams and gels we tested, and is aimed at anyone with menopausal skin suffering from reduced elasticity. It’s great value for money and we found it delivers instant visible results and longer-term smoother, firmer skin. The balm wraps itself around the neck and jawline to create a sort of invisible corset which gives the appearance of lifted, toned skin.

The potent skincare actives include phytosterol extract from wild fern leaves, which stimulate the skin to produce new epidermal cells that improve the thickness and resilience of skin. The results? Neck and jawline contours appear firmer, smoother and tighter. Hyaluronic acid also moisturises and plumps. Apply it after your usual moisturiser as the last step in your skincare, so the supporting corset effect can do its lifting magic.

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Elizabeth Arden prevage anti-aging neck and décolleté firm & repair cream, 50ml: £59.50, All Beauty

An indomitable blend of antioxidants gives this cream some serious ammunition against environmental aggressors and free radicals ageing the skin. Tightening polymers help give some structure and contour to skin starting to head south, while hyaluronic acid delivers an intense shot of moisture to boost the resilience of delicate skin. We found texture and tone was significantly improved after a few week’s use and skin felt hydrated and firmer.

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The verdict: Neck creams

For value for money, a luxury feel and visible results immediately and in the longer-term, our pick of the best is This Works. If you’re on a budget, you can’t beat Sanctuary Spa for results. And for contouring the jawline and chin, and a super enriched option, then Sisley works wonders.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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