By now, you’re probably well aware of how important maintaining a daily skin care routine is—but how much time do you spend pampering your décolletage? If your answer is not much, you’re missing out. While your complexion definitely deserves special TLC, you should extend your skin care routine to your neck and décolletage as well. After all, why should your face get to have all the skin care fun? Below, learn exactly what your décolletage is, how it differs from décolleté, and find out how to care for this part of your body—including how to incorporate a neck and chest moisturizer and other skin care products into your daily décolletage skin care routine. Bonus: We’ll also teach you how to contour your décolletage with makeup!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DÉCOLLETÉ AND DÉCOLLETAGE?
You may be questioning the difference between your décolleté and your décolletage, and we’re here to explain. As you can imagine, these two terms go hand-in-hand, but they aren’t exactly the same. Below, learn the definitions of each.
WHAT IS YOUR DÉCOLLETÉ?
First thing’s first, what is the décolleté area? The area referred to when using ‘décolleté’ is the upper chest, though the word itself is an adjective, not a noun. This French word typically refers to the low-cut neckline of a dress.
WHAT IS YOUR DÉCOLLETAGE?
Décolletage is also a French word, but a noun rather than an adjective. When it comes to your skin care routine, the term means your neck and upper chest—the same area that would be exposed by the aforementioned low neckline. If you happen to be a fan of V-neck shirts, then you may want to consider taking care of this area to help ensure it looks its best whenever it’s exposed. Keep reading to learn how to do just that!
HOW DO YOU PREVENT DÉCOLLETAGE WRINKLES?
One of the tell-tale signs of aging skin is neglecting to care for your décolletage. Can you prevent wrinkles below your chin? Can you use retinol on your chest? Well, yes, but there’s more to preventing wrinkles on your décolletage than using a retinol cream. You’ll want to follow a proper skin care routine to combat signs of skin aging, like wrinkles. Speaking of…
YOUR NECK AND DÉCOLLETAGE SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Now that you know what your décolletage is, it’s time to learn how to take care of it. Here, find a step-by-step skin care routine for your décolletage. In general, you should be able to use your skin care products on your face, neck, and chest, but you can also look for skin care products specifically designed for your neck and décolletage—it's really up to you.
STEP 1: CLEANSE
The first step in any skin care routine should be cleansing, as this can help rid the surface of your skin of any dirt, makeup, and impurities that may have built up throughout the day. If you want to save some time, you can start your skin care routine in the shower by using a gentle body wash to cleanse your décolletage. You can also reach for a gentle facial cleanser like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Nourishing Cream Cleanser. This daily cream facial cleanser, which is meant for mature skin, is formulated with replenishing oils to help gently yet effectively cleanse without over-drying. After you’ve cleansed your décolletage (and your face, while you’re at it), pat—don’t rub—with a towel to dry off.
STEP 2: EXFOLIATE
Décolletage looking a little on the dull side? A buildup of dead skin cells on your skin’s surface could be to blame. Enter exfoliation, the process of sloughing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. While some people can handle daily exfoliation, others may only be able to slough their skin once or twice a week—so pay attention to how your skin responds in order to figure out what works for you.
When you do exfoliate, you can choose to use a gentle exfoliating body scrub, or you can pick a gentle face scrub. Use either on your décolletage when you’re in the shower, using circular motions to exfoliate before rinsing off. For a face scrub you can use on not only your face and décolletage but also your lips, try the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub.
STEP 3: MOISTURIZE
Just as cleansing should be part of your daily skin care routine, so should moisturizing. As skin matures, one of the biggest changes is the loss of moisture, nutrients, and natural oils. As a result, not only your face, but your neck and chest can be left feeling very dry. If you're suddenly wondering, “What is the best décolletage cream?”, consider the following moisturizers for your décolletage routine:
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face/Neck/Chest/Hands: This silky all-over balm is formulated with manuka honey and nurturing oils to relieve mature, very dry skin on the face, neck, chest, and hands—even on the go. The balm wraps skin in soothing moisture to soften skin that feels tight and uncomfortable, leaving it with a more youthful, healthy-looking glow. Apply it to cleansed skin morning and night.
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Day Cream: This decadent, creamy moisturizer is formulated with manuka honey and nurturing oils to envelop the skin with a soft, silky layer of comfort. The face and neck cream penetrates the skin's surface layer to restore comfort and nourishing moisture to mature, very dry skin. To use, apply it every morning to cleansed skin alone or under makeup.
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey Night Balm: This luxurious night balm moisturizer contains manuka honey and nurturing oils to provide incredible nourishing comfort with long-lasting, non-greasy, non-sticky hydration. The night balm effectively penetrates skin's surface layer to comfort and strengthen mature, very dry skin on the face, neck, and chest. Apply it every night to cleansed skin.
STEP 4: PROTECT
In the morning, taking sun protection measures before you head outside is key. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every two hours—or immediately after swimming or sweating. When applying sunscreen to your face, extend it down to your neck and chest. In addition to wearing sunscreen every day, the FDA recommends limiting your time in the sun (especially during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and covering any exposed areas, like your décolletage. For your next beach day or any other outdoor activity, you’ll also want to remember to pack accessories like UV-blocking sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat.
STEP 5: APPLY SELF-TANNER
While this isn’t a 100% necessary step to include in your neck and décolletage skin care routine, using a self-tanner can give your skin a natural, sun-kissed glow (without the sun damage) year-round. For a natural-looking décolletage tan, add one of the following self-tanners to your routine:
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Water Mousse: Scared of those dreaded self-tanner stains on your clothes and sheets? No need to fear! With its clear self-tanner formula, this mousse will give your décolletage (and the rest of your body) a long-lasting tan that develops gradually.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Self-Tanning Mist Medium Natural Tan: If you want an instant tan, this is the sunless tanning option for you. This super-fine 360° continuous mist coats skin evenly with its wide-angled jet applicator. It dries instantly, allowing for ultra-even application and natural-looking, streak-free results. To apply, simply spray at arm’s length to coat the desired area with an even mist.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium: This gradual self-tanner is ideal for those who want to ease into their tanned glory. The lotion will deliver an even, bronzed glow while softening and nourishing skin. To use, smooth it over your skin as a body lotion three times a week.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Towelettes for Body: Looking for a convenient, easy, and travel-friendly option? These self-tanning towelettes deliver a streak-free, natural-looking tan and contain enough self-tanner for one application. To use, open the packet and unfold the towelette. Smooth the towelette over the desired areas and wash your hands after application. Give your skin time to dry before putting on clothes.
L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Serum: This self-tanning serum will have you looking sun-kissed and golden year-round thanks to the bronzed glow it provides. The formula is streak-free, no fuss, quick-drying, and foolproof, leaving you with skin that looks radiant in every climate. And the best part is, you can use it on your face and body! Apply an even layer, wash hands, and allow the tanner to dry before putting on clothes or makeup.
YOUR NECK AND DÉCOLLETAGE MAKEUP ROUTINE
If you want to go the extra mile, you can use makeup to contour and highlight your décolletage! While there’s no need to incorporate this into your daily makeup look, contouring your body can take a formal look to the next level, especially if you’re wearing an off-the-shoulder dress or blouse. Follow the steps below to contour and highlight your décolletage.
STEP 1: CONTOUR
To contour your décolletage, use a bronzer that can be used on your body, like the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Lumi Bronze It Bronzer. Apply it along the outside of your collarbone as if you’re outlining it. After applying, make sure to blend the bronzer out to avoid having any harsh, obvious lines.
STEP 2: HIGHLIGHT
You have a couple of options when it comes to highlighting your décolletage. If you want an all-over shimmer, opt for a shimmering body lotion and apply it to your upper chest and neck for an instant glow. If you’d rather create a spotlight effect and only highlight specific areas, use a loose powder highlighter. Try applying the L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Lumi Shimmerista Highlighting Powder to the highpoints of your collarbone to illuminate your décolletage and create a flattering glow.
Editor’s note: If you love looking sculpted, another option is to contour with self-tanner. You can read all about how to do it in our article, What Is Tantouring?
Now that you know how to take care of your décolletage, head over to our article on How to Create a Skin Care Routine for Your Body to get started on curating a head-to-toe routine.