How Posture Causes Fine Lines & How To Treat Tech Neck

“Neck wrinkles are caused by the same things that cause other wrinkles: a combination of aging of the skin—breakdown of collagen and elastic tissue—and movement,” says board-certified dermatologist Jeremy Fenton, M.D., of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC and Long Beach, New York tells us about neck wrinkles

This is also especially true of the neck, as the skin here does tend to be thinner, and thinner skin is often affected by aging faster (the same reason your eyes may show fine lines before any other part of your face).

Collagen and elastin breakdown is primarily triggered by UV exposure. In fact, up to 80% of visible signs of aging1 can be attributed to sun damage. So wearing sunscreen on your neck is one of the most effective ways to address a root cause of premature aging. 

But to quickly address the movement aspect: “The second main cause is the movement of the neck,” says Fenton. “We get horizontal lines in the neck due to the bending of the neck to look down.”

Here, I should note that I’m certainly not advocating that folks stop moving their neck. That would be bad advice, to say the least. What I am advocating for is better posture: There are many health benefits—skin included—to improving how you sit and stand. It can give you a mood and cognitive boost2, relieve muscle tension, and improve circulation. 

Here’s manual therapist and movement coach Aaron Alexander best advice on sitting, which he shared during the mindbodygreen podcast “Make sure that your hips are above the height of your knees when you’re sitting in any position. What that will do is naturally put your lower back and your pelvis into an architectural position of integrity, support, and load-bearing. Drive weight through the shoulders, and [you will] comfortably stack through that neutral spine.”

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