The Most Important Place To Use A Cleanser That You're Probably Missing

Most of us are pretty diligent about washing our faces in the morning like we brush our teeth; after all, hygiene is important. We might feel a bit lazy to wash our face before bed because we are too tired, but if we are out or have makeup on, it's a cardinal sin to not wash our face before going to sleep. Skincare brand CeraVe conducted a survey that revealed that 80% of Americans don't wash their faces correctly, and over 50% of those skip cleaning their face before bed. 

"When you're washing your skin, you want to remove excess oil, dirt, pollution, and makeup without compromising the integrity of the skin barrier itself," Joshua Zeichner, M.D., the director of cosmetic and clinical research in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told Everyday Health. Dr. Zeichner added that using the right cleanser to wash your face can prevent acne and remove environmental dirt and grime that can reduce "free radical damage caused by particulate matter in the air, which is associated with premature aging." 

Some common mistakes people make while washing their face are not using the right cleanser for their skin type, using hot water, and only washing it once a day and not after a workout or before bed (via Everyday Health). Those mindful about properly cleansing the face often forget to use cleanser on their neck every time. Here's why you shouldn't skip cleansing your neck during every wash.

Why you should use a cleanser on your neck every time you wash your face

Many people are guilty of not washing their necks with a cleanser every time they wash their faces. Yes, you wash your neck in the shower, but other times, you might not cleanse your neck because you forget, it feels like a hassle, or you conveniently miss the area while showering — but you shouldn't. Your neck is exposed to external factors like pollution, and you may wear makeup in that area, too.

On this, Gretchen Frieling, M.D., a Boston-based triple board-certified dermatopathologist, told Well + Good, "Many women use makeup on their necks to blend with the rest of their face. Because the neck has oil glands just like the rest of the face, it's also subject to breakouts," and that's not the worst of it. "When people don't cleanse their neck, they tend to get 'dark neck,'" Dr. Frieling told the outlet. It is a skin condition called dermatitis neglecta and it's when your neck's skin gets darker due to build-up from "makeup, sweat, dirt, and bacteria."

A clean neck sets the base for your skincare products to work better and "support the skin in its overnight regeneration and renewal processes," Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist from Arizona, told Healthline. They recommend giving "a cleansing massage" to your face, neck, and jaws with your fingers upward to promote circulation and keep the skin looking younger. Don't just limit your skincare routine to your face but also extend it to your neck too.

Give your neck the same skincare love as your face

We take care of wrinkles, sagging, and hyperpigmentation on our face, but often we forget to give the same level of love to our necks, which are also prone to aging. In fact, Rachel Nazarian, a New York City-based dermatologist, told Byrdie, "Volume loss and repeated folding of the skin are the two biggest causes" that can lead to wrinkles and sagging. We lose collagen as we age, plus "sunlight and free radical damage" also deplete collagen production, leading to thinner skin that gives the appearance of loose and crepey skin on the neck. Skincare should always extend beyond your face.

It's essential to include your neck in your skincare routine. So, don't forget to use cleansers and other skincare products in this area. Your neck also needs sun protection during the day. On this, Board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss told Real Simple, "There is a medical term known as poikiloderma of Civatte, which is damaged skin and broken capillaries and pigmentation on the outside edges of your neck caused by sun damage, as that is an area that the sun hits and is often forgotten." 

At night, use a retinol product on your neck as well "to build collagen and reduce fine lines." Investing in a neck cream might not be a bad idea either. If you need extra help, consider getting an in-office treatment like Botox to diminish fine lines and radiofrequency skin tightening for loose skin (via